Detailed Agenda Available for 2018 Oregon Coastal Caucus Annual Summit on August 22-23; OCCES App; Registration and Preliminary Agenda, List of Speakers



Agenda Available on the  OCCES' App

On behalf of the State legislators from Oregon’s Coastal Caucus, we are proud to present the seventh annual economic summit, hosted by the Confederated Tribes of the Siletz Indians, at the Chinook Winds Casino in Lincoln City. This year's Coastal Caucus Economic Summit (OCCES) is designed to advance our region’s economic development and policy interests, with insightful presentations of local, state and national economic trends in carbon reduction and education. 

“We have put together an exciting two-day event – packed with informative panels and numerous discussion opportunities – by bringing together Oregon’s coastal leaders so we can development strategies that will improve our region’s economy,” Rep. Caddy McKeown, D-Coos Bay, said. “This investment of time and energy from everyone creates a more powerful voice to influence how we consider the potential impacts of legislation and how it could affect rural and coastal economies.”

Limited Registration Available

As part of rural-coast initiative to work collaboratively to generate economic growth, OCCES18 will once again feature informative panel discussion, concurrent sessions, with a great lineup of keynote speakers. This is a free event with limited space available. Therefore, registration is required. Also, the agenda and application are constantly being updated as we add more speakers’ bios to the Annual Summit.  

Download 2018 OCCES App

Download the OCCES 2018 app for event information, a paperless trail, ability to manage your schedule and presenters' full bios.

Sponsorship Opportunity Link

To ensure this crucial gathering of statewide leaders and policy professionals can address the critical issues facing our coastal-rural communities, become a sponsor of OCCES18 and take advantage of this exceptional opportunity to share your interest in coastal-rural economic development. 

Click This Link to Meet a few of our Speakers

An amazing list of keynote speakers and industry leaders will be joining us for OCCES to offer an opportunity to engage in discussions and share their knowledge. We’ll be revealing even more speakers' bios as we lead up to the event! 


United States Senator Ron Wyden (D)

Oregonians know Ron as a senator who listens.  Always citing the need to “throw open the doors of government for Oregonians,” he holds an open-to-all town hall meeting in each of Oregon’s 36 counties each year.  Thus far, he has held more than 900 meetings. Wyden serves on the Committees on Finance, Budget, Intelligence, and Energy and Natural Resources.  He is ranking member of the Senate Finance Committee and the ranking Democrat on the Energy and Natural Resources Committee.

Wyden began college at the University of California-Santa Barbara where he won a basketball scholarship and played in Division I competition for two seasons before transferring to Stanford University where he completed his Bachelor’s degree with distinction.  He earned his law degree from the University Of Oregon School Of Law in 1974, after which he taught gerontology and co-founded the Oregon chapter of the Grey Panthers, an advocacy group for the elderly.  He also served as the director of Oregon Legal Services for the Elderly from 1977 to 1979 and was a member of the Oregon State Board of Examiners of Nursing Home Administrators during that same period. He served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1981 until his election to the U.S. Senate.

Senator Wyden’s home is in Portland; he is married to Nancy Wyden, whom he wed in September 2005. He has five children: Adam, Lilly, Ava, William and Scarlett. 

Besides his Washington DC office, Senator Wyden has six offices throughout the state of Oregon.



United States Senator Jeff Merkley (D)

A son of a millwright, Jeff Merkley was born in Myrtle Creek, Oregon.  His family moved with the timber economy to Roseburg and then to East Multnomah County.

Jeff began his career in public service as an intern with Oregon’s former Senator Mark Hatfield.  After working in Washington D.C. for a few years in both the Pentagon and at the Congressional Budget Office, Jeff came back to Oregon to work with families to build homes as the head of Portland’s Habitat for Humanity. 

He was elected to the Oregon House of Representatives in 1998.  In 2007, he became Speaker of the Oregon House and held that post until his election to the U.S. Senate.  In 2009, he was sworn into the same senate seat once held by Mark Hatfield. 

In the nine years he’s been in office, Jeff has been on the frontlines of debates around health care, financial reform, energy, reforming the Senate and working on solutions to the ongoing housing crisis and he will continue fighting for Oregon. 



Congressman Kurt Schrader (D), Oregon's 5th Congressional District

Congressman Kurt Schrader is currently serving his fifth term in the United States House of Representatives. He represents Oregon's 5th Congressional District, which includes all of Marion, Polk, Lincoln and Tillamook Counties as well as the bulk of Clackamas and small portions of Multnomah and Benton Counties. Before being elected to Congress, Schrader, a farmer and veterinarian for more than thirty years, established and managed the Clackamas County Veterinary Clinic in Oregon City and operated his farm where he grew and sold organic fruit and vegetables.

In 1996, Congressman Schrader was elected to the Oregon State House of Representatives. There he served as a member of the Joint Ways & Means Committee. Schrader was one of five legislators asked by their peers to guide Oregon through the budget crisis of 2001-2002. Schrader was elected to the Oregon State Senate in 2003 and was immediately appointed to chair the Joint Ways & Means Committee. He continued to serve in that capacity until he was elected to U.S. Congress in 2008.

Congressman Schrader attended Cornell University where he received his BA in Government in 1973. He received his veterinary degree from the University of Illinois in 1977.



Suzanne Bonamici(D), Oregon’s 1st Congressional District

Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici has represented the First District of Oregon in Congress since February of 2012. Located in the Northwest part of the state, the district includes Washington, Yamhill, Clatsop, and Columbia counties and part of Multnomah County.

A leader on the Committee on Education and the Workforce, Suzanne is working to give everyone a better future and the opportunity to succeed. She is focused on strengthening public education and growing the economy. On the Science, Space, and Technology Committee, Suzanne is committed to investing in research and innovation, and dedicated to making sure that policy decisions are based on science. As the top Democratic member of the Subcommittee on the Environment, she is working to address the causes and consequences of global climate change. Her background as a consumer protection attorney informs her work on strengthening consumer protections, which are especially important to seniors, service members, and the vulnerable.



Tobias Read, Oregon’s 29th State Treasurer in 2016

Elected Oregon’s 29th State Treasurer in 2016, Tobias Read is a collaborative problem solver who draws upon his management, political and finance policy experience to serve Oregonians as Treasurer.

He has worked in the U.S. Treasury and as a liaison between designers, engineers and manufacturing units for Nike Inc. In 2006, he was elected to the Oregon House of Representatives, where he served a decade and championed legislation to invest in public education, improve state financial management, finance critical infrastructure improvements, and to help Oregonians save for a more secure future.

While serving in the Oregon Legislature, he pushed to strengthen the state’s rainy day fund, which was a key factor that helped the state to earn a credit rating upgrade in 2011. He led efforts to promote infrastructure projects using innovative public-private partnerships, and was a chief sponsor of the Oregon Investment Act, which streamlined Lottery investments in promising Oregon startups.

In 2015, he was a chief sponsor of the Oregon Retirement Savings Plan, the first operating state-sponsored retirement program which launched in mid-2017. The plan enrolls Oregon workers who lack access to a retirement savings option through their employers, allowing hundreds of thousands more Oregonians to retire with dignity after a lifetime of work.

Tobias earned his bachelor’s degree from Willamette University and his MBA from the Michael G. Foster School of Business at the University of Washington. He lives in Beaverton, OR with his wife, Heidi Eggert, and their two children.



Peter Courtney (D), President, Oregon State Senator

The most veteran member of the Oregon Legislature, Senator Peter Courtney is now serving a record-setting eighth term as Senate President. Courtney was first selected Senate President in 2003 when the Senate was evenly divided with 15 Democrats and 15 Republicans.  Courtney is in his fifth term as a State Senator, representing portions of Salem, Gervais and Woodburn. He previously served seven terms in the Oregon House of Representatives, including four terms as House Democratic Leader.

Courtney has been an out-spoken leader in the state's efforts to prepare for a Cascadia Subduction Zone earthquake. Most notably, he led the creation of the Seismic Rehabilitation Grant Program which provides funds to make schools and emergency services facilities safer in the event of an earthquake.

Courtney, long known as a champion for mental health services, led the charge to increase funding for mental health treatment. The Senate President's efforts to improve mental health care in Oregon began in 2004 when he was among a group that discovered the unclaimed cremated remains of more than 3,500 Oregonians who had died while patients at the Oregon State Hospital. The story of the "Room of Forgotten Souls" served as catalyst for the effort to replace the state mental hospital facility built in 1883.

In his 32 years in the Legislature, Courtney has sponsored nearly 200 measures which have become law.



Tina Kotek, (D), Speaker, Oregon House of Representatives

Before her election to the Oregon House of Representatives in 2006, Speaker Kotek worked as the policy director for the non-profit advocacy organization Children First for Oregon.  Prior to joining Children First, she was a public policy advocate for Oregon Food Bank.

Some of Speaker Kotek’s legislative accomplishments include:  helping to pass landmark legislation that ended discrimination based on sexual orientation and created domestic partnerships for same-sex couples; redesigning the state’s welfare program; prohibiting discrimination against holders of Section 8 vouchers; restricting the use of a job applicant’s credit history when making hiring decisions; and strengthening Oregon’s early childhood system to help all children be ready to succeed in school. 

With the Speaker’s leadership, Oregon has become a leader in passing laws that improve economic opportunity, such as increasing the minimum wage, strengthening retirement security, expanding access to paid sick leave, prohibiting racial profiling, and guaranteeing health insurance for all children. In the 2016 and 2017 sessions, she was particularly focused on the state's housing crisis through a variety of strategies to preserve existing affordable housing, increase the supply of needed housing, and protect tenants in an unpredictable rental market.

Speaker Kotek holds a B.S. in religious studies from the University of Oregon and an M.A. in international studies from the University of Washington. She lives in North Portland with her wife Aimee and their dogs Rudy and Wicket.