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Mayor Charlie Hales

City of Portland Mayor Charlie Hales

Phone: 503-823-4120

1221 SW 4th Avenue, Room 340, Portland, OR 97204

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Twitter Town Hall 2: Mayor Answers Questions on Taxis, Transportation Network Regulations

WEDNESDAY, FEB. 25, 2015 — Mayor Charlie Hales today hosted a second Twitter Town Hall, this time discussing regulations governing taxis and transportation network companies, such as Lyft and Uber. The live tweet discussion came ahead of community forum hosted by Portland Bureau of Transportation, which will be Thursday, Feb. 26, 6 to 8:30 p.m., in the Portland Building.

Since January a task force has been working on crafting regulations to overhaul archaic taxi code and to incorporate into code new transportation network companies.

Twitter Town Hall: Mayor Answers Questions on $15 Minimum Wage

FRIDAY, FEB. 20, 2015 — On Wednesday, prior to the Council session about the topic, Mayor Charlie Hales in a live Twitter Q&A answered questions about the city's Fair Wage Policy. He and Commissioner Dan Saltzman proposed updating the policy to pay full-time, permanent city employees and contractors at least $15 per hour, affecting 15 city employees and 157 contractors. The Council voted 5-0 to approve the update.

The Q&A:

SOTC Continues

Following his Jan. 30 State of the City address at the Sentinel Hotel, Mayor Hales has continued to deliver (a shorter) State of the City speech to diverse groups around the city in an effort to keep them informed about his agenda and how they'll benefit. 

Here are summaries of his conversations with groups he's addressed. The list will be updated as he continues to give mini State of the Speech addresses through March. 

SEIU Local 49, Jan. 30

Mayor Hales at SEIUThe night of the primary State of the City address, Mayor Hales spoke to the SEIU Local 49 union at its annual dinner. He received a standing ovation when he announced his plan to work with Commissioner Dan Saltzman to propose a $15 minimum wage for all full-time, permanent city employees and city contractors. Further, he announced, John Russell, a prominent local businessman, said he’ll match the city’s $15 per hour in his buildings. "I call on other civic-minded business leaders to match John Russell’s example," Mayor Hales said. 


Immigrant and refugee communities, Feb. 3

Mayor Hales with immigrant groupsMayor Hales talked to representatives of immigrant and refugee groups about the "human equation" theme of his priorities outlined in the State of the City address. He also conveyed what the City of Portland is doing to support New Portlanders: 

  • The city's legislative agenda supports coalition efforts to establish a work group to research for and guide the Oregon Legislature on establishing a foreign vocational credential or license transfer system, helping immigrants access employment. 
  • Mayor Hales has supported President Obama's executive action on the nation's broken immigration policies.
  • Mayor Hales joined a coalition of mayors nationwide to urge Congress to act on passing meaningful immigration reform.
  • During last summer's influx of unaccompanied minors entering the U.S., Mayor Hales contacted state leadership and local immigrant organizations to assure them that Portland would be a safe harbor for children fleeing failed states.

Hollywood Boosters, Feb. 4

Hollywood Boosters listen to Mayor HalesMayor Hales talked to the Hollywood Neighborhood business group about development and economic opportunity. He encouraged them to mobilize, and put their stamp on the Comprehensive Plan, which will guide development and investment in Portland for the next 20 years. "We want development the Portland way: the neighborhood plans, the city supports, and partnerships, partnerships, partnerships," Mayor Hales said. Read the Hollywood Star's coverage of the event: 

Rosewood Initiative, Feb. 10

Mayor Hales talks to East Portland residentsMayor Hales talked about his priorities for public safety and infrastructure, noting the number of shots fired and lack of sidewalks in East Portland. He talked to residents about his strategy for East Portland: "We're bearing down on a few neighborhoods rather than dancing over the surface of a lot of them, in order to accomplish real change," he said. "I've been out to Lents and Gateway and other neighborhoods east of I-205; I'm aware of the need, and I'm focused on making real change. We'll move forward with neighborhood plans, city support, and partnerships — the Portland way." MORE on plans for Lents and livable neighborhoods: 

Gateway Area Business Association, Feb. 12 

Mayor Hales at Gateway Area Business AssociationMayor Hales attended the Gateway Area Business Association meeting in East Portland to talk about what State of the City means to them. He touched on neighborhood livability, public safety, and economic development. The weekend before the mayor toured the Gateway neighborhood and talked with business owners, who were concerned primarily about safety, as gang-related violence affects the east. Business Association members expressed concerns about how the city deals with people in mental health crisis, as well as public safety in the neighborhood and feeling heard by City Hall. The mayor told the business association that he is committed to seeing the investment that is being directed at Lents directed at Gateway, as well.

MORE on police from State of the City:

Our 42nd Avenue, Feb. 13

Mayor speaking to Our 42nd AveMayor Hales spoke to the neighborhood economic development group Our 42nd Ave — comprised of of business owners, local employees, commercial property owners, community institutions, and others interested in economic change in the 42nd Avenue area — about using partners and aligned investment to create economic opportunity. Among the mayor's initiatives for economic opportunity, he'll propose a tax incentive for businesses that hire ex-offenders, and is creating a work force to make the Minority, Women, Emerging Small Business contract process more beneficial to those marginalized groups. He addressed neighborhood livability concerns, including building sidewalks and pedestrian crossings near schools. Mayor Hales responded to the group's questions about gentrification and increasing density in the Lloyd District, and how they could lobby their representatives in the Oregon Legislature to support an increase in the gas tax.

Multifamily NW, Feb. 17

Mayor Hales talking to Multifamily NWMayor Hales spoke to the association, which represents residential property managers and vendors, about affordable housing and increasing density in Portland neighborhoods. Under the mayor's leadership, the Portland Development Commission has invested $36 million in affordable housing in North and Northeast Portland, helping to address the widespread need. Mayor Hales is encouraging partnerships and creative ideas — such as Rob Justus and Dave Carbonneau's plan to build 1,000 small, affordable units in four years — to address housing needs. Attendees questioned the mayor about the proposed emergency psychiatric center and public safety concerns; last year there were more than 50 major crimes per 1,000 residents in Portland, which is a decline. They also wondered when Portland would get its own major league baseball team. Good idea, Mayor Hales said, "especially now that we have California weather."


East Portland Action Plan, Feb. 25 

Mayor Hales talks to EPAPMayor Hales talked with the group implementing the East Portland Action Plan, a community-driven process nationally recognized for its collaborative approach to addressing the long-standing needs of this historically underserved portion of the city. He discussed development projects in East Portland, such as the PDC investment in Lents, and public safety concerns that have come to the forefront with a substantially higher-than-average number of shootings this year — 23, involving 225 bullets fired as of Feb. 25. Attendees asked him about gun control, which is on the city's legislative agenda. They wanted assurance that East Portland would see affordable housing money invested in the area; Mayor Hales told them to advocate for general fund dollars as the budget process gets underway in March. And they wanted to know about his commitment to equity: "If you want to know a city's priorities, look at where it focuses its funding," Mayor Hales said. "I've tied equity to bureaus' budgets, which ensures leaders are considering the impacts of their programs and policies on all Portlanders, It's a critical step in institutionalizing equity in Portland city government."


Blumenauer Reintroduces Bill for Federal Gas Tax Increase

Earl BlumenauerWASHINGTON, D.C., FEB. 4, 2015 — Congressman Earl Blumenauer today introduced the Update, Promote, and Develop America’s Transportation Essentials (UPDATE) Act, which would generate a much-needed $210 billion over the next 10 years for the nearly insolvent Highway Trust Fund.

“Rep. Blumenauer is once again pushing Congress to be the partner it’s supposed to be in transportation funding. Thank you, Earl, for your leadership,” Mayor Charlie Hales said. “Portland has a $1.5 billion unfunded street liability. We need Congress and the Oregon Legislature to act — and to act at the city level — to take care of our largest asset.”

The UPDATE Act is accompanied by Congressman Blumenauer’s Road Usage Charge Pilot Program Act, which would create a competitive grant program to fund pilot projects such as those undertaken by Oregon Department of Transportation.

Congressman Blumenauer’s UPDATE Act would raise gas and diesel taxes by 15 cents over three years, indexing them to inflation. The $210 billion it would generate over a decade would be enough to make up the Highway Trust Fund shortfall and increase infrastructure investment by at least $4 billion per year.

States and cities need the certainty of a long-term reauthorization and a sustainable funding mechanism to create jobs, reduce congestion and repair roads and bridges, Mayor Hales says. Since the last full six-year surface transportation bill expired in 2003, Congress has passed 23 short-term extensions. The latest extension is set to run out at the end of May — on the eve of the summer construction season.

Congressman Blumenauer’s action comes follows President Obama’s 2016 budget, providing nearly $95 billion for U.S. Department of Transportation infrastructure projects.

The president called for a 14 percent one-time tax on previously untaxed foreign income. That would generate an estimated $268 billion in revenue. The budget helps fund a six-year, $478 billion program for highway, bridge and transit projects; that’s a 33 percent increase in large-project funding and a 75 percent increase on transit.

Mayor and Congressman BlumenauerIn Salem, Gov. John Kitzhaber and Speaker Tina Kotek have prioritized transportation funding for the session, which started this week.

After putting street fund efforts on hold while transportation funding is considered in the Oregon Legislature, city leaders have asked the body to lift state pre-emptions that prohibit the city from raising revenue on vehicle registration and studded tires. They’ve asked for a regional gas tax; for the state to fix up orphan highways and deed them over; and for an increase in statewide gas tax. A gas tax increase will require 18 votes in Senate and 36 in House.

“Last year we dug down deep with the dollars we already had and paved more streets. We went from paving 30 miles per year to paving 100 miles per year with the money we already had,” Mayor Hales said. “Now we’re calling on Congress and the State Legislature to support our colleagues in funding transportation.”

Mayor Hales’ 2014 Accomplishments, By The Numbers

TUESDAY, DEC. 30, 2014 — In his second year as mayor, Charlie Hales has worked to fulfill his “back to basics” promise — taking care of basic infrastructure and achieving financial stability — while also refocusing the Police Bureau on community policing and ensuring opportunity for all Portlanders. An overview of Mayor Hales’ progress, by the numbers:

Mayor Hales and East African All Stars15 uniforms donated by Nike to the East African All Stars basketball team, after the Somali American Council of Oregon, active in city public safety and economic development groups, asked Mayor Hales for help.


100 miles of city street fog sealed or re-paved per Mayor Hales’ “back to basics promise,” compared to around 30 miles repaved before the mayor took office in January 2013.


10 Portland Police Bureau officers assigned to walking beats in downtown and on Southeast Hawthorne. After the successful pilot, Mayor Hales has a goal of expanding walking beats to more neighborhoods.


2,000 contacts with people experiencing by police officers on walking beats, which Mayor Hales revived in an effort to re-focus on community policing. Walking beat officers wrote just 21 citations in summer 2014.


50 protesters with the group Don’t Shoot Portland, which organized a series of demonstrations in downtown this winter, met face-to-face with Mayor Hales to discuss their concerns.


Community meeting with O'Dea25 community leaders met with the future Police Chief Larry O’Dea and Mayor Hales shortly after the announcement of a smooth transition in Police Bureau leadership to discuss community interests and issues.


65 mayors with the U.S. Conference of Mayors Cities of Opportunity coalition, including Mayor Hales, called on Congress to raise the federal minimum wage to $10.10.


2 awards for Portland’s environmental accomplishments: One of 15 cities named a Climate Action Champion by the White House, for our greenhouse gas reduction and climate change mitigation; and one of 10 cities awarded a City Climate Leadership Award from C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group for our sustainable community efforts.


194 use-of-force incidents in the third quarter of 2014, down from 450 in 2008. New police training emphasizes de-escalation techniques.


Nancy Hales and Mayor Hales at All-Star game20,500 soccer fans attended the Major League Soccer All-Star Game at Providence Park, drawing the world’s eyes to Portland to watch the best domestic players of the American league play the Bayern München football club of Germany.


1,300 single-family short-term rental units legalized with policy reform addressing vacation rental businesses like Airbnb and HomeAway. 2,085 multi-family units will be legalized after final City Council approval of policy, expected at the beginning of 2015.


$75,000 budgeted for a mental health specialist in the fall supplemental budget to aid police reform and assist the city as a whole in addressing those in mental health crisis.


20 representatives with the Police Bureau, U.S. Department of Justice, local hospitals, coordinated care organizations, and state and county health departments convened by Mayor Hales planning an emergency psychiatric center for people in mental health crisis, a part of an effort to address the region’s mental health needs.


Rosewood Initiative at Spirit of Portland4 individuals and organizations honored by the mayor with a Spirit of Portland Award, including the Andre Baugh, Amber Starks, Rosewood Initiative, and Portland Mercado.


$10.1 million of unspent resources from last fiscal year available to budget, thanks to conservative budgeting under Mayor Hales. When he took office, Mayor Hales confronted the city’s largest-ever budget deficit — $21.5 million — and balanced the budget.


$20.3 million invested by Portland Development Commission in Lents Town Center, with the goal of making the East Portland neighborhood more complete with easily accessible amenities.


3 values guiding budget development: Equity and Opportunity, bolstering economic and housing opportunity for all Portlanders, as well as equity in service delivery; Complete Neighborhoods, extending Portland’s vaunted livability to more areas of the City; Emergency Preparedness, equipping bureau operations and our citizens to better withstand a disaster.


Mayor Hales meeting with pastors$20 million committed to affordable housing in North and Northeast Portland; Mayor Hales attended community meetings and met with community leaders to discuss how to properly allocate the funds.


200 low-income students participated in Shop with a Cop. For 12 years the partnership between the Police Bureau and Fred Meyer has ensured youths can show up to the first day of school looking and feeling their best.


109 gang-related incidents of violence, including a spike in violence during the summer, prompted the North and Northeast Portland community to form an “Enough is Enough” campaign, supported by Mayor Hales and his Office of Youth Violence Prevention, as a stand against that violence in their neighborhoods.


Mayor Hales and Nancy Hales with police100 neighborhoods marked National Night Out with picnics and gatherings, demonstrating their commitment to safety and community.


$1 million budgeted to support human trafficking survivors through partnerships with the Police Bureau and service providers.


1,600 city workers represented the District Council of Trade Unions, a coalition of 7 unions, reached a four-year contract agreement with the city.


$44 million of new revenue proposed, in partnership with Commissioner Steve Novick, to maintain and repair crumbling streets, and to build needed safety infrastructure.