Your Cultural Arts & Culture Coalition of Oregon (CACO) team is hard at work preparing for the state’s 35-day legislative session, which starts on February 1, 2022.
Many new faces and emerging new leaders will be replacing several long-time legislators including Speaker Kotek, Sen. Johnson, and Rep. Post. These changing political dynamics are overlaid with the coming election season and another COVID surge, which will probably mean a mostly virtual legislative session.
Despite these hurdles, we are thrilled to be working with Rep. Rob Nosse (D-Portland) to bring forward a bill in the short session. Rep. Nosse is requesting an additional $50M in funding to support arts and cultural organizations negatively affected by the pandemic.
We have been working closely with Rep Nosse to articulate eligibility requirements for the grant program that will administered through Business Oregon if the bill passes.
For this legislative session and the rest of the year, our priorities in 2022 are:
- Ensuring 2021 American Rescue Plan Act funding is distributed quickly to the arts and culture sector
- Advocating for additional funding support to the sector
- Supporting the renewal of special assessments for historic preservation
- Addressing construction challenges for cultural capital projects
This handout has more details about each of these legislative priorities.
We appreciate your support and feedback throughout this process. You can make our advocacy efforts more powerful by sharing how the pandemic has affected your organization. Send your thoughts by email.
Our legislators need to hear from you.
We need EVERY VOICE right now.
For example, our board president, JS May, reached out to gubernatorial candidate and former state senator Betsy Johnson after reading her Willamette Week interview in which she expressed concerns that funds for independent venues may not have been a good use of recovery funding.
In their follow-up conversation, Betsy clarified her position and corrected the article. She mentioned her long-time support for arts and culture (as a recipient of the Governor’s Art’s Award). She was not concerned about the rescue fund investments in nonprofit arts and cultural organizations, which have extensive public accountability mechanisms through their boards and public reporting. Instead she was concerned about for-profit venues receiving rescue funds because they do not have similar accountability mechanisms. Betsy ended by saying she has been and will continue to be a strong supporter of arts and culture in Oregon.
Join us and contact your lawmakers to share your experiences as a stakeholder in the arts & culture community during the pandemic.
Happy New Year,