Skip to Main Content View Text-Only

Mayor Charlie Hales

City of Portland Mayor Charlie Hales

Phone: 503-823-4120

1221 SW 4th Avenue, Room 340, Portland, OR 97204

Chief Reese Announces Retirement

Chief Reese Announces Retirement


Mayor Names Assistant Chief Larry O’Dea as Successor


TUESDAY, OCT. 7, 2014 – Chief Mike Reese today announced his plans for retirement from the Portland Police Bureau. Mayor Charlie Hales has named his replacement: Assistant Chief Larry O’Dea.

“Larry O’Dea is one of the most decorated officers in the bureau — 11 medals and 75 letters of commendation,” Hales said. “He shares my goals and aspirations. He has been living the idea of community engagement. He has led the bureau’s equity work. He has the respect of the command staff, the rank-and-file, and the community. He is the right leader at the right time.”

Hales, O’Dea and Reese today will host a press conference about the transition, which is planned for January 2015. It will be the first smooth transition between chiefs in two decades.

The mayor praised Reese’s tenure as chief, citing not only the U.S. Department of Justice settlement, but also the opening last month of the most complete law enforcement training facility in the region. Under Reese’s leadership, the bureau instituted new discipline guidelines, new training procedures, and has hired a more diverse set of new officers in recent recruitments.

“I thank Mike Reese for his leadership and his service,” Hales said. “Mike saw us through the investigation and settlement with the DOJ. This was a key milestone for our city and the community’s relationship with the bureau.”

Reese joined the bureau in 1994 and served as a sergeant, lieutenant, captain and commander. A native Portlander and graduate of Roosevelt High School, he has served as chief since May 2010.
O’Dea will immediately begin leading strategic planning that has long-term impacts for the bureau, including the DOJ settlement implementation, budget, staffing study, promotions, and transition to a new records management system.

O’Dea has served with Portland Police since 1986. He has been a uniformed patrol officer, sergeant, lieutenant, and captain. He has served as assistant chief of services and assistant chief of operations.

He has an executive certificate from the Mark Hatfield School of Government at PSU; a bachelor’s degree in social sciences from Portland State University; and an associate’s degree in criminal justice from Portland Community College.

“We have made important strides in diversifying the bureau, in hiring, in training, in discipline guidelines, in de-escalation,” Hales said. “And with Mike taking a well-earned retirement, Larry O’Dea is exactly the right person to handle the big challenges ahead.”

Hales said his priorities for the next chief will include:

● Expanding community engagement. That includes the walking beats re-introduced this year.

● Focusing on equity and diversity issues, including training for officers and continued recruitment of a more representative workforce.

● Critiquing the Police Bureau’s budget, ensuring taxpayers’ dollars are used wisely.

● Implementing the DOJ settlement on schedule.

Among the DOJ settlement’s requirements are consistent leadership and smooth transitions between chiefs. O’Dea participated in all aspects of the DOJ discussions, and understands the nuances of the complex agreement.

O’Dea said he is honored to accept the position of police chief.

“My four primary focus areas are: Community trust and relationship building; diversifying the bureau and bureau leadership; communications and collaboration; and being fiscally smart and responsible,” O’Dea said.

“I am so excited about the direction we’re moving,” he added. “You can see it in the command staff and in the rank-and-file. It’s about relationships with the community. It’s not about the number of arrests; it’s about working on the things that are important to the community.”

The press conference is at noon at the Justice Center in the Wayne Sullivan Room, 14th Floor, 1111 SW 2nd Ave.

Portland wins worldwide honors for climate action plan

Portland is among worldwide honorees for climate action plan – other winners include Amsterdam, London, NYC, Seoul

TUESDAY, SEPT. 23, 2014 – Portland is among 10 cities worldwide to receive the City Climate Leadership Awards 2014. The Awards honor cities all over the world for excellence in urban sustainability and leadership in the fight against climate change.

Mayor HalesSiemens and the C40 Cities Climate Leadership Group – or C40 – announced the winners Monday evening at a ceremony in New York City. They are:

• Amsterdam: Finance & Economic Development

• Barcelona: Intelligent City Infrastructure

• Buenos Aires: Solid Waste Management

• London: Carbon Measurement & Planning and Air Quality

• Melbourne: Adaptation & Resilience

• New York City: Energy Efficient Built Environment

• Portland: Sustainable Communities

• Seoul: Green Energy

• Shenzhen: Urban Transportation

“Portland stands proudly alongside the global megacities that make up the C40,” Mayor Charlie Hales said. “We're delighted to have the honor and recognition that the Portland’s Healthy Connected City approach has proven to be a powerful carbon-reduction strategy.”

Eduardo Paes, mayor of Rio de Janeiro and chairman of the C40 group, praised the honorees. “I commend the winning cities for their leadership and commitment, and am confident that their knowledge and experience will help drive other cities to implement on-the-ground solutions faster and more efficiently. Through cooperation and collaboration, cities continue to deliver the results that are having a global impact.”

Susan AndersonHales praised Susan Anderson, director of the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, and Michael Armstrong, senior sustainability manager, along with outside partners ranging from Metro to Multnomah County to the state government. He said the private sector plays a huge role in the honor as well.

“In Portland, the basic idea is to develop the centers of our existing neighborhoods into highly walkable, lively commercial districts, making it easy and convenient to get to the schools, shops, jobs, parks, coffee and beer that make Portland a great place to live, work and play,” Hales said.

Portland’s plan also calls for offering new housing opportunities so even more residents can live in complete neighborhoods. And then connecting these neighborhoods with low-carbon transportation options.

“We are about to complete the first new bridge in downtown Portland in 30 years, and it will carry light rail, streetcar, buses, bicycles and pedestrians … but not private vehicles,” Hales said this spring, while addressing the U.S. Conference of Mayors in Chicago. “This is the kind of investment we are making to make our healthy connected city a reality.”

The winners were celebrated at an Awards Ceremony featuring C40 Board President Michael R. Bloomberg and Gro Harlem Brundtland, former Norwegian Prime Minister. The event brought together more than 250 decision-makers from cities around the world including national leaders, mayors, city planners, policy makers and representatives from the business world.

Josh Alpert, special projects adviser to Mayor Hales, attended to accept the award.

The award-winning cities were selected for the following actions:

Sustainable Communities recipient: Portland for its ‘Healthy Connected

City’ network. The city is developing “complete neighborhoods” to give all residents safe and convenient access to the goods and services needed in daily life. In 2012, 45 percent of the Portland population lived in complete neighborhoods, a figure which the city aims to raise to 80 percent by 2035.

The city’s ambitious and successful initiative shows a unique and valuable pathway to sustainable, resilient, and low carbon communities.


Finance and Economic Development recipient: Amsterdam for its

‘Investment Fund’. With this innovative project the city demonstrates how environmental and climate protection initiatives can be effectively incorporated into a city’s economic development strategy. Amsterdam designed a powerful financing instrument of USD 103 million to be invested in sustainable energy projects, some of them focusing on small businesses.

The fund lowers energy bills for citizens and businesses and contributes to

Amsterdam’s overall CO2 reduction targets: In 2010, the city had already achieved a 20 percent reduction, compared to 1990 levels.

Intelligent City Infrastructure recipient: Barcelona for its ‘Urban Platform’. This project introduces a new Information and Communication Technology (ICT) architecture that provides a single platform, which interconnects the entire city. The platform enables the city to manage resources efficiently and reduce the impact of urban infrastructure on the environment. It will help the city save energy and reduce pollution thanks to sensors monitoring water levels for irrigation, garbage containers, parking, people flow, energy efficiency in city buildings, etc. The program is also geared towards citizen engagement and features a web platform called “GO” (Open Government), which publishes all data publicly.


Solid Waste Management recipient: Buenos Aires for its ‘Solid Urban

Waste Reduction Project’. This project is not only improving the city’s cleanliness, but it is also a well-integrated and easily replicable strategy that includes strong citizen engagement and job growth. The city has committed to reducing waste sent to landfill by 83 percent by 2017, achieving this through an ambitious waste treatment program based on waste separation at origin, recovery, recycling and valorization. The city’s efforts have already resulted in a significant reduction of waste sent to landfills.


Carbon Measurement and Planning recipient: London for its assessment of city-wide greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. Between 2012 and 2013, the

Greater London Authority (GLA) took a holistic approach to measuring GHG emissions. It was the first city worldwide to report direct and indirect city wide GHG emissions following internationally recognized GHG accounting and reporting principles. The effort builds on the C40 and partners’ Global

Protocol for Community-scale GHG Emissions (GPC) (in which London was also a pilot city), including a wider range of indirect emissions and a separate consumption-based methodology.


Air Quality recipient: London for its ‘New Taxi for London’ project. Transport accounts for 60 percent of all air pollutant emissions in London. This project seeks to develop new zero emission-capable vehicles with manufacturers; it will use GPS-based geofencing to switch hybrid vehicles to its zero emission drive cycle and will provide a range of innovative financing solutions. The aim of the project is to reduce emissions from the city’s iconic black taxi fleet by up to 100 percent in central London and around 75 percent in the rest of the city. Since the introduction of age limits more than 3,000 of the oldest taxis have been retired and from 2018 all taxis will be newly licensed. This project is a unique approach of aligning the Government Office for low emission vehicles, the European Investment Bank and the UK Green Investment Bank.

Adaptation and Resilience recipient: Melbourne for its ‘Urban Landscapes Climate Adaptation Program’. By increasing green space to 7.6 percent of municipal space and doubling the tree canopy, the program’s goal is to cool the city by 4°C and reduce drought vulnerability using green infrastructure. The city’s actions have already led to the planting of 12,000 new trees and the addition of 10,000 square meters of green space. The program includes running extensive citizen engagement initiatives, which together with the other actions provide a wide range of benefits including improved air quality and city resilience, reduced energy demand, and reduced heat-related illness and morbidity.

Energy Efficient Built Environment recipient: New York for its ‘Greener, Greater Buildings Plan’ and New York City ‘Carbon Challenge’ program.

Launched to back up New York’s environmental goal of reducing citywide GHG emissions by 30 percent by 2030, these programs benefit building owners through energy savings, and improve both air quality and public health. By reducing an estimated 5 percent of GHG emissions, this program can save the city USD 7 billion in energy costs and create roughly 17,800 jobs over the next 10 years. The NYC Carbon Challenge is designed to reduce emissions by more than 600,000 metric tons by the end of the program.


Green Energy recipient: Seoul for its ‘Make Seoul a City of Sunlight’ project. The city is building more photovoltaic facilities, targeting a reduction of greenhouse emissions as well as the city’s heavy dependence on fossil fuels, oil and nuclear and coal power plants. This project is part of the ‘One

Less Nuclear Power Initiative’, designed to reduce the city’s energy demand by two million tons of oil equivalent, which is the same amount as the output of one nuclear plant. Seoul’s aim is to function as a huge solar power plant and create energy independent communities.


Urban Transportation Award recipient: Shenzhen, for its ‘New Energy Vehicle Promotion’ project. As of December 2013, Shenzhen has introduced a new energy vehicle fleet of more than 6,000 units, making it the largest zero-emissions fleet in service worldwide. The project aims to add 35,000 new energy vehicles to the fleet in the next two years and to reach a zero emission ecosystem in the long term. Between 2009 and 2013, this program has cut CO2 emissions by 160,000 tones, leading to the city being ranked in the top 10 for best air quality in China according to China’s Environment Agency.

About the Awards competition:

This year marks the second collaboration between C40 and Siemens on this awards competition, which recognizes innovative city driven climate actions. Cities around the world submitted 87 applications. An independent, seven-member judging panel consisting of former city mayors, architects, representatives of the World Bank, as well as C40 and Siemens evaluated 31 projects in 26 cities as award finalists.

The City Climate Leadership Awards are part of a broader collaboration between Siemens and C40, announced in New York City in April 2013. In addition to the Awards, Siemens supports the C40 Measurement and Planning Initiative –an effort dedicated to enhancing each member city’s ability to measure data, take action and track progress towards self-identified goals. Siemens’ technical expertise is directly available to C40’s robust network of cities.

Comprehensive Plan

Portlanders: Time to testify on draft 2035 Comprehensive Plan

THURSDAY, SEPT. 11, 2014 – It’s time for Portlanders to weigh in on the city’s new long-range plan for growth, change and improvement.

The Planning and Sustainability Commission is looking for comments from the community on the Comprehensive Plan Proposed Draft. The commission will hold four public hearings, two of which will be out in the community to offer more convenient times and locations for Portlanders to testify about the new plan. 

Gateway Green“Other cities throughout the nation, and the world, come to see how Portland does comprehensive, long-range planning,” Mayor Charlie Hales said. “This is an amazing process, but it won’t work without public input. Portlanders own Portland’s Comp. Plan.”

Comprising new goals, policies and a land use map, the proposed draft of the 2035 Comprehensive Plan has been available for public review since July 21. An online Map App allows the public to view their property and/or neighborhood and comment on the proposed land use changes.

See the draft 2035 Comprehensive Plan and explore the Map App.


Testimony Needed


All feedback on the proposed draft is now being considered by the Planning and Sustainability Commission, which will eventually make a recommendation to the Portland City Council for adoption. 

Portlanders are welcome to share their comments in person at the upcoming public hearings hosted by the PSC.

PBridge at nightlanning and Sustainability Commission Public Hearings


Tuesday, Sept. 23, 5-9 p.m.
1900 S.W. Fourth Ave., Room 2500A

Tuesday, Oct. 14, 5–9 p.m.
Parkrose High School, Student Center, 12003 N.E. Shaver St.

Tuesday, Oct. 28, 5–9 p.m.
Portland Community College Southeast Center, Community Hall, 2305 S.E. 82nd Ave.

Tuesday, Nov. 4, 4–8 p.m.
1900 S.W. Fourth Ave., Room 2500A

Portlanders also are invited to comment in writing in the following ways:

Send written comments to: 

Portland Planning and Sustainability Commission

Comprehensive Plan Update

1900 S.W. Fourth Ave., Suite 7100

Portland, OR 97201

Email: (be sure to include the words PSC Comprehensive Plan Testimony in the subject line).

Comment directly onto the Map App at


Open Houses Slated


To help community members learn more about the draft 2035 plan and prepare their testimony, the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability is holding open houses. These are intended to give the public a chance to talk to a planner, find out more about the proposed land use changes and get tips for delivering effective testimony.  

 Farmers Market

Open Houses

Tuesday, Sept. 16, 4–7 p.m., 1900 S.W. Fourth Ave.

Thursday, Sept. 18, 4–7 p.m., Roosevelt High School, Cafeteria,

6941 N. Central St.

What happens next?


The Planning and Sustainability Commission will listen to what the public has to say about the proposal at the public hearings. After discussion and deliberation, they will make a recommendation to City Council early in 2015.

The City Council is expected to hold hearings and vote on the new Comprehensive Plan by mid-2015. The council likely will hold hearings and vote on corresponding zoning changes by the end of 2015. After City Council approval, the new plan must be approved by the State of Oregon.

The new Comprehensive Plan Map will be the basis for future updates to the City’s Zoning Map and Zoning Code.



Sister City: Guadalajara

Portland Connects with Sister City Guadalajara on Both Sides of the Border


THURSDAY, AUG. 28, 2014 — Mayor Charlie Hales this week talked livable cities with a delegation of business and government officials visiting from Guadalajara, Mexico — less than a week after Portland Fire & Rescue made its own splash in the sister city.

PF&R trucks roll into Guadalajara.

Since 1983, Portland has maintained the sister city relationship with Guadalajara through cultural, educational and economic exchanges. The delegation’s trip to Portland lays the groundwork for stronger ties — e.g. a new air service scheduled to start in October. Volaris Airlines will provide a direct air service between the two cities.

This week the delegation — including officials from the city, as well as from the state of Jalisco and from businesses such as Mundo Cuervo, the distillery that makes Jose Cuervo — toured Portland’s sustainable features and met with local businesses. The group was interested in learning about Portland’s best practices to advance the livable city movement.

“These relationships are so important,” Mayor Hales said. “Maintaining ties for over three decades makes both cities richer in culture, trade and education.”

Portland in Guadalajara

PF&R celebrates handing off fire trucks to Guadalajara.

Last week, Portland’s presence was felt in Guadalajara: The city accepted a fire engine and a ladder truck from Portland Fire & Rescue, the third such donation since 1999. Guadalajara Director of International Relations Mario Reynoso via Twitter thanked the city for its donation, which arrived Aug. 22, Mexico’s National Firefighters Day.

The mayor and City Council approved the donation in November 2013, but there was nine months of international red tape to work through before the trucks could be delivered to Guadalajara.

Before Portland Fire started training and equipment donation with Guadalajara 15 years ago, the city had four stations serving 1.5 million people; Portland has 30 stations for 600,000 people. Now Guadalajara has 17 stations across the city, allowing firefighters to respond to calls within 5 minutes instead of up to 45 minutes.

Tweet from Mario Reynoso

“This makes a huge difference for them,” said Portland Fire & Rescue Lt. Joe Troncosso. “The only way to keep those stations is with equipment.

“These trucks started on the front lines here; then they were back-up; then they sat unused in the lot. Now, they’re back on the front lines again, doing what they’re supposed to: save lives.”


Japan Trip 2014: Business Connections

Trip Highlights Shared Interests among Portland, Japanese Cities


TUESDAY, SEPT. 9, 2014—Mayor Charlie Hales and a delegation of Portland government and business officials today return from a five-day trade mission in Japan, where they connected with culture, business and tourism partners in one of Oregon’s top export destinations.

(Clip from the Tokyo Fish Market.) 

Hales’ visit to Sapporo, Portland’s oldest sister city relationship, followed a 90-person Sapporo delegation trip to Portland in June. The mayor was joined by Portland’s chief lobbyist, Government Relations Director Martha Pellegrino; Portland Development Commission International Business Development Officer Mitsu Yamazaki; and the city’s International Relations Liaison, Hector Miramontes.

“This was a tremendous experience,” Hales said. “Our cities have shared interests and issues. We learned a lot from them, and they learned a lot from us.”

The trip started with a number of arts- and culture-related stops, and ended with business tours and meetings and urban design and policy discussions.

“There are so many artistic, cultural, educational and economic connections between Japan and Portland,” Pellegrino said. “Portland’s star is clearly rising in our sister city, Sapporo, and in Tokyo.”

The delegation found striking similarities between Portland and its sister city. Hales was excited to see how invested Sapporo is in the relationship, with Portland Square—one of Pellegrino’s favorite stops—and a rose garden in honor of Portland.

Odori Park, Sapporo, Japan.

Yamazaki was impressed with his tour of Sapporo, led by a professor of urban planning from Hokkaido University, which highlighted Sapporo’s likeness to Portland: “There are park blocks called Odori Park; streetcars crisscrossing the city; active pediatrician walkways; contrast between old and new building in a confined area much like Pearl. To top it off the list, the professor took me up on the southwestern hill to view the entire city from the above, with reminded me of the fabulous outlook from Pittock Mansion or (Oregon Health & Science University).”

While the delegation was impressed with how well-known Portland was in Japan, Hales still plugged the city as a destination for both business and visitors.

On Saturday morning, Hales and Yamazaki introduced “Lifestyle Portland,” a seminar promoting Portland as a prime tourism and business destination. Jeff Hammerly of Travel Portland also was there. The event built on the already-strong recognition of Portland in popular magazines and newspapers in Japan.

That afternoon, Hales presented at the Ninth International Symposium of America-Japan Societies in Sapporo, Hokkaido, on celebrating 55 years as a sister city with shared values of sustainability.

The delegation traveled to Tokyo on Sunday, and on Monday spent the day with business and industry.

They toured a Kanto Factory in the city of Koga — among the delegation’s favorite experiences. Kanto Factory is a product demonstration campus of the Sekisui House, one of Japan’s largest homebuilders. The factory showcases the company’s latest technologies materials and designs, such as an earthquake simulator within a model house. The product demonstration campus is located next to Sekisui’s largest factory, churning out all the components to make a house every 7 minutes, serving 40 million people around the Tokyo metro region. Its materials recycling facility recycles 80 different materials from the homebuilding operation.

The delegation later lunched in Tokyo with Sekisui House CEO Isami Wada, and met with the executive vice president of Mitsui Fudosan, a major real estate developer in Japan. On Tuesday, the final visit of the trip was with the Tokyo Foundation Think Tank, a nonprofit that provides policy analysis on Japan’s domestic and international issues.

Portland’s experience as a waterfront city lent valuable insight to a meeting with the Ministry of Land, Infrastructure, Transportation and Tourism at the headquarters for the Mizbering Project, which is working to transition from government control of rivers to commercial and recreational use. Hales shared with the ministry his perspective on and Portland’s historical experience with waterfront development, public engagement, and creative urban planning and development.

Mizbering reported:


The translation:

“Portland, Oregon, Mayor Charlie Hales met with Japan’s Ministry of Land, Infrastructure and Transport in Tokyo. We exchanged opinions and promoted the Mizbering project. The city of Portland is now ranked as the No. 1 environmental city in the United States. However, the city’s once dirty river devastated the city. But citizens participated in creative solutions, and have achieved a sustainable city and waterfront redevelopment. Columbia Sportswear, Nike and other outdoor manufacturers are headquartered there, and naturally combines the sport outfitting with the city’s active culture. Portland is now in the spotlight in various magazines. Mizbering project also examines Portland as a waterfront city that offers many things to learn from!”