Too often, small businesses are “spoken for” by corporate lobbyists who claim to represent us but are really pushing a Big Business agenda. We’re changing that by creating opportunities for Oregon’s small business owners to speak for ourselves – face to face with decision-makers, at public events and through the media.
* We work on the issues that matter most to small businesses and our entire communities, including health care, financial reform, jobs and the economy, energy and efficiency, among other pressing issues.
* And we’re making an impact. We have a history of accomplishments because of the involvement of our members, led by a statewide steering committee of small business leaders.
* We are affiliated with the national Main Street Alliance.
Please spend time on our website to learn more about our coalition; the issues we work on; our independent research; Main Street Alliance members in the media; find events happening near you; the latest from our blog; how you can support our work; and most importantly, how you can get involved.
-The Main Street Alliance of Oregon
Portland, OR — This past Saturday, October 11th, Leaders with The Main Street Alliance of Oregon gathered in Portland to reflect on our past work and plan for the future of the movement. We’re confident that together we can continue to raise the voices of small business, working to change the way that we think about business.
Leaders from across the state joined together to think-big about the future of The Main Street Alliance, how we can build more support for Main Street businesses, and how we can continue to provide opportunities to lift up the real stories from Oregon small business owners who understand that they’re working families too.
Main Street leaders agree that the time has come for a paradigm shift. We’re working together to lift up the voices of small business owners across Oregon and the U.S., and reclaim our voices from the Big Business spacial interest groups who stole them years ago.
There is a groundswell of support for common sense work place protections like access to paid sick days, affordable health care, and secure retirement savings options. Main Street business owners know that when we provide basic standards like these, pay living wages to our working families, and ensure that the women working in our businesses are earning equal pay for equal work, our communities and small businesses thrive.
Here at The Main Street Alliance of Oregon, we’re looking forward to the growing number of supportive businesses in Oregon and across the country. We’re looking forward to reclaiming our small business voice! Join us!
Wednesday, August 20, 2014—Local faith leaders, community members, and small business owners gathered to celebrate work towards a more just society last Wednesday evening. Jubliee Oregon, the state’s chapter of the Jubilee USA Network, a non-profit advocacy organization that is dedicated to reducing poverty in the world, honored two nonprofits for their continuing work on economic fairness and justice in the US and globally.
Jubilee Oregon honored Strike the Debt Portland, a project of the Occupy movement, as well as The Federal Issues Table, a coalition headed by The Main Street Alliance of Oregon and Oregon Action, both members of the Alliance for a Just Society. The Federal Issues Table was created to bring the voices of Oregonians to our elected officials on a variety of national issues, particularly those that impact women, families and small businesses. Thus far, the coalition has met with a variety of Oregon’s Congressional Delegation both in Washington, D.C. and in local offices, highlighting opportunities to reform the Federal Tax Code to ensure that the wealthiest individuals and corporations pay their fair share of taxes.
Main Street Alliance of Oregon Executive Team member and co-owner of Paperjam Press in NE Portland, Deborah Field, was present to accept the award for the Federal Issues Table and had this to say: “I’m proud to pay my fair share of taxes, we don’t have accountants who move our money to the Cayman Islands to avoid paying taxes. Most of us realize that it’s the price of sustaining our public infrastructure, schools, legal system, and other things essential to making America an excellent place to do business and raise a family. Corporations and special interests take advantage of all America has to offer and then refuse to pay their fair share to keep our economies and communities strong.”
The Federal Issues Table continues to work towards bringing common sense solutions to tax fairness issues, as well as a number of other issues important to Main Street business owners, women and our families—like access to affordable health care, earned paid sick days, secure retirement savings options, child care and credit. We need to encourage our elected officials to work on policies that protect women, our families, small businesses and communities.
“It’s time for politicians to pick a side,” said Deborah Field, “side with women and our families to support women small business owners, or side with the male-dominated lobby groups that claim to represent small businesses but really just speak for big corporate special interests. As women, and small business owners, we have an important voice that needs to be heard. Let’s hold our elected officials accountable, and ensure our families and communities are protected!”
On July 28, 2014 the Mayor and City Councilors of Eugene, Oregon voted 5 to 3 to implement a paid sick days policy that will enable people who work in the city to earn sick time while they work, making Eugene the second city in Oregon and the 9th U.S. city to adopt such a policy.
Small business owners with The Main Street Alliance of Oregon cheered the ordinance passage as an important step to create more economy-boosting jobs. This is a big forward step for Eugene’s economy that will help employees better manage their work and personal responsibilities simultaneously.
“Eugene’s paid sick days policy will benefit everyone–it will boost the local economy and help small businesses succeed,” said Catherine Reinhart, co-owner of Sweet Life Patisserie. “It’s simple economics—we sell more sweets when working families have more money in their pockets to take their kids out for a treat. Now Eugeneans won’t have to choose between taking care of their families and missing a day of work.”
“Our employees are the heart of our business—we’re proud to provide them with paid sick leave, so they can pay their bills even when they get sick,” said Rob Cohen, co-owner of Falling Sky Brewery. ”Now all employees in Eugene will have that protection too!”
“When you do your best by your employees, they stick around and give you their best, so it really works for everyone,” noted Gavin McComas, owner of Sundance Natural Foods. “It feels great to be part of a solution that will directly benefit so many people and that positions Eugene as a leader in our country when it comes to a triple-bottom line economy. It’s a great day for the city Eugene and for Eugene business owners and their employees!”
The Main Street Alliance of Oregon business owners applaud the Eugene City Council for taking action on this important issue. Despite the backdoor political dealings of the Lane County Commission—who, last week, attempted to stall or block the City Council from taking action by passing 3 rushed ordinances—the Council and Mayor supported the 25,000 workers in Eugene who needed this basic protection.
THE MAIN STREET ALLIANCE OF OREGON IS HIRING!
Deadline to apply: June 30, 2014 (applications will be considered on a rolling basis)
Job Title: The Main Street Alliance of Oregon Small Business Organizer
Position Summary: The Small Business Organizer will organize businesses working with The Main Street Alliance of Oregon, an affiliate of the national The Main Street Alliance network and a project of the Alliance for a Just Society, to advance win-win public policies that benefit small business owners, their employees, and the communities they serve. The Main Street Alliance of Oregon Small Business Organizer will work with Main Street Alliance staff to develop a coordinated organizing plan, conduct direct canvass-based outreach to recruit small business owners to join The Main Street Alliance of Oregon, help develop and implement a grassroots fundraising plan, develop small business leaders, and mobilize small business owners to impact decision-makers, opinion leaders and the media. This position involves frequent travel around the state.
The Main Street Alliance of Oregon Small Business Organizer reports to The Main Street Alliance of Oregon State Director.
The duties of The Main Street Alliance of Oregon Small Business Organizer focus primarily on outreach/recruitment, leadership development/training, and mobilizing small business owners to engage decision-makers, the media, and the public in support of issues like health care reform, fair taxes, and high road workplace benefits. These duties include:
- Work with Oregon & national Main Street Alliance staff to develop a coordinated small business outreach and organizing plan for the state, and participate in the development of the national Main Street Alliance network.
- Conduct small business recruitment drives in key areas around the state using direct canvass-based outreach to recruit small business members; recruit and train volunteers/interns to participate in small business outreach blitzes and other outreach/contact strategies.
- Help to develop and implement a grassroots fundraising plan with a dues structure for members of The Main Street Alliance of Oregon.
- Hold organizing meetings in key areas around the state to build local small business leadership teams, engage small business owners on a deeper level, and identify potential small business spokespeople and candidates for a coalition steering committee.
- Identify and develop small business leadership/spokesperson teams for direct engagement with decision-makers, media opportunities, and peer outreach through one-on-ones, organizing meetings and small business leadership trainings.
- Engage emerging small business leaders in peer outreach and research – collecting petitions and surveys – to develop leadership and build resources for research products.
- Organize statewide and local tactics, action steps and events in coordination with the national small business campaign plan – leverage the voices of small business owners to impact the public debate.
- Recruit and staff a diverse statewide steering committee for The Main Street Alliance of Oregon.
- Deep commitment to a vision of racial, social, and economic justice and to building the collective voice of small business owners in Oregon.
- At least 2 years experience in community/grassroots organizing, political campaigns and/or legislative work.
- Experience and strong canvassing and/or door knocking skills.
- Experience with grassroots fundraising.
- Ability to communicate effectively and engage members of the small business community at their level.
- Strong written and verbal skills, and ability to listen.
- Ability to produce consistent, quality work in a fast-paced environment.
- Willingness and ability to travel around the state on a regular basis and work flexible hours required.
- Ability to work independently and strong time management skills.
- Strong facilitation skills.
- Computer skills (word processing, spreadsheet & database, Power Point, electronic communication).
- Ability to speak Spanish or other languages a plus.
- Experience with national campaigns or large municipal/state coalitions a plus.
- A passion for organizing and a sense of humor.
- There will be an evaluation after the first month, again at the six-month mark, then ongoing at the end of each year.
- Salary DOE.
- Generous benefits, including health and dental coverage, retirement contributions, paid vacation, personal days, and holidays, as per personnel policies.
To apply, e-mail a cover letter, resumé and references to: email@example.com and firstname.lastname@example.org with subject line: The Main Street Alliance of Oregon Small Business Organizer
We are looking for committed, enthusiastic people with a sense of humor to join our organizing team! The Alliance for a Just Society and Main Street Alliance are committed to equal opportunity, and are considering applicants of all races, gender, ages, sexual orientations, national origins, ethnicities, religion, and abilities. We urge people of color, and experienced organizers and activists of all backgrounds, to apply.
Earned paid sick time is an issue that affects a significant proportion of workers and employers in Eugene, including small business owners and their employees.
Having the opportunity to earn paid sick time is clearly a benefit for workers. But offering employees this opportunity also has benefits for employers. These benefits include protecting workplace productivity, decreasing turnover and associated costs, and reducing health care costs.
For more information, read The Main Street Alliance of Oregon’s new report on Understanding Paid Sick Time in Eugene.