Visibility Matters

One of the many reasons I love Portland so much is the accessibility of our City government.  Over the past decade or so, with very few exceptions, I have been able to meet with City Commissioners to discuss issues of public policy.  And when I talk about accessibility, I am talking about me as an interested citizen, not me as a representative of an influential organization. Whether or not I was able to sway anyone with my arguments, I always felt heard, and that is what matters the most, at least from my perspective.

I say this because I watched the evolution of the Portland Development Commission’s (PDC) Economic Development Strategy over the past few months. I have read the drafts, attended presentations to a range of business groups, from  the Economic Development Cabinet, the Small Business Advisory Council to Greenlight Greater Portland.  I have both seen and heard how the voices of small business and the open source tech community changed the strategy for the better.  You can read more about the small business and tech community’s participation in the process here, and here.  You can also read what Rick Turoczy had to say on Silicon Florist here and here.

Here is what the mayor had to say about the importance of this plan:

This strategy, if approved by Council, will be the city’s first adopted economic development strategy in 15 years, and will serve as the blueprint to guide the city and region out of the most significant economic decline in over sixty years.  The plan strategically focuses on maximizing the competitive environment for businesses, spurring innovation and enhancing the vitality of our small business community.

It is now our turn to publicly support both Mayor Adams’ and PDC’s efforts by showing our support for the final plan.  On Wednesday, July 8th, I invite you to join me at 3:15 in Council Chambers on the second floor of City Hall (1221 SW 4th ave, Portland, OR 97204) to demonstrate our support for the plan.

Planning on being there? Please R.S.V.P here or contact Clay Neal ( or 503.823.4128.

I know this may be pushing some of you out of your comfort zone.  It is important enough to me and Portland’s small business community that I will do what I can to support those who want to show their support.  I will be waiting outside the 4th street entrance to City Hall starting at 2:45 on Wednesday.  Anyone is welcome to meet me there and we can walk in as a group at about 3:05.

Not able to make the meeting, but still want to show your support for the strategy?  You can submit written testimony by sending an email to She is the Council Clerk and will distribute your testimony to all of City Council and make it part of the official record.

I look forward to seeing you on Wednesday.


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