Mayor Charlie Hales has appointed two community leaders to join the five-member Portland Development Commission. If approved by the Portland City Council, Gustavo J. Cruz Jr. and William “Willy” Myers will join the commission this summer.
The PDC is Portland’s economic development agency. The two appointees would serve three-year terms and would replace retiring members John C. Mohlis and Charles A. Wilhoite. The remaining members are Chair Tom Kelly, Vice Chair Aneshka Dickson and Commissioner Mark Edlen.
“The leadership that these new members bring to the PDC is much needed right now,” Mayor Hales said. “Portland is growing and that growth won’t end any time soon. We are a richly diverse community with pockets of dire inequity. The PDC is tasked with developing our economy so that everything we love about Portland is shared by everyone in Portland.”
Cruz is a senior counsel at Ater Wynne with a practice in commercial finance, corporate finance and general business matters. He was born in Portland and has been active on several nonprofit boards, including the Hispanic Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and the Northwest District Association.
Myers is executive secretary of the Columbia Pacific Building and Construction Trades Council, and formerly worked for the Sheet Metal Workers Local 16. Among his community activities, he sits on the state’s Prevailing Wage Advisory Committee and the Metropolitan Alliance for Workforce Equity.
“I am honored to serve in this role, and I look forward to working with the Commissioners and PDC staff to promote economic development in our great city,” Cruz said.
The City Council is expected to take up the appointments this summer.
With the Oregon Senate’s approval of House Bill 2734 today, Land Bank Authority legislation is on its way to the governor. Doug MacCourt, a partner with Ater Wynne LLP in Portland and one of the founding members of the Oregon Brownfield Coalition, helped draft and pass HB 2734 to give local governments across Oregon a new tool in cleaning up and redeveloping the state’s estimated 13,000 contaminated properties or “Brownfields.”
For more information, please call Mr. MacCourt at 503-226-8672.
Doug MacCourt, Ater Wynne Partner and Chair of the Land Use and Redevelopment practice, played a key role in drafting and supporting this new bill through the legislature. Mr. MacCourt has been a leader in brownfields legislation starting with Oregon’s landmark revision to cleanup laws in 1995. Doug was a member of Oregon’s first Brownfields Task Force, created by the 1995 legislature, whose recommendations included the establishment of the Brownfields Redevelopment Fund and other cleanup funding sources at Business Oregon. In the 1990’s, Mr. MacCourt created and managed the City of Portland Brownfield Redevelopment Program where he successfully negotiated and implemented redevelopment of residential, commercial, mixed use, industrial and transportation projects throughout the Metro area.
“Oregon’s Land Bank Authority will be the first of its kind in the U.S focused solely on the cleanup and reuse of brownfields” according to MacCourt. “The Oregon Brownfields Coalition also supports the recapitalization of Business Oregon’s Brownfields Redevelopment Fund and will continue its efforts on tax incentives to promote community revitalization of brownfields across the state.”
Here is the full news release from the Oregon State Legislature.
Brenda Meltebeke, Partner and Firm Chair, has been elected to the Board of Directors of the Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC), a nonprofit that helps build support for a strong arts and culture community by providing grants to artists and arts organizations. As a Board member, Brenda will work to support the vision, mission and core values of RACC. Ms. Meltebeke will continue to help the Board of Directors strengthen their existing programs and improve access to the arts, culture and arts education throughout the community.
About Regional Arts Council
The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) receives funding from a variety of public and private partners to serve artists, arts organizations, schools and residents throughout Clackamas, Multnomah, and Washington counties. RACC provides grants for artists, nonprofit organizations and schools; manages an internationally acclaimed public art program; raises money and awareness for the arts through workplace giving; convenes forums, networking events and other community gatherings; provides workshops and other forms of technical assistance for artists; and oversees a program to integrate arts and culture into the standard curriculum in public schools throughout the region through “The Right Brain Initiative.”