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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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Help For Homebuyers

Collaborative NeighborhoodLIFT program to provide $5.15 million to support homebuying and nonprofit groups in Portland

TUESDAY, NOV. 19, 2013 -- The winter holidays are coming early to Portland as a major financial services company is joining with the City of Portland and two non-profit agencies to help 227 moderate-income Portlanders buy homes.Mayor Hales

Wells Fargo, NeighborWorks America and Portland Housing Center today joined Portland Mayor Charlie Hales to announce the $5.15 million Portland NeighborhoodLIFT program.

“With the holiday shopping season about to start, this program will help Portlanders make one of the most important purchases of their life: a home of their own,” said Mayor Hales. “This public-private partnership has the potential to make a huge difference to Portland residents and neighborhoods.”

Portland NeighborhoodLIFT program is a collaboration between Wells Fargo, the City of Portland, NeighborWorks America, and Portland Housing Center. The program is designed to provide down payment assistance and homebuyer education programs in areas most impacted by the financial crisis.

The program will include a free homebuyer event Dec. 13-14 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. (both days) in Hall C at the Oregon Convention Center, 777 N.E. Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. Prospective homebuyers can register and learn more about the program at or by calling (866) 858-2151. Pre-registration is encouraged, although walk-ins will be welcome.


Affordable Home Tour Included


The event will include a Wells Fargo Affordable Home Tour viewing center where attendees can preview homes available for sale in local neighborhoods.

Attendees will first need to obtain pre-approval for a mortgage loan from a lender approved by the Portland Housing Center. They will then have up to 60 days to finalize a contract to purchase a home in Portland in order to receive the $15,000.

A recipient will not have to repay the grant if they stay in their home for five years. They also are required to participate in a homebuying education session with Portland Housing Center, which will determine eligibility and distribute the funds to homebuyers.

Homebuyers also will be able to apply the funds to 203k renovation loans, enabling them to make improvements as part of a new mortgage purchase loan. The event will include information sessions about these loans.


Down Payment Remains Obstacle to Homeownership


“Portland was deeply affected by the housing crisis. While today mortgages are available at historically low interest rates, many families are still unable to purchase a home because they struggle with making the down payment,” said Wells Fargo Region President Don Pearson. “NeighborhoodLIFT can help local homebuyers realize their dreams of owning a home.”

In addition to providing the grants for homebuyers, Wells Fargo also will donate a total of $500,000 to a group of Portland nonprofit organizations, which will be announced at a later date.

“This innovative partnership between NeighborWorks America, Portland Housing Center and Wells Fargo will help Portland home buyers overcome a significant hurdle to homeownership,” said Joe Dabek, NeighborWorks America’s Pacific district senior relationship manager. “Eligibility requires completing an eight-hour homebuyer education class that has been proven to help homebuyers achieve successful and sustainable homeownership.”


More Than 4,800 Homeowners Helped


Portland is one of 22 housing markets across the country that will benefit from a total of $180 million Wells Fargo has committed through its LIFTprograms to support sustainable housing in cities affected by the economic downturn.  Since February 2012, LIFT programs have so far helped create nearly 4,800 homeowners in the housing markets where the programs have been introduced.


About NeighborhoodLIFT


The NeighborhoodLIFTprogram is collaboration between Wells Fargo, the nonprofit NeighborWorks America and local non-profit organizations. The NeighborhoodLIFT program is designed to provide sustainable homeownership initiatives in cities affected by the housing crisis. A video about the NeighborhoodLIFT program is posted at


About Portland Housing Center and NeighborWorks America


For more than 22 years, the Portland Housing Center has been a trusted advisor for first-time homebuyers, providing home buying classes, credit counseling, financial fitness, down payment assistance, individual development accounts, and first and second mortgages.

The nonprofit has assisted 6,300 families buy their first homes. Portland Housing Center is a member of NeighborWorks America, a national organization that creates opportunities for people to live in affordable homes, improve their lives and strengthen their communities. NeighborWorks America supports a network of more than 235 nonprofits, located in every state, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. Visit to learn more.


About Wells Fargo


Wells Fargo & Company (NYSE: WFC) is a nationwide, diversified, community-based financial services company with $1.5 trillion in assets. Founded in 1852 and headquartered in San Francisco, Wells Fargo provides banking, insurance, investments, mortgage, and consumer and commercial finance through more than 9,000 stores, 12,000 ATMs, and the Internet (, and has offices in more than 35 countries to support the bank’s customers who conduct business in the global economy. With more than 270,000 team members, Wells Fargo serves one in three households in the United States. Wells Fargo & Company was ranked No. 25 on Fortune’s 2013 rankings of America’s largest corporations. Wells Fargo’s vision is to satisfy all our customers’ financial needs and help them succeed financially. Wells Fargo perspectives are also available at

International Track & Field Comes to Portland

Portland won the bid for the games in March 2016

FRIDAY, NOV. 15, 2013 – International track and field organizers announced today that Portland will play host to the 2016 World Indoor Championships.

“This is incredible news for a city and a state already steeped in a great track-and-field tradition,” Mayor Charlie Hales said, upon hearing the news.

Track and field bid for 2016The International Association of Athletics Federations, the world governing body of track and field, made the announcement following its annual autumn session in Monaco.

The event will draw a wide array of international media and will result in a vast increase in tourism. More than 2,000 hotel rooms likely will be booked, organizers predicted.

Portland bid for the tournament against Birmingham, England. The IAAF Council unanimously approved Portland as host of the 2016 IAAF World Indoor Championships, set for March 2016, with Birmingham as host of the 2018 edition.

“Council was faced with a nice and difficult task to make a choice between two wonderful bids,” said IAAF President Lamine Diack.

“We recognised that for our sport to grow in the United States it was strategically important (for these Championships) to first go to Portland in 2016,” Diack said. “Following the tremendous success of London 2012 and with Britain already hosting IAAF competitions in 2016 in Cardiff (World Half Marathon) and in 2017 in London (World Championships), that 2018 was better placed for us for Birmingham.”

USA Track & Field President Stephanie Hightower praised Portland’s bid. “This is a win, win situation for athletics,” she said. “It allows us to showcase the sport in the States and leaves the UK with a consistent series of high profile athletics events in the coming years. This decision adds momentum and an exciting frame work to international athletics allowing us to create a logical narrative which shows the world where we are going as a sport.”

The winning bid was announced following a joint presentation by Hightower, TrackTown USA President Vin Lananna, U.S. Track and Field CEO Max Siegel and Olympic gold medalists Ashton Eaton and Hicham El Guerrouj.

Gail Shibley, chief of staff to Mayor Charlie Hales, helped orchestrate Portland’s bid.

“I want to thank the IAAF Council and the leadership of IAAF President (Lamine) Diack for having the confidence to entrust us with the 2016 World Indoor Championships,” Lananna said. “The timing for this event has never been better. We will work tirelessly to create the most awe-inspiring event ever held in the U.S.for the athletes, fans, officials, media, partners and the entire IAAF family.”

TrackTownUSA is the local organizing committee for the meet.

Besides hosting the U.S. Olympic Trials in 2008 and 2012 at Hayward Field in Eugene, TrackTownUSA also serves as the local organizing committee for the 2014 IAAF World Junior Championships, the 2015 USA Outdoor Track & Field Championships, and 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials.

“We represent our country’s commitment to the sport of track and field and its athletes,” Lananna said. “We want to demonstrate that commitment with action. We plan to leave a lasting legacy of new facilities, renewed passion and a new model to present indoor athletics.”

Lananna expressed his gratitude for the enthusiastic backing the presentation committee received leading up to the winning bid in Monaco, including letters of support from Gov. John Kitzhaber, Senate President Peter Courtney, Speaker of the House Tina Kotek and Portland Mayor Charlie Hales, as well as a large group of private supporters.

“By winning this bid,” Lananna said. “We hope to ignite a spark that will be felt globally.”


How You Can Help Typhoon Haiyan survivors

Donate Funds Instead of Offering Srvices

Mercy Corps Hosts Vigil for Typhoon Victims


THURSDAY, NOV. 14, 2013 – Mercy Corps is organizing a candlelight vigil tonight in honor the victims of Typhoon Haiyan.

The event is set for 5:30 p.m. today at Skidmore Fountain Plaza, S.W. First and Ankeny. The brief ceremony will include remarks by members of the Filipino Community, Mercy Corps and city officials.

Click here for more information:


Wednesday Fundraiser Benefits Survivors


WEDNESDAY, NOV. 13, 2013 -- The Philippine American Chamber of Commerce of Oregon and Southwest Washington, or PACCO, is sponsoring a benefit Filipino dinner for the survivors of the super typhoon that recently hit the Philippines.

The dinner is 6 p.m. Wednesday, Nov. 13, at the Northwest Health Foundation, 221 N.W.Second Ave., Portland.

The dinner is complimentary, but people are encouraged to bring their checkbooks and to help raise money to help the thousands who need help now.

Those who cannot attend can send tax deductible donation to: PACCO, 5224 N. Michigan Ave., Portland, OR 97217.


How you can help Typhoon Haiyan survivors


MONDAY, NOV. 11, 2013 – Portlanders are asking how they can help in the aftermath of the devastating Typhoon Haiyan, which smashed into the Philippines this weekend.

Rescue officials urge people not to fly into the heart of a disaster zone; while well-meaning, having volunteers show up means a need for extra food, potable water and sleeping arrangements, all of which are stretched well beyond capacity in the Philippines.

Donating funds to the cause is the better response. People can donate to the survivors of the typhoon at:


• Philippine Red Cross:

• MercyCorps.:

• World Food Programme:

• Catholic Relief Services:

• Save the Children:

• Doctors Without Borders:


Spirit of Portland

City Council to recognize 21 Spirit of Portland Award winners

FRIDAY, OCT. 25, 2013 – The Spirit of Portland Awards recognize local individuals and organizations who have demonstrated an outstanding dedication to positive change in our community. Award winners are those who have not only worked to improve the community, but who also have gone above and beyond a dedication to civic engagement in order to make a lasting impact.

Urban LeagueThis year’s Spirit of Portland ceremony is set for 7 to 9 p.m. Tuesday, Nov. 12, at the East Portland Community Center, 740 S.E. 106th Ave.

Award winners are chosen from nominations submitted by fellow Portlanders to a selection committee of representatives from the Commissioners’ offices, the Office of Neighborhood Involvement, Neighborhood Associations and other diverse community organizations. The mayor and each commissioner also selects special award winners to recognize specific works and achievements.

“Inscribed into Portland’s Skidmore Fountain you will see these words: ‘Good Citizens are the Riches of a City,’” Mayor Charlie Hales said. “I think that is also the message behind the Spirit of Portland Awards. For truly, where would we be without those citizens who step up, volunteer, lead and find solutions to problems in their community?

“So often, these people do so with no thought as to recognition or personal reward,” Hales added. “Since the awards began in 1985, we have been able to, in some small way, show our appreciation for the work done by neighborhoods, small businesses, non-profits and so many individuals who make our city a better place to live. They truly are the Riches of a City, and we are grateful for them.”

The categories and award winners for the 2013 Spirit of Portland Awards are:


Neighborhood Association of the Year:

MountScott– Arleta Neighborhood Association


ommunity Harmony:

Midge Purcell with Urban League of Portland

Emerging Community Leader:

Pedro Moreno with Verde

Independent Spirit:

David Hampsten with Hazelwood Neighborhood Association


Outstanding Organization:

Friends of Gateway Green (Non-Profit)


Business Association of the Year:

North-Northeast Business Association’s Martin Luther King Jr. Dream Run

Community Stewardship:

Mark Lewis

Sandy Diedrich Environmental Stewardship Award:

Neighborhoods Community Garden

Outstanding Partnership:

Operation 305

Outstanding Organization:

Dennis’ 7Dees (For-Profit)

Commissioners’ Awards:

Mayor Hales Award:

Last Thursday Clean Up Dance Party

Commissioner Fish:

Individual: Steve Weiss

Individual: Briggy Thomas

Commissioner Fritz:

Organization: Right 2 Dream Too

Individual: Mary Ann Schwab

Commissioner Novick:

Organization: Disaster Relief Trials

Individual: Haven Wheelock

Commissioner Saltzman:

Organization: CASA for Children

Individual: Israel Bayer

This year, two posthumous awards will be given to recognize their outstanding lifetime achievements for community and neighborhood engagement:

  • Lee Perlman
  • Afifa Ahmed-Shafi

For further details, see the story at

China Venture

Mayor Charlie Hales leads a delegation of Portlanders to China

THURSDAY, NOV. 7, 2013 -- The Portland delegation's visit to China ended over the weekend. For Mayor Charlie Hales and First Lady Nancy Hales, the end of the journey took them to Kunming,

TourRose pin on Chinese youthHistory tourMayor and First LadyOld Town Kunmingstreet life


Thurs. Oct. 31, 2013 -- Mayor Charlie Hales spent much of yesterday in meetings with Party Secretary Dr. Fengyue Zhou, a ten year city planner and now head of Chenggong district of Kunming. The top concerns they shared were sustainability, green building and growing wisely. Dr. Zhou asked Portland to share some insight on how to build a truly sustainable city.  Mayor Hales said both Portland and Chenngong can magnify their impact by serving as prototypes for other cities in their respective countries.

The Chenggong district of Kunming had 100,000 residents ten years ago. Today, it has 300,000 and is designed to accomodate one million in another decade. Mayor Hales discussed the District's plan to preserve parkland, provide safe and attractive multi-modal experiences and invest in high tech, bio-pharmaceuticals, local agriculture and top level medical facilities.

Mayor Hales presented Portland’s commitment to low carbon livability and green city development to Dr. Zhou. Chenggong is one of only eight “low carbon districts” in China and the first to embrace "green building." Chenggong is striving to replicate and adapt Eco-districts based on Portland’s pioneering work. Mayor Zhou said smart urban planning is the key to our success as a city.

Our favorite pic of the day: the slide that reads: What is it about Portland?

with Party Sec Dr. Zhoumap of Kunmingexamining the layout of Kunmingfrank talks about sustainabilityconference titlewhat is it about Portland?


Mayor Hales chats with the owners of the Mark Spencermayor studies map of Tongli

Wed. Oct. 30, 2013 -- More photos from Mayor Hales' trip to China. He met with the mayor of Tongli at an art exhibit of Portland artist Grace Lim. Her work, Trails of Bliss, was shown in Portland before being shiped to our sister city, Suzhou! He also talked a little business with the owners of the Mark Spencer Hotel -- Portlanders Alix and Wei Nathan. Mayor Hales also clearly never misses a chance to learn about other city's infrastructure.



Mayor meets with the designer of Lan Su garden enjoying Rogue beer in Chinasmallest bridge in Chinawelcome sign at the Suzhou paperMayor sees 20 year old story about Mayor Potter

October 29, 2013. -- Mayor Hale's China Venture continues with many meetings to strengthen our relationship with Sister City Suzhou, China. Mayor Hales had a one-on-one meeting with the mayor of Suzhou, where they discussed their strong relationship and opportunities for an even stronger future. He and his wife, Nancy, enjoyed an elaborate feast with Sister City Association members.  It had a local flavor, as Rogue beer was served!  The Mayor also met with the president and designer of the Portland's own Lan Su garden. The delegation toured a garden and saw the smallest bridge in China It's said to be the model for Portland's own Lan Su garden. On a visit to the Suzhou Daily newspaper, the mayor enjoyed seeing a story from five years previously, when Portland amd Suzhou celebrated their 20th year as sister cities!




Mayor, Nancy and Suzhou diplomatsMayor speaks in ChinaMayor at Taicang Port

MONDAY, OCT. 28, 2013 

Mayor Charlie Hales and his wife, Nancy, pose at banner celebrating Portland’s Sister City relationship with Suzhou,China. The Mayor said a few words at the ceremony. The Mayor also visited Taicang Port and visited with the Vice Director, Tony Gao.


WEDNESDAY, OCT. 23, 2013 – Mayor Charlie Hales and a delegation of Portlanders are heading out this week to China.

The trip runs from Oct. 25 to Nov. 3. The missions are:

• To discuss green cities and environmental programs.

• To support sister-city relations, and sister-school relations with Portland-area schools.

• To visit with Chinese foundry owner Huo Baozhu, who donated a large elephant sculpture to Portland and who has offered to donate more as a fundraiser to support homelessness intiatives.

“This sort of mission is vital,” Mayor Hales said. “As a Pacific Rim city, our economic vibrancy, our artistic community, and even our environmental initiatives are linked toAsia. Trips like this can promote better understanding on a wide array of topics.”

Oregon Gov. John Kitzhaber -- who led a mission to China in October 2012 -- said such missions create a vital link between the nations.

"China is a critical trading partner with Oregon and we are committed to growing that relationship to ensure a bright economic future," Gov. Kitzhaber said. "I strongly believe Oregon’s products and expertise in green building and clean technology can help China meet its goals and open a whole new platform for exports and investment."

Among those taking the trip are Portlander Robert Fraser, a travel agent and president of the Portland Suzhou Sister City Association.

“This trip is a wonderful opportunity for our delegation to meet Suzhou leaders in business, education and culture and to exchange ideas which often lead to opportunities for mutual cooperation,” Fraser said.

“We will experience the rich history and culture of Suzhou and come back to Portland with a better understanding and appreciation for this city, which is known as the' Venice of Asia,'” he said. “We can better appreciate what Suzhou has to offer Portland and what Portland has to offer Suzhou. We have already seen this happen with the establishment of the Lan Su Chinese Garden; Skybridge, a center for educational exchange, and the Confucius Institute at PSU dedicated to promoting Chinese language and culture. There will always be new exciting opportunities born from these visits.”

The trip is being paid for by a variety of sources, including the hosting cities. Although final figures are not yet available, it is believed that the trip will cost the city of Portland less than $300.


Itinerary for the Trip

Friday, Oct. 25:

PDX to Shanghai.

Mayor Hales, his wife, Nancy Hales, and chief of staff, Gail Shibley.

Saturday, Oct. 26:

Visit the city of Suzhou, China.

Sunday, Oct. 27:

Travel to areas around Shanghai and Suzhou.

In Suzhou: Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, Oct. 27-29.

Meetings: businesses, government officials and companies that work within Portland.

Visiting: Schools that have sister-schools in Portland. (For instance, Lincoln High); cultural sites; Suzhou Ballet (the troupe might visit Portland). There are about 20 Portlanders are on the trip to Suzhou.

Wednesday-Friday, Oct. 30-Nov. 1:

Mayor Hales, Nancy Hales, Gail Shibley: To Kunming,China.

Portland and Kunming have entered into a memorandum of understanding about planning and sustainability for green cities.

Funded by grant from The Energy Foundation.

Friday, Nov. 1:

Mayor Hales and Nancy Hales flying to Xi’An

Staying with Huo Baozhu, a foundry owner who donated an elephant statue in the park blocks. At a Portand City Council meeting this summer, he pledged to donate more, with proceeds to benefit programs for the homeless. Huo met Mayor Hales when he was on City Council.

Saturday-Sunday, Nov. 2-3:

Flying to Shanghai

Meeting with stakeholders. Arranged by the Portland Development Commission. Funded by The Energy Foundation.

Sunday, Nov. 3:

Fly back to Portland.


Artistic Mission


While inXi’An, the mayor and first lady will visit foundry owner Huo Baozhu. Huo owns Five Rings Cultural Relics inXi’an. It is licensed by the national government to reproduce Chinese antiquities. In 2002, he gave Portland the reproduction Shang Dynasty bronze mother and baby elephant sculpture, in gratitude for treatment he received here for his leukemia. He believes it helped keep him alive beyond his Chinese doctors’ expectations. 

The elephant sculpture is on display in the city’s North Park Blocks.

Huo also donated a bronze statue of ancient Chinese physician Sun Simiao to the Min Zidell Healing Gardenon the campus of the National College of Natural Medicine in Portland.  In addition, he donated a 6-foot-tall lantern to the Garden of Surging Waves in Astoria.

In June of this year, he offered to donate more works for the city to auction or sell, so the money could be used to benefit the homeless.