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City Club of Eugene: Spotlight on The Coast: Economic Challenges and Opportunities

Program Date: Jan. 15, 2021

Air Date: Jan. 18, 2021

From The City Club of Eugene:

As the new year dawns, communities throughout the Oregon Coast face unique economic challenges and opportunities.

On the one hand, as recently detailed by the Oregon Office of Economic Analysis, rural Oregon—including the Coast—has lost a smaller share of jobs than urban Oregon since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. On the other, as shown in the chart below (left), prior to the onset of the pandemic, rural Oregon had barely regained the level of jobs prior to the “Great Recession” of 2007-2009—continuing a troubling pattern of lagging economic growth. The effects of this geographic inequality go far beyond economics, affecting everything from life expectancy (see chart, below right) to access to health insurance.

We’re privileged to have the opportunity to hear from tribal, government, and business leaders on the Coast about their work to boost opportunity in their communities and what all Oregonians can do to promote an economy of shared prosperity for all.


Dick Anderson is the Senator-Elect for Oregon’s 5th Senate District, which stretches from Tillamook to Coos Bay. Senator-elect Anderson has a background in finance and recently completed 12 years in Lincoln City government, serving as Mayor from 2018-2020.

Chief Doc Slyter was elected Chief of the Confederated Tribes of Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians in April of 2020. He is a Hanis Coos Elder, retired from Verizon Telephone, married and has two grown sons. He was born in North Bend, Oregon and resides in Coos Bay, Oregon where he has lived most of his life. He is a veteran of the United States Army where he served for two years. His early involvement with the Tribes started when he was elected to the Tribal Council prior to restoration. With help from all the members of the pre-restoration Tribal Council, as well as the help from many others, the long movement toward restoration was finally achieved. A bill signed on October 17, 1984 granted the Coos, Lower Umpqua and Siuslaw Indians federal recognition.

Bettina Hannigan is the President and CEO of the Florence Area Chamber of Commerce. A small business owner most of her career, Hannigan moved to Florence in 2014 to retire, but flunked the retirement test by taking on not only leadership of the Florence Chamber, but also the job of Secretary/Treasurer of the Oregon State Chamber, and membership in the Lane Workforce Partnership Board of Directors. Bettina’s passion is to support small business and develop thriving communities that will sustain and support the future. She is focused on bringing resources and people together to build innovative relationships to bridge challenges and grow opportunities together.

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