Panel Discussion June 13th

June 12, 2018 8:36 AM | Scott Hendison (Administrator)

The East Portland Chamber of Commerce is hosting a panel discussion on Solutions for Transportation in the Portland Metro area for the 21st Century. 

By most accounts Portland is currently about the 25th largest Metro area in the US by population, and is also ranked 16th in Metro areas for traffic congestion in the country, worse than Austin, Texas (per Statista and Business Insider). 

What is the best combination of transportation services for the Metro area to offer in order to insure the most cost effective means of transporting people and products?

The Panelists will include Bernie Bottomly, Executive Director of Public Affairs for TriMet, John Charles, President and CEO of Cascade Policy Institute and Chris Smith, Commissioner at Portland Planning and Sustainability Commission.

Bernie Bottomly, Executive Director of Public Affairs, oversees TriMet’s governmental affairs, communications, customer service and planning/policy departments. 

Bernie worked at TriMet from 1993 to 2002 as the agency’s legislative director, with responsibility for state and regional legislative affairs as well as regional transportation finance policy.

Prior to his work at TriMet, Bernie served as district administrator for U.S. Congressman Les AuCoin (D-OR) for almost a decade with responsibility for natural resource, transportation and economic development policy. 

He has been the Portland Business Alliance’s staff liaison to the Oregon Business Plan and has served on the City of Portland Bureau of Transportation Budget Advisory Committee and the Central City 2035 Technical Advisory Committee, among many others.

John Charles was named President and CEO of Cascade Policy Institute in May, 2005. Cascade is a free-market think tank working to promote individual liberty, economic opportunity, and personal responsibility.

Mr. Charles initially joined Cascade in 1997 as Environmental Policy Director. His research has focused on transportation, land use, and free-market environmentalism. He is a frequent keynote speaker and guest lecturer, especially on the subject of growth management, and has traveled to 24 states to discuss this issue. 

Prior to joining the Institute, Mr. Charles was executive director of the Oregon Environmental Council for 17 years. During that time he served on dozens of local, state and federal commissions and advisory boards related to environmental protection. Charles was also an active participant in Oregon legislative proceedings, and helped author numerous environmental statutes in the areas of forest management, toxic substances, air pollution, watershed restoration, and transportation.

Mr. Charles received a B.A. degree from the University of Pittsburgh in 1976 and an M.P.A. degree from Portland State University in 1990.

Chris Smith has been a Commissioner at Portland Planning and Sustainability Commission since 2009. The Planning and Sustainability Commission advises City Council on the City’s long-range goals, policies and programs for land use, planning and sustainability. The Commission has specific responsibility for the stewardship, development and maintenance of the City’s Comprehensive Plan, Climate Action Plan and zoning code.

He also is President of Portland Transport, a non-profit dedicated to fostering conversation about transportation policy and providing information on transportation choices.He is a Site Architect for Xerox, providing technical leadership and implementation for the web platform that serves Xerox.com, Director of Portland Streetcar, Inc., a non-profit which builds and operates the Portland Streetcar under contract to the City of Portland, and a member of the “No More Freeways PDX” group..

Mr. Smith received a B.S. degree from the Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute in 1978 and an M.P.A. degree from Boston University Graduate School of Management in 1985.


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