What does advocacy mean to you?
Even if you don’t directly benefit from the tax incentive programs, the labor rebate program, the workforce development or work of the film office(s), it’s important to acknowledge that you work in an ecosystem in Oregon that is stronger because of those things! And we want to let you know that you have the power to support this advocacy work. Right now, OMPA is engaged on multiple fronts advocating for your industry so that it continues to have the services, vendors, resources, funding, mentors and professionals that you rely on while advocating for more equity within the industry.
Advocacy in Oregon
On the State level, we are currently largely focused on lobbying for the tax incentive and labor rebate programs – their continued existence, expansion and incorporation of a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion policy. The incentive bundle helps attract and retain film, television, animation, games, post-production, independent film and commercial production here in Oregon. Oregon Film has been critical to moving these efforts forward, while OMPA has hired a lobbyist to help advance all of the below efforts:
- SB43 – This bill extends the tax incentive program for another six years so that it does not sunset on Jan 1, 2024. We are grateful for everyone who submitted a written testimony when we asked recently and to those who provided verbal testimony including Tim Williams of Oregon Film, Devin Tau, Courtney Willams and Anne Lundgren. Your personal stories, and the quantity of those stories, was noticed by the Senate Finance and Revenue Committee! You can see the hearing here. We’re currently waiting for a work session to be scheduled. Stay tuned for updates.
- HB3010 – This bill came out of the work to create a portion of the incentive program that would incentivize diverse hiring on production (you can read about that initiative and those who led it here). The initial concept, however, was met with legal concerns from the state’s Legislative Council and DOJ, particularly around the Equal Protection clause of the 14th Amendment, that necessitated a different approach. This year, we’re lobbying for a policy that requires all incentivized projects to have a Diversity, Equity and Inclusion policy, to make a good faith effort to hire diverse teams, to report their diverse hiring data, and to have a process in place for addressing claims of harassment, discrimination and other misconduct. HB3010 is just the first step in a multi-year process that we need to undertake in order to research and design a program that will withstand legal challenges. We expect a hearing next week and will be reaching out to you to submit written testimony in support of this bill.
- LC3329 – This Legislative Concept is about to be filed as a bill. It asks for a $6 million increase to the incentive fund from $14 million to $20 million (that’s a 43% increase!). A larger fund means we can attract more work to Oregon and support more work being produced in Oregon. A portion of the fund is also allocated to workforce development meaning that will also be increased. This has traditionally been allocated to the Oregon Media Pathways program providing opportunities to individuals from traditionally underrepresented groups. While this is a tough time to be asking the legislature for funds, we also know that this industry can be part of Oregon’s economic recovery story. Productions are back to work, providing jobs and spending money at local businesses throughout the state (not to mention the free positive marketing of Oregon these productions provide). Again, we’d love for you to provide written testimony when it comes up for a hearing. Stay tuned!
Advocacy in Portland
At the city level, we are currently working to ensure the Portland Film Office is supported and funded. You may recall last year we were taken by surprise to see that the office was not included in the Mayor’s budget. Well we will not be surprised this year! We have been working since last summer with members of the production community, folks within the City (including Brian Lord of the Portland Film Office and Giyen Kim and Jeff Hawthorne, previous and current City Arts Program Manager respectively), Tim Williams of Oregon Film, Meara McLaughlin of Music Portland to shape the future of that resource at the City.
- Portland Film & Music Office: We are currently exploring expanding the scope to include music as well as asking for more resources to support that growth. It’s exciting to see that we’re getting some traction with the new City Commissioners and are hopeful that the future of the Portland Film Office is not just survival but thriving and supporting the local industry’s growth.
Change happens when you are involved.
Thank you for stepping up in ways big and small to support this work. We are especially grateful for our members, who make our work possible, and our sponsors who help fund things like staff time and lobbyists to support the work. Contribute here via membership, donation or time!
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