The Oregon Section of ASCE has been active over the last couple years in advocating for sustainable transportation funding and a meaningful seismic resiliency program. The Section participated in the Design Professionals of Oregon Day at the Capitol the last two legislative sessions. During the 2015 and 2016 sessions the legislature and Governor lacked the appetite to a deal effectively with transportation funding but did take an initial effort as recommended by the Governor’s Task Force on Resiliency Plan Implementation. A small but initial step was the Legislature’s confirmation of the Governors nomination of Michael Harryman as the State’s first Resiliency Officer. Continued efforts of the Design Professional Group and ASCEOR is needed to the further implementation of the Commission recommendations and funding furtherance of the State’s ability to respond to the Cascadian Subduction Zone earthquake.
Cascadian Subduction Earthquake Preparedness
The Section has been on the road making presentations to Oregon communities that included the showing of the OPB “Unpreparedness” documentary followed by a local professional panel discussion of the need to prepare. Four presentations have been made in Portland, Salem, Bend and Ashland and plans are in motion for other regional presentations. The Design Professional Group has yet to organize for the 2017 Day at the Capital (DATC) but ASCEOR will focus our efforts to gain legislative support to further the implementation of the Commission recommendations and specific near and intermediate actions.
In addition to the Design Professional Group DATC efforts ASCEOR has participated as a member of the Oregon Transportation Forum in 2016. The Forum is a private, nonprofit organization that encourages full development, maintenance and integration of all transportation modes (highways, pedestrian, bicycle, air, transit, marine and rail) for safe and efficient movement of people and products. In keeping with the purpose of the Forum the forty plus members are provided the opportunity to network with elected officials and leaders in the transportation community. The Forum held its annual meeting in November and heard presentations from legislative leaders, Tina Kotek and Peter Courtney and also DHM’s Research public opinion survey. Following the presentations the members reviewed the Forum’s positions on Oregon transportation issues facing the State legislature in 2017. A straw poll was taken to shape the Forum official position.
Given the work of the Governor’s Transportation Vision Panel followed by community meetings held by a bipartisan State legislator throughout the State this year support momentum is present to see sustainable transportation funding legislation in 2017.
ASCEOR will be active in efforts to gain further advancement in the implementation of the Seismic Resiliency recommendations and the passing of sustainable transportation funding in 2017. We will keep you informed as specific proposals come forward for legislative action. We will be asking for ASCEOR members to express your opinion to their elected state legislators. Furthermore if interested in participating in the ASCEOR Government Relations Committee and if interested in participating in professional group meetings with legislators through the DATC, or otherwise, please contact Jerry Palmer at email@example.com.