Gov. Kate Brown is working on what she calls a "new forum" to center Black, brown and Indigenous voices in the debate over how to achieve economic equity in Oregon.
Brown announced the initiative but did not provide further details during a Tuesday afternoon appearance at the first of five online Oregon Business Plan Leadership Summits scheduled for the rest of the year.
"The new forum will tackle" issues of equity, social justice and economic opportunity, Brown said during a half hour discussion at the webinar sponsored by the Oregon Business Council and other business organizations. Brown did not say when the new forum will start or specifically who will participate in it.
The summit series is intended to draft both short- and long-term plans to help the Oregon economy recover from the COVID-19 pandemic with more shared prosperity. They will follow up the series of Oregon Business Plans that the same organizations have adopted over the years to improve the economy.
Brown also said the Oregon Legislature will meet in a special session in August to adjust the state budget because of revenue declines caused by the pandemic. The Oregon Constitution requires the budget be balanced without deficit spending.
And Brown said it is still unclear how many students will be able to return to classrooms this fall. She announced metrics earlier in the day that first will require Oregon counties and the state as a whole to meet a low threshold of new COVID-19 cases. Currently, only one county meets those metrics.
A previous Portland Tribune story on the summit can be found here.
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