Here’s some stuff you might like.
Business: Believe it or not, entrepreneurs registered 3,530 new businesses in Bend in 2018, an 8% increase over 2017. That’s more businesses registered than in any other city in the state other than Portland. More impressively, it’s one new business registered in 2018 for every 26 residents of Bend, including children and people morally opposed to starting businesses. The per capita registration rate is by far the highest in Oregon among at least decent-sized cities. Bend really has become the entrepreneurial epicenter of Oregon.
Law: A conversation I’ve had a lot with business clients lately: if you have an employee handbook, you better make sure that you are following it or amend it so that it’s something you can/will follow. For example, if the handbook says that you will give an employee a warning before terminating for poor performance, and you terminate her for poor performance without such a warning, and she ends up alleging that you terminated her for an unlawful, discriminatory reason, you’ve handed her attorney a very significant weapon in the forthcoming litigation. Also, it hopefully goes without saying, don’t terminate someone for an unlawful, discriminatory reason!
Politics: So, I try to keep things non-partisan around here. I’m a Republican but I like Democrats and others too, and in our current political environment anything remotely partisan can really cause a mess. Nonetheless, I think I should share an op-ed I wrote in the Bend Bulletin this week, in which I compare being an Oregon Republican to being a Seattle Mariners fan (hint, they both lose a lot), and urge my fellow Republicans to focus on solving Oregonians’ real problems as a way out of the political wilderness.
Et cetera (and an ask): There’s a category of long-term social or cultural trends that I occasionally worry about, but usually don’t believe I can do much to help address. For example, the growing prevalence of man buns. A more serious trend that I’ve decided to try to do my small bit to reverse is the withering of citizens’ connection with local institutions and governance. The national, federal and sensational is replacing the local and tangible in the minds of many voters. This, coupled with the withering of local newspapers, which provide the bulk of in-depth local coverage in many communities has created a vicious cycle of diminishing civic engagement. So, I started a nonprofit called Local Voter Project that will buy Bend Bulletin subscriptions for newly registered Bend voters. The goal is to help connect these folks with local issues and drive better participation in local government, politics and civic organizations while supporting local journalism. If contributing to the cause is of interest to you, please check out this donation page, and of course feel free to email me back if you have any questions. Thank you!
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Have a great weekend!