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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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Thorns kick off season at City Hall

Portland ThornsWEDNESDAY, April 10, 2013 – Members of the Portland Thorns Football Club, the city’s professional women’s soccer team, drop by City Hall on Wednesday to let the elected officials show their support.

Participants included (from left) Mike Golub, chief operating officer of the Portland Thorns and Timbers; Commissioner Amanda Fritz; Coach Cindy Parlow Cone; Mayor Charlie Hales; forward Danielle Foxhoven (a University of Portland alumna); Commissioner Nick Fish; and forward Christine Sinclair (another U of P alumna). Photo by Rachael Wiggins

Audit: Public Safety system overhauls largely don’t meet budget, timelines

Projects focus on data, communications

THURSDAY, April 4, 2013 – The Public Safety System Revitalization Program for the city of Portland exceeded its overall budget and schedule goals, according to an audit released today by City Auditor LaVonne Griffin-Valade.

"The budget and schedule increases in the PSSRP program are largely the result of a problematic and shifting governance structure and inconsistent management," Griffin-Valade said. "Despite repeated recommendations from outside quality assurance specialists and the lessons learned from other major city programs, the city was unable to effectively oversee this significant, but expensive undertaking."

Mayor Charlie Hales reviewed the audit before it was released. “The audit shows that, of four projects, two came in under budget, and one came in on time. The others did not. That’s not great news, especially when we are talking about public safety,” Hales said. “On the other hand, this didn’t surprise anyone. The audit shines a light on serious short-comings that are being addressed right now.”

The PSSRP program was established in 2006 to manage the replacement or upgrade of several vital public safety systems, including a new Computer Aided Dispatch (CAD) system used to process 911 calls. Auditors found the CAD replacement project was largely successful.

However, two of the other three projects exceeded their cost goals and all three exceeded their schedule goals. The three remaining large projects are the Public Safety Radio System replacement project, the Portland Police Data System replacement project, and the Portland Fire and Rescue system replacement or upgrade project.

The entire PSSRP initiative was expected to cost $70 million and to be completed by December 2012. Projects are now planned for completion in December 2015, with projected costs of $80 million.

Auditors make several recommendations intended to benefit the three open PSSRP projects and other current and future city technology projects.

Hales and Chief Administrative Officer Jack Graham provided written responses to the audit.

Southeast 136th Project Launched

Sidewalks are slated from Powell to Holgate

Mayor HalesWEDNESDAY, APRIL 3, 2013 – A city of Portland project to create sidewalks on Southeast 136th Avenue between Powell and Holgate boulevards will get under way this fall.

The project is budgeted at $1.2 million and should begin in fall. It will stretch for 0.63 miles along 136th Avenue.

This winter, an audit of the city’s street maintenance program pointed to an historic lack of funding for street paving. In response, Mayor Charlie Hales asked Toby Widmer, interim director of the Portland Bureau of Transportation, to find creative ways to increase funds for pavement projects within the bureau’s existing budget.

One of the options outlined by Widmer would have diverted funding for the136th Avenue sidewalk project to paving. Mayor Hales and city commissioners now have rejected that option.

Legislators“I asked Toby to be creative,” Hales said. “Long before we discuss any new funding, we want to make sure we were being as creative as possible with every dollar we have now. Toby did exactly what I asked of him.”

Hales said public safety remains the No. 1 factor for street maintenance programs. Paving, sidewalks, crosswalks and signage are all safety issues.

City Commissioner Steve Novick, along with Hales and Widmer, spoke to members of the media Wednesday morning at Gates Park, at 136th and Holgate, discussing the sidewalk project.

Members of the Oregon Legislature representing East Portland also were on hand, including Sens. Jackie Dingfelder, D-Portland; and Chuck Thomsen, R-HoodRiver, and Reps. Shemia Fagan, D-Clackamas; Alissa Keny-Guyer, D-Portland; Jeff Reardon, D-Portland; and Jessica Vega Pederson, D-Portland.

Budget: Rose City News Gets A Little Rosier

Have Ideas How To Balance the Budget? Let Us Know.

Suggestion Box


The city has created an electronic "Suggestion Box" to solicit ideas for the budget.

The form can be found by clicking here.


Budget Forums Slated


FRIDAY, APRIL 26 2013 -- The city of Portland will hold three forums to hear citizens’ input on city spending in May, before the City Council adopts the 2013-14 budget.

Mayor Charlie Hales, city commissioners and city staff will listen to residents’ ideas on potential budget cuts and spending increases.

Those will be:

• Thursday, May 16, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Council Chambers, City Hall, 1221 S.W. Fourth Ave.

• Saturday, May 18, 3 to 5 p.m., Warner Pacific College, 2219 S.E. 68th Ave.

• Thursday, May 23, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Jackson Middle School, 10625 S.W. 35th Ave.

To review budgets requested by city bureaus:


Budget Forecast


WEDNESDAY, APRIL 10, 2013 – An analysis of finances for the city of Portland suggests moderate good news in the weeks ahead.

A projected shortfall of $25 million for the 2013-14 fiscal could fall to $21.5 million, according to City Economist Josh Harwood.

His analysis comes a few weeks before the budget forecast, which is scheduled for the end of April.

“Final forecast figures have yet to be compiled,” Harwood said. “We’re looking at some moderately improving economic indicators. Right now, they point to a slightly better forecast for the end of April.”

The city also could have an estimated $800,000 in one-time resources available for use, he said.

Mayor Charlie Hales aid he was cautiously pleased. “While the budget preview is good news, the city still faces a shortfall and we still cannot use deficit funding,” Hales said. “The new projection, if accurate, softens the impacts of the decisions we face.”  

Upon taking office in January, Hales asked every bureau to submit a budget for 2013-14 that is 10 percent below current budgets, in order to address the projected shortfall.

Harwood met with Hales and his staff last week. He said causes for the April uptick include:

• The consumer price index is down for the region.

• Health care premium costs are lower than expected.

• The real market value of property is up.

• An increase in property affects “compression,” the rule created by a series of tax measures in the 1980s and ’90s designed to reduce property taxes. Compression reduced funds for the city ofPortland, in part, to pay for a Multnomah County library levy OK’d by voters last November.

“This is just a step in the process,” added Andrew Scott, budget director for the city. “The full forecast, including that of the volatile business licenses tax, will be released at the end of the month.”

Mayor Hales and the City Council are in the midst of the budget-crafting process, which is expected to extend into May.




The city is looking at a shortfall of at least $25 million. Want to help?

Suggestions are needed on ways to trim money or to generate more revenue. Send suggestions via e-mail to:


Subject Line: Budget Help

Copies of the proposed budgets are in the link below. The budget calendar can be found by clicking here.

Equity News

The Role of Human Rights in the City's Planning

Louisville, Ky., Mayor Joins Same-Sex Marriage Cause


DALLAS, TEXAS – Mayor Greg Fischer of Louisville, Ky., has the fight to allow same-sex marriage.

Fischer took part in the U.S. Conference of Mayors gathering this past weekend in Dallas, Texas. Also on hand was Mayor Charlie Hales of Portland.

with Mayor Greg Fischer, Louisville“We had a chance to talk about Oregon legalizing same-sex marriage, and about the honor I had to marry gay couples earlier this month,” Hales said. He obtained ordination specifically in anticipation that the state Supreme Court would overturn an Oregon ban on same-sex marriage.

Fischer became one of nearly 500 members of Mayors for the Freedom to Marry, a project of the national group Freedom to Marry. Hales is a member.

"It is clear to me that discrimination of any form should not be tolerated and that committed gay and lesbian couples deserve the protections that only marriage can provide," Fischer said.

Nation's Mayors Speak on Black Male Achievement


TUESDAY, JUNE 10, 2014 -- Seventeen mayors and more than 200 city leaders from 37 municipalities nationwide, including Portland, came together in February in New Orleans, La., for the inaugural Cities United convening. The national movement aims to reduce the tragic number of violence-related deaths of young African American men and boys.

The following is a link to speeches given by New Orleans Mayor Mitch Landrieu, and Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter.

Portland is one of 11 cities selected by the National League of Cities to focus on Black Male Achievement.


Northwest Tribes’ Advocate Billy Frank Jr. Dies at Age 83


MONDAY, MARCH 17, 2014 – Billy Frank Jr., a longtime activist for Native American tribes of the Northwest, died Monday at age 83.

Billy Frank Jr. Frank, of the Nisqually Tribe, spent decades fighting to persevere the fishing rights of Native American tribes. He was first arrested while protesting at the age of 14 and was taken into custody more than 50 times thereafter. He went on to win the Albert Schweitzer Prize for Humanitarianism in 1992, according to the Seattle Times.

“We ceded all this land to the United States for a contract to protect our salmon, our way of life, our culture,” Frank said in 2012. “We’re gatherers and we’re harvesters. And they forgot about us. They built their cities, they built their university. They built everything, and they forgot about us tribes.”

“We can’t overstate how long lasting his legacy will be,” Washington Gov. Jay Inslee said Monday. “He pushed the state when he needed to push the state. And he reminded the state when it needed reminding. His legacy is going to be with us for generations. My grandkids are going to benefit from his work.”

President Obama praised Frank’s accomplishments. “Today, thanks to his courage and determined effort, our resources are better protected, and more tribes are able to enjoy the rights preserved for them more than a century ago,” he said in a statement.

A tribute to Frank is posted on the Nisqually Tribe’s webpage.


Urban League Career Fair Slated


WEDNESDAY, APRIL 16, 2014 – The Urban League of Portland's annual career fair is scheduled for next week.

The event runs from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday, April 22, at the Double Tree Hotel, 1000 N.E. Multnomah St., near the Lloyd Center.

This fair gives jobseekers the opportunity to meet face to face with recruiters from more than 50 employers, including representatives from corporate, professional, clerical, construction and health care industries, as well as the non-profit and government sectors.

Governing for Racial Equity Conference Opens


TUESDAY, MARCH 25, 2015 – Mayor Charlie Hales welcomes more than 400 government employees and elected officials from around the country to the Governing for Racial Equity Conference.Governing for Racial Equity conference

The event was co-hosted on Tuesday, March 25, at the Lloyd Center Doubletree Inn, by the Portland Office of Equity and Human Rights.

(Photo by Jeff Selby)




Central City’s Haamid Receives Lifetime Achievement Award


THURSDAY, JAN. 23, 2014 – Shaheed Haamid, who works in Central City Concern, received a Lifetime Achievement Award as part of the “Keep Alive the Dream: Oh Freedom” event honoring the life and legacy of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

Shaheed Haamid, leftHaamid works in Central City’s Engagement Program as African-American Culturally Specific Case Manager in the Over Representation Program. The Over Representation Project seeks to assist African-American individuals who are over-represented in the country’s criminal justice system.

He received the award Monday.

Central City Concern provides affordable and supportive housing, health and recovery services, and employment services for homeless and very-low-income individuals and families.

 “I appreciate the acknowledgement,” Haamid said. “It’s gratifying to know people respect what I’m doing in terms of my faith and clarifying working on behalf of the faith community and behalf of interfaith relations. Also recognizing the contributions we made to the social fabric of the African-American community in terms of education and entertainment.”

Shaheed Haamid leads Jumu’ah Services for Muslims on Fridays at the Inverness Jail and at the Multnomah County Department of Justice jails. He provides reading materials and counseling to groups requesting attendance at Jumu’ah Services.

He has also been active with KBOO radio for more than 20 years. He produces shows including “It Takes a Village” and “Blues and More.”

“We are pleased at this recognition for Shaheed,” said Ed Blackburn, Central City Concern executive director. “He has served our clients very well and has a profound understanding of the cultural aspects impacting recovery for this community.”


Portland Human Rights Commission Seeks Award Nominees


WEDNESDAY, SEPT. 11, 2013 – The Portland Human Rights Commission is seeking nominations for the 2013 Emily G. Gottfried Human Rights awards.

Nominations in two categories will be accepted until 5 p.m. Wednesday, Sept. 25. The categories are Emerging Leader, and Outstanding Organization.

Recipients in each category will be selected based on efforts to eliminate discrimination and bigotry, to strengthen inter-group relationships and to foster greater understanding, inclusion and justice for those who live, work, study, worship, travel and play inPortland.

To nominate an individual or group for a Human Rights award, visit the commission’s website. Or send nomination information to

The commission will present the winners of the Emily G. Gottfried Human Rights awards at a luncheon on Dec. 5, in celebration of International Human Rights Day.



Celebrate Diverse Cultures at Portland Roots Festival


FRIDAY, AUG. 23, 2013 – The first annual Portland Roots Festival explores the food justice movement and celebrates the flavors of African Diaspora food culture in an urban landscape.

PCRI logoThe event is set for noon to 8 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 1, at Pioneer Courthouse Square. Admission is free.

The event will highlight the food practices of African-American, Afro-Caribbean, Afro- Latin and African Diaspora populations of Portland. It will feature dozens of food vendors, micro-entrepreneurs, artists and performers, youth activities, and a keynote speech from Will Allen, founder and chief executive officer of Growing Power Inc. Allen is widely considered a leading authority on urban agriculture and food policy.

The festival is hosted by Portland Community Reinvestment Initiatives, Inc., in celebration of their Healthy Foods Access Initiative. The organization is a nonprofit, community development corporation with a mission "to preserve, expand and manage affordable housing in the City of Portland, and to provide access to and advocacy for services to our residents."

The organization owns and manages 700 units of affordable rental housing consisting of single family homes, apartments, mixed-use and commercial properties located primarily in North and Northeast Portland.

Find out more online at:



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.


Portland Office of Equity and Human Rights 



What is the strategic plan of the Office of Equity and Human Rights?



City services are administered and delivered in a way that gives all Portlanders access to the opportunities necessary to satisfy their essential needs, advance their well‐being and achieve their full potential.



The Office of Equity and Human Rights provides education and technical support to City staff and elected officials, leading to recognition and removal of systemic barriers to fair and just distribution of resources, access and opportunity, starting with issues of race and disability.


What is Equity?

Equity is when everyone has access to the opportunities necessary to satisfy their essential needs, advance their well‐being and achieve their full potential. We have a shared fate as individuals within a community and as communities within society. All communities need the ability to shape their own present and future. Equity is both the means to healthy communities and an end that benefits us all.