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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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To Pave Or Not To Pave

City Seeks Input for Pilot Project to Enable Community Uses on Unpaved Streets

TUESDAY, OCT. 22, 2013 – Portland has about 60 miles of unpaved, dirt and gravel streets within the city limits. While the city does not maintain these unimproved streets, some residents have taken the initiative to create garden plots, rest areas and other community uses in these public spaces.

Mayor Charlie Hales has directed the Portland Bureau of Transportation to gather community input on how the city can enable such community uses on streets.

Mayor Hales, Commissioner NovickThe concept came from Mayor Hales, who thought the city should try to empower communities to help determine what their neighborhoods look like by creating something useful and attractive. Many homeowners on unimproved streets have said that expensive paving projects are not what they prefer, but lower cost alternatives such as placing benches or gardens in the public right of way would still require a City permit.


Community meetings to share your ideas for community uses of unpaved streets


The public is invited to share their ideas at two upcoming community meetings. This will be an opportunity to share issues and concerns city staff should take into consideration as they develop the project:

Monday, Nov. 4

6:30 to 8 p.m.

East Portland Community Center

Poolside Room No. 1, 740 S.E. 106th Ave. No. 15, No. 20, Southeast Main St. Max Station/Green

Wednesday, Nov. 13

6:30 to 8 p.m.

Hollywood Library

Community Meeting Room, 4040 N.E. Tillamook St. No. 12, No. 75, 4 blocks to Hollywood/NE 42nd Ave. TC Max Station


Support from Mayor Hales and Transportation Commissioner Steve Novick


“Too often, the city comes at a problem with a one-size-fits-all approach,” Hales said. “But when we have dozens of miles of public space taken up by streets that predate the City’s development rules, that the city can’t maintain, we should allow neighborhoods the flexibility to create appropriate uses for these public spaces.”

“This is very much an idea still in the exploratory stage,” Hales said. “We may find no interest, or we may find a lot of excitement to transform gravel roads into something both functional and appealing to the neighborhood.”

City Commissioner Steve Novick praised the effort. “As Commissioner in Charge of Transportation, I appreciate the Mayor’s approach to identify creative uses of unimproved streets,” Novick said. “I look forward to the outcomes of the pilot project to address this long running community concern.”


Outreach already begun in partnership with PSU students


Starting Oct. 19, students from a Portland State University civic leadership class began going door-to-door on behalf of the city in the Cully and Outer Southeast Division neighborhoods to gather ideas and gauge public interest in two areas that have concentrations of unimproved streets.

“We are happy partnering with PSU to get some input from residents and see if it’s a viable idea to alter, rather than just pave,” Hales said.

The PSU students are asking residents if they would prefer to use some or all of an existing unimproved street as a pocket park, community garden site, or other option. Residents may see a need to provide a mix of vehicle access with community amenities along a single street.


Next steps:


If there is interest in this new approach to dealing with gravel streets, the next step will be setting criteria for evaluating candidate pilot street projects and further engagement this winter with neighborhood and community groups. The city’s goal is to select four unimproved streets from sites proposed by community groups and homeowners throughout the city for an initial pilot project in 2014.

No final decisions on street alterations are expected before summer 2014.




The city of Portland will make reasonable accommodation for people with disabilities and people needing assistance with language interpretation and translation. Please notify us no less than five business days prior to the events. (503) 823-3075 or, TTY: (503) 823-6868, or Oregon Relay Service at (800) 735-2900.


Project website:


Flier for Community meetings:


English -

En Espanol -


Thorns Bring Home National Trophy

Mayor Hales is on hand to celebrate victory

WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 4, 2013 – The Portland Thorns Football Club held a rally Wednesday for their boisterous fans at Jeld-Wen Field, in honor of bringing home the National Women's Soccer League Championship, in this, the Thorn's first season.

Mayor Hales speaks“We love our Thorns!” shouted Portland Mayor Charlie Hales, as the crowd roared. He was joined on stage by Portland Commissioner Nick Fish and Nancy Hales, Portland’s First Lady.

Hales pointed out that it was Portland’s first national professional sports championship since the 1977 Trail Blazers.

Trophy"It's been great to come home to a city you put so much pride into playing wearing that jersey and playing for Portland and seeing that reaction," said Thorns goalkeeper Karina LeBlanc, as quoted by Reporter Jeff Thompson of KGW.

The Thorns shut out the top-seeded Western New York Flash with a 2-0 win Saturday in Rochester ,N.Y., to win the national title. The team finish the season tied for the league lead with 38 points (11-6-5 overall), and drew average of 13,320 fans to 11 home matches.

Not all of the Thorns were in attendance Wednesday, as some had been called up to national teams. The roster includes: Rachel Buehler, Marian Dougherty, Tina Ellertson, Becky Edwards, Danielle Foxhoven, Adelaide Gay, Elizabeth Guess, Tobin Heath, Angie Kerr, Karina LeBlanc, Allie Long, Nikki Marshall, Alex Morgan, Emilee O’Neil, Casey Ramirez, Meleana Shim, Christine Sinclair, Nikki Washington, Tiffany Weimer, Courtney Wetzel and Kathryn Williamson.

FansThe team is lead by Head Coach Cindy Parlow Cone and her staff: Assistant Coaches John Galas and Nate Berry; Trainer Sheila Tatsunami; and Manager Megan Lovich.

2 playersThorns at Council

March on Washington

Celebrating the 50th anniversary of the influential march

"I Have A Dream" - The Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.


For a link to the full transcript of Dr. King's speech, made on Aug. 28, 1963, on the Mall in Washington, D.C., go to:


Last Surviving Speaker from '63 March Takes Podium


WEDNESDAY, AUG. 28, 2013 – On Aug. 28, 1963, a young man named John Lewis, chairman of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, spoke at the March on Washington.

Today, in honor of the 50th anniversary of that march, Rep. John Lewis, D-Ga., spoke again. He is the only speaker to take the stage at both events, a half century apart.

Click here for a link to Rep. Lewis’ speech.


Rally in Portland

Hundreds Gather at Rally in Downtown Portland to Remember March on Washington


SATURDAY, AUG. 24, 2013 – Hundreds rallied in downtown Portland today to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the historic March on Washington.Rally

The rally began at Chapman Square and moved on to South Waterfront Park. Sponsors included the Albina Ministerial Alliance Coalition, the Urban League of Portland, NAACP of Portland, ACLU of Portland, Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon, and more.

“This celebration is important because the march helped a great nation to take a long, hard look at itself,” Mayor Charlie Hales said in a statement. Hales was out of town this week. “It helped the nation to consider its own quality and character, and to make real the promises of democracy.”

Speaker Jo Ann HardestyBesides the iconic “I Have a Dream Speech” by the  Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., the Aug. 28, 1963, march also led directly to passage of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Speakers this week included U.S.Sen. Jeff Merkley of Portland and Jo Ann Hardesty of Oregon Action. Michael Alexander, president of the Urban League of Portland, was on hand, along with City Council members Nick Fish and Amanda Fritz, and a large array of the leaders from thePortlandfaith community.U.S. Sen. Jeff MerkleyCute Kid


Commentary: Mayor Hales on 50th Anniversary of March on Washinton


Mayor Charlie Hales:


How far have we marched in the last 50 years? A pretty fair distance.

And the march continues.

We are celebrating the 50th anniversary of the famed March on Washington, at which tens of thousands of Americans came to their nation’s capital, demanding jobs and freedom. On planes and buses, on trains and in cars, Americans from all corners of this nation came to the Washington Monument and the Lincoln Memorial, to make their voices heard, and to hear the many now-iconic speeches, including the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have a Dream” speech.

The march helped a great nation to take a long, hard look at itself. It helped the nation to consider its own quality and character, and to make real the promises of democracy. The march led to changes, including the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

This anniversary is an opportunity for Portlanders to take another hard look at our city, and to make a renewed commitment to residents who are afflicted by social and economic inequity.

Portlanders will come together at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 24, at Chapman Square, under the leadership of the Albina Ministerial Alliance Coalition, the Urban League of Portland, NAACP of Portland, ACLU of Portland, Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon, and others. The march will proceed to Tom McCall Waterfront Park.

But while we celebrate, we also have to ask: What’s next? This march hasn’t ended. Where else can it, must it, take us?

We see deep inequities in our communities, in the arenas of jobs and economics, in opportunity and education, in housing and services. The inequities might not be as brash and abrasive as Jim Crow Laws, or segregated schools.

Maybe that makes the 21st century inequities more insidious and harder to fight. It doesn’t make them any less real.

Per capita income for members of our African-American community is about $18,000 compared to $34,000 for whites. Thirty-eight percent of the black community receives federal food assistance, compared to only 13 percent of the white community. For many people of color, when compared to the city as a whole, incarceration rates are up and education rates are down.

We need economic revitalization with a focus on people of color and low-income communities if we’re ever going to break this cycle of injustice.

At the City of Portland, we are working with the Portland Police, and the police union, and the Albina Ministerial Alliance Coalition to take the tough look at the social contract between police and the community. This city and its Police Bureau do not have the full, unfettered trust of every facet of our community. This is a fact. We have to rebuild that trust. And yes: the federal Department of Justice has mandated this approach. But we embrace it as the right thing to do.

The Portland Office of Neighborhood Involvement, and the Portland Office of Equity and Human Rights, also offer leadership on these issues. But every bureau and office in the city needs to keep equity at top of mind.

I encourage everyone to come out on Saturday, Aug. 24, to celebrate the anniversary of the march. There’s much to celebrate!

But let’s use this historic occasion to remind ourselves that the march continues. Dr. King urged us, “As we walk, we must make the pledge that we shall always march ahead.”

Let’s make that pledge.

-- Charlie Hales



Portland Celebrates 50th Anniversary of March on Washington


Story by Ashley Watkins

MONDAY, AUG. 19, 2013 — Martin Luther King Jr. A. Philip Randolph. James Farmer. John Lewis.

Historic photo of March on WashingtonThese are just a few civil rights activists who led the historic March on Washington, held at the nation’s capitol on Aug. 28, 1963. These leaders, among others, were destined to change the way Americans thought about race, and to uplift the spirit of those who felt oppressed during the climax of the Jim Crow laws.

This year marks the 50th anniversary of this historic day, and the city o fPortland is proud to celebrate the march and its lasting impact.

“This celebration represents more than just one day in history, but an instrumental movement that continues to affect our nation,” Mayor Charlie Hales said of the remembrance.

Last week at City Council, several prominent figures in the community spoke on behalf of the declaration of Civil Rights Week (Aug. 23 to 30; see story, below). Many spoke of the march in relation to Civil Rights Week. The Rev. LeRoy Haynes of Allen Community Temple, Rabbi Joseph Wolf of Temple Havurah Shalom and Jo Ann Hardesty, executive director of Oregon Action, were the first few to address council.Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King

The Albina Ministerial Alliance Coalition, the Urban League of Portland, NAACP of Portland, ACLU of Portland, Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon, and many others have put forth an extensive effort in hopes that this celebration will be successful. Although this event will be subject to issues of the past, it also will touch on more current injustices that have recently struck our nation.

The celebration will be held on Saturday, Aug. 24, 10 a.m. beginning at Chapman Square in downtown Portland. A march through the city will conclude around 1 p.m., with festivities at South Waterfront Park.


Intern Ashley WatkinsEditor's note: Intern Ashley Watkins, left, wrote this story and selected the historic photos. Ashley is a Grant High School graduate and a sophomore at the University of Oregon, majoring in communications.







City Proclaims Week in Honor of March on Washington. 


WEDNESDAY, AUG. 14, 2013 -- The city of Portland will celebrating the 50th anniversary of the famed March on Washington, Saturday, Aug. 24.

Civil Rights proclamationMayor Charlie Hales and the City Council honored the moment at the Aug. 14 council meeting by reading a proclamation.

The march, on Aug. 28, 1963, saw thousands of Americans standing on the steps of the nation’s capital, demanding jobs and freedom. The march helped the United States finds its way to such changes as the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

Portlanders will come together at 10 a.m. Saturday, Aug. 24, at Terry Schrunk Plaza, under the leadership of the Albina Ministerial Alliance Coalition, the Urban League of Portland, NAACP of Portland, ACLU of Portland, Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon, and others.

Civil Rights speech

Speakers at the City Council meeting on Aug. 14 included the Rev. LeRoy Haynes of AllenTemple Community Church; Rabbi Joseph Wolf of Temple Havurah Shalom; Jo Ann Hardesty, executive director of Oregon Action and a former Oregon state representative; and Aubrey Harrison, program director, Basic Rights Oregon.