Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Sustainable Businesses Tackle Portland's Rose Quarter Plans

A new sustainable business trade association has formed in Portland with the intention to lobby city and state government on behalf of small green companies.

The group of about 30 sustainable business leaders formerly known as PDX Lounge met for the first time last week at the Leftbank to set an agenda, which includes establishing a statewide trade association, building a support network for green businesses and perhaps embarking on a regional marketing strategy. They'll meet again today at Leftbank from 6 - 8 p.m. to discuss the Rose Quarter redevelopment plan with members of City Council.

"Our hot button issue right now is the new proposed soccer stadium and bright lights district," said said Sattie Clark, a co-owner of Eleek who's organizing the sustainable business association meetings. "A lot of people are disturbed by what is happening and the lack of public process. Certainly as sustainable businesses, we can organize the dissenters."

Sustainable businesses are increasingly frustrated with the Portland Business Alliance, which supports projects such as the Columbia River Crossing and the Rose Quarter expansion that have questionable green benefits, said Clark. Green businesses want an association that represents their values, she said.

The city had previously committed to opening an interim sustainable business center at Leftbank while the proposed Sustainability Center of Excellence is completed, but the project was axed due to budgetary concerns.

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