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Jan-06-2007 17:06printcomments

Op Ed:
Business Leaders
Recognize Reality,
Seek Solid Actions

Sustainability Offers Oregon Competitive Edge

First consequential steps include five solid Ethics Commission actions to provide strong new legislator-guiding rules.

(SALEM) - Oregon’s emerging business-corporation cadre of leadership showed why reality is finally being recognized at the fifth annual Oregon Leadership Summit. “Competitive edge” is THE demanded-essential these days for exceptionally difficult developments centered on global business and trade developments. That fact was entirely clear to the more-than-1000 Oregon leaders gathered for this very-solid session. Most significant was appointment of Allen Alley, a proven-by-performance business-side high profiler, as a deputy chief of staff for Governor Kulongoski. He joins former AFL-CIO president Tim Nesbit, with both supporting Chip Terhune, former lobbyist for the teachers’ union, as the staff chief. This trio are now all set to be Gov. Kulongoski’s “bridge between the public and private sectors”. That surely should make for extremely interesting “head-on cooperation” in Legislative committee hearings at all levels, on every conceivable topic; now open to public view by the just-announced Oregon Channel TV-project on OPB. There’s little doubt left that this coming session, opening MONDAY, will make great public viewing!! The “wit, wisdom and will” of Oregonians will either be carried into action or again be overwhelmed; by the still-strong, if outmoded, remnants of political-cult longtime confrontation/dominance in this state --even now, in the 21st Century!! Alley is chairman of the steering committee for the Oregon Business Plan for economic development and Legislative action. He told the business summit participants “economic development in harmony with our planet is not only the right civic thing to do, it’s the right business decision. Many of the keys to how this can be accomplished already exist in this state.” Realities abroad are driving the dangerous, difficult and costly transitions right here at home --and Oregon leadership, this time, displayed clear understandings of what is demanded to provide for the State future. First and foremost must come the key concept of full “sustainability” --the essential element for concentration on Corporate Social Responsibility -- providing unavoidable attention to economic, social and environmental impacts for any and all activities. Strongest growing trend in all business for more than a decade, CSR now helps business seek out “the sweet spot” an all activities -- supplying first a solid economic return (“profit”) to guarantee continuing business life, and then the 21st-Century/essential further-developments now demanded for all business. CSR contains and supplies consistent --and now proven-solid-- ways in which those activities can produce the essential “profit” for sustaining the business, while still assuring broadening protection and sustainability for “the other-two bottom-lines”, as one participant put it. Those are social and environmental consequences flowing rapidly --and until CSR, seeming unavoidable conflict— from the far-outmoded concept of “profit uber alles”; extracting every/dollar/possible regardless of any consequences to the society business MUST serve. That dollar-extraction/drive, demonstrated so very ruthlessly in many ways nationally, has also been under extremely probing examination in Oregon. Driven by Norquist-cabal directives from weekly well-attended soirees in D.C. to GOPsters in every state, it was “credited” in Oregon as guidance (as from God) over the past thirty years by the dominant political cult. Now comes “the hard part” --taking solid actions through the Legislature to make the recognized concept-applications really work, for all Oregonians. “Making loud and well-accepted noises of the right kind, right now, will never cut it in moving the mountains still remaining among some longtime legislators”, one summit participant summarized. First consequential steps, just announced, include five solid Ethics Commission actions to provide strong new legislator-guiding rules. Watch for what happens with those for clues as to directions-to-come... This Legislature may be among the most-advised ever to return to “the Salem Arena”, too. Willy-nilly, what they do will be followed closely --and not only by me and you, but by solidly-organized, dollar-armored and determined citizen-empowered groups. Not only must this Legislature now rapidly remedy ---read “radically clean up”!-- the Ethics Commission descent into demonstrated and desolate inability; but the clear will-of-the-people is written large wherever legislators look; by CHALKBOARD, STAND and the State controlling groups for education-at-all-levels... Not to mention the Department of Education, which will surely present its own separate and skillfully conceived necessities nicely wrapped and documented, too. Now these voter/trust-”blessed” representatives are overwhelmed by healthcare remedial plans; received in radical, regular and reduced form from burgeoning gangs of newly-gregarious proponents; every one deeply-determined, some with dollars. All also armed with the sharpest of all tools to win Legislative attention: Increasing demands from the public, now painfully aware of deprived and damaged neighbors, co-workers and even other family members now impacted. It will be worth your attention, this time around, to see what coverage our leading “television NEWS” stations deign to demonstrate; in the face of ongoing probes per their lawfully-required responsibilities for usage of the publicly-owned airwaves. One gets the impression this session, undoubtedly and inevitably, is sure to go down in Oregon history as one of those times when “what goes around will come around again!” as “nice-sounding noises” become “now/do/it, or else” determinations. We will surely both see-and-read here, with the usual detailed solid-sense conveyed by print and Internet... so keep seeking your daily newspapers in both formats. The knowledge you gather will guide you well, as you continue to exercise that wit, wisdom and will which is still the mainspring for our democracy -- such as it is these days!! Editor’s Note: Several detailed Op/Eds about CSR are available in SNc Archives or by request to HCR.

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Henry Ruark January 7, 2007 5:13 am (Pacific time)

Allen: You ready to propose a new "social contract" for all of us ?... Or did you have return to failed "royalism" in mind ? IF the first, speak out in detail...especially on how to avoid commonwealth-costs collection, alias "taxes"...

Allen January 6, 2007 7:40 pm (Pacific time)

Looks as we can expect more Business/Government partnerships, which in actuality are covers for government to masquerade as private or non-profit entities who in-turn feed at their own tax supported trough.

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