August Message from Board Chair Karen Vineyard

Published Tuesday, August 25, 2020

August marked my eighth month as your Oregon Business & Industry chair. I stepped into this role knowing that it would be an interesting challenge leading Oregon’s broadest statewide business organization, but I never could have predicted what would be on our table today: A global pandemic, the deepest recession in almost a century, and a long-overdue national reckoning about racial equity.

2020 has proven to be quite a year for all of us, and for me it has underscored the need for a strong voice for business in our state, and an organized and effective business community.

At OBI, we carry the voice of business owners and workers where it needs to be heard.

That is why, this month, we’ve launched a brand new advocacy tool called Our Jobs Our Voice to give all of us who care about private-sector job creation the opportunity to make absolutely sure that our state leaders understand the perspective of business owners and employees when it comes to decisions that impact our lives.

Our Jobs Our Voice is a statewide, grassroots coalition of pro-jobs, business-friendly voices advocating for workers, employers, entrepreneurs and businesses of every size, sector, and region of Oregon. While OBI is leading this effort, no membership to any organization or association is required to be a voice for Oregon jobs – only your passion to create opportunities so that every Oregonian can succeed.

I hope you will join us.

In times such as these, our state needs all its citizens to become advocates. They need to hear that businesses need support from our leaders to build back from the recession and create the jobs Oregonians sorely need. That will be our message: this is time to support the job creators and to avoid costly new taxes and regulations that will only make economic recovery more difficult.  

We want them to understand that the most sustainable path to long-term economic prosperity lies in job creation, driven by a thriving business sector. That is where Our Jobs Our Voice comes in.

Our coalition is already thousands strong. Our state is fortunate to have so many everyday Oregonians – employers and employees alike – who care about what goes on in Salem. At OBI, we understand that these Oregonians have day jobs and cannot drop everything to testify before a committee or write a letter to make the case to legislators. Our Jobs Our Voice will make it easier for everyone to get your voices heard.

At OBI, our job is to fight for your business and your jobs. With Our Jobs Our Voice, we not only have a new tool to advocate for you, but we have an opportunity to build a critical mass and change the narrative in Oregon. When you sign up, you will receive up-to-date information about policy proposals and how you can add your voice to the conversation.  

With advocates like you, leaders in Salem will not be able to ignore us. So, I hope you will take 30 seconds today and join us. Send the link to your family, friends, and coworkers because we are going to need all the help we can get to show Salem the importance of our jobs and to make sure they hear our voices.