Transom detail <br />(photo courtesy Portland Chinatown History and Museum Foundation)

Can we get a WITNESS? It’s time to testify!

Committee Hearing on
Set for March 4th

Transom detail (photo courtesy Portland Chinatown History and Museum Foundation)The biggest obstacle to the restoration and adaptive reuse of historic buildings is money.  Traditional financing just won’t cover the high cost of restoration, code upgrades, and seismic retrofitting in many cases.  The Revitalize Main Street Act (SB 565) will change that.  Many thanks to those of you who have already endorsed it.

Now the next critical step:  we just learned that our bill will come up for a Senate Finance Committee hearing on March 4th.  This is where SB 565 will either stall or move forward.

SO THIS IS WHERE YOU COME IN!  We want every committee member to know about our bill, to have heard from numerous constituents, and vote YES to pass it forward out of committee.  Let’s pack the hearing room and leave no doubt that it’s time we invest in Oregon’s Main Streets.

  1. Email or write your state Senator and Representative and ask them to support SB 565, the Revitalize Main Street Act.  Do it right now, this week.  We’ve made it easy.  Click on this legislator locator link to get the email address of your state Senator and Representative.  Then open this message template and copy it into an email.  It takes just a couple minutes and you’re done!
  1. Come to the Committee hearing in Salem. Don’t be shy— this is democracy in action!  Be part of the public testimony or just come show your support.

Wednesday, March 4th @ 8:30am, State Capitol, Hearing Room A, 900 Court St. NE, Salem, OR  97301 (subject to change by the Committee)

Here’s a quick framework to help formulate your remarks— they should not exceed 3 minutes in length:

  • State your name and city. Note if you’re representing a larger group in addition to yourself.
  • State that you’re speaking in SUPPORT of SB 565, the Revitalize Main Street Act, and ask the committee to vote YES to pass it forward out of committee.
  • Describe in your own words what SB 565 could mean to you, your community, or your business.
  • You might also speak to one or two of these points as appropriate:
    • An example of a building in your community that needs this incentive so it can be rehabbed; describe the potential benefit to the community.
    • Job creation (construction work, new businesses, tourism, etc.)
    • How this incentive would work together with other economic development programs or downtown business association efforts.
    • The environmental benefits of reusing buildings and existing infrastructure.
    • The cultural importance of passing forward local heritage.
  • Thank the committee.
The Revitalize Main Street Act creates a Historic Rehabilitation Fund to provide a 25% rebate for the rehabilitation of historic commercial buildings – stores, hotels, theaters, apartments, factories, mills, etc. Check out 10 Reasons to Support the Revitalize Main Street Act

We know it’s a sacrifice to drive to Salem this early in the morning, but a strong showing at this committee hearing is essential.  Whether in the form of a letter or in-person testimony, speak from the heart and know that your active advocacy will make all the difference!

Many thanks—

Peggy Moretti,
Executive Director, Restore Oregon

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5 Responses to Can we get a WITNESS? It’s time to testify!

  1. Tom March 3, 2015 at 9:17 pm #

    Please, please, please don’t read your testimony. You will be ignored. Keep it short for maximum impact.

  2. Barbara Kerr February 24, 2015 at 9:43 pm #


    In thinking about testifying on March 4, I had a question. Do your efforts focus on only downtown and more major streets, or the neighborhood nodes as well? Would it at all be helpful if I spoke to how we started Rejuvenation, Inc. (then Rejuvenation House Parts Co.) in a small, turn-of-the century storefront that Jim had purchased with a condemnation notice on the door. And that that and the fact that we could live in the apartment upstairs made it affordable for two young people starting out to start a business that employed ever increasing numbers of local working class people? It was on N. Albina, a one-time wannabe main street, but certainly not ‘downtown’.

    I am hoping you are including the neighborhood business districts, because they address so many issues: density, walkability, sense of place, etc. But I would not want to take away from the urgency of what we are losing downtown.

    Barbara Kerr

    • Peggy Moretti February 25, 2015 at 9:52 am #

      Hi Barbara! Any historic commercial building (on the National Register or contributing building in a NR historic district) is eligible under our legislation. The majority are located along Oregon’s “Main Streets” and in our historic downtowns, hence the title we gave to the bill, but its not required. School buildings, mills, and barns would also potentially be eligible. The goal is to close the funding gap and attract private investment to bring these places back to life.

      We’d love to have you come testify at the hearing. Feel free to give me a call to chat further.


  1. Preservation Action - February 27, 2015

    […] Restore Oregon is leading the effort to pass the Revitalize Main Street Act. Currently SB 565 is scheduled to be considered at the Senate Finance Committee hearing on March 4th. This where the bill will either stall or move forward. It is critical that every committee member and every state legislator understand the benefits of the Revitalize Main Street Act. Contact your representative today and encourage them to support the bill! Restore Oregon has set up very easy to use tools for you to contact your representative, go to the hearing March 4th, and even give public testimony is support of the Revitalize Main Street Act. Find out how you can help! […]

  2. Support the Revitalize Main Street Act! | Portland Preservation - February 26, 2015

    […] You can find more information here: […]

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