January 10, 2024

As a follow-up to the October 20th East County Resilience Summit, the East County Resilience Network (the “Network”) held a retreat on December 7th to continue discussing plans for the budding coalition. 

The day-long retreat, held at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry, included presentations from guest speakers Griffin Cloud Levine of We All Rise, Nicole Buchanan of the Multnomah County Office of Sustainability, Gayle Palmer of Thrive East PDX, Theo Latiolais of Multnomah County Department of County Services, and Maria Hernandez of Colibri Consulting. Commissioner Lori Stegmann, whose office launched the East County Resilience Initiative in 2021, and her Policy Director, Layan Ammouri, also attended the event and reiterated the important role of this coalition in building community resilience and emergency preparedness in East Multnomah County. 

Over the course of the day, the Network covered a broad range of topics with the primary goals of grounding current coalition members in the work completed during previous phases of the East County Resilience Initiative, and to chart a path towards establishing an organizational structure for the coalition to support the group’s long term sustainability and growth.

Presentations included an overview of the East County Resilience Initiative (ECRI) workshops and their outcomes, including updates on the six policy recommendations that were developed as part of the East County Resilience framework. As well as an overview on the differences between a 501(c)(3) organization and a fiscal sponsor model, pros and cons of both structures, and a robust discussion on the types of agreements and accountability measures needed to act as a collective when applying for grants and other funding opportunities.

The Network also heard about progress on one early priority, a common application, that was piloted as part of the initial phases of the ECRI. The Network has defined resilience broadly, and one key area they identified was making access to government programs easier. Since then the County has been working on a new technology platform to make access to programs more seamless for users, creating a single application that can qualify people for multiple programs.

The coalition held two votes during the retreat. The first was to determine whether the group would seek 501(c)(3) status or identify an organization to act as a fiscal sponsor. The vote landed in favor of a fiscal sponsor model, which the group discussed could act as a building block as they determine the longer-term vision for the group and its ultimate structure. The second was to determine if any current member organizations could serve as fiscal sponsor.

Lastly, the group reviewed upcoming grant opportunities and brainstormed ideas for future grant proposals. The Network will reconvene in January 2024 to continue establishing their community agreements.

Learn more about the East County Resilience Initiative and the October 20th East County Resilience Summit here.