MusicPortland calls on city leaders to help industry rebound

Multnomah County

PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — MusicPortland held a meeting Monday where advocates for the music industry called on city leaders to enact change to help their sector bounce back.

“If we don’t act now, 10 years from now, five years from now we won’t have a music industry,” said a board member from MusicPortland. “It will be death by a thousand paper cuts.”

COVID-19 is a major player that has led to a need to get creative to develop safe spaces to perform and avocates say current laws and ordinaces are hindering them from making a rebound.

“It’s been a roller coaster — it’s been crazy,” said David Jackson, the Portland Trailblazers DJ, popularly known as O.G. ONE. He said anyone asked in the music industry would say they need all the help they can get.

“If I don’t have places for a crowd or a crowd can’t come — then there’s a challenge,” Jackson said.

That’s why music advocates in Portland are bringing the industry’s needs to city comissioners’ attention.

“It’s a series of common sense best practices that are happening in other cities across the nation and in many ways across the world,” said Jamie Dunphy, who’s on the board of directors for MusicPortland.

MusicPortland has created a seven point policy agenda for city and state leaders to help live music return post COVID.

The proposal includes addressing noise enforcement issues inhibiting live music, revising liquor code to support live music and expanding acoustic zoning.

“If the City of Portland and State of Oregon don’t act strategically, then music will not naturally come back, and the stages of Portland will stay empty long after COVID passes and the audiences are returning,” Dunphy said.

Commissioner Mingus Mapps and Carmen Rubio answered musicians questions and promised their alignment on recovery efforts, which O.G. ONE appreciates.

“If they do their homework right and listen to the voices of the people the policies will affect – I think that’s the greatest thing they can do right now,” Jackson said.

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