OTA Dispatch Issue 3, 2022

4 Oregon Trucking Associations, Inc. Oregon Truck Dispatch FROM THE PRESIDENT Jana Jarvis OTA President/CEO CHANGE, CHALLENGE, OPPORTUNITY. The theme of this year’s Annual OTA Convention & Exhibition, held this past August in Bend, highlighted both the risks and opportunities in today’s Oregon business climate. By the time you read this article, we will be heavily into the political campaign season, and your inclination will likely be to record the shows you want to watch so you can fast forward through all of the political commercials! I would caution you to look more closely this year. Vote carefully this year, more so than any year previously. As immersed as I am in the political process in Oregon, and as familiar as I am with the variety of candidates that appear on my ballot, there are always a number of races or issues I am unfamiliar with and my analysis of them is usually only cursory. I tend to read the voter’s pamphlet to see who is in favor and who is opposed. I read candidate statements and see who is supporting them. And then I make a partially informed decision about who and what to support. In years when the economy is good, the Legislature is balanced, and if we seem to be headed the right direction, this strategy can work. But the 2022 election is different. There is too much at stake to rely on other’s perception of an issue or a candidate. This year you need to do the work to learn as much as you can before you mark your ballot. There is simply too much at stake. For over a decade the Democrats have controlled the agenda. During some of those years Republicans have been able to negotiate these policy decisions—but more recently they have been shut out of the discussion altogether. And the new government programs have kept coming. First, we had the Oregon Family Leave Act (OFLA) that allowed employees to take unpaid time off to care for a family member. Now, we also have the Paid Family Medical Leave Act that contains different qualifying criteria and can conflict with OFLA statutes. The Corporate Activity Tax is required from some members, but not others depending on your gross receipts business activity. And then, in an unprecedented move, the Governor imposed an Executive Order designed to entirely change Oregon’s business environment by imposing a plethora of new environmental regulations on how we live and do business. We are seeing similar actions at the federal level. Uncertainty is breeding political unrest on both sides of the aisle. Rhetoric is supercharged and often borders on the ridiculous. And the sound bites just keep coming… Interestingly enough, one of the most productive legislative sessions I ever experienced was when the Oregon House was split 30–30. Leadership with co-speakers from both parties was the compromise and they had to both agree to move a given policy forward. The R’s and the D’s worked together to find innovative solutions to the problems before them, and at the end of the session there was a sense that this compromise had resulted in a positive direction for Oregon. It was short-lived, as the next election cycle changed the composition of the legislature and compromise started to wane. It took several years to reach the point where the minority party had virtually no say in the policy before them, but that’s where we have most recently found ourselves. And that hasn’t made Oregon a better place to live or do business. Crime, homelessness, failed schools, and outward migration point to a dismal future unless we use this election to make significant changes. Not only do candidates have to say the right thing…they need a plan of action and the skill to bring the players together to find the right solution! We need elected leaders who understand the problem, are willing to listen to a variety of proposed answers, and then lead us to a best solution for all Oregonians—not just those on one side of the aisle or in one portion of the state. We need leaders who not only talk the talk—we need leaders who can make the change we need! It’s tough to be the only person in the room trying to advocate for a particular position. I know that all too well. When dealing with large group meetings, I’m often the only person in the group who represents the payer of a system—the customer of the product. As a recent appointee to We have to take advantage of the lack of understanding in these situations and fill the obvious void with our own message. Anticipating Change