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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

Mayor Joins #ClimateMayors in Twitter Discussion ahead of Paris Climate Conference

Mayors across the country will attend the United Nations Climate Change Conference

FRIDAY, OCT. 30, 2015 — Mayor Charlie Hales on Friday joined mayors from across the country in a Twitter discussion about climate action.

The #ClimateMayors convened digitally 30 days ahead of the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris, where they are calling on the United States to demonstrate powerful leadership and steer the Paris talks toward a strong agreement that would lead to measurable improvements in the world's climate, human health, and quality of life. 

Today the mayors also released the Compendium of City Climate Action (, detailing emission reduction targets, key policies, and new actions in 30 municipalities.

See a sample from the Twitter discussion below. For all the answers from mayors across the country, click here!


City Works with Service Providers for Mayor's Homelessness Initiative

The initiative rolls out pieces of Mayor Hales' $100 million investment in affordable housing and homelessness services.

Mayor Hales and partners

THURSDAY, AUG. 20, 2015 – The City of Portland is teaming up with service providers to direct services toward homeless people who face the greatest barriers to housing.

Starting in September, the city and Cascadia Behavioral Healthcare will begin the High-Intensity Street Engagement effort, which will focus housing placement and retention efforts, with culturally specific wraparound services, for people who need the greatest amount of support. FACT SHEET

“This is about focusing our services to those residents most at-risk, those most in need of housing and services,” Mayor Charlie Hales said. “Thanks to our partners, the service providers, we will look to find services for those homeless Portlanders who require more intensive assistance.”

The program and storage area are part of the $100 million investment in affordable housing and homelessness services from Mayor Hales' FY 2015-16 budget. The mayor also allocated nearly $300,000 for homeless veterans and women's shelters in the 2014 Spring budget adjustment. 

The High-Intensity Street Engagement will include other service providers, including the Urban League of Portland and the Native American Rehabilitation Association of the Northwest. The Neighborhood Response Team of the Portland Police Bureau will work with the service providers as well.

“By coordinating services, this model uniquely tailors engagement, interventions and ongoing critical resources that are specifically designed for the individual,” said Dr. Derald Walker, chief executive officer, Cascadia Behavioral Healthcare. ”It wraps around healthcare and housing benefits to provide the essentials in life to some of the most vulnerable folks within our community that the rest of us often take for granted. Cascadia is honored to partner with the City of Portland and so many high quality service organization towards this aim.”

Other speakers at the news conference include Multnomah County Commissioner Jules Bailey and Portland Housing Commissioner Dan Saltzman.

Two other programs by the city also were introduced Thursday:

● The city will introduce a one-point contact system for residents who want to report behavior-based issues such as illegal activity or people blocking public space. The city will provide a phone number, email address and texting address that residents can use to report problems for all sites within the city, regardless of which agency owns them.

That program will debut in October.

● Day Storage Pilot Program: Portland is about to unveil two storage sites, on the east and west side, which houseless people may use to leave their belongings for the day. The facilities will be staffed by outreach workers and will include storage space, toilets, sharps containers, and a kiosk of information from service providers.

That program also will debut in October.

● County Commissioner Bailey will discuss the joint venture by the county and city to address homeless veterans. Both governments are working together to provide housing for hundreds of homeless vets in 2015.

"Marc Jolin, initiative director for a Home for Everyone, said the social service providers and police already know the population they're targeting," The Oregonian reports. "And offering social services, public safety resources and behavioral health programs for those people already costs money for every agency, in terms of worker hours. 'We haven't been able to help them be successful with those piecemeal efforts,' Jolin said.

"Better coordination and a significant up-front investment by the city could help turn the tide, Jolin said. 'Once we've helped them get into housing all of those other costs that were have been incurring go away.'"

Mayor, Commissioner Announce Affordable Housing, Commercial Developments

Mayor Hales and Commissioner Saltzman announce that two cornerstone projects in Northeast Portland will move forward.

Rep. Fredrick, Comm. Saltzman, Mayor HalesMONDAY, AUG. 17, 2015 — Affordable housing‬ and ‪commercial developments will soon fill long-vacant lots along Northeast Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard, Mayor Charlie Hales and Housing Commissioner Dan Saltzman announced today.

The projects are part of a collaborative effort to improve equity and access in underrepresented neighborhoods. The affordable housing development would be located at Northeast Martin Luther King, Jr. Boulevard, between Ivy and Cook streets, and the commercial development, anchored by Natural Grocers, will be on the major thoroughfare, at Alberta Street.

Mayor Hales and Commissioner Saltzman — with partners Portland Development Commission, PCRI and Colas Construction, Inc. — at the press conference said the project will turn a vacant lot into a vibrant, 25,000-square-foot commercial center, anchored by a grocery store in an area with only one other grocery option. The complex will also have space for as many as 10 local and minority-owned businesses. Construction will begin this fall.

The affordable housing development is part of the City's initiative to create new affordable housing units in Northeast Portland, though an infusion of $20 million of URA funds. It will have ground-floor businesses and up to 70 housing units affordable for low-income families. The project prioritizes families at risk of displacement because of rising housing prices.   

More on the partnerships that made these developments possible from OPB.

"Today we celebrate community development in an area that would otherwise just grow weeds," Mayor Hales said. "We've heard passionate concern in the community about safeguarding opportunity. Will we become the San Francisco of the Northwest? Will we keep Portland a place of opportunity for everyone? That weighs on my mind, and everyone's mind. So it's a good day when we have the chance to put in place a part of the solution.

"This is a great day, but we can't rest. Portland is going to continue to grow; we're a city that a lot of people want to live in. But we can grow the right way. Thank you, partners, for building the future of Portland."

WATCH Mayor Hales' remarks:

Portland: A City of Firsts in Climate Action

Mayor Hales has attended two historic events in the fight against climate change, and is energized to reaffirm Portland's commitment to climate action.

Portland is a city of firsts: First U.S. city to replace a waterfront highway with a park; bring back the modern streetcar; adopt the Kyoto climate protocols; enact a green building policy. Portland has the highest bike ridership in the country, and was an inaugural member of C40, a league of cities banning together to fight climate change. Portland adopted a Climate Action Plan in 1993, a decade before most cities had even begun to grapple with those issues.

Sen. Merkley, EPA Admin McCarthy, Mayor HalesIn the wake of invitations from the Pope and the President to attend climate-related conferences at the Vatican and at the White House, Mayor Charlie Hales has reaffirmed Portland’s commitment to climate action, as well as to ensuring opportunity for all Portlanders.

“As the world faces the reality of climate change, we must continue to be a trailblazer,” Mayor Hales says. “We can’t just be green, we must be green and equitable at the same time. Ensuring access to the tools that make Portland a worldwide leader in sustainability will not only reduce carbon emissions, it will also help us build a Portland that is affordable, livable and equitable — a City of Opportunity.”

Here is a recap of the recent steps Portland has taken to act on climate [updated Sept. 24 with divestment action]:

> Climate Action Plan update: In June City Council passed updates to the Climate Action Plan, which lays out ambitious new goals and emphasizes equitable resources — serving low-income households and communities of color in order to advance equity through climate action efforts.

> Carbon Emissions Reduction resolution: City Council in June passed a resolution directing City bureaus to implement policies and programs to keep Portland on a path of reducing local carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2050.

> Green Bonds resolution: City Council in June passed a resolution to establish the City's interest in exploring “green bonds” and other climate-related tools to finance infrastructure projects that have environmental impacts, encouraging environmental best practices in capital projects.

> Energy Performance Benchmarking policy: City Council in April passed Mayor Hales’ proposal to require large commercial buildings — 20,000 square feet and larger — to track energy performance, calculate energy use and report to the city. The goal is to reduce energy costs for building owners and carbon emissions for the city, among Mayor Hales’ priorities to reduce Portland’s carbon footprint.

> City of Portland energy from renewable sources: Currently City of Portland operations get nearly 100 percent of power from renewable sources — solar, biogas, in-pipe microhydro, etc. The goal is to achieve 100 percent renewable energy for city operations.

> Solar at City buildings: Currently the City of Portland generates 540,869 kilowatt hours from solar panels at 10 of its sites. The goal is to generate 1 million kilowatt hours with solar panels across City facilities.

> LED street lights: The City of Portland has converted more than 20,000 street lights to LED, saving about $100,000 per month and nearly $1.5 million per year. The goal is to transition all 55,000 of Portland’s streetlights by the end of 2016.

> Clean diesel: The City of Portland’s entire fleet uses clean diesel — no more of the old, dirty diesel engines. The goal is to make clean diesel engine conversions more accessible to minority- and women-owned and emerging small businesses, which face hurdles to the investment.

> Electric vehicles: The City of Portland plans to add to its fleet 40 electric vehicles, making 20 percent of the City’s sedans electric by 2020.

> Fossil fuel disinvestment: City Council on Sept. 24 approved a policy placed the top 200 fossil fuel companies on the City of Portland’s do-not-buy list for direct investment of City funds. The City will be fully divested from those companies by March 2018. Read the resolution.

> Establish fossil fuel infrastructure policy: Mayor Hales proposed one of the most aggressive fossil fuel export resolutions in the nation, and it was approved by City Council in November. The resolution opposes the expansion of infrastructure whose primary purpose is transporting or storing fossil fuels in or through Portland or the city's adjacent waterways.