In a recent blog, I wrote of public testimony I gave to Oregon legislators on the need to keep funding for Small Photo of JohnBusiness Development Centers (SBDC), especially during tough economic times.  I learned this week the testimony indeed had its desired effect, and through an interesting channel.  I received a call from Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB).  Dave Miller from OPB’s program Think Out Loud called me to tell me what he learned in an interview on Tuesday, May 19 with Sen Buckley, co-chair of the Joint Ways and Means committee.  He said the Oregon Economic & Community Development Department (OECDD) budget arrived with SBDCs eliminated, but that Sen Buckley restored funding for about 50%, saying he was swayed by the testimony given in Lincoln City, feeling it was a clear statement of the impact SBDCs had to the local community.  In the interview Sen. Buckley said,

 In the Lincoln City hearing, the testimony concerning the Small Business Development Centers, part of the Economic Development Budget. I was prepared to go further, deeper with cuts to that program, simply because I’d never heard an explanation that had really tied it in to how it impacted a specific community. And in Lincoln City they made an excellent case, and said ‘This is exactly how it’s affected our downtown. Here’s the steps that were used, here are the resources that were used.’ And that testimony swayed me on that particular item.

 Now this is exciting news.  It demonstrated to me the value of being active in our democratic process.  It also showed me legislators really seek to understand the payback on programs they fund.  My takeaway from this is to continue to engage legislators on important issues, and assist them in understanding the benefits of programs that in fact are making a difference in our communities.  I also learned that the members of our media can have a powerful effect by picking up the important issues and asking the right questions of legislators.

2 Responses to “Democracy in Action – Why Oregon decided to fund SBDCs in tough economic times”

  1. on 28 May 2009 at 8:44 amR Kent Hanrahan

    lets get together John…need to chat…Ron S. wants me to work on some publicity for you on up coming program…ok. thinks

  2. on 04 Jun 2009 at 11:47 amAndrewBoldman

    Hi, good post. I have been wondering about this issue,so thanks for posting.

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