An organic Jericho March around the State Capitol block to peacefully protest the legislation coming from that building and to demand changes to our election system to ensure it is honest and transparent. 3-4:30pm - on 10/1 and culminating with a final march on 10/15. (Joshua 6:2-5)
An organic Jericho March around the State Capitol block to peacefully protest the legislation coming from that building and to demand changes to our election system to ensure it is honest and transparent. 3-4:30pm - final march on 10/15. (Joshua 6:2-5)
South entrance to the State Capitol, Salem
ORP Platform Convention
Thursday, October 19, 2023 at 1:00 pm
ORP Platform Convention
Wasco County GOP 2023 Beef and Burgundy Dinner and Auction
Boshart Davis urges Legislature to reject partisan influences
The US Census has now released the 2020 Census Redistricting Data.
House Redistricting Committee co-chair Shelly Boshart Davis released the following joint statement in response with fellow committee members Christine Drazan and Daniel Bonham:
â€œToday marks another important step in the process of redrawing Oregonâ€™s political boundaries. We join our colleagues in committing to an open, transparent and collaborative process. At the same time, we recognize that Oregonâ€™s current political maps have not produced equitable representation for minority communities and differing political views.
It is our shared responsibility to fix this. Over the next month and a half, we urge every member of the Legislature to reject partisan influences that are too often an inherent part of this process and to commit to producing fair maps that accurately reflect the diversity of the people of Oregon.â€
It is likely that she will see her first vote in a probable special session
In a joint meeting of the County Commissioners of Josephine, Jackson and Douglas Counties, Christine Goodwin was unanimously chosen to fill the seat that was vacated by State Representative Gary Leif upon his death.
It is likely that she will see her first vote in a probable special session in late September to determine Legislative and Congressional districts.
Goodwin touted her skill set that she says she developed in the public and private sectors. She did not reveal whether or not she would run for election in 2022, but it has been speculated that she would not. Prior to the vote, Douglas County Commissioner Chris Boice expressed his preference for someone who "isn't planning to run in the election, if possible," so that the will of the people could be heard next year, without having a candidate as an incumbent.
â€œThe entire Republican Caucus welcomes Christine Goodwin to the House and looks forward to the work we will accomplish together,â€ said House Republican Leader Christine Drazan (R-Canby). â€œChristineâ€™s years of public service and community engagement shows that she is deeply committed to the people and communities in District 2 and they will be well served by her leadership.â€
â€œItâ€™s an honor to participate in the Legislature,â€ added Christine Goodwin. â€œI look forward to representing the constituents of House District 2 to the same high standards they received from Gary Leif who was an inspirational public servant.â€
Christine Goodwin is a former teacher and coach at Roseburg High School for seven years, and has been a resident of Douglas County since 1978. She is a former owner of several small businesses, and was recently appointed as an Interim Douglas County Commissioner. Goodwin has served on the UCC Foundation Board, Community Cancer Center Board, Economic Development Initiative, Parks Advisory Board, Planning Commission and Community for Healthy Forests. Her husband of 41 years, Dr. Lynn Goodwin, is an optometrist, and together they have two children and three grandchildren.
A bar complaint showed clear duplicity in conduct of his official duties
The real life soap opera surrounding efforts by a few to build a bike path on an abandoned rail right of way through farm country in Yamhill County saw its first casualty from the ranks of the conspirators. County Counsel Timothy â€œToddâ€ Sadlo announced his pending retirement after a bar complaint showed clear duplicity in conduct of his official duties. His downfall came about when he claimed differing uses for a partially built bridge on the right of way the use of which was specifically detailed in the awarding of grant money. Ultimately, he told the Land Use Board of Appeals one thing and the Oregon Bar another.
The County must repay over $1 million grant money to ODOT and remove the partially completed but illegal bridge. It is not known if Sadlo will be personally charged with willful and wanton waste of public funds under ORS 294.100 which describes a "public official expending money in excess of amount or for different purpose than provided by law". Carrie Martin, grants administrator, facilitated the illegal actions but has not been charged as of this writing. Public records requests obtained through public records requests, include Martin emails showing duplicity. She runs a consulting business separate from her job with the County. Her clients include vendors to the County whose work is funded with grants. An audit of her activities could reveal more as several grants over several years were the subject of controversy.
The Yamhelas Westsider Trail episode began when the 2012 Yamhill County Commissioners were told farmers had no objection to a Trail. That caused the 2012 Commissioners to include the Trail in the Transportation Study Plan. Next, the Mid-Willamette Valley Area Commission on Transportation was told farmers had no objections to the Trail and the first of many grants was obtained. These false statements, verified false by 2012 Commissioner Kathy George, were the base upon which Trail advocates built a plan to realize their goal. Continued inappropriate manipulation of the public process was necessary for them to move forward. County authorities, including retired Administrator Tschabold, were enticed to participate and they, along with Sadlo, even encouraged some past and one present commissioner to shortcut due process.
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Farmers who had been deliberately kept in the dark learned of the threat to their farming practices and sought legal redress through LUBA. LUBA ruled for the farmers in five of five cases, even awarding them attorneyâ€™s fees on the matter of the bridge. Conspirators have resorted to attacks on the newest Commissioner, Berschauer, as an outlet for their confused frustration. A solution to this conflict among cyclists and farmers will require compromise and perhaps painful acknowledgements of wrong thinking.
Governor Brown has issued two new mask mandates just weeks after lifting
them. This time, for K-12 students â€“ the group least likely to become seriously ill, be
hospitalized, pass the virus to others, or die from COVID-19 â€“ and state employees.
The death rate for children is lower than that of seasonal flu, for which the Governor failed to
implement mask mandates in years prior. The new K-12 mask mandate requires everyone,
regardless of vaccination status or natural immunity, to wear a mask at school.
Senator Dennis Linthicum (R-Klamath Falls) issued the following statement:
â€œThe Governor and her administration have a responsibility to cut through the panic and
provide the evidence, datum, and succinct scientific analysis that tells Oregonians what they
can expect. Instead, OHA, like the CDC, have constantly shifted goalposts and undermined
Oregonians' faith in our public health institutions."
â€œSchools have been shown to have lower case rates than the broader community, yet the
message from the Governor is that our schools are one of the most dangerous places for them
to be. That is an unsound and anti-scientific view. Many Oregon schools have been operating
all summer with no masks and no significant outbreaks."
â€œAll teachers, staff members, families, and students over 12 have had ample time to choose to
get vaccinated. Moms and dads, families, and individuals all have a right to choose which
medical procedures they engage in and to force kids needlessly into masks is abusive."
â€œOregonians are tired of these dictatorial mandates from the Governor. One moment, she is
pro-local control. Next, she puts forward unfounded and anti-scientific decrees like these.
These newest mandates come with no limiting principle. COVIDâ€™s death rate is the lowest it has
ever been thanks to the ever-growing herd immunity of Oregonâ€™s population. Does the Governor expect Oregonians to take on and off the masks as she says until we have zero cases?
If so, this proves the Governor has an unrealistic mindset based on nothing but myths and
Oregon House Republican Leader Christine Drazan (R-Canby) also made a statement criticizing the Governor:
â€œThe Governor has no business mandating COVID-19 vaccines for anybody", Drazan said. "Running
over free will is not leadership. We would be the only state in the nation forcing these
vaccines on people like this. I trust Oregonians even if the Governor doesnâ€™t. She shouldnâ€™t be trying to control every
aspect of their lives with mask and vaccine mandates.â€
Governor Kate Brown has announced she will be issuing new health and safety measures to address the spread of the COVID Delta variant: a vaccination requirement for state employees and statewide indoor mask requirements.
The governor's office says that new modeling from the Oregon Health Authority and Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) projects that, without new health and safety interventions in place, COVID-19 hospitalizations will far exceed Oregonâ€™s health system capacity in the next several weeks. According to modeling from OHSU, without these additional mitigation measures, Oregon could be as many as 500 staffed hospital beds short of what will be needed to treat patients hospitalized for any reason by September.
â€œOregon is facing a spike in COVID-19,â€ said Governor Brown.
She continued, "If we all do our part, we can beat COVID-19 once and for all, keep our economy open and thriving, and return our kids to the classroom with minimal disruptions in a few weeks.â€ Some observers are noting the governor sounds earily like a broken record.
All State of Oregon executive branch employees required to be fully vaccinated according to Kate Brown.
Governor Brown announced that all State of Oregon executive branch employees will be required to be fully vaccinated on or before October 18, or six weeks after a COVID-19 vaccine receives full approval from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, whichever is later.
The requirement will apply to all executive branch employees, including employees working for all Oregon state agencies, and in consultation with Oregonâ€™s statewide elected officials, employees of the Oregon State Treasury and the Oregon Secretary of Stateâ€™s Office, as well as employees of the Oregon Bureau of Labor & Industries and the Oregon Department of Justice.
Employees will be required to show proof of vaccination by the deadline.
Individuals unable to be vaccinated due to disability or sincerely held religious belief may be able to qualify for an exception, as required by state and federal law.
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State of Oregon employees will not have the option of weekly testing instead of showing proof of vaccination.
â€œI am taking action to help ensure State of Oregon workplaces are safe for employees and customers alike", said Brown. "I am strongly encouraging all public and private employers to follow suit by requiring vaccination for their employees. The only way we can stop the spread of COVID-19 for good is through vaccination.â€
The vaccination requirement does not apply to employees of Oregonâ€™s legislative and judicial branches of government, though the Governor is encouraging the leadership of both branches to consider a similar requirement.
â€œThe latest science is clear: both vaccinated and unvaccinated people can spread the Delta variant. After a year and a half of this pandemic, I know Oregonians are tired of health and safety restrictions. This new mask requirement will not last forever... It will help to protect all of us, including people who are immunocompromised, and our children under 12 who are not yet eligible to get vaccinated. Masks are a simple and effective tool that will keep our schools, businesses, and communities open.â€
Governor Kate Brown has now declared a state of emergency in Oregon supposedly to ensure additional resources are available to respond to forecasted excessively high temperatures.
The governor's office says the emergency declaration was triggered by the need for state agencies to assist local and Tribal jurisdictions in providing for the health and safety of their residents. Multiple days of extreme heat with little or no cooling overnight may also impact critical infrastructure, causing utility outages and transportation disruptions.
"Oregon is facing yet another extreme heat wave, and it is critical that every level of government has the resources they need to help keep Oregonians safe and healthy," said Governor Brown. "I encourage Oregonians to take proactive steps to keep themselves and their families safe, including drinking plenty of fluids, taking advantage of cooling centers, and checking in on neighbors, friends, and loved ones."
The Governor has directed the Office of Emergency Management (OEM) to activate the state's Emergency Coordination Center to coordinate essential protective measures. She has also directed state agencies to provide any assistance requested by OEM to support response efforts.
Heat-related illnesses are preventable â€” all Oregonians are encouraged to learn the symptoms of heat stroke, heat exhaustion and other heat-related illnesses. Oregonians who do not have air conditioning in their homes are strongly encouraged to make a plan today to find a cool location they can access during the heat wave. Additionally, all Oregonians are asked to check in on vulnerable friends, family, and neighbors who may be susceptible to extreme heat.
A full copy of the emergency declaration, Executive Order 21-27, is available here.
Young children staying three feet away from each other, â€œdoesnâ€™t work.â€
After Portland Public Schools Superintendent Guadalupe Guerrero read his opening script text for the camera, he introduced Dani Ledesma who read her prepared script. Daniâ€™s role was not identified. Dani then introduced the five-member panel of â€œpublic health experts.â€ Two are from Washington, D.C. Jessica Guernsey, Health Director for Multnomah County, then read her prepared script to announce the â€œSwiss Cheese Layered Planâ€.
The public health experts looked happy, had big smiles and cheery looks on their faces as they opined about masking, distancing, and getting children, parents and school employees vaccinated through their â€œSwiss Cheese Layered Planâ€ for the school year. One expert wasnâ€™t identified, only a phone number appeared on the screen. Dr. Tress Goodwin gave an explanation of the "Swiss Cheese Layered Planâ€ in the accompanying video that lasts 2:40.
Contrasted to the expertsâ€™ big happy smiles were the concerned somber elected school board directors such as Julia Brim-Edwards who shared she has never had so many emails as she did at the very moment the work session meeting was in progress. Brim-Edwardsâ€™ repeated attempts to get clarity on demographics and data related to Portland Public Schools was met with â€œ...donâ€™t know...â€ and vagueness.
Board director and chair Michelle DePassâ€™ on-the-ground question for schools was â€œ...what about lunch time for those under 4th grade?â€ Expert Lisa Ferguson responded, â€œThatâ€™s a hot topic for state and local about masks on, three feet distancing, about how to implement that.â€ Board director Gary Hollands was direct about young children staying three feet away from each other, â€œdoesnâ€™t work.â€
Hollands as well had concerns about special education children around the masking up protocol. The public health expertâ€™s response was, â€œItâ€™s called vaccines.â€ At that point Dani cut him off which led to Lisa Ferguson stating she was â€œgoing off scriptâ€ and saying she was â€œreally fearful about the mental healthâ€ of the children and â€œit is really going to be scary for some kids.â€ For indoor sports, the experts want them wearing masks.
At one point superintendent Guadalupe Guerrero intervened to stop board directors from getting â€œinto the nitty gritty of the operational aspectsâ€ and made a statement of assurance that all questions would be answered elsewhere other than the work session, â€œhopefully we can answer all questions parents might have, please know we want to hear all your questions, we want to offer a most thorough response.â€ Board director Andrew Scott weighed in for all the questions to be put on-line.
School board director, Lowery, attempted to follow up with DePassâ€™ question of how to get children to mask up. Dr. Joelle Simpson from Washington D.C. where right now 11-year-old children can get the vaccine without parental consent or parental knowledge said, â€œModeling, kids will do what parents do.â€ She said to get some â€œcartoon masks.â€
School board director Scott asked when it might be that the mask wearing will stop? To which Dr. Loeffler said, â€œI could talk a super long time about that, but I would like to think about this as we still need to protect childrenâ€¦we canâ€™t have kids bringing it home to families or the community.â€
The pediatric experts, well into the work session, gave their expertise statement that children dying from the virus is â€œrareâ€ and so are hospitalizations. An expert mentioned there was one child death in â€œâ€¦New Orleans.â€ In the Portland area there have been no child deaths from COVID-19. No homeless deaths from COVID-19 either, a population not following any of the public health expertsâ€™ advice or protocols.
At an hour and a half into the work session during the â€œlightning action round of one question eachâ€ Chair DePass made another valiant try to report to the superintendent and these health care â€œexpertsâ€ that PPS parents per the many emails she received, parents want data and that â€œMost emails tonight parents want operational details, data, more info...what is the most important data to provide to the parents?â€
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Then there was a long pause. Silence from the panel of five experts on public health. Dani finally popped in and asked DePass who she was directing her question to. DePass said, â€œAnyone who feels qualified to answer.â€ Jessica spoke up and said, â€œIâ€™ll take a stab at it.â€ Her answer to the data question was, â€œMore parents need to get vaccinated. The vaccine is the most important layer.â€ Jessica had a big smile on her face as she did not answer the question DePass asked.
Jessica was also the one that said, â€œThe virus changed, we knew they would, they are sneaky.â€ Some of the experts claimed they were working on this â€œâ€¦night and day.â€ And to â€œtrust the science.â€
In response to a question asymptomatic are not being tested because to find even one positive out of that population the cost is $10,000.00. To the topic of testing children brought a response that included the health industry does not have enough employees to do that kind of coverage. Getting a â€œpoliticalâ€ campaign going to encourage the public to obey was mentioned.
The board meeting was not open to the public to meet in person, nor could the parents/public directly ask questions to experts.
The compelling visual of the work session was seeing happy smiles on some of the public health expertsâ€™ faces as they talked about the pandemic as opposed to those who were there representing the parents of the Portland Public School District.
PPS school board director Julia Brim-Edwards ended the work session noting how important it was to answer the parentsâ€™ questions as people are deciding what to do.â€
When you go to an Oregon DMV office, be aware that the Department of Motor Vehicles has proclaimed that masks are now required inside the DMV offices and during drive tests conducted by DMV, regardless of vaccination status.
Within a recent announcement, the DMV claims that all state offices with any public contact resumed this safety precaution July 30 due to the surge in COVID-19 cases in Oregon this summer. These state offices claim they are following the latest Oregon Health Authority guidelines.
To avoid visiting the DMV physically, you can check DMV2U.Oregon.gov whenever you need a DMV service.
DMV has added over 20 new on-line services to the DMV2U online processes, including driver license renewal. You also can make an appointment for services that must be done in person â€“ such as applying for a new license or the Real ID option for air travel. And you can see the most current COVID-19 safety requirements, location and hours of DMV offices near you.
In a recent Oregon Catalyst article by Stew Robertson, the fecklessness of Portland Parks and Rec is underscored by the story of the local pickleball organization's inability to work on unusable tennis courts and convert them to pickleball use -- a game which resembles tennis, but on a shorter court with less responsive paddles and balls, so as to be playable by the less-athletic. The article says:
Fed up with only half of Sellwood Parkâ€™s tennis courts being usable, the retirees of the PDX Pickleball Club raised $9,000 of their own money to repair the courts and, in alignment with Parks and Recâ€™s eventual plans for the property, convert them to pickleball courts.
Two weeks into their work, Parks and Rec ordered them to stop. They were told they would need to pay $1,000 to apply for a permit and then an additional $2,500 per week in rent while the repairs were being undertaken.
What the article doesn't say -- and might be regarded as so universally true as to be axiomatic -- is that you get the government that you vote for, and when you vote for Democrats year-in and year-out, this is the government you get is as responsive as this. There's only one party in Portland. It's the Democrats.
After reading the Catalyst article, you might be just a little bit outraged at the Government of the City of Portland and you might just as strongly feel sorry for Pickleball PDX, the group that may not be a bunch of leftist agitators or socialist warriors, but just a group that wants places to play pickleball.
The entire board of Pickleball PDX is registered as Democrats. Does that change the way you feel about them? Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler is a Democrat. Portland City Commissioner Carmen Rubio -- in charge of Parks and Rec -- is a Democrat. Each and every board member of Pickleball PDX is a Democrat.
â€œThe only entity this agreement would benefit is the unionsâ€
The Freedom Foundation has filed suit on behalf of several plaintiffs outraged by the unconstitutional effort to make the state of Oregon the first in the nation to unionize its legislative staff.
On June 8, the Oregon Employment Relations Board certified a bargaining unit made up of Oregon legislative assistants, to be represented by the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers Local 89.
Currently, no other state permits its legislative employees to organize, and the Oregon State Constitution includes language clearly discouraging such an arrangement.
â€œThe idea of a union is fundamentally incompatible with the work of the legislature,â€ said Jason Dudash, Oregon director of the Freedom Foundation. â€œUnionizing legislative assistants will compromise the integrity of the legislative branch and erode trust by the people toward their elected lawmakers,â€ continued Dudash.
â€œThereâ€™s a serious separation of powers issue when unionizing subjects the legislative branch to the Employment Relations Board, an executive branch agency,â€ said Rebekah Millard, Freedom Foundation litigation attorney. â€œUnionizing legislative staff upends the concept of three co-equal branches of government as promised in the Oregon Constitution.â€
â€œThereâ€™s a reason why no other state â€” including many where the influence of organized labor is even more pervasive than it is here â€” has taken this reckless step,â€ continued Dudash. â€œIt puts the ultimate authority over important operational questions into the hands of an executive agency, which undermines the integrity and independence of the legislative branch. Unions have tried to organize legislative staffers in other states, such as Delaware and California, and theyâ€™ve failed for the same reasons.â€
In addition to diluting Oregonâ€™s separation of powers by putting legislative employees under the authority of an agency within the executive branch, thereâ€™s also the problem that Oregonâ€™s Public Employee Collective Bargaining Act does not define the legislative branch as a â€œpublic employer.â€
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â€œItâ€™s a stretch, at best, to fit legislative branch employees into the current statutory scheme, yet the ERB ruled that this was the intent of the legislature,â€ Millard said. â€œIf the legislative branch wants to authorize unionization of its staffers at this level, it can always pass a law to that effect. But allowing an executive branch agency to make the decision is to throw away the privileges and duties of the legislative branch.â€
Months prior to the election, on Dec. 29, the Oregon Department of Justice (DOJ) submitted to ERB its written objections on behalf of the Oregon Legislative Assembly to unionizing legislative employees. Those objections asserted that:
Recognizing the proposed bargaining unit would violate the separation of powers doctrine found in Article III, section 1 of the Oregon Constitution
The Public Employees Collective Bargaining Act does not provide for collective bargaining representation within the Legislative branch
The proposed bargaining unit was improperly defined
The number of employees included in the proposed bargaining unit â€” and the number who signed valid union authorization cards â€” was questionable.
The IBEW withdrew its petition, but re-filed an amended version shortly thereafter with a different description of the proposed bargaining unit, but none of the Legislative Assemblyâ€™s constitutional objections have yet been resolved.
â€œThe only entity this agreement would benefit is the unions,â€ Dudash concluded. â€œAnd they wield far too much power in this state as it is.â€
Republican Precinct Committee Persons from three counties -- mostly Douglas, but also Jackson and Josephine -- met in a convention to nominate persons wanting to fill the 2nd House District seat which covers interstate 5 from Roseburg to just north of Grants Pass. According to state law.
The nominees will be Steve Loosley, Elias LaLande and Christine Goodwin and they will be presented to a panel of County Commissioners who will appoint one of them as the next State Representative. Their votes are weighted in proportion to population, so the Douglas County Commissioners have a decisive vote.
Valynn Currie, the chair of the Douglas County Republican Central and Committee Rosburg Mayor Larry Rich were considered for the nomination, but not chosen. Neither were Avann Weber, nor Patrick Lewandowski. One name not in the mix is Virgle Osborne, who has already announced that hew would be running for the seat in 2022, but currently does not live in the district. District boundaries will change in the fall once the Legislature completes the redistricting process.
Goodwin, from Myrtle Creek, is a member of the Douglas County Planning Commission, was interim Douglas County Commissioner for a few months in 2018. She is rumored to be the favored candidate of the Douglas County Commissioners and may not run in 2022. Some insiders say that she is a placeholder for Osborne. LaLande, from Roseburg, has been working on the Congressional Campaign of Alex Skarlatos, who is running to defeat Peter Defazio. Looseley, also from Roseburg, is on the Umpqua Community College Board of Directors.
It will now be known as Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission
On August 2nd, the OLCC became the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission, dropping the word â€œControlâ€ that had defined the agencyâ€™s original post-Prohibition mission. Previously referred to as the Oregon Liquor Control Commission, the agency began regulating
recreational marijuana after voters approved Measure 91 in November, 2014.
This change comes five years after voters passed Measure 91 which directed the agency to establish a framework for regulating Oregonâ€™s recreational marijuana marketplace. While the change updates the agencyâ€™s name to better reflect its mission, the OLCC acronym will remain the same.
â€œThe industries we regulate matter, they matter a lot to the state of Oregonâ€™s economy,â€ said Paul Rosenbaum, Chair of the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission. â€œThe cannabis industry in Oregon has become a billion dollar business and changing our agency name reflects our role in generating revenue to fund state programs.â€
Newly issued alcohol and marijuana licenses, and alcohol server and marijuana worker permits, will be modified to include the new name and logo. Existing versions of these official documents continue to be valid with the agencyâ€™s previous name and logo, and will be replaced when the licensee or permit holder renews them.
The OLCC will make minor public facing adjustments to reflect the name change. The modifications will have a minimal cost. Exterior signage at OLCC headquarters and regional offices will gradually be brought up-to-date. Documents on the agency website will continue to be updated with the new OLCC logo. The agency will deplete its existing stock of paper documents branded with the agencyâ€™s old name and logo. These items will be replenished with the new name and logo when existing supplies are exhausted.
The OLCC was originally created in 1933, in the wake of national alcohol prohibition being repealed by the adoption of the 21st amendment to the US Constitution. At that time, America was laboring to rise out of the â€œGreat Depressionâ€ and the world stage was being set for the start of World War II. In 1933, Oregonâ€™s Liquor Control Act became law and directed the OLCC to sell distilled spirits and to license businesses to sell beer and wine.
Agency name changes occur as their mission evolves; however, itâ€™s not common. According to information provided by the State Library of Oregon, during the past 30 years there have been about 10 Oregon agencies that have changed their name. The most recent change was when the State Library itself changed its name in 2017 to clarify that it wasnâ€™t affiliated with Oregon State University.
Now 88 years later, the OLCCs mission has grown to include managing compliance with Oregonâ€™s Bottle Bill, marijuana regulation and oversight of specific aspects of the stateâ€™s hemp market. Historically, the OLCC has and continues to play a vital role generating funding for schools, public safety and health programs. In recent years, combined sales from its alcohol and marijuana programs contribute $400 million annually to those vital programs. The success of Oregonâ€™s cannabis market can be measured in the adult-use marijuana market becoming a $1 billion industry in 2020 and projected to continue at that level in 2021.
While establishing a regulated cannabis market has required the investment of financial and personnel resources, the agency has remained committed to supporting bars and restaurants through sensible upgrades to Oregonâ€™s alcohol regulatory environment balanced with public safety protections.
â€œOur name may have changed, but our mission to serve the businesses we license, the consumers we protect, and the communities we support by generating revenue for the state â€“ all of those things remain the same,â€ said Steve Marks, OLCC Executive Director. â€œFor the next two years weâ€™re going to concentrate on helping the cannabis and hospitality industries re-establish and grow their business, while ensuring revenue stability for the state. Thatâ€™s the immediate focus of the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission.
The COVID-19 pandemic uniquely challenged Oregonâ€™s hospitality industry requiring businesses and the agency to innovate to keep businesses open, while constrained by public health guidelines designed to limit the spread of the virus. Agency staff worked directly with licensees, public safety groups and elected officials to find solutions for long-standing challenges. This included: creating an option for cocktails-to-go, while modifying rules to allow for curbside delivery, and enabling businesses to expand outdoor seating.
During the remainder of 2021, the OLCC will be working through other legislative changes to help the alcohol and cannabis industries build back their business. This will include reviewing existing policies and working with partners to cut red-tape and find operational efficiencies while continuing to generate vital revenue for the state of Oregon.
Licensees and others doing business with the Oregon Liquor and Cannabis Commission should still make their payments out to the â€œOLCC.â€ So even as the OLCC continues to evolve to better serve Oregon, the acronym will remain the same.