Outreach and Advocacy
AGO is focusing on building alternative economic strategies for communities throughout Oregon. To that end, AGO is building a broad coalition of business groups, governmental organizations, academicians and non-profit organizations to develop strategies emphasizing an ultimate transition to a "steady state" economy. This transition will become increasingly important as land and space limitations render our current growth dependent economic model unsustainable. The intent of these strategies will be to provide vibrant, resilient and largely independent local and regional economies no longer dependent solely upon physical growth for well-being and success.
Alternatives to Growth Oregon has chapters around the state that work on local growth issues. Each chapter's priorities and structure are determined locally to fit the needs of the community. Some chapters are affiliated with other groups in their local community.
AGO supports its chapters by providing legislative updates; distributing important statewide and local research; serving as an information clearinghouse between all chapters, local communities, and other activists; highlighting success stories around the state; and offering new tools and information, such as AGO's Growth Activist Toolkit.
Policy and Legislation
AGO works to reverse state and local pro-growth policies and devotes special attention to the high level of growth subsidies in the state. Our Policy and Legislation efforts are centered on several pieces of legislation.
System Development Charges
This legislation would allow local communities to include system development charges (SDCs) for the costs of new schools, police, fire and other public safety facilities and libraries necessitated by growth. It is important to note that this bill would simply allow communities to levy SDCs IF THE INDIVIDUAL COMMUNITY DEEMED THEM APPROPRIATE. In addition, such SDCs can be charged at a rate covering the entire range of actual costs.from 0 to 100%.
Growth Impacts Analysis
AGO is working on is a bill that would require communities to prepare a Growth Impact Analysis for all development projects beyond a specified size. This legislation would provide communities with solid information on the impacts to the community of any large, new proposed development and would look at community impacts on a number of things such as; traffic, crowding of schools, noise, loss of open space, potential tax increases for current residents, etc.
AGO's education program, Living Within Limits, gives us an opportunity to train educators and expand environmental education in schools to include issues relating to population and consumption growth.
AGO's research program is designed to provide policy makers, activists, and the general public with factual information about the costs and impacts of population and consumption growth. We've produced several reports by Eben Fodor: Statewide Assessment of Growth Subsidies in Oregon; Taking Charge of Growth: An Action Plan for Oregon Communities; and The Cost of Growth in Oregon: 1998 Report. Our research and reports provide insightful and empowering information that AGO members and activists around the nation can use to lobby against pro-growth subsidies and policies that promote unwanted growth.
Additional efforts are planned for analyzing how the rapid population and economic growth of the 1990's impacted a number of quality of life indicators in Oregon over that same time period.and of course, our work on developing alternative economic strategies to replace our current, growth dependent economic model.