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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

Vigil for Marriage Equality

Mayor, Other Leaders Rally for Same-Sex Marriage Rights

WEDNESDAY, APRIL 23, 2014 – Hundreds of people held a vigil Tuesday night at Terry Schrunk Plaza, opposite City Hall, on the eve of a U.S. District Court hearing arguments about Oregon’s ban on same-sex marriage.

mayor at rallyMayor Charlie Hales, Commissioner Nick Fish and a wide array of city leaders were on hand for the vigil, along with U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden, Multnomah County Commissioner Marissa Madrigal, and State Sen. Diane Rosenbaum.

“The ban should be overturned,” Mayor Hales said. “We’re here to voice our wholehearted support for a being a ‘whole-hearted’ state – one in which the right to marry is there, equally, for everyone.”

First Lady Nancy Hales was on hand, too.


 U.S. District Judge Michael McShane will hold oral arguments at 1:30 p.m. today (Wednesday, April 23) on a legal challenge to Oregon's constitutional ban on same-sex marriage. Unlike most court proceedings, in today’s oral arguments, the plaintiffs and defendants both agree that Oregon's prohibition should be struck down. Oregon Attorney General Ellen Rosenblum announced in February that she won’t defend the 2004 amendment, saying it now violates federal equal-rights protections.

Jules Bailey, Diane Rosenbaum, Marissa MadrigalNationally, the U.S. Supreme Court struck down parts of the Defense of Marriage Act in 2013. In recent months, federal judges have ruled against laws that prohibit same-sex marriage in five states. And a total of 17 states, along with the District of Columbia, allow same-sex marriages.

The Oregonian’s Jeff Mapes is covering today’s oral arguments. And Twitter followers can keep track of the updates with the tags @OregonianPol and #orgaymarriage.

Sen. WydenMayor, Nick Fish

Earth Day

'Nurture Nature' - A Reminder to Keep Our Amazing Green Spaces

TUESDAY, APRIL 22, 2014 – Not every city is Portland. And not every city resident is surrounded by such natural beauties as Forest Park, or Hayden Island, or Mount Hood.Mayor, First Lady and students

We have it lucky here. And Earth Day is a good day to remind us of that.

Earth Day April 22 has been a worldwide celebration since 1970, with the goal of supporting protection for the environment. It’s an annual reminder for us to recognize the importance of healthy air, land and water across the country, especially in our cities and metropolitan areas where the majority of our population lives. 

One of the most important sources of funding for America’s local, state and national parks is the hugely successful, but little known, Land and Water Conservation Fund. The fund was created in 1965 to assist in preserving, developing and assuring accessibility of outdoor recreation resources for all Americans. Since then, it has helped to create more than 42,000 state and local projects including parks, playgrounds, urban wildlife refuges, greenways, trails and open space in all 50 states.

In fact, more than 98 percent of the counties in the nation have a park project funded by the Land and Water Conservation Fund.

As a staunch advocate of the Land and Water Conservation Fund, I am proud to be a member of a new bipartisan coalition, Mayors for Parks, which supports reauthorization of the fund at its full level of $900 million annually.  The coalition includes mayors from around the country who realize and depend on the tremendous value that the fund provides to their cities. 

The fund uses no taxpayer dollars. It’s funded through revenues from offshore oil and gas royalties paid by energy companies drilling on the Outer Continental Shelf.  And while Congress is authorized to spend up to $900 million annually for the fund, the program is chronically underfunded. In fact, over its 49‐year history, revenues for the fund have been diverted for other purposes almost every year. The fund has only received its full appropriation twice in 49 years! And now, most urgently, the fund is set to “sunset” on Sept. 30, 2015.

Today, 85 percent of us live in metropolitan areas, but dwelling in a city must not be used as an excuse to cut us and our children off from the wonders of nature, and the comfort and refreshment that even a few hours outdoors can bring into our hectic urban lives.  Our nation’s investment in the Land and Water Conservation is an essential tool for Portland and other cities to create new and revitalized parks, green spaces and recreation opportunities, to make our communities economically, environmentally and culturally vibrant, and most importantly, ensure a healthy and livable city for everyone to enjoy.


Governing for Racial Equity

Conference slated for March 25-26 in Portland

Governing for Racial Equity 


WEDNESDAY, MARCH 19, 2014 -- Portland's Office of Equity and Human Rights is co-sponsoring the Governing for Racial Equity Conference, Monday and Tuesday, March 25 and 26, at the Double Tree by Hilton Hotel Portland.

The GRE Network is a regional partnership of government jurisdictions working to achieve racial equity. Participants work to eliminate institutional and structural racism: the root causes of racial inequities. The network's goals are to strengthen alliances, build organizational and institutional skills and commitment, share promising practices and develop and implement policies that promote racial equity.

The Conference also will feature workshops and presentations on incorporating a racial equity lens for training, policy development, health, transportation, planning and more.

Elected leaders are invited to enroll in a facilitated executive session to discuss the opportunities and challenges of governing for racial equity.

The Conference will culminate with the official launch of the GRE Network.

Government employees and elected officials from around the United States have registered.


Registration information can be found here.

Google Fiber

Portland and regional cities are in the running for ultra-fast broadband services

Council Vote Clears Way For Google.


WEDNESDAY, JUNE 11, 2014 -- The Portland City Council unanimously OK'd a franchise agreement with Google, to provide super-fast Internet service to the home by 2015. The Oregonian's Mike Rogoway covered the week's news:

Five Cities Ante Up For Super-Fast Internet


WEDNESDAY, FEB. 19, 2014 – Portland is on a short list of cities working with Google to explore the possibility of bringing the ultra high speed Google Fiber broadband network to the city.

Four mayors“Google is looking for communities that serve as hubs for innovation. And that’s Portland,” Mayor Charlie Hales said. “Our culture of creativity and coalition-building makes this the ideal spot for ultra-high-speed broadband.”

Portland is among 34 cities nationwide being considered for inclusion in Google Fiber’s high-speed network. Places like Kansas City, Kansas, and Provo, Utah, have led the way. Among this new class of potential sites are Portland, Gresham, Beaverton, Lake Oswego, Tigard and Hillsboro.

“There is no question that the Internet has literally rewired how we work and live, and it still has so much potential to improve our lives,” Hales said. “Abundant, high-speed broadband access will make our community stronger and will lay the foundations of economic development for our future.”

Kevin Lo, general manager of Google Fiber, said the company will work closely with Mayor Hales and city leaders on a joint planning process to explore what it would take to build a brand new fiber-optic network capable of delivering these gigabit speeds throughout Portland. Google will begin compiling a detailed study of local factors that might affect construction plans.

Simultaneously, Mayor Hales and city leaders will begin meetings with Google to discuss what it would take to plan and prepare the city for a fiber project of this scale.

“Communities with abundant high-speed Internet grow stronger because there’s greater potential to create jobs, drive economic growth, and help students and families get access to essential resources” Lo said. “City leaders like Charlie Hales are stepping up to see what they can do to make their cities ready for the fiber-optic networks that are the future. We look forward to working with Portland in the coming months to see if we can build the next chapter of the Internet together, on gigabit speeds.”

Google will provide an update on which cities will get Google Fiber by the end of this year, Lo said.

Google Fiber is an Internet and TV service that provides Internet connectivity that is up to 100-times faster than the basic broadband, along with hundreds of HD TV channels. Google Fiber currently is available in Kansas City, Kansas, Kansas City, Mo., and Provo Utah, and will be available in Austin,Texas, later this year.

For more information about this announcement, visit the Google Fiber blog


Fairness Hearing

A Hearing before Judge Simon Draws Near

TUESDAY, JAN. 4, 2014 – U.S. District Judge Michael Simon will hold a fairness hearing on Tuesday, Feb. 18, to receive testimony from the public on whether a settlement agreement on a package ofPortlandpolice reforms is fair, reasonable and adequate to solve problems identified by the U.S. Department of Justice.

"The city first invited the DOJ in to examine this matter, and now the judge will get a chance to hear from the various sides. This is a big and important milestone," Mayor Charlie Hales said. "I encourage anyone who wishes to, to participate."

Information on the fairness hearing is available at the Court’s website. The site includes the proposed settlement agreement and a testimony form.

The fairness hearing will be held at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 18, 2014, in Courtroom 13B of the federal courthouse,1000 S.W. Third Ave. It will be open to the public.

The Justice Department last fall found thatPortlandpolice engaged in a pattern or practice of using excessive force against people with actual or perceived mental illness. The settlement agreement calls for reforms to police policies, training and oversight.

The Court invites members of the public to testify, in writing or orally, on the following topics:

• Is the Agreement fair to everyone affected?
• Is the Agreement reasonable?
• Is the Agreement adequate to solve the problems identified in the complaint?