The Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association (ORLA) represents the interests of restaurants and lodging operations across the state of Oregon. However, in the Portland metro area where the largest concentration of ORLA members exist, there are a number of unique challenges–and opportunities–for our association to engage on and help make a difference.
This new Portland Advocacy blog is an effort to highlight the good news and work being done in Portland by ORLA and our leadership teams as well as inspire members to get more engaged. ORLA serves as a facilitator in creating opportunities for our members to meet with policymakers, opinion leaders, community leaders and partner organizations on issues of importance and to collaborate on city-wide initiatives impacting our industry. Members wishing to get involved in the Portland Kitchen Cabinet or Portland Lodging Alliance can reach out to me, Makenzie Marineau, for more information.
For additional updates on the Oregon Hospitality Foundation and Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association, follow the Workforce Blog and the ORLA Update Blog.
Feel free to reach out to me at any time with your questions or concerns. Thank you.
– Makenzie Marineau, Government Affairs and Regional Leadership Teams Coordinator
Portland Hospitality Industry at the Table...
Engaging Conversations About Safety & Security
Safety in the City of Portland has been a hot topic of conversation for some time now. As the collective leans into finding solutions to ongoing concerns around public safety our Portland Lodging Alliance and Portland Kitchen Cabinet members have been meeting and discussing with elected officials and city and county staff how the hospitality industry can step in and work together to help.
The Portland Lodging Alliance held a meeting June 20, 2023, with the City of Portland’s Division of Community Safety and the Mayor’s office. Discussion focused on the continued issues of public safety being experienced by small business employers, their teammates, and guests. Learn more about Portland’s Community Safety Division and Mayor Ted Wheeler’s efforts to prioritize Community Safety. Stephanie Howard, Director of Community Safety with the Mayor’s Office shared that the city has been recruiting police at a fantastic rate and has been advocating for additional resources for the state ran police academy. At least half of the 100 Portland Police new hires are still awaiting training because the academy is at capacity. On average police recruits wait over six months to attend Oregon’s 16-week basic training courses. In addition, the current Central Precinct, which covers downtown and inner southeast, is stretched thin, there have been conversations about looking at ways to expand from three to four precincts in Portland.
With the continued concerns around safety ORLA has partnered with Downtown Portland Clean & Safe and the City of Portland to host Portland area hotels and restaurants to a “Hotel & Restaurant Safety Summit” Thursday, July 27 from 10am to noon at The Nines Hotel, 525 SW Morrison Street, Portland, OR, 97204.
The goal is to provide the hospitality industry with an overview of current and future public safety plans and strategies from the Portland Police Bureau, the City of Portland, and various private security partners and organizations. Safety for staff, patrons and locations is a paramount concern and this event hopes to provide networking connections, security-related resources and information and work to enhance and strengthen many existing private-public safety and livability partnerships.
This is an RSVP only event reserved for management and operators. When registering, please ensure you submit a question as there will be a robust Q&A after the presentations. RSVP online.
ADA Lawsuit Update
We are holding a joint PLA/PKC informational zoom meeting Friday, July 21 from 8:30am-9:30am with guest John DiLorenzo who will be sharing about the ADA lawsuit brought against the City of Portland and settled, and what investments are now needed to hold the City to its commitments. This was a lawsuit that argued that the city's failure to keep public sidewalks clear of homeless encampments violates the rights of people with disabilities under the Americans with Disabilities Act. John will give an update on what is happening now and how they intend to report and monitor the City’s progress, and time will be given to member questions. If you’d like to join please email Makenzie Marineau for a calendar invite and zoom link.
Prioritizing Homeless Services
Portland Lodging Alliance and Portland Kitchen Cabinet members have also met with Portland City Commissioners Gonzalez, Rubio and Mapps at conversational meetings held earlier this year, along with Multnomah County Chair Jessica Vega Pederson and the Portland Bureau of Public Transportation. At the beginning of June, both local leadership teams, along with ORLA signed in support a letter spearheaded by the Portland Metro Chamber directed at all three Portland Metro counties—Multnomah, Clackamas, and Washington—demanding the counties fix their contracting practices to more urgently deploy Supportive Homeless Services program dollars and build our workforce of service providers and trained outreach workers. Over 65 business organization partners, Alliance members, and homeless service providers signed onto the letter.
If you are interested in getting engaged with the Portland Lodging Alliance and/or the Portland Kitchen Cabinet, please contact Makenzie Marineau. Join and have your story and perspective heard by Portland’s elected officials and community leaders.
Other Portland notes of interest:
ORLA members wanting to get involved in a Portland area Regional Leadership Team should contact Makenzie Marineau, Government Affairs and Regional Leadership Teams Coordinator.
Makenzie Marineau is the Government Affairs and Regional Leadership Teams Coordinator for the Oregon Restaurant & Lodging Association. This Portland-focused blog intends to highlight the good news and work being done in Portland by ORLA and our leadership teams.