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Mayor Charlie Hales

City of Portland Mayor Charlie Hales

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Portland wins worldwide honors for climate action plan

Portland is among worldwide honorees for climate action plan – other winners include Amsterdam, London, NYC, Seoul

TUESDAY, SEPT. 23, 2014 – Portland is among 10 cities worldwide to receive the City Climate Leadership Awards 2014. The Awards honor cities all over the world for excellence in urban sustainability and leadership in the fight against climate change.

Mayor HalesSiemens and the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group – or C40 – announced the winners Monday evening at a ceremony in New York City. They are:

• Amsterdam: Finance & Economic Development

• Barcelona: Intelligent City Infrastructure

• Buenos Aires: Solid Waste Management

• London: Carbon Measurement & Planning and Air Quality

• Melbourne: Adaptation & Resilience

• New York City: Energy Efficient Built Environment

• Portland: Sustainable Communities

• Seoul: Green Energy

• Shenzhen: Urban Transportation

“Portland stands proudly alongside the global megacities that make up the C40,” Mayor Charlie Hales said. “We're delighted to have the honor and recognition that the Portland’s Healthy Connected City approach has proven to be a powerful carbon-reduction strategy.”

Eduardo Paes, mayor of Rio de Janeiro and chairman of the C40 group, praised the honorees. “I commend the winning cities for their leadership and commitment, and am confident that their knowledge and experience will help drive other cities to implement on-the-ground solutions faster and more efficiently. Through cooperation and collaboration, cities continue to deliver the results that are having a global impact.”

Susan AndersonHales praised Susan Anderson, director of the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, and Michael Armstrong, senior sustainability manager, along with outside partners ranging from Metro to Multnomah County to the state government. He said the private sector plays a huge role in the honor as well.

“In Portland, the basic idea is to develop the centers of our existing neighborhoods into highly walkable, lively commercial districts, making it easy and convenient to get to the schools, shops, jobs, parks, coffee and beer that make Portland a great place to live, work and play,” Hales said.

Portland’s plan also calls for offering new housing opportunities so even more residents can live in complete neighborhoods. And then connecting these neighborhoods with low-carbon transportation options.

“We are about to complete the first new bridge in downtown Portland in 30 years, and it will carry light rail, streetcar, buses, bicycles and pedestrians … but not private vehicles,” Hales said this spring, while addressing the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Chicago. “This is the kind of investment we are making to make our healthy connected city a reality.”

The winners were celebrated at an Awards Ceremony featuring C40 Board President Michael R. Bloomberg and Gro Harlem Brundtland, former Norwegian Prime Minister. The event brought together more than 250 decision-makers from cities around the world including national leaders, mayors, city planners, policy makers and representatives from the business world.

Josh Alpert, special projects adviser to Mayor Hales, attended to accept the award.

The award-winning cities were selected for the following actions:

Sustainable Communities recipient: Portland for its ‘Healthy Connected

City’ network. The city is developing “complete neighborhoods” to give all residents safe and convenient access to the goods and services needed in daily life. In 2012, 45 percent of the Portland population lived in complete neighborhoods, a figure which the city aims to raise to 80 percent by 2035.

The city’s ambitious and successful initiative shows a unique and valuable pathway to sustainable, resilient, and low carbon communities.

 

Finance and Economic Development recipient: Amsterdam for its

‘Investment Fund’. With this innovative project the city demonstrates how environmental and climate protection initiatives can be effectively incorporated into a city’s economic development strategy. Amsterdam designed a powerful financing instrument of USD 103 million to be invested in sustainable energy projects, some of them focusing on small businesses.

The fund lowers energy bills for citizens and businesses and contributes to

Amsterdam’s overall CO2 reduction targets: In 2010, the city had already achieved a 20 percent reduction, compared to 1990 levels.

Intelligent City Infrastructure recipient: Barcelona for its ‘Urban Platform’. This project introduces a new Information and Communication Technology (ICT) architecture that provides a single platform, which interconnects the entire city. The platform enables the city to manage resources efficiently and reduce the impact of urban infrastructure on the environment. It will help the city save energy and reduce pollution thanks to sensors monitoring water levels for irrigation, garbage containers, parking, people flow, energy efficiency in city buildings, etc. The program is also geared towards citizen engagement and features a web platform called “GO” (Open Government), which publishes all data publicly.

 

Solid Waste Management recipient: Buenos Aires for its ‘Solid Urban

Waste Reduction Project’. This project is not only improving the city’s cleanliness, but it is also a well-integrated and easily replicable strategy that includes strong citizen engagement and job growth. The city has committed to reducing waste sent to landfill by 83 percent by 2017, achieving this through an ambitious waste treatment program based on waste separation at origin, recovery, recycling and valorization. The city’s efforts have already resulted in a significant reduction of waste sent to landfills.

 

Carbon Measurement and Planning recipient: London for its assessment of city-wide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Between 2012 and 2013, the

Greater London Authority (GLA) took a holistic approach to measuring GHG emissions. It was the first city worldwide to report direct and indirect city wide GHG emissions following internationally recognized GHG accounting and reporting principles. The effort builds on the C40 and partners’ Global

Protocol for Community-scale GHG Emissions (GPC) (in which London was also a pilot city), including a wider range of indirect emissions and a separate consumption-based methodology.

 

Air Quality recipient: London for its ‘New Taxi for London’ project. Transport accounts for 60 percent of all air pollutant emissions in London. This project seeks to develop new zero emission-capable vehicles with manufacturers; it will use GPS-based geofencing to switch hybrid vehicles to its zero emission drive cycle and will provide a range of innovative financing solutions. The aim of the project is to reduce emissions from the city’s iconic black taxi fleet by up to 100 percent in central London and around 75 percent in the rest of the city. Since the introduction of age limits more than 3,000 of the oldest taxis have been retired and from 2018 all taxis will be newly licensed. This project is a unique approach of aligning the Government Office for low emission vehicles, the European Investment Bank and the UK Green Investment Bank.

Adaptation and Resilience recipient: Melbourne for its ‘Urban Landscapes Climate Adaptation Program’. By increasing green space to 7.6 percent of municipal space and doubling the tree canopy, the program’s goal is to cool the city by 4°C and reduce drought vulnerability using green infrastructure. The city’s actions have already led to the planting of 12,000 new trees and the addition of 10,000 square meters of green space. The program includes running extensive citizen engagement initiatives, which together with the other actions provide a wide range of benefits including improved air quality and city resilience, reduced energy demand, and reduced heat-related illness and morbidity.

Energy Efficient Built Environment recipient: New York for its ‘Greener, Greater Buildings Plan’ and New York City ‘Carbon Challenge’ program.

Launched to back up New York’s environmental goal of reducing citywide GHG emissions by 30 percent by 2030, these programs benefit building owners through energy savings, and improve both air quality and public health. By reducing an estimated 5 percent of GHG emissions, this program can save the city USD 7 billion in energy costs and create roughly 17,800 jobs over the next 10 years. The NYC Carbon Challenge is designed to reduce emissions by more than 600,000 metric tons by the end of the program.

 

Green Energy recipient: Seoul for its ‘Make Seoul a City of Sunlight’ project. The city is building more photovoltaic facilities, targeting a reduction of greenhouse emissions as well as the city’s heavy dependence on fossil fuels, oil and nuclear and coal power plants. This project is part of the ‘One

Less Nuclear Power Initiative’, designed to reduce the city’s energy demand by two million tons of oil equivalent, which is the same amount as the output of one nuclear plant. Seoul’s aim is to function as a huge solar power plant and create energy independent communities.

 

Urban Transportation Award recipient: Shenzhen, for its ‘New Energy Vehicle Promotion’ project. As of December 2013, Shenzhen has introduced a new energy vehicle fleet of more than 6,000 units, making it the largest zero-emissions fleet in service worldwide. The project aims to add 35,000 new energy vehicles to the fleet in the next two years and to reach a zero emission ecosystem in the long term. Between 2009 and 2013, this program has cut CO2 emissions by 160,000 tones, leading to the city being ranked in the top 10 for best air quality in China according to China’s Environment Agency.

About the Awards competition:

This year marks the second collaboration between C40 and Siemens on this awards competition, which recognizes innovative city driven climate actions. Cities around the world submitted 87 applications. An independent, seven-member judging panel consisting of former city mayors, architects, representatives of the World Bank, as well as C40 and Siemens evaluated 31 projects in 26 cities as award finalists.

The City Climate Leadership Awards are part of a broader collaboration between Siemens and C40, announced in New York City in April 2013. In addition to the Awards, Siemens supports the C40 Measurement and Planning Initiative –an effort dedicated to enhancing each member city’s ability to measure data, take action and track progress towards self-identified goals. Siemens’ technical expertise is directly available to C40’s robust network of cities.

Fire Bureau Supports Portland Sister City Guadalajara

Portland Connects with Sister City Guadalajara on Both Sides of the Border

THURSDAY, AUG. 28, 2014 — Mayor Charlie Hales this week talked livable cities with a delegation of business and government officials visiting from Guadalajara, Mexico — less than a week after Portland Fire & Rescue made its own splash in the sister city.

PF&R trucks roll into Guadalajara.

Since 1983, Portland has maintained the sister city relationship with Guadalajara through cultural, educational and economic exchanges. The delegation’s trip to Portland lays the groundwork for stronger ties — e.g. a new air service scheduled to start in October. Volaris Airlines will provide a direct air service between the two cities.

This week the delegation — including officials from the city, as well as from the state of Jalisco and from businesses such as Mundo Cuervo, the distillery that makes Jose Cuervo — toured Portland’s sustainable features and met with local businesses. The group was interested in learning about Portland’s best practices to advance the livable city movement.

 “These relationships are so important,” Mayor Hales said. “Maintaining ties for over three decades makes both cities richer in culture, trade and education.”

Portland in Guadalajara

PF&R celebrates handing off fire trucks to Guadalajara.

Last week, Portland’s presence was felt in Guadalajara: The city accepted a fire engine and a ladder truck from Portland Fire & Rescue, the third such donation since 1999. Guadalajara Director of International Relations Mario Reynoso via Twitter thanked the city for its donation, which arrived Aug. 22, Mexico’s National Firefighters Day.

The mayor and City Council approved the donation in November 2013, but there was nine months of international red tape to work through before the trucks could be delivered to Guadalajara.

Before Portland Fire started training and equipment donation with Guadalajara 15 years ago, the city had four stations serving 1.5 million people; Portland has 30 stations for 600,000 people. Now Guadalajara has 17 stations across the city, allowing firefighters to respond to calls within 5 minutes instead of up to 45 minutes.

“This makes a huge difference for them,” said Portland Fire & Rescue Lt. Joe Troncosso. “The only way to keep those stations is with equipment.

“These trucks started on the front lines here; then they were back-up; then they sat unused in the lot. Now, they’re back on the front lines again, doing what they’re supposed to: save lives.”

 

Natural Grocers Coming to Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard

Natural Grocers to add Store on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard

 

THURSDAY, AUG. 28, 2014 – Mayor Charlie Hales and Kemper Isely, co-president of Natural Grocers, announced today that property owned by the Portland Development Commission at Northeast Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard and Alberta Street will be the site for a new community-centric grocery store that focuses on free nutrition education and healthy food. 

Commissioner Saltzman, Mayor Hales, Andrew Colas

The Oregonian's Andrew Theen reports the mayor's efforts in improving Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

Three months ago, Mayor Hales and PDC staff urged the project developer, Majestic Realty Co., to remain committed to the project and to find another anchor tenant for the 1.79-acre property, following the decision by Trader Joe’s not to locate a store on the site.

“The challenges this development has faced have been well documented,” Mayor Hales said. “But thanks to the determination of the public and private partners involved, we’re now able to present a development that will benefit the residents of Northeast Portland, support neighboring businesses, introduce Portlanders to a high-quality, affordable grocer and revitalize a parcel of land that has sat dormant for 15 years.”

In March, the mayor committed an additional $20 million in urban renewal funds to affordable housing in North and Northeast Portland to complement commercial development efforts on Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard. The Portland Housing Bureau, led by Commissioner Dan Saltzman, is conducting a community involvement process to develop a North/Northeast Neighborhood Housing Strategy to help direct that investment.

Natural Grocers is a Colorado-based chain with stores in 14 states. The company currently has seven locations in Oregon, including four in the Portland area, as well as a new store set to open in Eugene on September 23.

“We have felt instantly at home in Oregon and the Portland area and are very excited to partner on this new development and start building a lasting and beneficial relationship with the community on Portland’s Northeast side,” Isely said. “The values Portlanders embrace around fresh, local food; resource conservation; and community involvement are perfectly aligned with the business model we’ve had in place since my parents founded the company nearly 60 years ago.”

Beyond a place to buy healthy food, the new store brings many additional benefits to the Northeast Portland community, including: an on-site credentialed nutritional health coach, provided at no charge, to answer questions, help with meal planning and provide one-on-one nutrition counseling, along with other free nutrition education options like cooking classes and demonstrations, and lectures on topics of interest to the community.  “We work hard to make healthy options affordable so that customers feel empowered in our stores,” Isely added. “We are deeply committed to our neighbors and we look forward to being part of the Portland community for years to come.”

Preliminary design work will start in early September. In addition to Natural Grocers, the development, when complete, will include commercial and retail space to house between four and 10 businesses.

A community benefits agreement and elements of the project design will be developed by a project working group. The group will include representatives from nearby neighborhood, business and community associations and will be formed in the next few weeks. Their work will inform the overall project design and development.

Colas Construction of Portland was selected in January as project general contractor. “I grew up and now reside in North Portland and I am honored to have Colas Construction lead a project that will deliver real jobs, real amenities and real opportunities for neighborhood residents,” said Andrew Colas, president of Colas Construction. “I want to thank Majestic Realty for the commitment to us, to this neighborhood and to this project. I am so excited to break ground.” 

Work on the project is expected to begin in late fall.

Walking Beats on Hawthorne Change Tenor of Community

Relations Between Police, Community Remain Priority for Mayor Hales

WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 3, 2014 – For the past six months, Portland Police Bureau officers have been walking beats, an old-fashioned concept that had grown out of style in past decades. The first such walking beats are part of a pilot program in downtown, the Central Eastside and along Hawthorne Boulevard.Mayor Hales, Sgt. DeLand

Reporter Sami Edge of Willamette Week spent several days in August shadowing the officers along Hawthorne, and talking to business people, customers, service providers and youths who hang out along the commercial strip.

“I was convinced that a return to walking beats would change the way the community interacts with Portland Police,” Mayor Charlie Hales said. “Finding a new dynamic between Portlanders and Portland Police has been my priority since I took office. And we’re seeing it on Hawthorne. The officers are great. The community is happy. This is a success.”

Hales’ initiatives in 2013 and 2014 have included shepherding through reforms spelled out in a Department of Justice settlement agreement; a focus on the Office of Youth Violence Prevention; the Enough is Enough campaign to encourage community activism in fighting violence; the Black Male Achievement initiative; equity projects with the U.S. Conference of Mayors; and a three-day equity training for senior, white, male leaders in the mayor’s office and Portland Police command staff titled, “White Men as Full Diversity Partners.”

Mayor in Nick's Famous Coney IslandTo see if the walking beats are working, Hales toured Hawthorne on Friday, Aug. 29, speaking with customers, shop owners, street youths and officers, including Sgt. Ric DeLand, who’s been with Portland Police for 24 years.

“We’re interacting with them every day,” DeLand said of the street youths on Hawthorne. “We’re involved in their joys, their breakups, their hangovers, their feuds.”

The idea behind walking beats is to create a relationship between officers and members of the community, before a law-enforcement incident occurs. Central Precinct Police Commander Robert Day has been a strong proponent of the beats.

So has DeLand. “Instead of only having contact with the police when they’re being told they’re doing something wrong, they have daily contact with police, petting their dogs, getting to know their story, connecting them with services, understanding what makes them feel unsafe, letting them know we’re aware of any bad behavior,” DeLand said. “It’s analogous to parenting: Don’t ignore someone until they do something wrong and then punish them. But that’s what we do with law enforcement. It doesn’t make sense. You make everything about enforcement you’re just going to get rebellion. Make them part of the solution instead of part of the problem.”

At Ben & Jerry'sHales spoke to several people along Hawthorne, including a street musician who goes by the moniker Rain Bojangles. “Wow. It’s much better here now,” Bojangles said. He plays music on a handmade string instruments and often can be seen near the Powell’s Books on Hawthorne. “We used to have a lot of troublemakers who just made things worse for everywhere. They’re gone now, and that’s nice.”

Bojangles pointed to Sgt. DeLand and added: “He stops and talks to me almost every day. He’s a nice guy. He’s here to help.”

DeLand said the walking beats have allowed his officers to see a new aspect to the houseless community and street youths who frequent the area. “To us, prior to this, they all looked the same,” DeLand said. “Now, instead of painting everybody with a broad brush and trying to stamp out traveling in Portland, we’ve targeted the bad behaviors. That builds credibility with the larger community through word-of-mouth.”

And is there danger, walking a beat rather than being in a patrol car? DeLand laughs. “Of the hundreds and hundreds and hundreds dogs I’ve pet — all these ‘vicious’ pit bulls — the only time I’ve been bit was by a 7-pound Chihuahua named Pizza. I made the mistake of petting Pizza while he was sound asleep.”

 

Mayor, Council Approve Funding to Support Human Trafficking Survivors

Mayor Hales Dedicates Funds to Helping Human Trafficking Survivors

WEDNESDAY, JULY 30, 2014 — Mayor Charlie Hales and commissioners at Wednesday’s City Council meeting approved a $297,000 grant to support Janus Youth Programs’ shelter beds, treatment and case management services for human trafficking victims between 18 and 25 years old.

“The program saves women’s lives,” Hales said. “And it helps make the community safer by removing gangs’ revenue source.”

With this grant approval, Portland Police have garnered nearly $1 million to support human trafficking survivors through partnerships with service organizations. 

Humans have become the second-most lucrative commodity on the black market behind drugs, the Multnomah County District Attorney’s Office reports. Gangs and other criminal organizations prefer humans because they’re a reusable resource; they can be resold.

That horrific dehumanization most frequently affects teenagers, both girls and boys, and is becoming more common in Portland because of the city’s position on Interstate 5 and the airport. Traffickers recruit girls who are 12 to 14 years old, spanning socioeconomic status, education level, and race, according to the district attorney.

Portland Police Sgt. Mike Geiger on Wednesday spoke in support of the funding. His highlighted the tremendous need to support safe places for trauma victims.

Transcript of Sgt. Geiger's remarks at Council

"This has been a long fight, a difficult one. We’ve been engaged in it for a few years now, and I think that much of what we’ve been trying to come to grips with is how does that happen here and what’s going on with our children and our community.

Human trafficking is becoming one of the fastest growing criminal enterprises in the world today. We’ve been trying to figure out how we strike a balance between accountability, between law enforcement, and the needs of the child — the needs of the vulnerable and the violated.

What this funding shows me is confirmation that the city of Portland has chosen to take a stand on behalf of the vulnerable, and on behalf of the violated. And I would say that support for law enforcement and support for the victims are not mutually exclusive. What we have come to learn is the way in which we view an individual dictates the way we respond to that individual. So, by providing advocacy resources and a safe place to stay, we’re telling them that the overriding goal is the restoration, and their removal from the life of exploitation and victimization to one of health and safety and a positive future. Those things can’t be accomplished absent the support services we brought to bear on their behalf.

Young people, whether they are teenagers or people in their twenties or whoever they are, they desire safety, and they desire security, and they need first and foremost to have their emotional and physical needs met before we begin to address the other facts. I think this is what this funding does, what we have seen is a dramatic increase in our ability to prosecute cases both at the state and federal level. It has been remarkable.

What I would submit, we would have never been able to accomplish that absent the support from the people like Janus Youth Programs and the Sexual Assault Resource Center. What that is, that has done, is allowed them to rebuild their emotional state, to gain a sense of security and empowerment, and to recognize finally there is a degree of victimization that they had not faced before, which empowers them to give us the information we need in order to put together a comprehensive case that brings accountability.

We are accomplishing both, and I am very happy about that because it speaks to what we think about these young people. It speaks to the priority that we have here in our community. That we want the best for them and for them to be free of exploitation. To me, that speaks to the character of our department and it speaks to the character of this council, and your support is just very much appreciated.  So, thank you."

Sgt. Geiger's written statement

“For the last several years Portland has taken a leading role in the fight against human trafficking and child exploitation. We have learned this type of exploitation is difficult to identify, and even more difficult to prosecute. Much has been learned, and many relationships have been developed. The city of Portland has dedicated police resources to this fight and has made it a priority at all levels. The city has partnered with local and federal prosecutors and has taken part in many educational and awareness opportunities. Of even more importance, the city of Portland has come to recognize that if there is to be accountability, we must first meet some very basic necessities. Victims of sexual trauma very much need two things: safety and someone to care for them.

Absent a safe place, trauma victims will return to their exploiter and will likely find themselves in an even more dangerous circumstance. While it is likely they will not at first recognize safety is a priority, they will if the doors remain open. Janus Youth Program has a long record of working with vulnerable children, and has become a vital component in ensuring there is a safe place for victims. Janus is dedicated to long-term care, recognizing that there is no short-term solution.

Beyond shelter services, trauma victims need to be able to talk to a caring adult who will not judge or condemn. The Sexual Assault Resource Center provides confidential support services and advocacy. They have in many circumstances become the lifeline to children who have been left to their own devices. The relationships they maintain are what have allowed so many victims to reach a place of healing. That in turn has increased their ability to help children out of a life of exploitation.

Support from the city has allowed the Resource Center to serve more children, and even develop a response to those between the ages of 18 and 25. This is in recognition that many children identified prior to 18 continue to need help. Support from Janus will make certain we have long term shelter for those in the most need.”