11.30.12 Knope of the Week – CFM Strategic Communications

The 50th Knope of the Week has been selected after a week long search for the individual who has done the most to advance the mission of ELGL. In case you haven’t yet memorized the ELGL mission statement, here it is in its entirety,

THE MISSION of the Oregon Emerging Local Government Leaders Network is to enhance communication between emerging and experienced government professionals; provide for professional advancement in the field by identifying employment opportunities and through targeted training and education; and support the advancement of professional local government management.

Before we announce this week’s recipient, we ask you to turn away from your computer screen and repeat the ELGL mission in an opera voice. Now that you’ve proven your allegiance to ELGL, we are happy to share with you this week’s recipients of the Knope of the Week are….

CFM Strategic Communications

 Ellen Miller, Jessica Adamson, and Joel Rubin

Leslie Knope would be proud of CFM’s team effort in hosting the ELGL forum on Thursday. Ellen Miller was a champion of CFM’s corporate membership and spread headed the idea of CFM hosting the forum. Not only that, she did an incredible job in finding a time that worked for everyone’s schedule, securing the perfect venue, and supplying lunch and desserts.

Joel Rubin, CFM’s federal lobbyist, wins the award for traveling the longest distance to speak at the ELGL forum. He has a deep history in working with Oregon local governments. His clients include the cities of Sherwood, Tigard, Vancouver, Longview, and Battle Ground. He also works with Marion County. He was the bearer of bad news but delivered it in a compassionate manner with charts and graphs that would make Ross Perot tear up. What did we glean from Joel?

  • “Polarization and friction will continue into the future in DC.”
  • It would take 20+ members of Congress to go back on Nordquist pledge for him to take it seriously as a movement.
  • Joel has helped his clients secure $23 million in federal grants.
  • CFM worked with clients to pass the NEPA exemption which lessens the paperwork for governments receiving federal funding under $5 million.
  • Joel anticipates economic revival based on US becoming a net exporter in oil.
  • Joel enjoys including Ross Perot-like graphs in presentations.
  • Meetings are important but it is often the follow-up that is most critical.

The second half of the forum with highlight by Jessica Adamson previewing the 2013 Oregon Legislative Session. During the 2011 and 2012 Oregon legislative sessions, Adamson served as chief of staff for House Co-Speaker Arnie Roblan, D-Coos Bay. Adamson worked for 10 years as public affairs director for Associated General Contractors Oregon-Columbia Chapter. Takeways from her presentation include:

  • She finds the legislative budget process, “super wonky and lots of fun.”
  • Oregon DAS chief Michael Jordan plans for professionalizing state government through 10-year budgeting may be reflected in Gov. Kitzhaber budget message and session discussions.
  • Legislative calendar drives the work of a lobbyist. Constitutional deadline to finish session by 7/13.
  • Big picture issues for 2013 session: CRC, education, public safety, health care.
  • Measure 5/50 and compression reform discussions could happen this session.
  • As local government draft FY14 budgets they will be waiting to see what happens at legislative level on PERS reform.
  • How Democrats handle PERS reform will be “a very interesting process to watch over the next six months.”
  • If PERS reform happens it is because school districts can’t handle the rate increases.
  • Jessica’s prediction: PERS reform will be included in Gov. Kitzhaber’s budget released today.
  • Passage of balanced budget is the only requirement for Oregon legislature. 2013 will see unprecedented experience in budget drafting.
  • A 16-14 majority in the Senate is slim for Democrats. Creates unique challenges and opportunities for CFM.
  • Oregon Senate members “take turns being in the weeds.”
  • On the state level, CFM represents clients on a broad range of issues ranging from transportation to appropriations.

For pictures from the CFM presentation, visit the ELGL Facebook page.

Previous Knope of the Week Recipients