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Earl listened. Then he led the fight to turn our idea into law.

I am a proud Oregonian, dedicated to the farm-to-table movement and ending food insecurity, but more recently, I have been working to save independent restaurants from the disastrous effects of the pandemic. For the first time in the last year, there is a new sense of hope among the servers, dishwashers, cooks, farmers, distillers, winemakers, and so many others who rely on local restaurants and bars to make a living.

That's because President Biden signed into law a $28.6 billion grant program for struggling restaurants and bars that was championed by our very own Earl Blumenauer.

About a year ago, a small group of chefs and restaurateurs got together to try and figure out how to save an industry so important to Portland, Oregon, and the rest of the country.

Earl listened. And then he led the fight to turn our idea into law.

More restaurant and bar workers have lost their jobs than people from any other industry, devastating communities across the country. College students, single moms, immigrants, and so many others disproportionately employed by restaurants have been uniquely impacted by this pandemic.

Earl is fighting for them, and just so many others who need help. He is a champion for all of us.

While much of the rest of the country found new ways to survive, we have lost tens of thousands of restaurants to the pandemic, and millions of people remain out of work. Thanks to Earl, the American Rescue Plan is now the law of the land, and restaurants and bars are feeling hope for the first time in a year.

When Earl first engaged with the restaurant industry as it tried to navigate this crisis, I was so proud to introduce my friend Earl to colleagues all over the country. Now he is our friend – Earl's dedication to the cause will never be forgotten.

We won because he captained a team determined to succeed. Oregonians need Earl on our side in Washington, fighting to make sure we all do better.

Won't you join me in supporting Earl, please?

Erika Polmar
Founder, Plate & Pitchfork

Posted on March 22, 2021.