Sept 29-Governor Brown Announces Wildfire Economic Recovery Council

Governor Kate Brown Announces Wildfire Economic Recovery Council
September 29, 2020

Council co-chaired by Labor Commissioner Val Hoyle, State Treasurer Tobias Read
Salem, OR—Governor Kate Brown today announced she is convening a Wildfire Economic Recovery Council to evaluate the economic and community needs of Oregonians statewide as a result of the 2020 wildfire season. The council, co-chaired by Labor Commissioner Val Hoyle and State Treasurer Tobias Read, will work to help counties implement economic recovery solutions, bringing together federal, state, and local resources to support communities impacted by wildfires.

“So many Oregonians lost everything in these fires. With over a million acres burned and thousands of homes and businesses destroyed, the impacts of this wildfire season will be felt on jobs and local economies long after it ends,” said Governor Brown. “While my Disaster Cabinet continues to focus on the immediate wildfire response and relief efforts, this council will prioritize economic recovery for impacted communities.”

The council will focus on solutions that account for the disproportionate impact the 2020 wildfires have had on communities of color, rural, and low-income Oregonians.

“Communities all over the state need help to recover from these wildfires. I had to evacuate due to the Holiday Farm Fire, but I was one of the lucky ones who got to come home,” said Labor Commissioner Val Hoyle. “Many challenges lie ahead in the coming months. We need a clear, collaborative plan to bring all levels of government together with local businesses, workers, and non-profits to rebuild the homes and economies that have been devastated. I want to thank Governor Brown for appointing Treasurer Read and I to lead this council. I’m ready to get to work.”

“The destruction from this wildfire season has been shocking. My heart goes out to the people and communities impacted by the devastation,” said Treasurer Tobias Read. “Our work on the Governor’s Wildfire Council will give us the opportunity to work with communities to decide what rebuilding looks like, and how we can make them more resilient and prosperous.”

The council will convene next week, and will complete its initial work by December 31. The council’s scope of work will include:
• Assessing the community and economic impacts of the fire and assistance needs;
• Coordinating community needs and streamlining assistance;
• Elevating immediate response needs to the Governor’s Disaster Cabinet;
• Identifying possible budget and legislative needs related to wildfire economic recovery;
• Working with the Governor’s Regional Solutions staff to coordinate state agencies to help address fire impacts and promote economic stability, public safety and natural resource recovery, including working with local and federal partners; and
• Apprising the Governor of any further needs identified during the council’s work.

A full council membership list will be available after the council’s first meeting.