Following a vote of unanimous support for the proposed Sidewalk & Public Spaces Ordinance by the Salem Chamber’s Public Policy committee, the Board of Directors unanimously endorsed support for the ordinance at the 11/20/19 Board meeting.


Board leadership and Chamber CEO Tom Hoffert will present the organization’s position statement on Monday evening at the Salem City Council meeting.


The Salem business community is not only compassionate about the issues facing those homeless in our community, they are also engaged in assisting the complex coordination required to find solutions and provide access to needed services. There is clear understanding that the proposed ordinance will not “solve” homelessness in our city. However, it is a critical step towards ensuring a safe and welcoming community. Vocal and urgent messaging from a multitude of business owners and employees, primarily located in Salem’s downtown area, have been received not only by the Salem Chamber and the Salem Main Street Association, but also by our City Councilors and the Mayor.


The Salem Chamber has engaged in public forums and thoughtful dialog with social service providers, nonprofit partners, law enforcement and fellow advocates working hand-in-hand to assist our friends and neighbors on the street. Salem businesses are actively supporting our homeless service provider organizations, notably partnerships with Community Action Agency’s ARCHES Project, Union Gospel Mission and their Simonka Place for Women & Children, Northwest Human Services’ HOAP and the United Way of the Mid-Willamette Valley.


The Chamber’s position of support of the ordinance acknowledges that safety and security of employees and customers is essential for economic sustainability for our downtown businesses. Further, the Salem Chamber remains committed to partnering with social service providers and agencies, the Good Neighbor Partnership effort, engaged nonprofit organizations, the Main Street Association and all concerned citizen and advocacy groups as we collectively tackle this complex community crisis. 


Join business and community leaders in support of the proposed Sidewalk & Public Spaces Ordinance, appearing in front of Salem’s City Council on Monday, November 25, 6:00 p.m. at City Council Chambers 555 Liberty Street SE Room 240.

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