April 23, 2012
Nick travelled to Washington, DC last week to advocate for Portland’s federal housing priorities, and was honored to lead a delegation of local business leaders to a White House briefing on jobs and the economy.
The delegation included Sean Robbins from Greater Portland, Inc., Mark Ganz of Cambia Health Solutions and Chairman of the Board for Greater Portland, Inc., Patrick Quinton of the Portland Development Commission, Chandra Brown with United Streetcar, Paresh Patel of VendScreen, and Angela Jackson with the Portland Seed Fund.
During his trip, Nick had the opportunity to meet with members of Oregon’s delegation, including Senator Jeff Merkley, Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici, and Congressman Earl Blumenauer. Nick briefed our Oregon reps on fair housing issues, preservation of affordable housing, the importance of veteran housing and services, and the need to protect the Community Development Block Grant and other housing safety net programs.
Nick was also pleased to meet with key leaders at the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development, including Assistant Secretary for Fair Housing and Equal Opportunity, John Trasviña, and Assistant Secretary for Congressional and Intergovernmental Relations, Peter Kovar. Both Assistant Secretraries have been key allies in the Portland Housing Bureau’s work on fair housing.
Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank welcomed Nick to his office for a visit. Nick worked for Congressman Frank in the early 1980’s and was pleased to catch up with his old friend and mentor. Congressman Frank is an authority on federal housing issues in Congress, and has helped craft many pieces of legislation that have helped Americans, including strong leadership for fair housing and LGBT rights.
On Friday, Nick joined the delegation of Portland business leaders for a tour of the White House, followed by a detailed briefing in the afternoon with senior White House officials. Business Forward, an organization that brings civic and business leaders together with key administration officials to discuss economic development topics, hosted the briefing. The group discussed export promotion, advanced manufacturing, support for entrepreneurs and small businesses, regulatory reform, and ways the administration is helping businesses succeed in today’s economy.
Patrick Quinton, Executive Director of the Portland Development Commission, highlighted the City’s economic development strategy, including some of the City’s successful public-private partnerships.
On a trip that spanned advocacy for protecting services for the homeless to talking about how to grow businesses, Nick was proud to represent Portland.