Oregon Cities
Oregon City

7 Ways Our Marketplace Supports Oregon City Entrepreneurs

At Oregon Cities, we are dedicated to empowering local entrepreneurs in Oregon City by providing a dynamic marketplace for listing their products.

Our platform serves as a vibrant hub where sellers can showcase their unique offerings to a wider audience. Through a range of supportive services, we aim to foster growth and success for businesses within our community.

Facilitating Visibility

Our marketplace enhances visibility for Oregon City entrepreneurs, ensuring their products reach a broader customer base. By listing with us, sellers gain exposure to local and even global audiences, expanding their market presence.

This increased visibility not only boosts sales but also builds Oregon City web marketing recognition and credibility in the competitive marketplace.

Moreover, our SEO optimization and targeted advertising campaigns further amplify their reach, driving organic traffic to their listings. As a result, local entrepreneurs can effectively leverage our platform to enhance their brand visibility and attract new customers. So, overall an Oregon city marketer is the right choice. 

Promoting Community Engagement

Additionally, our platform promotes community engagement by encouraging interaction between sellers and buyers. This fosters a sense of connection and loyalty among residents, supporting local businesses.

By facilitating direct communication and feedback loops, we create a thriving marketplace where relationships flourish beyond transactions.

Furthermore, our community events and forums provide opportunities for networking and collaboration among entrepreneurs, fostering a supportive ecosystem.

Providing Marketing Opportunities

Furthermore, we provide marketing opportunities through featured listings and promotional campaigns. This enables entrepreneurs to effectively showcase their products and attract potential customers. Our targeted marketing strategies ensure that each listing receives optimal exposure, maximizing sales and customer acquisition.

Additionally, our analytics tools empower sellers with insights into consumer behavior, helping them refine their marketing strategies for better results.

Offering Seller Support Services

Moreover, Oregon Cities offers comprehensive seller support services. From guidance on optimizing listings to resolving technical issues, we ensure entrepreneurs have the resources needed to succeed.

Our dedicated support team is available to assist with any challenges, empowering sellers to focus on their core business operations.

Additionally, we provide educational resources and workshops to enhance their skills in e-commerce and digital marketing, equipping them for long-term success.

Encouraging Entrepreneurial Education

We believe in the importance of ongoing learning and skill development. Therefore, our marketplace offers resources and workshops aimed at enhancing entrepreneurial knowledge and expertise. Through educational initiatives, we empower entrepreneurs to adapt to market trends and innovate within their industries.

Moreover, our mentorship programs connect experienced professionals with emerging entrepreneurs, providing valuable guidance and support throughout their journey.

Facilitating Seamless Transactions

Additionally, our platform facilitates seamless transactions, providing secure payment gateways and streamlined processes. This ensures a positive shopping experience for both sellers and buyers. With user-friendly interfaces and efficient logistics support, we simplify the purchasing journey, enhancing customer satisfaction and repeat business.

Moreover, our escrow services and dispute resolution mechanisms ensure trust and reliability in every transaction, safeguarding the interests of all parties involved.

Promoting Sustainability Initiatives

Furthermore, Oregon Cities is committed to promoting sustainability initiatives among local entrepreneurs. We encourage eco-friendly practices and offer resources to support businesses in adopting sustainable measures. By promoting environmental stewardship, we empower entrepreneurs to contribute positively to the community while appealing to eco-conscious consumers.

Additionally, our partnerships with green suppliers and certification programs help businesses showcase their commitment to sustainability, enhancing their brand reputation and attracting environmentally conscious customers.

Conclusion

In conclusion, Oregon Cities is more than just a marketplace; we are a catalyst for growth and success for Oregon City entrepreneurs.

By facilitating visibility, promoting community engagement, providing marketing opportunities, offering comprehensive support services, encouraging education, facilitating transactions, and promoting sustainability, we empower local sellers to thrive in today’s competitive market.

Join our vibrant community today and discover how we can help you showcase your products and grow your business in Oregon City.

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Oregon lawmakers address transportation policy and hit the road

Oregon lawmakers are traveling across the state to gather information on transportation.

Oregon lawmakers are traveling across the state to gather information on transportation.

Courtesy of ODOT

State lawmakers are traveling across Oregon to host meetings about transportation issues. The Legislature’s Joint Committee on Transportation has kicked off a 12-stop tour to hear perspectives on the state’s transportation system and the challenges it faces. Lawmakers will use information from the tour to craft Oregon’s next transportation package in the 2025 legislative session. Julia Shumway recently reported on this issue for the Oregon Capital Chronicle and joins us with details.

Contact “Think Out Loud®”

If you’d like to comment on any of the topics in this show or suggest a topic of your own, please get in touch with us on Facebook, send an email to thinkoutloud@opb.org, or you can leave a voicemail for us at 503-293-1983. The call-in phone number during the noon hour is 888-665-5865.

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Cannabis industry looks to expand into eastern Oregon’s biggest city through public vote

As the industry expands in Oregon, more people are paying attention to the environmental impact of cultivating cannabis.

As the industry expands in Oregon, more people are paying attention to the environmental impact of cultivating cannabis.

Alan Sylvestre / OPB

A Portland cannabis entrepreneur wants to expand his business into Hermiston. But he’ll need to win an election first.

Jeremy Archie is behind an initiative petition to end the ban on cannabis sales in Hermiston. While the debate over legalizing cannabis is long over, Archie is attempting to undo one of the many local prohibitions that popped up following the passage of Measure 91 in 2014.

While the initiative won’t be set for the November ballot until the signatures are verified, Archie is confident. His team expected to submit more than 2,000 signatures on Friday, far more than the 1,614 needed to trigger an election.

Archie splits his time between his home in Portland and his cannabis farm in southern Oregon while also managing his dispensary in eastern Oregon, Ontario’s Treasure Valley Cannabis Co. Ontario has become one of the busiest cannabis markets in the state because of its proximity to the rapidly growing Boise metro area, where Idaho state law continues to ban cannabis. Archie thinks Hermiston has similar potential to attract out-of-state customers, but this time, from Washington.

Cannabis industry finds opportunity at Oregon’s borders

Washington legalized recreational cannabis before Oregon did, but Archie said Oregon’s dispensaries have a few built-in advantages. Oregon offers a better consumer experience, he said, because Washington state law requires all retail cannabis to be prepackaged while Oregon customers can look at and smell the product directly. Additionally, Washington taxes cannabis at a higher rate, meaning Oregon dispensaries can offer their products at a lower price.

While Hermiston is the largest city in eastern Oregon, Archie’s interest also revolves around the city’s proximity to southeast Washington. Less than an hour’s drive away from Hermiston is the Tri-Cities, a Washington metro area with more than 220,000 people.

“It’s hard for us because so many other jurisdictions are so saturated and just struggling to keep their doors open,” Archie said. “A market like Ontario makes a ton of sense. Hermiston is skipped, it’s absolutely bypassed, people (are) forced to go to Pendleton.”

Oregon owes its patchwork of legal cannabis markets to the way the Legislature implemented legalization following the passage of Measure 91. Possessing, consuming and growing cannabis would remain legal throughout the state. But local governments could prohibit cannabis retailers from opening in their cities and counties.

Dozens of cities and counties across the state moved quickly to opt out of cannabis sales, while several others threw it to voters to decide, including Hermiston and neighboring Pendleton. On the same night Hermiston voters banned cannabis sales, Pendleton voters approved it.

One of the residents who supported the effort to legalize cannabis retail in Pendleton was Brandon Krenzler, who co-founded one of the city’s first dispensaries: Kind Leaf Pendleton. Krenzler sold his stake in Kind Leaf late last year, but he sees savvy in Archie’s vision for Hermiston.

“I think that’s a pretty smart move,” he said. ”There’s been a lot of people over the years who have talked about trying to get Hermiston to open up. And everybody always said it would take a lot of money to do that.”

When Kind Leaf opened its doors in 2017, Krenzler said it got a good deal of traffic from customers from Idaho and Washington. But Kind Leaf’s Idaho customer base dwindled as Ontario’s cannabis market grew. He said he could see a similar trend happening with Washington customers should the ballot measure pass.

Krenzler noted that the federal government recently began the process of rescheduling cannabis, a move that could open the door to more research on the drug and fewer barriers in legal markets. He said Hermiston should keep this development in mind, and he anticipated more corporate participation in the cannabis industry as federal rules begin to change.

“I think that Hermiston needs to look at the fact that stronger, more observed regulation will be coming soon,” he said. “Either it’s going to be a local shop or it’s going to be a Rite Aid. Somebody’s going to have cannabis in their community sooner or later and they probably want at least a couple of local people to have it.”

Hermiston ‘values’ face a vote

But before any of this can happen, Hermiston voters need to approve the ballot measure first. Archie said he intends to invest in a campaign to promote the ballot measure and find allies in the community to support it. But he shouldn’t expect much help from the Hermiston City Council.

The Hermiston City Council considered putting cannabis sales back on the ballot in March after a recent round of survey results showed a majority of residents favored taxing cannabis sales should it be legalized. But the council ultimately balked at the idea as the boards for the local school district and hospital lined up against it.

One of those who opposed lifting the ban was Hermiston City Councilor Doug Primmer, who will become mayor next year. He said the residents he’s talked to aren’t interested in opening up Hermiston to cannabis sales.

“They don’t find it to be among our values as a city,” he said. “And I agree with that.”

Primmer worked for 30 years as a correctional officer for the Oregon Department of Corrections and he still serves as a reserve deputy for the Umatilla County Sheriff’s Office. He said his years in law enforcement have shown him that cannabis threatens public health by feeding addiction and acting as a “gateway drug” to harder substances.

Experts say that most people can consume cannabis without facing negative consequences, but others do develop addictions, especially as cannabis becomes more potent. A 2020 study states that the likelihood of addiction to hard drugs relies on a variety of genetic and environmental factors, but for some at-risk individuals, cannabis use can increase the risk of opioid use disorder, although “much more research is needed.”

Primmer said he feels the same way about cannabis that he does about tobacco and alcohol: Although they’re all legal, he doesn’t want to see their availability increase in Hermiston.

And although he won’t be supporting the legalization of cannabis sales, Primmer said he won’t go against the will of the voters should they feel differently. If the ballot measure passes, he would do the requisite work to lift the ban.

“I don’t have to like it, but I will do it,” he said.

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Would President Biden’s asylum restrictions work? It’s a short-term fix, analysts say

Migrants and asylum seekers wait to be processed by the Border Patrol between the fence at the US-Mexico border seen from Tijuana, Baja California state, Mexico, on June 5, 2024, the day after President Joe Biden issued executive actions that restrict asylum for most migrants.

Migrants and asylum seekers wait to be processed by the Border Patrol between the fence at the US-Mexico border seen from Tijuana, Baja California state, Mexico, on June 5, 2024, the day after President Joe Biden issued executive actions that restrict asylum for most migrants.

GUILLERMO ARIAS/AFP via Getty Images / AFP

Immigration analysts cast doubt on the long-term effectiveness of President Biden’s executive actions restricting asylum claims for most migrants who try to enter the country through the U.S. Southern border illegally.

While president Biden said Tuesday the intent is to “gain control of our border, [and] restore order to the process,” analysts see this proclamation as a short term solution, but hard to determine if these new measures would work.

If anything, the administration might be sending the message that it’s getting harder to get into the U.S., and migrants should apply for orderly entry by applying for asylum through the CBP One mobile app.

According to the president’s actions, when unauthorized crossings exceed an average of 2500 migrants for seven consecutive days, that triggers the rule. People detained attempting to cross the border undocumented, won’t be allowed for an asylum claim and will be subject to expedited removal.

Exempted will be unaccompanied children and victims of severe forms of trafficking, among other cases.

Adam Issacson, an analyst with the Washington Office on Latin America, a nonpartisan organization based in Washington, D.C., said what the administration is trying to do is disincentivize irregular migration.

“I’ve counted at least ten policies that have been put in place to try to push the numbers down, to try and deter people,” he said. “Every single one of those policies does push the numbers down for a few months, and then they start to recover and come right back.”

Biden’s executive actions came as the administration has been under heavy pressure to lower the number of migrants claiming asylum during his administration.

“They’re betting that they can bring those numbers down a little bit. It will dissuade people. And that’s certainly plausible,”, said Andrew Selee, president of the Migration Policy Institute.

The Biden administration in recent weeks has been piece-mealing restrictions to eligibility for asylum screenings. But Tuesday’s proclamation is by far the most drastic measure so far, emulating somewhat the strategy that former President Trump implemented.

Maureen Meyer, director of the Washington office on Latin America said the effects of such measures heighten the risks for migrants who suffer human rights abuses during their journey. Many die trying to get to the U.S.

And many more are stuck on the Mexican side of the border, with no protection and in a legal limbo.

“People that want to cross the right way are being forced to wait in unsustainable conditions,” said Meyer. With the additional measures, “that wait will be longer and the real question is how many people will then out of desperation try to cross undetected using more remote routes, putting themselves in the hands of often ruthless smuggling organizations.

A key component in president Biden’s plan is the role Mexico plays to reduce the number of migrants arriving at the shared border between these countries.

During his remarks from the White House, president Biden said his administration will continue to work with Mexico to implement his plan.

“We’ve chosen to work together with Mexico as an equal partner, and the facts are clear,” he said. “Due to the arrangements that I’ve reached with President [Andres Manuel Lopez Obrador,] the number of migrants coming… to our shared border unlawfully in recent months has dropped dramatically.”

Copyright 2024 NPR

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Bonamici talks about plans to take Oregon’s Project Turnkey shelter program nationwide

An innovative Oregon program turned $125 million into nearly 1,400 new shelter beds across 32 facilities in 18 Oregon counties. Now, U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici wants to take the state’s Project Turnkey program nationwide.

U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, D-Oregon, right, listens during a recent roundtable discussion.

U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, D-Oregon, right, listens during a recent roundtable discussion.

Courtesy of Rep. Bonamici’s office

The Democratic Oregon representative was in Portland on Thursday to meet with community leaders who have worked on developing shelters and housing through Project Turnkey, a state program that launched in 2020 to add shelter space by converting motels into emergency shelters. A second round of state funding in 2022 added more types of buildings, including repurposed apartments and single-family homes, but the model remained the same: People or families coming into the shelters had their own rooms and access to services.

“Oregon really has been at the forefront in developing innovative strategies to address the housing shortage and to help people who are experiencing homelessness transition from the street into stable housing,” Bonamici said.

She introduced House Resolution 8297, the Project Turnkey Act, in May with 15 Democratic co-sponsors, including fellow Oregon Reps. Andrea Salinas and Earl Blumenauer. It would allocate $1 billion annually for Project Turnkey grants through the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and allow grant recipients to use the money to convert vacant buildings into housing or shelter, provide direct rent support and assistance with security deposits and utility bills, contribute to down payments and repair and expand emergency shelters.

Bonamici said she isn’t counting on passing anything this year, with Congress away from D.C. for most of the rest of the year, but she’s trying to build support. She noted that she has a Republican cosponsor, Pennsylvania’s Brian Fitzpatrick, on a separate bill for recovery housing, and that there is a growing bipartisan awareness in Washington around housing issues.

“I’m really excited to take these stories back with me and share why this is a meaningful program,” Bonamici told participants in the town hall.

Tigard project

The Bridge to Home shelter in Tigard was the final one funded under Project Turnkey last year, said Rose Money, executive director of the Family Promise of Tualatin Valley that operates the shelter. Money from Project Turnkey, Washington County and the city of Tigard cleared the way for the nonprofit to turn a Quality Inn hotel into a shelter that can house up to 70 households in rooms with kitchenettes.

Before Project Turnkey allowed the Tualatin Valley program to buy a hotel, it was renting individual hotel rooms to house people and families. But as more people started traveling as the COVID pandemic lightened, available rooms were harder to find.

“When we were in that motel environment, the motel industry started coming back to life and people were traveling again, so our ability to secure those 40 rooms was harder and harder and harder,” she said. “We went from 40 down to 37, down to 22. And we thought, ‘What are we going to do?’ because the need was growing in the community.”

For the Urban League of Portland, which received $2.7 million to adapt a multifamily complex into seven units for women returning from incarceration, the funding meant providing stability. Two women who participated in the program are the responsible adults in their children’s lives again, and that likely wouldn’t have happened if the Urban League was limited to providing shelter in a motel or congregate setting, president and CEO Nkenge Harmon Johnson said.

“Project Turnkey for us was an opportunity to acquire an asset, because that’s important to our ability to survive as an organization and not be at the mercy of these motel owners who now know the money’s in the long term leases,” she said. “Beyond that, it gives us an opportunity to make commitments to community partners  to say, ‘Hey, I can get you five beds.’ Because I know you can always fill them and I will always have them, and I’m not at the mercy of someone else. It makes a big difference.”

Longer-term plans

Most of the community organizations that own Project Turnkey shelters plan to convert them into longer-term housing, including apartments with below-market rents or permanent supportive housing that includes on-site social services.

Creating shelters and future affordable housing in existing buildings has proven to be cheaper than new construction: According to the Oregon Community Foundation, a Portland nonprofit that oversaw the development Project Turnkey, the average unit costs less than $100,000, compared to a pre-pandemic statewide average of $226,000 and a nearly $375,000 cost per unit for affordable apartments funded by Portland’s 2016 housing bond.

But retrofitting buildings also brings some challenges, not all of which can be solved with money from state or local governments. Jes Larson, assistant director of Washington County Housing Services, said one glaring example is sprinklers.

“These are great, ready-made buildings that have immediate shelter for our community, that sometimes don’t meet code in really big expensive ways, like required sprinkling systems,” Larsen said. “And that wasn’t a part of the original Project Turnkey plan. It’s not a part of the flexible homeless services dollars that I get to work with in Washington, so we have to figure it out.”

This story was originally published by the Oregon Capital Chronicle.

Oregon Capital Chronicle is part of States Newsroom, a network of news bureaus supported by grants and a coalition of donors as a 501c(3) public charity. Oregon Capital Chronicle maintains editorial independence. Contact Editor Lynne Terry for questions: info@oregoncapitalchronicle.com. Follow Oregon Capital Chronicle on Facebook and Twitter.

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New police pursuit rules, ‘parents bill of rights’ become law in Washington

Washington police can now pursue vehicles if officers suspect someone is committing a crime. And parents in the state have a new list of rules outlining their rights to access their children’s school records.

That’s because three voter initiatives took effect Thursday — alongside dozens of other new laws — after the Legislature approved them earlier this year. The third voter initiative that became law this week is a ban on income taxes in the state.

A few dozen supporters of the initiatives backed by the group Let's Go Washington gathered for a celebration rally at the state capitol Thursday, June 6, 2024. It's the day that three of the voter initiatives the group worked on became law, including a measure aimed at easing the restrictions around police car chases.

A few dozen supporters of the initiatives backed by the group Let’s Go Washington gathered for a celebration rally at the state capitol Thursday, June 6, 2024. It’s the day that three of the voter initiatives the group worked on became law, including a measure aimed at easing the restrictions around police car chases.

Jeanie Lindsay / NW News Network

Police pursuits have been a longstanding debate in Olympia after the state tightened those rules in 2021 to limit injuries or deaths that can stem from car chases. Lawmakers slightly loosened those restrictions in 2023, but a Republican-backed voter initiative loosened them even further this year.

Chris Loftis with the Washington State Patrol said that after the 2021 changes took effect, more people started fleeing when officers tried to pull them over.

“The numbers of things that we were trying to prevent started going up just as the number of pursuits started going down,” Loftis said.

The new rules say cops can chase people if an officer “reasonably suspects” that they broke “the law.” Departments don’t have to adopt the looser rules, but Loftis says Washington State Patrol will — and state law still requires training for officers and supervision when car chases do occur.

“We’re not going to just chase people through crowded streets and crowded parking lots without thinking through the situation,” Loftis said.

Meanwhile, Washington’s top education official is warning schools not to change their student privacy policies under the so-called “parents bill of rights” law.

The measure outlines more than a dozen rights for parents to access their children’s school records, including student mental health counseling records. But Washington’s education department says sharing those records could violate federal health and student confidentiality policies like HIPAA and FERPA, and is urging schools to wait to make any local policy changes.

“We’re not saying that we’re not going to be enforcing a new state law,” said Katy Payne, spokesperson for the Office of Superintendent of Public Instruction. “We’re saying federal law and state law are in conflict and state law cannot override or overrule federal law.”

In a news release sent out Wednesday, OSPI said “when in doubt, school districts should follow federal privacy laws.”

People who support the parents’ rights measure say it’s a vital tool for parents to be aware of what’s going on when their child is at school.

Some parts of the new law are duplicative of or more vague than existing state or federal regulations that already grant parents various rights to be involved in their children’s schooling.

But critics of the initiative measure worry that the places where it conflicts with privacy rights for students could particularly undermine school-based supports for LGBTQ youth or students facing abuse at home.

Superintendent of Public Instruction Chris Reykdal addressed some of those concerns directly in the news release.

“There is no question that students are best supported when their families are actively involved in their education,” Reykdal said in the statement. “But if a student does not feel safe coming out to their family and they turn to a trusted adult at their school for support, they have a right to receive that support without fear of being outed by their school.”

Meanwhile, a group of nonprofits, two individuals and South Whidbey School District have signed onto a lawsuit seeking to overturnthe parents rights initiative.

Earlier this week, a King County court commissioner denied a request to temporarily block the law from taking effect. That means it will be active for at least a couple of weeks until that case is back in court later this month, where a judge could decide to put the new law on hold while the lawsuit plays out.

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Oregon Gov. Tina Kotek’s ex-chief of staff goes from high stakes job to studying internships

Gov. Tina Kotek’s chief of staff went from one of the most high-profile and demanding jobs in state government to one that appears, on paper, relatively simple. No pay cut required.

Andrea Cooper left Kotek’s office in March for a consulting role at the state’s Department of Administrative Services. She recently completed her first project: researching and preparing a memo on how other states conduct internship programs. The memo and PowerPoint detailed and include plenty of specifics.

But consider her job responsibilities only a few months prior: She was the person who would stand in for the governor when Kotek was not available. Cooper, who is considered an experienced and skilled government operative, was crucial in shepherding Kotek’s policies on housing, mental health and addiction and education.

Her latest responsibilities are notably low stakes. The cost to taxpayers, however, remains the same: She will continue to make her $302,976 annual salary.

Jeanne Atkins, the former Oregon secretary of state, has worked with Cooper for about 15 years in various roles. She said Cooper had a broad range of skills and has had “a heavy level of responsibility for the past several years” while serving in Govs. Kate Brown and Kotek’s offices.

“I’m sure it’s not something she will be doing forever and a more high-profile, broad ranging position might fit better,” Atkins said. “She has a huge amount of experience in how the government works and how state agencies relate with the governor’s office and one would hope she would be back doing something that would reflect that broad range set of skills … being able to do a whole bunch of different types of things is the essence of great staff.”

The public records detailing Cooper’s new role bolster the notion she was placed at the administrative services office after she was fired by the governor. Cooper, who is a highly-skilled government operative, is now tasked with doing research projects befitting a lower-level staffer. She landed there after raising concerns about First Lady Aimee Kotek Wilson’s expanding role in the governor’s office.

The state of Oregon does not offer fired employees a severance package. The transition agreement between Kotek and Cooper showing her move to the new department appears to be negotiated by lawyers. Cooper signed the transition agreement on March 20, two days before her departure was formally announced. It is set to expire at the end of November. Current and former state employees have characterized the agreement as a stand-in for a severance agreement.

Cooper, along with two other of the governor’s top aides, had pushed for more transparency around Kotek Wilson’s role in the office and tried to protect other staff from the first spouse’s interfering with them doing their day to day jobs. The three top staffers all had long tenures working in state government and were considered to be loyal and well respected.

The governor has suggested the departures of her senior staff were simply part of normal turnover.

More recently, the governor walked back the idea of creating an Office of the First Spouse, but what her wife’s role in the day-to-day of her office’s inner workings remains unclear. Kotek said she is awaiting an opinion from the Oregon Governor’s Ethics Commission before detailing what Kotek Wilson will be doing in her administration in the future.

Cooper has a long history in state politics; she also served as deputy chief of staff for former Gov. Brown and as a political director for the state’s largest labor union, SEIU.

Her new position is as an adviser to the head of the Department of Administrative Services, Berri Leslie. Cooper is expected to give “comprehensive organizational assessments” to Leslie on a range of topics. Administrative Services is a crucial agency, acting as the state’s human resource department and budgeting agency.

Berri, the head of the department, doesn’t make much more than Cooper. Her annual salary is $303,806.

For her internship report, Cooper researched seven states to learn more about how they structure internship programs. She picked states with populations similar to Oregon; Colorado, Connecticut, New Mexico, Kentucky and Minnesota and selected Washington and California since they are neighboring states.

Cooper produced a 22-page memo and a PowerPoint presentation that included her analysis of each state’s internship programs and recommendations for how Oregon could incorporate some of their best ideas.

“During my conversations with New Mexico, the idea of nontraditional students was an equity consideration we discussed quite a bit,” Cooper wrote in her report. “How do internship programs support students who do not want to seek a post-secondary degree but still want to join the state workforce? Or support recent high school graduates or folks with associate degrees who would not otherwise meet the minimum qualifications for a state job?”

Cooper’s contract with Administrative Services ends Nov. 29 but could be terminated by either party at any time. Cooper will be assigned a new project shortly. She is also currently working on helping the department think more critically about top priority issues like whether there is a need to hold meetings and evaluating the length of existing and potential future meetings.

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Plans for Warm Springs Tribes’ cannabis dispensary stalled by low voter turnout

Members of the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs voted Wednesday on whether the tribal government should open a retail cannabis dispensary, as well as legalize the possession and use of small amounts of marijuana by adults 21 and older on the reservation in Central Oregon. But not enough voters turned out to decide an outcome, even as the Tribes’ first cannabis farm churns out its initial crop.

Opening a cannabis farm on the reservation got much more enthusiastic reaction from Warm Springs voters in 2015, when tribal members overwhelmingly turned out during a snowstorm to approve the idea, as reported by Warm Springs community radio station KWSO. This week’s referendum on a retail storefront to sell the farm’s crop and allow possession of recreational cannabis fell flat.

FILE - In this Feb. 7, 2019, file photo, a bud tender shows a top cannabis strain at Serra, a dispensary in Portland, Ore.

FILE – In this Feb. 7, 2019, file photo, a bud tender shows a top cannabis strain at Serra, a dispensary in Portland, Ore.

Richard Vogel / AP

The tribal government requires 1,225 voters — or one third of the eligible tribal members — to cast ballots before an election is valid. The June 5 referendum didn’t pass that mark. Early, unofficial vote counts published by KWSO showed just 866 out of 3,673 eligible voters cast ballots.

That tally puts the brakes on plans for the Tribes to sell its own marijuana products at a retail storefront, and it means the possession and use of cannabis remains illegal on the Warm Springs reservation.

As sovereign nations, tribes set their own rules for cannabis on the reservation and on lands held in federal trust for them. Oregonians voted to legalize the recreational sale and use of cannabis in 2014. Federally, the Controlled Substances Act still criminalizes marijuana in most instances, though government officials recently indicated a desire to lower the schedule status of cannabis, which would make it legal in more circumstances.

Related: OSU partners with Native American tribes to explore making products and materials with hemp

Unofficial Warm Springs results show more people voted in favor of legalizing cannabis sales than voted against the referendum, KWSO reports, though the official tally won’t be certified by the Warm Springs tribal council until Monday.

Warm Springs’ tribally-owned cannabis farm became operational in February and is expected to have its first crop production this month, according to Jim Souers, CEO of the Warm Springs Economic Development Corporation.

Souers supported the failed sales referendum, and in a May interview with KWSO, estimated that a tribally-owned dispensary could generate $1.2 million in annual revenue, $60,000 in annual profits, and employ eight people.

Industry data suggests a recent surge in tribally-operated dispensaries. As of last month, MJBizDaily, a trade publication for the cannabis industry, counted 57 tribally-owned medical marijuana dispensaries and adult-use stores across the country, a 25% increase since last year.

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