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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

Daily updates from Mayor Charlie Hales

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Comprehensive Plan: Promoting access to broadband


Comprehensive Plan: Promoting more and more affordable housing


Implementation of new Safe Sleep system continues


This is the way the new system will work. We’re done pushing #homeless people from one part of the city to another....

Posted by Charlie Hales on Friday, February 26, 2016

Indoor track & field championships return to USA with #Portland2016

Portland 2016 flags

In March 1987, United States athletes took home six gold medals at the first IAAF World Indoor Championships in Athletics held in Indianapolis, IN. Almost 30 years — and 14 other global host cities later — the championships return to the USA, Portland2016.

From March 17–20, the best track and field athletes from around the world will come to Portland to compete, giving Portlanders a rare opportunity to work with the hundreds of international world-class athletes — most Olympic-bound — coaches, and fans who will be in our city. Get your first glimpse of the @IAAF World Indoor Championships - Portland 2016 now at Waterfront Park. Past host country flags are now displayed along the waterfront between the Hawthorne and Morrison Bridges.

Portland joins the ranks of past host cities: 1987 Indianapolis, United States; 1989 Budapest, Hungary; 1991 Seville, Spain; 1993 Toronto, Canada; 1995 Barcelona, Spain; 1997 Paris, France; 1999 Maebashi, Japan; 2001 Lisbon, Portugal; 2003 Birmingham, United Kingdom; 2004 Budapest, Hungary; 2006 Moscow, Russia; 2010 Doha, Qatar; 2012 Istanbul, Turkey; 2014 Sopot, Poland.

Mayor Hales presents on housing, homelessness at U.S. Conference of Mayors annual meeting

Mayor Hales discusses the national ‪#‎housing‬ and ‪#‎homelessness‬ crisis with colleagues and U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness at ‪#‎USCMwinter2016‬. West Coast mayors who attended ‪#‎WCMS15‬ drafted a resolution to urge The United States Conference of Mayors colleagues to mobilize nationally around a common issue. Mayor Hales framed the issue in a powerful anecdote he’d heard from a high school principal: “She told us about Carl, a student at her high school who she knew was homeless. She knew that he was sleeping in a car, not getting a shower, getting very little sleep, showing up at class as best he could.

"So one day she’s sitting in a science class with him, and the teacher posed an arcane question about genetics, and asked, ‘Who’s got a theory about why this phenomenon occurs?’ Carl raised his hand and laid out this really thoughtful theory about how he thought that problem could be solved. The principal took him aside at lunch and said, ‘How’d you know that? I know you’re sleeping in a car. I know you didn’t get a lot of sleep last night. I know you’re coming to school hungry. How did you do that?’ His eyes lit up and he said, ‘I love science. I want to be a geneticist.’

“If Carl is going to get to do that, he’s got to have a place to live. And that’s what this task force is all about; that’s what this resolution is all about; and that why saying that housing and homelessness is an ‪#‎emergency‬ is more than just words.”' 

Mayor Hales discusses the national #housing and #homelessness crisis with colleagues and U.S. Interagency Council on Homelessness at #USCMwinter2016. West Coast mayors who attended #WCMS15 drafted a resolution to urge The United States Conference of Mayors colleagues to mobilize nationally around a common issue. Mayor Hales framed the issue in a powerful anecdote he’d heard from a high school principal: “She told us about Carl, a student at her high school who she knew was homeless. She knew that he was sleeping in a car, not getting a shower, getting very little sleep, showing up at class as best he could. "So one day she’s sitting in a science class with him, and the teacher posed an arcane question about genetics, and asked, ‘Who’s got a theory about why this phenomenon occurs?’ Carl raised his hand and laid out this really thoughtful theory about how he thought that problem could be solved. The principal took him aside at lunch and said, ‘How’d you know that? I know you’re sleeping in a car. I know you didn’t get a lot of sleep last night. I know you’re coming to school hungry. How did you do that?’ His eyes lit up and he said, ‘I love science. I want to be a geneticist.’ “If Carl is going to get to do that, he’s got to have a place to live. And that’s what this task force is all about; that’s what this resolution is all about; and that why saying that housing and homelessness is an #emergency is more than just words.”'A Home for Everyone

Posted by Charlie Hales on Thursday, January 21, 2016

Post Office redevelopment project advances

The Oregonian covers progress on the U.S. Postal Service site in the ‪‎Pearl‬. The redevelopment will allow for dense growth: 2,400 new households and 4,000 jobs on the 13-acre site. If Portland Development Commission didn't redevelop the site, that growth would sprawl over 400 acres of land, costing about $105 million in infrastructure development. From the story: "City officials expect to increase height and density‬ standards for the property to encourage development of 3.8 million gross square feet for housing and commercial space, including up to 700 units of affordable housing‬."

Managing growth responsibly is a key piece of my agenda -- and the reason I ran for office in the first place, back in the 1990s. Then, we built the PearlDistrict‬ and South Waterfront. Now, we've got to grow; we've got to grow by infill‬; we've got to grow by infill DONE RIGHT -- walkable, sustainable‬, complete neighborhoods.


Be the change you wish to see: Join the Portland Police Bureau!

As you probably heard, the Portland Police Bureau is hiring! With the number of vacancies and upcoming retirements, this is a transformational era for the bureau. We want candidates from diverse walks of life who want to build ‪‎relationships‬ with the community they will serve and protect‬. We've hired former teachers; lawyers; our first Somali-born officer. YOU can help make a difference in your community! ‪#‎JoinUsAndBeAwesome‬ ‪#‎YourCityYourPolice‬ Open testing and open recruitment run for the rest of the month, with a preparation workshop Saturday, January 16, 6 to 9 p.m. CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS.

Menashe family donates building to temporary shelter space

Jordan Menashe, Mayor Hales

Jordan Menashe: "Many people out there are asking, ‘Why should we?’ We want to send the message: ‘Why shouldn’t we?’ We should try to help as many people as we can."

And the Menashe family is, contributing building space to a second temporary shelter for 100 men. The City Council declared a ‪#‎StateOfEmergency‬ in Housing and Homelessness, and we’ve put millions of dollars behind it; we’ve opened a ‪#‎homeless‬ shelter for women; we’ve housed ‪#‎homelessveterans‬. But we’ve also had ‪#‎volunteers‬ serve dinner in the new shelter; churches and synagogues offer their space. It takes individuals, families and businesses stepping up to make a difference. And that’s what the Menashe Family has done. I thank Jordan Menashe and his family for what they’ve done. It will make a difference: We’ll get 100 men off the street, make the city more livable, and do the right thing.

We still have hundreds of people who need housing in our city, but we’ve got real momentum now because we have people in the community like the Menashe Family stepping up to make a difference. I’m optimistic that we really can move the needle. ‪#‎whyshouldntwe‬ ‪#‎endhomelessness‬

READ MORE from the Portland Business Journal.

Menashe-owned building

City Council passes Mayor's proposed Charles Jordan Standard for equitable hiring

Last week Council approved Mayor Hales' proposal for the Charles Jordan Standard -- Portland's version of the ‪‎Rooney Rule‬ established in the NFL. It commits City Council members to interviewing candidates from underrepresented populations -- people of color, people with disabilities -- in order to ensure a diverse pool of candidates for high-level positions in the City.

"We're doing things like this to build a pipeline," Mayor Hales said. "Our goal is a very ‪‎representative workforce for our increasingly diverse‬ city."


Utilities, environmental groups strike huge deal to eliminate use of coal in Oregon

This week ‪#‎Oregon‬ took a HUGE step toward meeting our cliamte action‬ goals to reduce greenhouse gas‬ emissions: A state bill that would phase out ‪‎coal‬-fired power in Oregon by 2030! The Citizens' Utility Board of Oregon (CUB) partnered with Pacific Power and Portland General Electric -- which provide about 70 percent of Oregon's electricity -- to develop a plan that will both phase out coal and double the amount of ‪‎renewable energy‬ the utilities generate by 2040.

The Oregon Legislature will need to approve the bill. ‪#‎orleg‬ ‪#‎seeyouinsalem‬


North Precinct to go solar

We are working to DOUBLE the amount of solar‬ on City facilities -- one of many action items to put Portland on the path of reducing carbon emissions by 80 percent from 1990 levels by 2050. This is a great start, with partnerships from Pacific Power and Energy Trust of Oregon.


City to launch bike share program with Nike sponsorship

biketown bike share bike BIKETOWN bike share bike

Years in the making, the City has announced that Nike will sponsor the bike share program, slated to launch this summer. The $10 million, five-year partnership will grow the number of available bikes from 600 to 1,000! Learn more from the Portland Bureau of Transportation.

Mayor praises community's generosity 

Thank you, Kelli Martinelli, for sharing this heartening exchange. As the State of Emergency in Housing and Homelessness progresses, we have seen incredible generosity among Portlanders. Every day I see proof of what I've long known: We choose to live in Portland because of community, not in spite of it.

Last week I left a voicemail for a local merchant. I was hoping to secure supplies to help my neighbors at Hazelnut...

Posted by Kelli Martinelli on Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Mayor Hales on Syrian refugees coming to Oregon

Portland looks very different than it did when I moved here in the 1970s, and much of that change has come with the integration of refugees and immigrants into our community. From the East African All-Stars, to the Jade Night Market, to the Portland Mercado, Portland is made richer because we’ve welcomed new neighbors.
Refugees from Syria are no different. As Syrians flee terror in their home state, Portland will welcome with open arms the individuals and families that the federal government places here. The White House has assured us that refugees will undergo the highest level of security checks of any traveler to the United States to ensure Americans’ safety.
Meanwhile, we as Portlanders, Oregonians, Americans, and human beings need to remember that refugees are fleeing the senseless violence that has taken so many lives recently. I will be greeting Portland’s first Syrian refugee family at the airport, and I expect the community will help make our city their new home. It’s the Portland way.

-- Mayor Charlie Hales

Read more about how Portland has long supported its New Portlander immigrant and refugee communities.

KGW Straight Talk: Mayor talks to Laural Porter about his top issues for his remaining term


Mayor Hales talked with Laural Porter (KGW-TV) on KGW-TV #StraightTalk last week. Watch the discussion that touched...

Posted by Charlie Hales on Monday, November 9, 2015

Video: Council passes oil train resolution; next up, fossil fuels

Video by 350PDX. Thank you for your advocacy!

Mayor Hales on agreement with PDC for USPS post office site

There are moments that come along in the history of a city, when we can go adrift, or we can paddle to a destination. Right now there is a current of change with the U.S. Postal Service site near the Broadway Bridge. We can take our own direction, or let us sweep us along.

We've been here before:

We have a moment in which we can steer toward a destination. I believe it would be prudent and the Portland way to go toward thoughtful redevelopment of the site and relocation of the post office.

Click here for more from the Portland Business Journal.

PDC post office site concept drawing

Message from Mayor Hales: 'Confronted with a choice between giving my full effort to the job of being mayor and spending that energy on a long and consuming re-election campaign, it's an easy choice'

Dear Friends:

Last spring, I let it be known that I was planning to seek another term as Portland’s Mayor.  I’m very proud of what we have accomplished in less than three years. There is now tremendous momentum in this work:

  • We and our partners are taking historic action on homelessness and affordable housing – and backing it up with funding and the declaration of a housing emergency.
  • We have seen strong results on police reform, significantly reducing the use of force, improving the ability to de-escalate a crisis, and repairing the relationship between police and the community.
  • We have become national and international leaders on local action for climate change.
  • We are making Portland more equitable, including raising the minimum wage for city workers and contractors, and more prosperous, creating new jobs and investment.
  • At the same time, we righted city government’s severely listing financial ship, erasing a record budget gap and making important new investments in transportation and our kids.

Making this kind of progress for Portland is why I ran for mayor.

While I have been doing the work you elected me to do, I have also begun preparing to formally launch a re-election campaign.  In the process, one thing has become crystal clear to me. I cannot do both of these tasks faithfully and well.

I ran for office to do something, not to be something. For me, serving the city we love has never been a political stepping stone. Our city and the work are the motivation, and now, in addition to the initiatives I mentioned, there are other big challenges that need my full attention:

  • The pressures of growth are upon us, and more is ahead.  Over the next twelve months, we will draw the map for Portland’s next twenty years…and our next 200,000 neighbors. 
  • I am heartsick about the nightly toll of gang violence in our city.  It doesn’t necessarily show up in political polls or even get full media attention, but it keeps me up at night.  Over 850 shots have been fired in over 158 gang violence incidents this year, resulting in ten deaths and 45 people injured. 

This community crisis deserves everything I have.

So when confronted with a choice between giving my full effort to the job of being mayor and spending that energy on a long and consuming re-election campaign, it’s an easy choice. Therefore, I have decided not to file for re-election.

The filing deadline is still over four months away, and I hope and expect that several qualified candidates will seek the office of Mayor.  There are some dynamic new leaders in our community, and I’m excited to see who steps up.

I thank you for your support and encouragement. Together, we have made great progress, and over the next 14 months, we will make more. I pledge to you that I will focus all of my time and energy on that responsibility. 


Mayor discusses affordability, livability, equity agenda at Rep. Nosse's Town Hall

Mayor Hales talked about how making Portland affordable, livable and equitable is a professional and personal endeavor for him: His mother was a kindergarten teacher and his a father put himself through college by being a cab driver. "I come to these issues from family experience, and I'm a person who moved to Portland and could still afford to buy a house when I was being paid $6 an hour," Mayor Hales said. "What we're trying to do as a Council is make sure those days aren't gone for everybody."

Among his agenda items: Removing a barrier to access community centers for teens with the Mayor's Community Centers Initiative; supporting citywide paid sick leave; raising the minimum wage for city employees who are full-time or permanent contractors; supporting Oregon's Ban the Box, and will bringing forward a stronger policy in Portland; adopting renter protections; and keeping housing affordable in Portland.

Information sessions on Mayor's Energy Performance Reporting policy

Energy benchmarking information sessions

The Bureau of Planning and Sustainability is implementing Mayor Hales' Commercial Building Energy Performance Reporting Policy. The bureau is hosting FREE information sessions in November, where building owners can:

  • Hear about the City’s new requirement for office buildings, retail spaces, grocery stores and hotels over 20,000 square feet.
  • Meet staff from local utilities that can help you access energy data.
  • Connect with the Energy Trust of Oregon to find ways to save money on energy bills and improve your building’s performance. 
  • Learn from U.S. Environmental Protection Agency experts about ENERGY STAR Portfolio Manager web tool.

Sessions are Tuesday, Nov. 17, 1:30 to 4 p.m., and Wednesday, Nov. 18, 9 to 11:30 a.m. All sessions will be held at the Doubletree Hilton Portland, 1000 NE Multnomah St. in Portland.

Want to go deeper? Bring your questions and a computer to go in-depth with ENERGY STAR® Portfolio Manager experts during an “office hours” session on Wednesday, Nov. 18, 1:30 to 4 p.m.

Visit the BPS energy reporting website to read more and register for the November!

Willamette Week: Hip-Hop Concert at City Hall 

Portland's First Annual Hip Hop Day

Yesterday was Portland's first annual Hip Hop Day.

Posted by Willamette Week on Friday, October 16, 2015

Community Centers Initiative: Offering kids hope

From Jenny Glass at The Rosewood Initiative: "'Guns that look like this are made to kill people. Do you think killing people is cool?' I asked. 'No,' he said with tears in his eyes." (Her full post below.)

THIS is why I invested $2 million in community centers. By removing the cost barrier to entry, we are giving kids a chance to have powerful learning experiences with caring mentors. We are beyond proud to have funded Rosewood's teen nights. Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization's teen nights have also been an incredible success; we funded the activity, with an expectation of 35 teens each night. Instead, they've had upward of 100. Latino Network, Native American Youth and Family Center, Portland Opportunities Industrialization Center (POIC), and Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland Metropolitan Area are also offering culturally specific programs for teens through the Community Centers Initiative.

Thanks to all of our partners for understanding that each kid matters. Each connection matters. We are offering them hope, and a chance for a good life.

Jenny Glass: Oct. 2, 9:25 a.m.

An 11 year old boy brought this "bb" gun to our community center yesterday. I asked him why he thought that was a good idea, but I know the answer. His culture tells him guns are tough and cool. Some a-holes designed this knowing he was their target market. And then, his grandma bought it for him. You can hardly say this boy made a decision on his own. "Guns that look like this are made to kill people. Do you think killing people is cool?" I asked. "No," he said with tears in his eyes.

BB Gun surrendered to Rosewood

C40 Cities, Mayors Innovation Project webinar: Mayor presents on divesting from fossil fuels in Portland

This morning Mayor Hales presented Portland as a case study in the divestment movement as part of a C40 Cities and Mayors Innovation Project webinar for mayors across the globe who want to make progress in their city's sustainable practices.

Last month, the Portland City Council voted to cease all new direct investments in 200 coal, oil and gas companies. Although it's not "divestment" in the strictest sense, its effect is the same:

  • The City won't be able to purchase any new additional fossil fuel bonds;
  • When the fossil fuel bonds we already hold mature, our direct investments will be fossil-fuel free.

By March 2018, Portland's investment portfolio will not include securities issued by the top 200 fossil fuel companies. And, the City's Socially Responsible Investment Committee will continue to ensure Portland's values are reflected in its investments.

Thanks to fellow presenters Bill McKibben, leader of the movement, and Thomas Van Dyck, a leader in ethical investing, for sharing their insights. And thanks to the partners who have continued to push for progress in the Portland environmental movement: Oregon Environmental Council, Oregon League of Conservation Voters, 350 PDX, Renew Oregon.

Mayor Hales presents during the webinar

OPB Weekend Edition: Mayor interviewed about rising gang, gun violence in Portland

Mayor Hales talks to Oregon Public Broadcasting- OPB Weekend Edition host John Sepulvado about gang violence and the city's efforts to curb it -- Enough Is Enough PDX, Community Peace Collaborative, Mayor's Community Centers Initiative with Teen Force Portland Parks & Recreation

Mayor attends first-ever Portland Korean Food Festival


Had a great time at the first-ever Portland Korean Food Festival on Sunday. It is a great fusion of who we are: We're...

Posted by Charlie Hales on Monday, October 12, 2015

Survivors, advocates, leaders commemorate Domestic Violence Awareness Month

Mayor Hales this morning joined Commissioner Dan Saltzman -- a dedicated advocate for domestic violence survivors -- in marking ‪‎Domestic Violence Awareness Month with state legislators, advocates and survivors. In this year's budget, Mayor Hales allocated nearly $500,000 to create a four-person Domestic Violence Restraining Order Team with Portland Police Bureau, which provides follow-up critical to supporting survivors, says Marta Strawn Morris, director of The Gateway Center.

"Every day advocates are in it with survivors," said Vanessa Timmons, executive director of the Oregon Coalition Against Domestic and Sexual Violence. "Today is a day that we get to step back and look at what we've done. Thank you for these new (gun control) laws. These laws tell our survivors, 'We've got your back.'"

Thanks to the Oregon Legislature's Sen. Ginny Burdick, Senator Laurie Monnes Anderson, Rep. Jennifer Williamson, Rep. Carla C. Piluso, and Multnomah County, Oregon Chair Deborah Kafoury and Commissioner Judy Shiprack for all their efforts.

Council declares the second Monday in October Indigenous Peoples' Day in Portland

Thanks to the The Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, Native American Youth and Family Center, and other tribal leaders and community for supporting the resolution to declare the second Monday in October Indigenous Peoples' Day in Portland.

Grand Ronde Tribal Council Chairman Reyn Leno, recalled his childhood, when "with pen and paper the government said, 'you ain't Indian anymore,'" he said in Council. "You can't erase us with pen and paper. But you can do something like Indigenous Peoples' Day to acknowledge our history in a meaningful way."

A representative from the Nez Perce tribe recalled a piece of art he once saw that said, "Everywhere you are, Indians have been." "For too long indigenous history has been ignored," he said. "This declaration gives us the opportunity to acknowledge our history and our sacrifices. We're all connected to this place we call home."

Dante James, the director of the Portland Office of Equity and Human Rights, said, "This is a symbol and a promise -- a promise not to forget what the symbol means."

Mayor Hales thanked everyone for sharing their powerful experiences. "We can drift and hope, or we can paddle to where we want to go," Mayor Hales said. "We should decide that we want to be inclusive and celebrate all of the cultures that make up Portland."

Rebecca Kirt, of the Klamath and Ojibwe tribes, started the Council hearing with an honor song: 

Black Male Achievement: Making a difference in young men's lives

This is a great video, featuring in part our tremendous Mayor's Office intern Stephon Hartley! We're also proud to...

Posted by Charlie Hales on Monday, October 5, 2015

Young poet Maia Abbruzzese: 'This destruction isn't the way things have to be'

Following the tragic shooting on Thursday, Oct. 2, at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Mayor Charlie Hales and Portland City Council, with a quartet of musicians with the Oregon Symphony, held a vigil in front of Portland City Hall.

Rep. Jessica Vega Pederson, Sen. Ginny Burdick, Mayor Hales

The City Council called on Portlanders to support fellow Oregonians during an impossibly difficult time. The Portland vigil took place at the same time as a candlelight prayer vigil at Stewart Park in Roseburg.

Faith leaders from across the city led the vigil. Speakers included Rabbi Michael Cahana of Beth Israel; Dr. T. Allen Bethel of Maranatha Church; Rev. Kate Lore of First Unitarian Church; Rabbi Moshe Wilhelm of Chabad of Oregon; Pastor George William Whitfield of First A.M.E. Zion Church, and Rev. W.J. Mark Knutson of Augustana Lutheran Church.

Also in attendance were Portland State University President Wim Wiewel, State Sen. Ginny Burdick — a longtime advocate for gun control — and Rep. Jessica Vega Pederson.

Special guest Maia Abbruzzese, a 16-year-old poet ambassador, also recited a powerful poem she had written for the vigil:

America, we are under attack
as guns burst in our classrooms
the federal government signs the Patriot Act
we are willing to spend billions of dollars
protecting ourselves against foreign threats
but America, how can we begin to forget
the lives lost at our own triggers?

It’s 1999 and at Columbine High School
two students open fire on their peers
the sound of those bullets ripping the air
in their way
must have been the most terrifying last sound
to hear

And while I can only imagine
what it would be like to live my last moments
enslaved within the grasp
of a gun breathing death
I don’t have to imagine anymore
because mass violence is happening next door
I go to sleep making sense of
popping sounds blaring outside

I go to sleep every night
remembering the time
my little brother was playing in a park
dribbling his basketball
to the rhythm of three gunshots
because it could’ve been him
he could’ve been one more body
in the count
one more statistic in our textbooks

Because America,
2015 will go down in our records as a year
with more mass shootings
than days so far
we are under siege
spilling our dollars
protecting against Muslim extremists
when we hear gun barrels
emptying themselves into our schools
into our communities
into our country

And we continue to preach freedom
but in a country
with 89 guns per one hundred people
Freedom is not our reality
because we live under the crushing system
that finds going to the funeral of a child
more socially acceptable
than sending a mentally ill potential shooter
into therapy

This destruction is our reality
this destruction is our status quo
but this destruction isn’t the way things
have to be

We need to recognize the problem
of domestic terrorists running this country
we need to strengthen regulations
on the hands that touch guns
we need to put child-safe padlocks
on every gun cabinet
we need to provide therapy for violent kids
so parents of fallen children do not have to
live another day regretting
that they sent their child
to school

This is a problem we can no longer ignore
because we are under attack
and this time,
the attacker
is us


Mayor announces state of emergency on housing and homelessness

Mayor Hales puts into motion plans to declare a state of emergency to address homelessness in Portland. He has asked the Portland City Council to vote on a declaration of emergency. “This declaration will allow us to work with our partners, Multnomah County, Home Forward, the State of Oregon and nonprofits to move quickly on several fronts,” Mayor Hales said. “When I came into office, the single-night count of homeless told us we had 1,800 Portlanders sleeping unsheltered. That same count, two years later, barely budged. And yet we had spent millions of dollars and countless staff time. We’ve tried slow-and-steady. We’ve tried by-the-book. It’s time to add the tools we currently lack.”

Click here for more information.

Mayor praises Oregon Opportunity Network, issues call to action

Mayor Hales last night joined the Oregon Opportunity Network to ask them to support the effort to house homeless veterans, and to celebrate the outstanding achievements of Oregon's affordable housing and community development industry, such as Hacienda CDC, which worked with Living Cully and Portland Development Commission to mobilize the community and reinvent the Sugar Shack property.

"The entire state deals with issues of equity‬ and opportunity‬, and I thank ONN for its incredible efforts," Mayor Hales said during his welcome. "Now my ask for you: The 'A Home for Everyone' consortium has focused on one aspect of the problem to solve before tackling the next piece. We are going to get every homeless veteran‬ inside by Christmas. We're going to do this! We had more than 600 homeless veterans. Now we have 230. What we need is for all of you who have units available to set aside units for this purpose. We need to house two veterans a day; that means we need two units per day.

"Please, set aside units so we can do this. So we as a community can say we moved the needle on housing. So we as a community can say we did the right thing for those who are left outside.

"Thanks to the 'A Home for Everyone' partners who are working with compassion and dedication to address homelessness: Multnomah County, Oregon Chair Deborah Kafoury, Commissioner Jules Bailey, and Gresham, Oregon Councilor Karylinn Echols."

Oregon Opportunity Network

Mayor Hales meets with neighbors

Mayor, partners mark 100 days remaining in effort to end veteran homelessness

Yesterday Mayor Hales joined Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury, Portland Housing Bureau Commissioner Dan Saltzman, and other partners to mark 100 days remaining in the effort to end homelessness among Portland's veterans by the end of the year.

"I see the goal in sight, and I know we can do this as a community," Mayor Hales said. "We can do the right thing for our veterans and make a difference in our whole community."

Help the City of Portland and Multnomah County achieve our goal of housing all homeless veterans within the next 100 days by volunteering to register veterans' contact information. Once we know who is a veteran and how to contact them, our housing placement staff can help find them a home. All you need to do to volunteer: 

LISTEN to Mayor Hales' remarks:

Council continues to implement Mayor's fair wage policy

Today City Council approved contract amendments to increase City contractors' wages to $15 per hour, implementing Mayor Hales' and Commissioner Dan Saltzman's Livable Wage proposal.

"It's the right thing to do," Mayor Hales said. "And it's up to the city to lead by example. I hope businesses will follow suit."

He thanked businessman John Russell and Ruby Receptionists' CEO Jill Nelson for increasing their employees' minimum wages to $15 per hour.

CLICK HERE for more from Mayor Hales' ‪#‎pay15‬ Twitter Town Hall.

Mayor's Community Center Initiative continues with Teen Center at Montavilla 

The Mayor's Community Center Initiative continues! Portland Parks & Recreation Montavilla Community Center will turn into a Teen Center, 3 to 10 p.m. daily, starting Sept. 17. Admission is FREE, and programs range from sports to arts to education. Join us for the launch party!

Teen Center launch party, Sept. 17, 4:40 p.m., Montavilla Community Center

More on the Mayor's Community Centers Initiative:
More on Mayor Hales' investment in Portland's youth:

Mayor appoints community members to Residential Infill Stakeholder Advisory Committee

Mayor Charlie Hales has appointed a 25-member Stakeholder Advisory Committee to assist the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability with the Residential Infill Project, which will evaluate Portland’s single-dwelling development standards to ensure that new or remodeled houses are well integrated and complement the fabric of neighborhoods throughout the city, including:

  • Scale of houses.
  • Narrow lot development.
  • Alternative housing options.

Nearly 100 people applied to serve on the committee. The 25 members include community members representing residents from all parts of the city, the appointees also include homebuilding, architecture, historic, energy efficiency and real estate perspectives, as well as aging and disabled, anti-displacement and land use interests.

“There are many facets to the issue of preserving and enhancing Portland’s unique neighborhoods,” Mayor Hales said. “In addition to the Residential Infill Project, my Neighborhoods Initiative is addressing long-term citywide growth strategies through such efforts as the Comprehensive Plan Update, discouraging demolitions, and expanded affordable rental housing development to ensure Portland’s prized neighborhoods remain livable and affordable.”

Click here for the full list of committee members and their organizations, and the work they'll do.

Mayor commutes by bike to get first-hand look at street safety 

KGW-TV covers Mayor Hales' bike commute yesterday morning. He chatted with people at K&F Clinton Street Coffeehouse for...

Posted by Charlie Hales on Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Mayor, First Lady greet Portland Little League World Series team at airport

Mayor and Nancy with baseball teamOn Sunday I joined a jubilant crowd at the airport to welcome home Portland's Wilshire Riverside Little League baseball team from the ESPN Little League World Series. They are just the second team from Portland to make it that far, and the other was back in 1958! Congratulations, team, for all your accomplishments. I hope you had a wonderful adventure! 

Mayor Hales writes a post about what he's done about housing — so far

Someone asked what we are doing about these housing issues. Here's a partial recap:

What we've done to help SO FAR is:

(1) Hold housing harmless in my first budget as Mayor (2013) when we cut the City's General Fund Budget by $21,000,000, and cut police, fire, parks and neighborhoods (because we had to cut, not because we wanted to). In that budget, for example, we cut 53 positions out of the Police Bureau.

(2) Once we started to see an improving budget in 2014, I joined with my Council colleagues to put more funding into housing and homeless services.

(3) Along with Multnomah County, Home Forward and other partners, we have launched the new A Home for Everyone consortium. Our first venture (and we hope our first success -- progress report next week) is a commitment to get all of our local homeless veterans indoors in housing by the end of this year. Help us make this happen!

(4) In this year's budget, I recommended, and the Council approved, increasing the Portland Housing Bureau's budget to over $100 million, including the $920,000 effort we launched last week with Cascadia Behavioral Healthcare to do effective focused outreach with services to our hardest-to-house street homeless folks.

(5) Commissioner Dan Saltzman and I, along with community leaders, and our Portland Development Commission, led by Tom Kelly, have reprogrammed $20 million in PDC funds into affordable housing projects in North and Northeast, specifically seeking to enable folks who have been displaced to return to the neighborhood. We have selected a nonprofit who shares this goal, PCRI, as our partner for the first of these projects, that will rise on the empty Grant Warehouse site at MLK and Fremont.

What else would you recommend we be doing? I'll admit, we have been focusing perhaps too much on results, and perhaps not enough on "messaging." Thus some erroneous talk that we are not doing anything.

Clearly, we are not doing enough. And maybe there are (I hope) some innovative ideas out there, either among Portlanders or in other cities. What are your ideas? We all want to avoid the Bay Area's fate.

- Charlie Hales

Mayor speaks to Multnomah Education Service District about collaboration for young Portlanders

Mayor Hales spoke at the Multnomah Education Service District Conference on Tuesday, telling education professionals that even though the City is not in charge of education, they must work collaboratively for the best outcomes for young Portlanders. “We’ll break a record this year for gang-related incidents; we’ve already had 115 this year. Each one of those was a toxic, damaging adverse childhood experience for those young people involved.

"As Portland Police Bureau commissioner I can tell you we will do everything we can with thoughtful, careful deescalating police services to try to intervene with those kids at THAT moment. But it’s SO MUCH BETTER to intervene in the weeks, months, years before.”

Mayor Hales also discussed his more than $4 million investment in kids in this year’s budget, including $2 million for free access to Portland Parks & Recreation community centers for youth.

Mayor Hales speaks to Lummi Nation about climate action priorities

Mayor Hales spoke at the Lummi Nation Totem Pole Journey about Portland’s role as a leader in sustainability: “I was on Council when we adopted first Climate Action Plan in the United States,” Mayor Hales said. “We have a responsibility here in Portland to keep going.”

Mayor Hales says the city needs to decide on a policy for ‪‎fossil fuel‬ exports; “I believe we should not participate in that,” he says. He continued: “As a city we need to put our money where our heart is, and adopt a divestment policy."

"There are things we should say ‘no’ to, and things we should say ‘yes’ to,” Mayor Hales said, including adding more solar‬ to City facilities; buying or generating 100 percent ‪‎renewable‬ power at the City; changing streetlights to LED; and converting the City fleet to electric vehicles. Thanks to Bureau of Planning and Sustainability and Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) for great progress on these sustainable actions.

WATCH the speech:

Mayor Hales enjoys celebration of Asian culture at Jade Night Market

Great time at Jade District Night Market on Saturday, supporting the local businesses and authentic restaurants that populate the district. The #Asian-inspired Night Market -- the second year the business district has hosted it -- attracted upward of 20,000 visitors with everything the it has to offer, as well as unique entertainment. Check out the wonderful performance by these young people:

Posted by Charlie Hales on Monday, August 24, 2015

The Oregonian: Tim Boyle and wife lend plane to whisk 3 American heroes' moms to Paris ceremony

Let's hear it for the Boyles! What a great and thoughtful gesture. Read the full story.

Columbia Sportswear's CEO told The Oregonian: "These guys who were so brave as to do what they did, I just felt they deserved to have their moms present. And my wife felt the same way. We're fortunate to be in the position where we can help these families out. And so that's what we did."

THANK YOU for your thoughtfulness! ‪#‎classact‬ ‪#‎theOregonway

And nice work by the U.S. Department of State, which made the last-minute, international trip possible.

Mayor Hales cycles through Southeast Sunday Parkways

Had a great Portland Sunday Parkways in Southeast Portland yesterday. It was wonderful to see so many people out -- despite lingering smoke in the air -- to celebrate Portland's favorite mode of transportation, new/small/local businesses, and free fun for the community. ‪#‎cityofopportunity‬ Nice work, Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT)!

Mayor Hales Sunday Parkways

Mayor Hales attends Ukrainian Day Festival

A Ukrainian children's choir sings at the Ukrainian Day festival at Lents Park. It's the 24th anniversary of independence from Soviet Union, in 1991. 

#Ukrainian children's choir sings at the Ukrainian Day festival at #Lents Park. It's the 24th anniversary of independence from Soviet Union, in 1991.

Posted by Charlie Hales on Saturday, August 22, 2015

GeekWire: Portland mayor kicks off TechCrawl, praises city for tech diversity push

GeekWire writes about the kickoff to TechFest NW. A focus of this year's event has been diversity and inclusion in ‪#‎tech‬. Portland's burgeoning tech scene is a leader nationally, with the Diversity in Tech pledge, Inclusive Startup Fund, and I3PDX initiative, creating networking and mentor opportunities for women and minority entrepreneurs. Thanks to Portland Development Commission for leading these efforts! As speaker Brittany Laughlin said, diversity is never done; it's like innovation -- we constantly need to find ways to improve. Portland will continue to innovate, using tech to make our city more affordable, livable, and equitable for all Portlanders. Click here to READ the full story.

City works with service providers for Mayor's Homelessness Initiative

Today Mayor Charlie Hales, alongside government and nonprofit partners, announced the Mayor's Homelessness Initiative, rolling out pieces of the $100 million investment in affordable housing and homelessness services from his FY 2015-16 budget. He also allocated nearly $300,000 for homeless veterans and women's shelters in the 2014 Spring budget adjustment.

The initiative includes: 

  • Partnership with Cascadia Behavioral Health for high-intensity street engagement to reach the people who face the greatest barriers to housing;
  • One-point contact system to whom the public can report behavior-based issues;
  • Day storage pilot program, creating two locations at which homeless people may leave their belongings for the day while they go to work, job hunt, or go to medical appointments;
  • Continuing to work toward ending veteran homelessness by November. 

From The Oregonian's coverage: "Marc Jolin, initiative director for a Home for Everyone, said the social service providers and police already know the population they're targeting. 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.'
"Any reasonable person is going to acknowledge that we already have a lot of street homelessness in both places," Hales said when asked about possible public backlash. "Having someplace for people to leave their cart or leave their things or use a restroom is better than the status quo."

PDC Inclusive Startup Fund launches with $1.25 million

Portland's start-up economy is thriving because of initiatives like this: Portland Development Commission just launched an Inclusive Startup Fund with $500,000 contributions from both PDC and Multnomah County, Oregon, and a $250,000 commitment by Governor Kate Brown and Business Oregon. The Inclusive Startup Fund is one of many PDC efforts to improve inclusion and diversity in Portland entrepreneurship -- creating economic opportunity. Thanks to partners who are collaborating to build a ‪#‎CityOfOpportunity‬Read more about the initiative.

Mayor Hales joins PPB for 13th annual Shop with a Cop

Early this morning, Mayor Charlie Hales joined a host of partners for the 13th annual Shop with a Cop event, where 245 kids got to shop for brand new back-to-school outfits. The program helps ensure kids -- selected based on financial need and volunteer efforts in the community -- get to start school in sharp new clothes. And it gives Portland Police Bureau officers the opportunity do something fun in the community. This year, Portland Police Bureau Sunshine Division, Camp Rosenbaum, and Fred Meyer donated more than $30,000 toward the kids' shopping, and Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland Metropolitan Area provided volunteers. "It was great to join the Portland Timbers' Joey and these big-hearted officers for such an incredible event," Mayor Hales said. "Thanks to all of the partners that made this possible!" Click here for the photo album.

Officer with two shoppers in Fred Meyer Two young shoppers work some fedoras.

OPB Think Out Loud: Kids Inundate Matt Dishman Community Center

Today Diana Nunez, Community Outreach Director in Mayor Hales' office, and Kallie Kurtz, Youth Outreach Coordinator at Matt Dishman Community Center, discussed the impact of the Mayor's Community Center Initiative on Think Out Loud. The investment has removed a major barrier for youth access to city recreation facilities -- part of the mayor's agenda to improve equity, livability and affordability for all Portlanders. Special thanks to Portland Parks & Recreation and Teen Force staff for making the investment a success!

LISTEN to the interview: 


Mayor, Commissioner announce affordable housing, commercial development

Affordable housing‬and ‪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. Click here for details on the developments.

WATCH Mayor Hales' remarks:

Mayor Hales helps announce Vision Zero Safety Task Force

Today Mayor Hales joined Transportation Commissioner Steve Novick, Portland Bureau of Transportation Director Leah Treat, and other community leaders to announce a Vision Zero‬ Safety Task Force, part of the City's ongoing effort to improve street safety for all road users. The task force is charged with developing a community action plan to dramatically reduce serious and fatal crashes on Portland’s roads. Other action items announced include:

  • Investments in pedestrian safety through PBOT projects. 
  • Targeted enforcement of dangerous speeding by Portland Police Bureau
  • New data sharing initiative between Portland Fire & Rescue, the Transportation and Police bureaus to develop a new crash data sharing initiative to deliver more targeted safety interventions on Portland’s roadways.

LISTEN to Mayor Hales' remarks: 

Mayor Hales joins Cycle Oregon's policymakers ride

Mayor Hales on policymakers rideToday Mayor Hales is on Cycle Oregon's policymakers ride, joined by a large group of elected officials, citizen advocates, urban planners, policy wonks, property developers and corporate tycoons. As the world faces the realities of climate change‬, this 20-mile ride explores what it is to be a ‪‎sustainable city‬, with bike routes connecting to green spaces and the urban core. Organizers hope participants come away empowered to work for more pedestrian and bike paths, open spaces and active transportation. To make progress on active transportation infrastructure in Portland, the City needs partners and collaboration.

#TBT: Earth Overshoot Day

#tbt -- #earthovershootday. Last year, Earth Overshoot Day was Aug. 19. This year it's today, Aug. 13. Today is the day humanity has consumed a year's worth of Earth's resources, just eight months into the year. Now we are operating on environmental deficit. World leaders, including Pope Francis and President Obama, have issued a call to action to live and develop more sustainably, staving off the harmful social and environmental impacts that come with climate change. #PDX is doing its part, with infrastructure like Tilikum Crossing, the first bridge in North America for active and public transportation. And we're working to do more. Help us by using the tools available to reduce your ecological footprint. #climateaction #climatechange #actonclimate #mayorscare

A photo posted by Charlie Hales (@mayorpdx) on Aug 13, 2015 at 11:14am PDT


Mayor's Office, police, fire participate in 2015 National Night Out

On Tuesday, Aug. 4, Mayor Hales, Mayor's Office, Portland Police Bureau, and Portland Fire & Rescue fanned out across the city to celebrate National Night Out with Portlanders. Since 1983, on the first Tuesday in August residents nationwide gather in their neighborhoods to demonstrate their commitment to safety and community. Law enforcement and emergency services attend events in their neighborhoods. See the full photo album.

In Portland, this year was particularly poignant, as the City experiences an uptick in gang-related violence. The Mayor's Community Center Initiative is a pro-social approach to giving young people access to options besides gang violence. Portland Police have added resources to its gang outreach and enforcement division. And the Office of Youth Violence Prevention is working with the community and Enough Is Enough PDX initiative to end gun violence among young people.

“These events get people out into their neighborhoods,” Mayor Hales said. “A united neighborhood strengthens the fabric of community — critical for safety and prosperity.”

Stephens Creek Crossing


Hayhurst with police dogBridlemile

Portland Tribune: Leading the charge in the climate fight

The Portland Tribune interviews Mayor Hales about Portland's position as a leader in sustainable development and the fight against climate change: "Hales says the recognition is neither sudden nor really about him, however. Speaking to the Portland Tribune last week, Hales described the invitation as a recognition of Portland’s leadership on environmental and sustainability issues — something he was originally involved in as a city commissioner about 20 years ago.

"'Portland has been environmentally thoughtful for a long time. It was the first city in the country to adopt a Climate Action Plan, when I was on the council. That was when I got the nickname “Choo-Choo Charlie” for my support of transit. Now these good ideas are being recognized," Hales says."

Campaign for community center programming: #ForceOf...

Today the Mayor's Office unveiled the first of the ‪#‎ForceOf‬ portraits, spreading the word about the ‪#‎TeenForce‬ programming at community centers, including a FREE Teen Night at Matt Dishman Community Center, 8-10 p.m. Know teens? Tell them about the Mayor's Community Center Initiative Summer Youth Pass at Portland Parks & Recreation Matt Dishman Community Center, East Portland Community Center, and the Montavilla Community Center pool. Teen Force Portland teens: Fill in the blank: #ForceOf...? 

Stephon, mayor's intern

Matt Dishman Community Center programs 

Guest blog for Renew Oregon: It's about the planet and the people

Mayor Hales writes a guest blog about his climate and equity agenda for Renew Oregon, a group of diverse partners coming together for clean energy and climate policy. 

From Renew Oregon, an important partner in climate action and climate justice: "Portland is an economic engine for Oregon‬ and a worldwide example of leadership on carbon reduction. Mayor Charlie Hales wrote this piece for us about his recent visits with Pope Francis and President Barack Obama to talk climate leadership, economic opportunity and equity."

An excerpt: "Government’s role, my role, is ensuring climate action isn’t just about being smart, but also about being equitable. Improving access to the tools that make Portland a leader in sustainability and in the fight against climate change will have a twofold benefit: reducing carbon emissions and building a City of Opportunity — a Portland that is affordable, livable and equitable."

Read the full blog post.

Sen Merkley, EPA Admin McCarthy, Mayor Hales

State Sen. Burdick marks landmark gun control bill at City Hall

State Sen. Ginny Burdick came to City Hall on Friday to announce the creation of public service announcements on the state’s new universal background checks for gun sales. Ginny Burdick has sponsored several bills to curb the illegal use of firearms. Mayor Charlie Hales and Mike Reese, retired Portland Police Chief, testified on behalf of the new law. Reese appears in the ad. The law — signed by Governor Kate Brown on May 11 — requires background checks on all sales and transfers, including private transactions and many loans and gifts. Exceptions exist, such as transfers between family members. The law makes Oregon the 18th state in the nation to require background checks on all handgun sales. 

Sen Burdick

Portland Tribune: 'Treat hones vision behind Vision Zero'

The Portland Tribune writes a nice profile of Portland Bureau of Transportation Director Leah Treat, who is working to make Vision Zero‬ a reality in Portland. City Council has approved a common-sense Vision Zero resolution, signifying the city’s commitment to zero traffic fatalities; they are preventable, and no life should be lost on our city streets. This month Commissioner Steve Novick will announce another project milestone in the effort to eliminate all serious traffic injuries and fatalities within 10 years.

We want all Portlanders to have a role in creating safer roadways for all users. Take the Vision Zero pledge and commit to being a responsible road user.

Read the Portland Tribune story.

Mayor Hales makes a cameo in indie film 'Zilla and Zoe'

Fun afternoon filming a quick scene for Zilla and Zoe, an indie film based in Portland. We love Portland's budding television and film industry, from big hits like Grimm, to new shows like The Librarians, to independent projects like Zilla and Zoe. Read more about the film in The Oregonian. Thanks to the amazing crew for a fun afternoon! Looking forward to the premier!

Zilla and Zoe crewMayor Hales filming a scene

The Skanner: 'Enough is Enough' calls for alternatives to gang violence

Moving story by The Skanner News Group's Arashi S Young about Enough Is Enough PDX's efforts to stop gang violence. An excerpt:

"On Thursday, organizers, family members and former gang members gathered to talk about how to combat youth violence and mourn the loss of young Black men. The new initiative, Enough is Enough, aims to reclaim peace in the community by giving young men hope, opportunity and support.

"Pastor Willie Hurst of New Zion Ministries opened the meeting with a prayer for the lives of young Black men. He asked for protection over them. He asked that there would be no more deaths during the summer break. ...

"Former Urban League of Portland CEO Michael Alexander told the crowd that they needed to step up and encourage these wandering sons before more of them were lost to violence.

"'There hasn't been enough outreach. There hasn't been enough love. There haven't been enough voices from our community to tell you that we absolutely need you,' Alexander said."

READ the full article. 

Mayor Hales discusses equity on anniversary of Voting Rights Act

Today is the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, a law that made voting more accessible to minorities in states that used poll taxes, literacy tests, civics quizzes, and even violence to limit eligibility. This is a particularly significant anniversary, as states like Texas continue to challenge it; a federal appeals panel yesterday ruled that Texas' strict voter ID law discriminated against black and Hispanic people. The New York Times writes that it is a step toward defining the reach of the 50-year-old legislation.

LISTEN to Mayor Hales' remarks at Council yesterday, after members of the Oregon League of Minority Voters addressed Council about the act: 


Forbes ranks Portland in top spot for Best Places for Businesses and Careers; Mayor Hales makes announcement

Portland took a top spot in Forbes’ list of Best Places for Businesses and Careers: "Portland, Ore., ranks third, up 18 spots, thanks to a much improved economic and job outlook. The Portland economy is expected to boom over the next three years with an annual growth rate of 7.3%, second fastest in the U.S., according to Moody’s." This is a high honor. But this opportunity isn’t shared by all Portlanders.

I’ll be working with the Mayor’s Business Roundtable — a diverse group of leaders representing many facets of the business community — on how to make opportunity accessible.

And, I’m also really excited to announce that I will be hiring a policy director to focus on workforce development and economic opportunity. Know anybody who could help advance our goals of economic opportunity and building the employment pipeline for ALL Portlanders? Please, let us know!

Willamette Week: Spirit in the Sky

Great reporting by Willamette Week: Spirit in the Sky: How Greanpeace's high-wire protesters captured the world's attention — and how Portland gently let them down. This is an informative and accurate picture of the complexity of the ‪#‎ShellNo‬ protest last week.

And thanks for recognizing Portland's advocacy at the White House: "Hales traveled to the White House, where both he and a kayaktivist asked Obama to halt Arctic drilling." If you haven't yet, read the kayaktivist's, Mia Reback, blog post. 

Council marks 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965

Sho Dozono, Rev. LeRoy Haynes, Promise KingToday City Council marked the 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, signed on Aug. 6, 1965, after a long and protracted effort by civil rights activists and organizations. Sho Dozono, the Rev. LeRoy Haynes and Promise King with the Oregon League of Minority Voters addressed Council. The League has been dedicated to promoting the value of civic engagement within Portland's communities of color, and to addressing on policy issues that continue to marginalize those communities.

Mayor Hales says: “Fifty years after civil rights laws were passed, we’re still working toward equity, toward making Portland a City of Opportunity for everyone. The reality is that there is still racism in our community. Our job in government is to make the words of civil rights legislation real in tangible, sustainable ways.

"That’s why the one position we added to the Police Bureau during tough budget years was an equity manager. That’s why we’re dedicating resources to removing barriers to employment for ex-offenders. That’s why we’ve empowered the Portland Office of Equity and Human Rights to provide an equity tool for our bureaus.

"We have a long way to go, but as we mark this historic day, we can celebrate progress and thank our tireless advocates."

WATCH Mayor Hales speak at the 50th anniversary of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 last year:

Mayor Hales tweets from the White House

Mayor Charlie Hales last week accepted an invitation from the White House to attend a conference to discuss the White House Clean Power Plan for existing power plants. 

The mayor, among 11 invited, today heard from the U.S. Surgeon General, Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, and President Barack Obama about the plan and its impactsMayor Hales tweeted live from the event to provide Portlanders insight into the motivations and expectations of the plan. 



Mayor Hales invited to White House event on Clean Power Plan

Mayor Hales has accepted an invitation from the White House to attend a conference on Monday, to discuss the White House Clean Power Plan for existing power plants. He is among 11 mayors invited. Several of the mayors also were invited to the Vatican earlier this month to meet with Pope Francis and to discuss climate change. Read the full press release.

Earlier in the week, Hales issued a statement to the White House, regarding the Clean Power Plan of the Environmental Protection Agency. His statement is as follows:

“I welcome this much-needed action on power plant emissions from the President and EPA. 

“Oregonians often think we get most of our electricity from hydropower.  In fact, Portland gets nearly two-thirds of our electricity from coal and gas.  And because most of that is generated outside Oregon’s borders, we have little say over choice of fuels. 

“We need the President and EPA to set national limits on greenhouse gas emissions.  Then our local efforts to use electricity more efficiently, and get more of it from renewables, can build on those limits and not be undermined by their absence.

“This partnership of federal, state and local government standard-setting, plus private sector innovation and investment in clean energy, is our best hope for addressing what Pope Francis described as the, ‘urgent need to (reduce) the emission of carbon dioxide and other highly polluting gases…’ substituting clean energy technologies for fossil fuels, and meeting our obligations “to those who come after us, to (our) children."

Mayor Hales, Commissioner Novick praise housing advocates fighting displacement

This morning Mayor Hales joined community organizations that are working to ensure equity in the city's Comprehensive Plan 2035 revisions.

Mayor Hales and Commissioner Steve Novick spoke to the crowd. Mayor Hales discussed his plans to ensure affordable and equitable growth. He said: "Thank you for caring about fellow Portlanders, and for expressing our shared values. This October, I’ll be bringing forward proposals on similar issue: Demolitions. We are losing too many good houses, worth keeping, to demolition. We are losing some historic character of the neighborhoods that we as Portlanders prize.

"We are going to grow, no question. The real question is: How, and for whom? Are we going to be an inclusive city as we grow? Will we be a more equitable, affordable, inclusive city as we grow? I believe we will. I believe we can grow the right way. I believe that in the face of change, we can make Portland a city of opportunity for everyone."

Commissioner Novick called on advocates to educate fellow Portlanders: In order to keep housing affordable, we need more supply to meet demand. "We can't stop people from coming here," Commissioner Novick said. "Although that New Yorker article on the earthquake may have deterred some.

"We need more units to provide more supply to meet demand. Please, help educate your fellow good, liberal Portlanders."

Mayor Hales speaks to the crowd

Portland Business Journal: 'Mayor to establish wide-ranging city business roundtable'

The Portland Business Journal reports about Mayor Hales' creation of an inclusive business roundtable, to be convened this summer. Read the full story

"This is a matter of economic opportunity," Mayor Hales said. "As issues arise, and as I bring things to Council, I want input from a truly representative sample of Portland businesses -- new and old, large and small, traditional and non-traditional. I want Portland to be a place of inclusive entrepreneurship, a true City of Opportunity."

Cities United for Immigration Action calls for sensible immigration policies

Mayor Hales this week joined fellow Cities United for Immigration Action members in opposing Congressional legislation that would undermine efforts to maintain welcoming communities and uphold the safety of all residents.

From the letter: "Policies that support immigrant integration make our communities stronger. Instead of penalizing localities that seek to create safe and welcoming communities, we call on Congress to address our broken immigration system by enacting comprehensive immigration reform that reflects welcoming values."

In Portland and Oregon, organizations such as Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization, Voz Workers' Rights Education Project, Causa Oregon, and El Programa Hispano Católico help create a welcoming environment for immigrants who want to be successful in their new home.

READ details from The Hill.

FROM CUIA: Mayors explain why they support President Obama's immigration reform.

Coverage on the mayor's trip to Rome

Follow the mayor's updates from the historic summit on the Rome blog page.

For a roundup of all the Rome coverage, check out Mayor Hales' newsletter: Mayor attends Pope Francis' historic summit on climate change, modern slavery.

#PDXinRome: First Lady blogs about comparisons between PDX and SPQR

Blogging for Portland State University, First Lady Nancy Hales' second ‪#‎PDXinRome‬ blog post finds surprising similarities between a city founded 27 centuries ago and less than two centuries ago.

An excerpt: "Are these interesting coincidences or do they suggest something deeper about cities? Maybe to be a authentic place, a city needs a founding story. Piazzas and public gatherings are also required to enhance civic life. People-watching, whether on the sidewalk in an evening passegia or at a street fair on Mississippi Ave., is something both visceral and necessary. Connection to food and the soil of the local farmland is an idea whose time has come back for American cities." READ the full blog post.

Mayor getting gelato in RomeColosseum in Rome 

Mayor: #PDXinRome on Instagram

SERIOUS about historic neighborhoods and preservation #PDXinRome #oldstone

A photo posted by Charlie Hales (@mayorpdx) on Jul 17, 2015 at 11:03am PDT


Mayor, Chief of Police talk with Roosevelt students

From the community group Enough Is Enough PDX: Roosevelt High School students talk to Portland Police Bureau Chief Larry O'Dea and Mayor Charlie Hales about their student-made book "Youth and the Law," which built relationships between students and the more than 40 criminal justice system officials they talked to, as well as provides students with a basic understanding of the law. Relationships and knowledge are critical to coming together as a community to take a stand against violence.

Mayor expands community center initiative

Mayor Hales announced today, July 16, that he is expanding the Mayor's Community Center Initiative to include East Portland Community Center, after incredible success with the kickoff: 1,800 kids signed up for free Summer Youth Passes at Matt Dishman Community Center. From July 20 through Sept. 9, admission to scheduled activities at the East Portland center (740 S.E. 106th Ave.) will be free for all registered youth ages 3 to 17.

The Youth Pass takes just minutes for registration.

“We have to get upstream in the lives of our kids,” Mayor Hales said. “That means letting them pick up a soccer ball or a paint brush, a pen or a guitar, a job skill or a résumé. The more of these safe, positive activities we can provide for them, the better.”

President Obama's response to visiting a federal prison highlighted why Mayor Hales is committed to this investment:

#PDXinRome: First Lady's first blog post

#‎PDXinRome‬: First Lady Nancy Hales is writing a blog for Portland State University on her and Mayor Hales' trip to the Vatican for Pope Francis' conference about climate change and human trafficking.

An excerpt from her first entry, about the gift from Portland to the pope: "The hand-crafted bronze rose, below, has been designed and cast for Pope Francis by local Portland artist Kendall Mingey. Pope Francis, we have learned, has a special fondness for white roses, so Kendall lightly flocked the flower with white. The mold was broken after it was cast. Look closely. The bronze rose is actually a 'reliquary,' which means a small vessel carrying precious items. There is a little secret compartment in the bud at the center. In this compartment, she placed several seeds from Portland’s white rose bushes. 'Seeds symbolize hope,' she told me, 'and the Pope is all about hope.'" READ the full post.

Gift from Portland to the Pope

Congratulations to Vin Lananna!

Our enthusiastic congratulations to Vin Lananna, who will serve as head coach of the men's national track and field team at the Rio de Janeiro Olympic Games. His Track Town USA organization has been critical in making Oregon into a track and field destination, with the IAAF World Athletics Club World Indoor Track & Field Championships in Portland 2016‬ and the Olympic Track & Field Trials in Eugene. Congratulations, Vin! READ the Oregonian story.

#TBT: Investing in paving

#tbt -- paving. In 2013 Mayor Hales and Commissioner Novick made a #backtobasics promise to pave and seal 100 miles of streets in a year, three times more than before they took office. In 2014, they announced they exceeded their promise, paving 103 miles of streets with existing funding. In 2015 they again bested their promise, with 103 miles of roadway paved or sealed. Meanwhile, Mayor Hales has been lobbying state and federal lawmakers to provide their fair portion of #transportation funding. The mayor has continued to grow City funding for transportation, increasing general fund allocation to PBOT by 141 percent from when he took office in 2013 -- including nearly $20 million in the 2015-16 fiscal year budget. However, with a billion-dollar need to get Portland streets in good condition, Mayor Hales -- along with mayors across #Oregon and the nation -- is counting on state and federal leaders to step up and fund transportation. PHOTO: Mayor Hales lays the 103rd mile of pavement in 2013. #standup4transportation

A photo posted by Charlie Hales (@mayorpdx) on Jul 16, 2015 at 9:27am PDT

Enough Is Enough group: Spread the word, take a stand

From the Enough Is Enough PDX community group: This video shows the reason for "Enough is Enough." We all need to help and support one another; just today four guns were seized in two sets of arrests. Stop the violence. Spread the word. Enough is Enough.

Mayor, First Lady on their way to the Vatican

Made it! Delta‬ rock-star agent Glinnes checked us through with seconds to spare. Now Nancy Hales and I head to the Vatican‬ for Pope Francis' summit on climate change‬ and human trafficking‬. Follow our updates at ‪#‎PDXinRome‬! Details on the trip from The Oregonian's Andrew Theen.

First Lady, Mayor, Delta representative

This Week City Council, July 15

After experiencing overwhelming success in the number of kids registering for a free summer Youth Pass at Matt Dishman Community Center, the next phase of the Mayor's Community Center Initiative has been approved by Council. Latino Network, Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland Metropolitan Area, POIC (which runs Rosemary Anderson High School), Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization, Native American Youth and Family Center, and The Rosewood Initiative will receive grants from $80,000 to $21,000 to provide teen programs. More on the community center initiative through Portland Parks & Recreation and its youth-focused Teen Force Portland Parks & Recreation

This Week City Council

Mayor helps Community Warehouse with furniture drive for formerly homeless veterans

Mayor Hales on Saturday joined Community Warehouse's furniture drive, recruiting donations for veterans' homes. In his 2015 State of the City address, the mayor announced a collaboration with Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury to house all of Portland's homeless veterans this year. We're making great progress, and now we need to ensure that every house for a veteran is a home.

A special thank you to BedMart for its generous donation of 50 new beds!

Community Warehouse is still accepting donations, with a special need for dressers.

Mayor Hales carries a BedMart mattress

Mayor Hales speaks to a crowd 

Portland Tribune: New rules for gun safety

The Portland Tribune reports great news for gun control in Portland: Multnomah County probation officers will be keeping tabs on the most dangerous people caught illegally carrying or discharging a weapon in public, with the authority to send them to community service or jail if they don't comply with probation rules. FULL STORY

Why this new approach? The article explains: "With gang violence in Portland increasing, police and criminal justice officials say more and younger gang members are carrying weapons on the street. Where once most gangsters stashed their guns until they intended to use them, now, police say, carrying weapons has become normal behavior."

This is another victory in our city and state's gun safety efforts. Oregon Legislators this session passed a law to require universal background checks and a law prohibiting people with restraining orders or domestic violence convictions from owning firearms or ammunition. 

Photo: Mayor Hales called for more laws to ensure gun safety at his State of the City Address in January.

Mayor Hales delivers the 2015 State of the City Address

#TBT: Funding for mental health support

#tbt -- mental health support. Last year Mayor Hales budgeted $75,000 for a mental health specialist in the fall supplemental budget, to aid police reform and assist the city as a whole in addressing those in mental health crisis. This week, when the 78th Legislative Assembly ended sine die, the Office of Government Relations successfully lobbied for $1 million in state funding for psychiatric emergency services, which covers operating costs for psychiatric emergency service providers, part of the city's 2015 Legislative Agenda. The #ORleg also increased community mental health funding by $22 million. Portland had a successful session, all of the city's bills and most of its top priorities passing the Oregon Legislature. Pictured: Mayor Hales, OGR Director Martha Pellegrino, and chief of staff Gail Shibley visiting #PDX legislators in #Salem.

A photo posted by Charlie Hales (@mayorpdx) on Jul 9, 2015 at 9:25am PDT


This Week City Council, July 8

This Week City Council

Portland Business Journal: It's Lent's moment

Portland Business Journal's Jon Bell writes that the Portland Development Commission's $16 million in loans to support three projects in the Lents Town Center Urban Renewal Area. Bell predicts that developer Homer Williams' interest in the Lents neighborhood could be a sign that the neighborhood is ready for successful development. READ the full story.

Mayor Hales identified the East Portland area as a priority for livable neighborhood investments: In his State of the City address at the end of January Mayor Hales said, "After years of talk and millions of dollars of planning, we now have real projects in final negotiations with the Portland Development Commission and Lents. ... The Lents Action Plan was created by the neighborhood. In two years, all three words will be true. It’s about Lents, it’s a plan, and finally, we’ll have action."

Legislative session ends; Portland passes all its bills

TUESDAY, JULY 7, 2015 — Monday evening the 78th Legislative Assembly adjourned sine die. Portland had a successful session, all of the city's bills and most of its top priorities passing the Oregon Legislature. 

Mayor Charlie Hales thanked Speaker of the House Tina Kotek for her leadership, and thanked Portland's delegation in the House and Senate for their representation. 

Mayor Hales acknowledged work that needs to be done in funding transportation: "The Legislature did not act on a transportation funding plan in this session, but that doesn’t mean it’s dead. Governor Kate BrownSenate President Peter Courtney and Speaker Kotek have all said they want to keep trying. I believe they will, and I have faith they’ll succeed. Cities and counties throughout the state need this. And if Portland showing some patience helps make that a reality, all the better. In the meantime, we’re not sitting idly. We put an unprecedented $19 million of general fund money into transportation projects in this year’s budget. So we will wait, we will pave, and we will continue to have faith in our leaders in Salem."

Portland had a successful legislative session.

Soccer Sunday: USA women and Timbers v. San Jose


SummerWorks interns start today

Late in high school, I spent some summers helping my dad convert an old mill, built in 1776, into a house. I learned carpentry and how to build; it taught me how things come together, and sparked my interest in how cities come together. Those high school summers shaped my future. Internships today are just as important, if not more so, which is why I'm proud the City, Multnomah County, and other partners are employing 750 young people this summer through WorkSystems Inc's SummerWorks program. Today was their first day. Welcome!

Areale, Mayor Hales, Stephon

Washington Post: Portland is one of the best food cities in America

Washington Post writer Tom Sietsema gives an incisive, informative, rich portrait of Portland's foodie scene. Thank you for this fantastic work! READ 'Why Portland, Ore., is one of the best food cities in America'

#TBT: Support our soccer teams

#tbt -- Last July @nancyhalespdx and I joined thousands of Portlanders in Pioneer Courthouse Square to watch the World Cup championship game. On Sunday, July 5, the Women's #WorldCup final will feature Japan and USA -- and our team includes several @thornsfc players. Show the USA women's team the same support you showed the Germany and Argentina men and tune in Sunday. Analysis by @bleacherreport: "The two teams reached the final in somewhat divergent fashions. Despite a few questionable calls that went their way, the United States dominated Germany—the No. 1 seed in the tournament—and won, 2-0. Japan, on the other hand, was largely outplayed by England but managed to advance to the final after a 92nd-minute own goal by Laura Bassett." USA! #USA!

A photo posted by Charlie Hales (@mayorpdx) on Jul 2, 2015 at 9:10am PDT


Help shape Portland's future

Watch how Portland has transformed over the past 100 years. And help shape the next 100 years by testifying at the on Bureau of Planning and Sustainability's Southeast Quadrant Plan on Wednesday, July 8, 3 p.m., City Council Chambers (1221 SW 4th Ave). You can also mail in testimony to City Hall (room 140) or e-mail comments to The deadline for written testimony is 3 p.m. July 8. DRAFT PLAN. 


OHSU celebrates $1 billion to fight cancer

Congratulations to OHSU Knight Cancer Institute for raising $1 BILLION to fight cancer! This was a remarkable show of community support for survivors, their families, and the hope of conquering cancer.

Posted by Charlie Hales on Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) celebrated in Pioneer Courthouse Square today, in honor of the $1 billion...

Posted by Charlie Hales on Wednesday, July 1, 2015


This Week City Council, July 1

This week City Council‬ is Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. and Thursday at 2 p.m. There will be a break at 12:15 p.m. to join the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute celebration for meeting Nike co-founder Phil Knight's challenge to raise $1 billion to help find a cure for cancer. That's in Pioneer Courthouse Square at 12:30 p.m.

For more on the agenda items, here's the full agenda. Click No.'s 708, 720 and 722 for details. More on the 20s Bikeway Project here.
WATCH COUNCIL LIVE. (Note the new video player may take a minute to synch.)

This Week City Council

Interior Department announces investment in Portland youth

City, Interior Department, YMCA celebrateToday Mayor Hales joined Portland Parks & Recreation, U.S. Department of the Interior, and YMCA of Columbia-Willamette to announce that Portland will be one of the first cities to receive two years of funding for a community coordinator at the YMCA -- part of the Interior Department's youth initiative to engage the next generation of outdoor stewards, and inspire young people to enjoy and work in the outdoors. The funding, through the American Express Foundation, will also support efforts to engage young adults and veterans to serve on the 21st Century Conservation Service Corps, and engage new volunteers during next year’s National Park Service centennial. The first 26 cities will be announced this year; the remaining 24 will be announced in 2016.

“We have launched a major initiative this summer to provide safe, positive activities for as many of our youths as possible, including opening our parks, pools and community centers to teens, free of charge,” Mayor Hales said. “This collaborative effort through the Interior Department and YMCA will our local efforts by incorporating even more activities for kids. It’s a perfect fit for Portland.”

Portland Police explain what's legal with recreational marijuana


Recreational marijuana will be legal for adults on July 1. Educate before you recreate. Via: What's Legal?

Posted by Portland Police Bureau (Portland, Oregon) on Monday, June 22, 2015


Behind the scenes: #mayorselfie 

#mayorselfie in action with @portlandparks. "Say, #RipCity!"

A photo posted by Charlie Hales (@mayorpdx) on Jun 30, 2015 at 3:05pm PDT

Mayor Hales encourages youth to be interns

Mayor Hales has spoken to Worksystems Inc SummerWorks interns and Partners in Diversity interns, encouraging young people to make connections and build networks to find their passion and achieve their dream jobs. Watch the video.

Internships are a critical stepping stone for young people beginning to take steps toward a career, but too often barriers lead to unequal access. Worksystems' SummerWorks program and Partners In Diversity network events help overcome those barriers. And Mayor Hales calls on professional to become mentors.

Mayor Hales talks to interns Mayor Hales and his office's intern, Stephon

Office of Equity and Human Rights marks 25 years of ADA

Mayor Hales: Let's use the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as a call to action. One of the reasons we've achieved positive change is activism; it's how the ADA came to be. And a lot of what Portland is today came from activism. It's an important part of how we make progress. I'm calling on everyone to find their cause and get involved! Thank you, Portland Office of Equity and Human Rights, for your advocacy within the City. 

Mayor, First Lady attend Good In The Hood parade, festival

Lots of great moments from this weekend's Good In The Neighborhood Food and Music Festival in North Portland, including the talented Ebony Strutters Dance & Drill Team. What a great time!

Lots of great moments from this weekend's Good In The Neighborhood Food and Music Festival in North Portland, including the talented Ebony Strutters Dance & Drill Team. What a great time! 

Lots of great moments from this weekend's Good In The Neighborhood Food and Music Festival in North Portland, including the talented Ebony Strutters Dance & Drill Team. What a great time!

Posted by Charlie Hales on Monday, June 29, 2015


Mayor speaks at Celebrate Trade gala

Mayor Hales last night spoke at the Celebrate Trade gala about Portland's tremendous economic growth. It's been driven by business connections, and worldwide connections. Through the Portland Development Commission, we continue to build those," Mayor Hales said. "We have become a global city." And he has an exciting announcement about Pope Francis!


Third-quarter reflection from Mayor Hales

In case you missed it: A third-quarter reflection from Mayor Hales. The mayor talks about what he's done in the first three quarters of the year, and what's on the agenda next.

Mayor Hales discusses the budget

Are you wowed by the budget like these kids are? Come by the last public hearing, Wednesday, May 20, 6:30-8:30 p.m., at Council Chambers, and show support for Mayor Hales' budget priorities, including basic services, kids, public safety and emergency preparedness.

'Like' the Enough Is Enough page on Facebook

"Like" the new Enough Is Enough page to follow the community campaign to stop gang violence: Join the group tonight for a dialogue on speaking up.

Posted by Charlie Hales on Monday, May 18, 2015

Mayor interviewed on KGW Straight Talk

Watch Part 1, in which the mayor discusses his Pembina decision and budget

Watch Part 2, in which the mayor discusses Uber and keeping Portland an affordable place to live.

Last Thursday is approaching: First event in June

Happening in June! Visit the new website,, to find vendors along the 15-block stretch of Alberta Street.

Last Thursday, June 25, 6-9 p.m.

Mayor attends opening of Portland's newest park

On Saturday saw a lot of happy kids at the grand opening celebration of Khunamokwst Park, the newest Portland Parks & Recreation park, and the first developed park in the diverse Cully neighborhood -- part of making everything we love about Portland accessible to all Portlanders. The 2.4 acre park at NE 52nd Avenue and Alberta is named for the indigenous land on which it sits. The name (pronounced KAHN-ah-mockst), is a Chinook name meaning "together."

Mayor Hales and Amanda Fritz

Kids headed to the skateboard area

TriMet hosts a first ride on the new Orange Line

First ride on the Orange lineAn estimated 400 people made the inaugural run of the MAX Orange Line train on Friday, the debut of the region’s newest light rail corridor.

Gov. Kate Brown and U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley were on hand for the 17-minute jaunt, to inaugurate the $1.5-billion, 7.3-mile endeavor. Many city workers were on hand, along with Transportation Commissioner Steve Novick.

The MAX Orange line is set to open to the public on Sept. 12, joining the Blue, Red, Green and Yellow lines. The line will include 10 stations and crosses the new Tilikum Crossing, the nation’s only major, inner-city bridge designed to carry light rail, streetcars, buses, bikes and pedestrians, but not cars.

“Portland and the metro area continue to be the envy of the nation, when it comes to smart transit,” said Mayor Charlie Hales, who could not attend the event. First Lady Nancy Hales was among the riders.

DJC: Architecture firm helps with Rosewood Initiative redesign

Nice story by Daily Journal of Commerce about Propel Studio's pro bono redesign of The Rosewood Initiative space. DJC subscribers, read the story here. 

Or, read a PDF of the print edition story.

The Rosewood Initiative has provided invaluable services to kids in East Portland; that's why Mayor Hales provided funding for them in his budget, which in part focuses on providing positive activities for kids:

Mayor Hales interviewed on

Listen to Mayor Hales on discussing his budget, income inequality, and his decision to withdraw support for the proposed propane terminal on the Columbia River. "The public are supposed to be able to come lobby their elected leaders, and be heard," Mayor Hales said.
Details from the propane announcement:
Details on Mayor Hales' proposed budget:


Constituents thank mayor for his Pembina decision

Thanks for Pembina decisionNice thank-you scroll! Sent by those who appreciate my decision to withdraw support for a propane terminal on the Columbia. The project drew massive criticism from Portlanders, and failed to align with the city's greater environmental values.

Portland Police child abuse detective talks about her job

Powerful interview with Portland Police Bureau (Portland, Oregon) Detective Erica Hurley, about her job on the Bureau's Child Abuse Team. Thank you, "Working" podcast for highlighting this important, devastating work. All of us play a role in supporting the health and welfare of our community's children. Here's more information, including community resources and reporting criteria:


Throwback Thursday: Mayor Hales keeps paving promise

Mayor Hales paves a street #‎tbt‬ Mayor Hales helps pave the 104th mile of street last year. He and Commissioner Novick promised to go "back to basics," paving three times the miles of street than previous years. Track their success on Portland's dashboard. After allocating $20 million of general fund money in his 2015-16 proposed budget to street safety and maintenance, Mayor Hales this week rallied 44 Oregon mayors to press ‪#‎orleg‬ for a comprehensive transportation package, and joined mayors nationwide for a ‪#‎RebuildRenew‬ lobbying day demanding Congress pass long-term federal transportation funding.

Infrastructure Week: Help mayors nationwide demand transportation funding from Congress

Join mayors nationwide in demanding that Congress pass a long-term transportation bill to rebuild and renew Portland's, and the nation's, transportation infrastructure. Help raise awareness by using the hashtag ‪#‎RebuildRenew‬, and e-mail your congresspeople:

We must act soon: On May 31, the current transportation authorization bill is set to expire. Then the Highway Trust Fund, which invests about $50 billion annually, will run out of money to cover the federal share of urgently needed roadway, bridge and transit projects in cities and states across the country.

Infrastructure Week: Mayor Hales and mayors nationwide say: Federal investment has not kept pace with demand

Mayor Hales, Nationwide Coalition of Mayors Call on Congress for Transportation Funding: Federal investment has not kept pace with demand, resulting in an outdated, overburdened surface transportation system that is ill-equipped to handle current, let alone future, needs. Across the United States, our public transit maintenance needs exceed $77 billion, and the nation’s bridge backlog alone is an estimated $121 billion. The Highway Trust Fund, which funds most highway and transit spending, is almost depleted and the federal government is struggling to maintain the status quo, much less make new investments. Read about how Mayor Hales and other leaders have been working to pay for transportation infrastructure. 

Mayor Charlie Hales today joined a bipartisan coalition of mayors nationwide to call on U.S. Congress to act on transportation funding before the federal transportation authorization bill expires at the end of the month. "We need Congress to do its job and pass a long-term transportation bill that increases investments in our transportation infrastructure," Mayor Hales says.

‪#‎RebuildRenew‬ ‪#‎StandUp4Transportation‬ ‪#‎MayorsDo‬

Infrastructure Week: Earl Blumenauer joins call for federal transportation funding

Join mayors nationwide in calling on Congressman Blumenauer's colleagues to pass a long-term transportation bill to rebuild and renew Portland's, and the nation's, transportation infrastructure:

Investing in our roads and bridges creates good jobs and is essential to making our communities more efficient, livable, walkable, bikeable and accessible by transit. #RebuildRenew

Posted by Earl Blumenauer on Monday, May 11, 2015


Infrastructure Week: Mayors nationwide call on Congress to pay its share in transportation infrastructure

On Monday, a coalition of Oregon mayors stood together to call on the Oregon Legislature to pass a comprehensive transportation funding package this session: Today, I stand with mayors nationwide to call on U.S. Congress to do the same. Congressman Earl Blumenauer has been a steady partner in calling for proper federal transportation funding, earlier this year advocating for an increase in the federal gas tax. Read the op-ed by New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, a Democrat, and Oklahoma City Mayor Mick Cornett, a Republican.

The nation faces a $160 billion backlog just to bring public transit and road systems into a state of good repair. The lack of a long-term federal funding bill creates local funding uncertainty, which jeopardizes infrastructure project planning and discourages private sector investment. The lack of a commitment on the federal level stifles local business investment and job creation in our city and nationwide.

We need Congress to pass a long-term transportation bill that increases investments in our transportation infrastructure.

‪#‎RebuildRenew‬ ‪#‎StandUp4Transportation‬ ‪#‎MayorDo‬

Portland Police hold memorial during National Police Week

We are fortunate that every officer we sent into the streets this year has returned to his or her family and friends. We thank them for their brave service, and mourn those we've lost in the line of duty. ‪#‎NationalPoliceWeek‬

Last week mayor announced budget, answered public's questions on Twitter

On the day Mayor Hales announced his proposed budget, he hosted a Twitter Town Hall, answering constituent questions tweeted to him. Here's a roundup of the questions and answers.

Show support for Mayor Hales' budget priorities by e-mailing or, or by attending the May 20 public hearing at City Hall, 6:30-8:30 p.m.

This Week City Council, May 13

This week City Council meets 9:30 a.m. and 2 p.m., Wednesday. Here's the full agenda. Click on No.'s 466, 478, and 479-481 for details on the highlighted items. More information:

Highlighted Council items

Urban League taking applications for summer youth programs

Urban League of Portland is now taking applications for its summer youth programs, including a middle school camp; high school summer employment, and summer youth employment for people ages 18-25. This is an invaluable opportunity to engage young people in meaningful activities over the summer break, keeping them from choosing another route that, unfortunately, we're seeing more of our Portland youth take. That's why Mayor Hales' proposed budget includes a $2 million investment in programs for youth. Know a young person? Pass this along! And show support for the mayor's investment in kids:

Oregonian profiles retiring Lt. Weatheroy's illustrious career

The Oregonian's Maxine Bernstein writes a nice piece about Lt. Paul Weatheroy, who has retired from the Portland Police Bureau after 29 years. He is tremendously respected in the community for his work, bringing criminals to justice and peace to families. Thank you, Lt. Weatheroy, for your dedicated work. Read the full story.

He'll golf through a few months off, before he joins the Multnomah County District Attorney's Office as an investigator. And we're happy the Weatheroy tradition continues at PPB: Elle Weatheroy, his sister, is the bureau's Equity and Diversity Program Manager.

Mayor rallies other mayors across the state to support transportation funding

Today the Mayor's Office presented leaders in the Oregon Legislature with a letter signed by 44 mayors across the state supporting additional funding for transportation. “The state of our roads is increasingly poor,” the letter reads. “From Hillsboro to Hood River, Ashland to Albany, Portland to Port Orford to Pendleton, cities are facing an annual shortfall of over $300 million in their street maintenance budgets.” Read the full press release.

Mayor joins 16,000 Portlanders for Sunday Parkways

Mayor talks to an attendeeOn Sunday I joined a crowd of more than 16,000 cyclists for the first Sunday Parkways of the season, East Portland Sunday Parkways. Streets were closed to traffic and filled with families on bikes. These events are a great opportunity to take advantage of Portland's beautiful summers, via Portland's favorite mode of transportation. Thanks to Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) for a great kickoff event.

Sadly, shortly before the Parkways, a bicyclist was severely injured when he was hit by a vehicle. My thoughts are with the young man as he fights to recover from his traumatic injuries. Today there will be a rally at the site of the accident, Southeast 26th Avenue and Powell Boulevard, 4 to 6 p.m., to encourage Oregon Department of Transportation to improve safety conditions on Powell.

Police policy director Deanna and her family Deanna's sons Dakari and Omari 

Mayor, First Lady walk in the St. John's Parade

Mayor and First Lady Nancy HalesFollow Mayor Hales along a portion of the St. John's Parade. "It was a beautiful day, the kids were great, the neighborhood was vibrant," the mayor says. Among Mayor Hales' priorities is making neighborhoods livable for all Portlanders, and that means listening to constituents when they say they don't want something like a propane terminal near their neighborhood. "That's why I encouraged Pembina to withdraw their proposal," Mayor Hales said.

Mayor talks arts with Sasha Roiz of 'Grimm'

With Sasha Roiz of Grimm talking about his upcoming Portland Center Stage role on the theater mezzanine at last night's gala. Great to see that TV stars filming in Portland are getting involved in other areas of our cultural scene, making it even more vibrant. Look for Sasha Roiz and Silas Weir Mitchell in the Portland Center Stage production of "Three Days of Rain."

Mayor Hales, Sasha Roiz

East Portland Sunday Parkways this Sunday

Treat Mom to East Portland Sunday Parkways for Mother's Day! Bike, walk or roll through the sunshine, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., along this route:

Mayor Hales biking

Mayor visits Faubion School '3 to Ph.D.' program

Mayor Hales and class mayor at Faubion Elemenatary SchoolMayor to mayor: Met the Class Mayor at Faubion Elementary School today. I was there to hear about students' design and architectural project. These types of projects are critical to the future of Portland; we need to engage our kids early on in topics like planning and building. That's why I support the Concordia University Portland/Faubion "3 to Ph.D" partnership, which will, among other things, develop a year round #STEM academy. Portland Public Schools

More on the mayor's budget commitments for kids.

More on the mayor's priorities for kids.

Mayor, Governor, Congressional delegation greet president

President Obama descends from Air Force OneMayor Hales yesterday met President Barack Obama on the tarmac -- alongside Governor Kate Brown, U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, and U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer -- to welcome him to Portland. The mayor delivered gifts for the president and First Lady Michelle Obama: A tie and scarf made by Portland Garment Factory, with a design that reflects Tillikum Crossing. Here's the full photo album. The note Mayor Hales wrote to the President Obama reads:

"Mr. President,

Welcome back to Portland! A city whose affection for you is deep and wide.

Gifts to the ObamasSpeaking of those qualitites, so is our Willamette River. And the beautiful new Tillikum Crossing (“Bridge of the People” in Chinook) is a symbol of an effective federal-local partnership. Thank you, and I hope you will come walk across it when it opens September 12th. I’d love to take that walk with you, too.

This tie and scarf were designed by Portland Garment Factory to capture its elegant form. In the future, we will gift these to other honored visitors. But the first of each, as is fitting, are for you and for First Lady Michelle.

Thank you for all that you do to support sustainable cities.

Yours in friendship,
Charlie Hales
Mayor of Portland"

Michael Jordan selected to lead Bureau of Environmental Services

Commissioner Nick Fish announced that he selected Michael Jordan to direct the Bureau of Environmental Services: “Excellent choice by Commissioner Fish!," Mayor Hales said. "I've had the pleasure of working with Mr. Jordan all the way back to his days as Canby's city manager, and he is one of our state's most capable public administrators." MORE:

Mayor, Governor, Congressional delegation greet president

Hanging out with fellow electeds — Governor Kate Brown, U.S. Rep. Suzanne Bonamici, U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer — waiting for President Barack Obama to arrive in Portland yesterday.

Rep. Bonamici, Mayor Hales, Gov. Brown, Rep. Blumenauer

Mayor Hales speaks at 'Reclaiming Our Youth' vigil

Mayor Hales last night spoke at a Reclaiming Our Youth vigil calling for the community to work together to end gang violence. "This moment, here in this park, reminds me of the Japanese admiral's quote after the attack on Pearl Harbor," Mayor Hales said, quoting, "I fear all we have done is awaken a sleeping giant, and fill him with a terrible resolve."

Mayor Hales' budget calls for a $2 million investment in giving at-risk young people options besides gangs: He is calling on Portlanders to express their support for the investment at upcoming budget hearings:

  • TODAY, May 7, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., at George Middle School, 10000 N. Burr Ave.
  • Wednesday, May 20, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., at City Hall, 1221 SW Fourth Ave.

OYVP director Antoinette Edwards recognized by Equity Foundation


Mayor Hales advises Pembina to withdraw its proposal

I think both the Port and Pembina have failed to make the case for Portland's environmental standards. Press release:

via Portland Mercury: Public Process—Nearly Avoided—Just Killed that Proposed North Portland Propane Terminal

via The Oregonian: Mayor Charlie Hales urges Pembina to withdraw plans for a North Portland propane terminal

Rosewood Initiative celebrates its inclusion in Mayor's Proposed Budget

Hope to see Rosewood supporters at budget public hearings! One tonight, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., at George Middle School.

From Jenny Glass: "YAY! Mayor Charlie Hales wrote Rosewood into the budget!! Now Mariel Mota gets to work her dream job wink emoticon building a robust Community Safety and Justice program with support from Portland, Gresham and Multnomah County. It feels great to have support from all of our municipalities working together!!! FINALLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!"

President's visit will disrupt traffic

REMINDER: President's visit will impede traffic on Thursday and Friday.

Mayor Charlie Hales is reminding Portlanders that President Barack Obama will be visit the city on Thursday and Friday this week, and traffic-related inconveniences are expected.

“We understands the impacts to commuters, businesses and people frequenting Downtown Portland and appreciate patience and understanding during a Presidential visit,” Hales said.

The Portland Bureau of Transportation is encouraging people to walk, bike or telecommute to work on Thursday, if possible, to avoid being stuck in traffic delays. For service information go to

On Friday morning, the presidential motorcade likely will affect the morning commute, so drivers should be especially aware of these disruptions.

Second public hearing on budget tomorrow evening

Thursday, May 7, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m.: Have your say on the Mayor's Proposed Budget! The second public hearing is tomorrow at George Middle School, 10000 N. Burr Ave. Details on Mayor Hales' proposed budget, which he announced yesterday:

Here's the informational brochure that outlines the city's budget, bureau expenditures, and significant General Fund requests:

To submit feedback electronically:

Tickets for IAAF World Indoor Championships on sale now

#‎Portland2016‬ will be huge, with more than 600 athletes from 200 nations drawing audiences from around the world -- an estimated $25 million of economic benefit to the Portland area. This gives details on how to get your tickets early.

Indoor track rendering

All-session tickets for IAAF World Indoor Championships - Portland 2016 go on sale to the public May 28.

Want to get yours a day early? We've got you covered.

We invite those in the #Portland area to come to Pioneer Courthouse Square from 3-7 pm on Wednesday, May 27 for an event featuring the unveiling of a locally-designed clock counting down to the start of the championship and world-class athletes such as Bernard Lagat and Sally Kipyego.


The three-day meet will feature two sessions Friday, March 18, two sessions Saturday, March 19 and one session Sunday, March 20. Only all-session tickets will be available (max number to purchase is six)

Lower Bowl Seating - $385
Bleachers (Straightaway) - $295
Bleachers (Turns) - $225

Mark your calendars for this historic event and join us as we celebrate the sport of track & field.

For more ticket inquiries, please email

Mayor Hales speaks at Hatch for Com-Cap event

Mayor Hales at Hatch — with Governor Kate Brown — talks about the values of communitarianism and localism that drive Portland's economy, and efforts to make the city's growing economy one of opportunity and inclusiveness. More on his economic opportunity priorities: LISTEN to his remarks:


This Week City Council

The City Council‬ meeting is starting now. Watch live:


For details on the highlighted agenda items, click No.'s 453, 450, and 435.

This Week City Council

Mayor Hales' Newsletter: Proposed budget announcement

Click here to subscribe to Mayor Hales' newsletter.

Snippet of Mayor Hales' newsletter

Mayor announces proposed budget: Watch the press conference

Mayor announces 2015-16 proposed budget

Mayor Hales announces budgetMayor Charlie Hales today outlined a proposed budget for the coming year that will focus on basic services, public safety and new resources for Portland’s youth, especially those at risk of being entangled in gang violence. He announced his budget at East Portland Community Center; Portland Parks & Recreation, joined by Rep. Shemia Fagan, apropos to his investments in safe programs for teens and street paving, maintenance and safety projects in East Portland. Details on the Mayor's Proposed 2015-16 Budget.

Rep. Shemia Fagan and Mayor Hales at press conference

Ruby Receptionists adopts $15 minimum wage

Happy my friend Jill Nelson, founder and CEO of Ruby Receptionists, is doing this! It's the right thing to do, and supports the city's efforts to reduce inequality. Thank you, Jill, for being an exceptional corporate citizen! Read the story from the Portland Business Journal.

More on economic opportunity priorities and my fair wage policy.

Mayor to host Twitter Town Hall on proposed budget

Chat live with Mayor Hales during his Twitter Town Hall, tomorrow, 2 to 2:30 p.m. More on the budget:

Twitter Town Hall: Tweet to #PDXbudget

Next public hearing for proposed budget is May 7

Have your say on the Mayor's Proposed Budget! The second public hearing will be this Thursday, May 7, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., at George Middle School, 10000 N. Burr Ave. Here's the informational brochure that outlines the city's budget, bureau expenditures, and significant General Fund requests: More on the budget:

To submit feedback electronically:

General Fund discretionary base budget chart

Mayor, staff walk in 82nd Avenue Rose Parade

#‎latergram‬ from the 82nd Avenue Rose Parade last weekend. A lot of fun for kids and families in East Portland, celebrating their neighborhood and community. The city has invested in the area through the Portland Development Commission Lents Urban Renewal Area, helping businesses like Portland Mercado bring new amenities to the area. More on my Livable Neighborhoods priorities:

Mayor with kids at parade

Mayor marks Roosevelt High School modernization groundbreaking

This morning went to the Portland Public Schools Roosevelt High School groundbreaking. The modernization project will create a welcoming learning environment for students. More on the project:

Mayor at groundbreaking

PSU, PPB crime data now accessible through city dashboard

Have you explored Portland State University and Portland Police Bureau's new crime data site? It provides detailed analysis of temporal and geographic patterns in local crime through charts, graphs and maps detailing trends in 13 offenses over 20 years:

We've added a link to it in the Public Safety portion of our Dashboard: Portland by the Numbers:

Mayor, David Plouffe talk sharing economy at TechFest NW

Last night at TechFest NW, Mayor Hales sat down with Uber's David Plouffe and talked sharing economy. Here's a roundup of the responses on Twitter:

Mayor Hales says, "Portland has a long history with a sharing economy: Multnomah County Library is 125 years old; our community garden system is 40 years old; the North Portland Tool Library is 10 years old; and we probably have more poetry boxes and tiny libraries than anywhere else. We are a community of thoughtful consumption. And government's role is to ensure that our economy operates safely and inclusively."

Mayor, David Plouffe of Uber, Mark Zusman with Willamette Week Mayor in an Uber vehicle

May Food Drive for Lift Urban Portland begins

Mayor, Shawn package food at Food BankJoin Mayor Hales and city employees in supporting Lift Urban Portland's May Food Drive. Bins for non-perishable food items are in the first and second floors of City Hall. Most-needed foods: peanut butter, tuna, canned meals, and canned fruits and vegetables. Help us fill those bins!
Lift Urban Portland aims to reduce hunger and improve the lives of low-income residents of Northwest and downtown Portland, collecting and distributing food; maintaining community gardens; and sponsoring educational programs that encourage healthy life choices.

Mayor, First Lady support Dine Out For Life, Portland restaurants

#DineOut4LifePDX lunch date with First Lady Nancy Hales at The Original Dinerant, Southwest 6th and Oak Street. Today eat at participating restaurants and a portion of the revenue will go to organizations that support people living with HIV and AIDS Enjoy Portland's tremendous restaurants for a tremendous cause. #dineoutfightaids

Mayor and First Lady at The Original Diner Mayor, First Lady at The Original Dinerant

Mayor Hales talks to CNBC about allowing Uber, Lyft in Portland

Mayor Hales on Wednesday talked to to CNBC about the new transportation network regulations that allowed ‪‎Uber‬ and ‪‎Lyft‬ in Portland. From the story: "Given Portland's vibrant community of start-ups, the mayor added he "intends to make it work" with Uber and Lyft. ... The city is no stranger to welcoming the growing sharing economy that leverages technology, and peer-to-peer consumption of products and services. Portland was the first city nationwide to allow ‪‎Airbnb‬ to operate, and to collect and remit hotel taxes. Airbnb's platform features property owners offering short-term rentals."

Mayor, First Lady stop by PSU's Learning Gardens Laboratory

#‎latergram‬ At the Learning Gardens Laboratory this weekend. Such a cool project by Portland State University, teaching 6th graders about science and sustainability. Photo via Dilafruz Williams, a PSU education leadership and policy professor, who sent along this nice note:
"It was a pleasure to have you at the Earth Day event at the Learning Gardens Laboratory. I co-founded LGL in 2004 and each time I go there I feel humbled and blessed by the hundreds of Lane Middle School kids and community members being served and benefiting from our PSU partnership there.

As an intricate web of partnerships that we have created, LGL is touted regionally, nationally, and internationally. Our kids and communities most in need are benefiting."

Mayor and First Lady with Learning Lab kids

Mayor to speak on sharing economy panel at TechFest NW

Join us TONIGHT, April 30th as TFNW discusses the economic, political and social impact of the Sharing Economy with Uber, the Mayor, Instacart and more. Tickets on sale now!

Portland Police, Portland State team up to create Crime Data site

Thanks to Portland Police and Portland State University for this resource: Portland Police Bureau and Portland State University Partner on New Crime Data Website. PPB has been working with the community to increase transparency and accountability, and this is another tool in that toolbox. This is a tool for the public and the media to better understand how crime looks in our city so they have the information to hold us accountable. I don't quote Ronald Reagan very often, but "trust but verify."

Crime Data website: Assault: Domestic map

Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland are looking for summer workers

Boys & Girls Clubs of Portland are offering a great opportunity for summer jobs mentoring kids. Mentors are critical in keeping kids on the right path. And as we know, volunteering is a privilege. So let young people know about this opportunity to be paid to make connections and form relationships with kids, making a difference in their lives. More on the job fair, Saturday, 10 a.m., and the Blazers Boys & Girls Club.

Mayor announces plan to purchase land for new Right 2 Dream Too site

The City of Portland is in negotiations to purchase a plot of land in the Central Eastside that could become the new home for the Right To Dream 2 rest area.

The site is owned by the Oregon Department of Transportation. It is 9,073 square feet at Southeast Third Avenue and Harrison Street.

For almost four years, R2DToo has provided shelter on Burnside Street at Northwest Fourth Avenue, at the entrance to Old Town/Chinatown. An estimated 70 people per night stay there, and organizers say more than 200 people found housing while being supported at the site. The rest area for Portland’s houseless population has proven to be an effective model for a self-governing operation. However, the land upon which it sits is under contract to be sold.

Read the full press release.

Council considers Spring Supplemental Budget

Council today is considering the Spring Supplemental Budget, a budget adjustment that occurs when actual revenue is different than budget-writers' conservative guesses. For this $3.1 million adjustment, Mayor Hales is proposing:

“These one-time expenditures will provide tremendous benefits to valuable organizations, services, and programs in our city,” Mayor Hales said. “I've prioritized expenditures that make recreation more accessible and fair, support services for the city's most vulnerable populations, and will help Portland grow with intentionality.”

Watch Council LIVE:

More on the city's budget:

Wall Street Journal: 'Tech Expansion Overruns Cities in California's Silicon Valley'

I wonder if any of these companies are moving to Portland? The Wall Street Journal reports that companies' office space needs are far outpacing availability: Tech Expansion Overruns Cities in California's Silicon Valley. For example, in Mountain View, Calif., Google and LinkedIn have proposed adding more than 5 million square feet of office space for an area where the city has planned to allow just over 2 million square feet over 20 years. Vacancy rates have tumbled, causing rents to inch close to $100 per square foot; it's $97.57 in Palo Alto! That's THREE TIMES what it is in Portland. With Portland's livability and tech-friendly atmosphere, we're likely to see an even greater influx of these Silicon Valley companies to our city.

Mayor on Portland's progress in supporting its young people


Mayor, community members work to find connections to support kids

Mayor Hales is spending the morning with more than 80 stakeholders working to connect needs with available resources, in order to provide safe activities for more kids. "We'll make our community safer and create better futures for Portland's kids by investing in pro-social, accessible programs for youth," he says.

Stakeholders work to connect resources, needs

Mayor, CBO host first budget public hearing

TONIGHT, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., at Floyd Light Middle School, 10800 SE Washington St., Mayor Hales and the City Budget Office will host the first public hearing on the 2015-16 budget. Public hearings are a chance for the public to voice priorities for the city's annual budget. Information about the city's resources and bureau spending requests:

To submit feedback electronically:

Bloomberg Business: Portland leading the west's boom

Bloomberg Business looks at the westward movement of population and economic growth: When Your Kid Moves Out West, She Takes the U.S. Economy With Her. The trend has led to a boom in Portland: "Nine of the 10 large metropolitan areas with the highest rates of gross domestic product growth since 2008 are in the West or Southwest, led by Portland, Oregon, at 22.8 percent." But also negatives, like income inequality. Mayor Hales' priorities include breaking down barriers so all Portlanders can take advantage of the city's boom:

How you can help following the disaster in Nepal

Press release from Mayor Hales' Office: Oregonians Can Assist with Nepalese Tragedy 

From the New York Times: Villages Near Nepal Earthquake’s Epicenter Are Desperate as Death Toll Tops 3,800

An excerpt from the NYT: "Residents of remote mountain villages at the epicenter of Nepal’s powerful earthquake said on Monday that they were running out of food, and that two days after the quake they had seen no sign of outside assistance. ... Villagers described a landscape of destruction. There had been 1,300 houses in Saurpani, but one resident, Shankar Thapa, said, “All the houses collapsed.” ... The magnitude-7.8 earthquake shook a vast portion of central Nepal on Saturday, from Mount Everest to Katmandu and points west. But as rescue teams began to arrive from around the world, much of the stricken area remained inaccessible, locked in mountainous terrain with some roads blocked by landslides."

The Oregonian's Casey Parks profiles the East African All Stars boys' basketball team

The Oregonian's Casey Parks spent months reporting, photographing, video recording the story of young immigrant men forging a positive path in Portland. Her work is tremendous. Read about the East African All Stars -- my office's favorite basketball team (close second: Portland Trail Blazers!), outfitted by Nike, and a great example of good kids overcoming steep barriers. Thank you, Casey. And E.A. All Stars: We're rooting for you!


Mayor: 'Stretch yourself. Be a mentor.'

Mayor Hales at the ACE Mentor Program luncheon talked about what the juxtaposition of income inequality, population and economic growth means for kids. In part: All crime in Portland is down -- except for gang violence. "Every day kids are making the decision to join gangs. They're going the wrong way," Mayor Hales said. "What you're offering is hope. Literally: You're offering hope for a good life. Each kid matters. Each connection matters. For some kids, it's literally a matter of life or death." Stretch yourself: Be a ‪#mentor‬.

Mayor joins mayors to support passenger rail

I'm joining mayors like Kitty Piercy of Eugene in support of passenger rail in the Willamette Valley. Vibrant passenger rail, up and down the Willamette Valley, is good for the environment and good for business. This year, a funding increase for transportation is a priority of Gov. Kate Brown and Speaker of the House Tina Kotek. I support their efforts to increase funding for transportation. And smart rail transportation is an important element of that. Read the full story:

Mayor talks sustainability at Lewis & Clark College

Mayor Hales spent Earth Day evening at Lewis & Clark College celebrating the school's pioneering and award-winning sustainability efforts. "There is a relationship between Lewis & Clark and the community," Mayor Hales said in his remarks. "Lewis & Clark is a place of ideas. Movements are fueled by ideas. Ideas like a comprehensive land use plan, ecosystem preservation, environmental justice." Listen for what Mayor Hales means by the "virtuous circle of sustainability."

Wall Street Journal highlights trend in company locations

A Wall Street Journal story highlights a trend that a City Observatory report detailed this year: Large companies are moving back into city centers. Downtown Portland has welcomed two transplants from Hillsboro -- Lattice Semiconductor and Zapproved. The draw of walkable neighborhoods and easy access to amenities is proving a boon for Portland's economy, making Portland a hub for diverse industries. This is an exciting time for Portland!

Read the Wall Street Journal story.

Mayor interviewed by 10-year-old interested in civic life

With 10-year-old Penny yesterday after she interviewed me about being mayor, as part of a school project. This is the best part of my job — getting young people involved in civic life. We need new, young voices in the civic dialogue, and this is a great way to get them started early. Look how comfortable she is in the mayor's chair! She's a future leader.

With Penny, a 10-year-old student

Earth Day: Environmental metrics go live on city dashboard

Live on Earth Day‬: New environmental measures on Dashboard: Portland by the Numbers. Track Portland's progress on reducing carbon emissions (relative to population and economic growth), waste generation, energy use, and complete neighborhoods -- which means amenities are within walking distance of residences, reducing the footprint of daily activities. As a city we've done a great job living sustainably; let's continue to live and grow in a way that improves these metrics. Check out the metrics in the Livable Neighborhoods section of the dashboard.

Earth Day: Council passes environmental agenda items

Council today considered environmental items — fitting for ‪#‎EarthDay‬ 2015. Items include adopting the 2015 Sustainable City Government Principles and 2030 Environmental Performance Objectives; implementing a comprehensive update to the City Green Building Policy; and accepting energy performance reporting for commercial buildings

Portland celebrates Earth Day

Mayor Hales votes to allow 120-day pilot for Lyft, Uber

Mayor Hales, along with Commissioner Novick and Commissioner Saltzman, on Tuesday night voted to launch a 120-day pilot program that allows Lyft, Uber and other transportation network companies to operate in Portland, in addition to cabs.

"This change is very fast. The question is, can government keep up with it?" he said. "This isn't a referendum on taxis' or ‪#‎Uber‬'s or ‪#‎Lyft‬'s popularity. It's government trying to regulate in a different world, and we regulate because not everyone will follow the rules."

LISTEN to his full remarks on SoundCloud:

Looking back: Mayor Hales discussed transportation network companies live on Twitter

This evening, 5 to 9 p.m., City Council will hold a public hearing and vote on whether to establish a 120-day pilot program that would allow ‪#‎Uber‬ and ‪#‎Lyft‬ to operate legally within city limits, and would also loosen some taxi regulations. Mayor Hales hosted a Twitter Town Hall on the topic in February. Read his answers to questions tweeted at him.

More information on the proposed pilot program: Council agenda (click on No.'s 388 and 389):

Attend the meeting to offer public comment, or watch the live stream online:

Council holds hearing, vote on allowing Uber, Lyft, other transportation network companies

This evening, 5 to 9 p.m., City Council will hold a public hearing and vote on whether to establish a 120-day pilot program that would allow ‪#‎Uber‬ and ‪#‎Lyft‬ to operate legally within city limits, and would also loosen some taxi regulations. The following news release contains further information: Click on No.'s 388 and 389 for more on the agenda items:

The public is welcome to attend the meeting, which will include public comment, or view it via live stream online at the following link:

Parks wins big federal grant for Thomas Cully Park

From Parks & Rec: HALF A MILLION BUCKS! Portland Parks & Recreation, Verde, Secure Major Federal Grant for Thomas Cully Park

As a member of the nationwide Mayors for Parks, I'm thrilled about this news! A complete neighborhood includes good streets, schools, jobs, shopping … and, of course, parks and recreation. The entire Cully Neighborhood will benefit from this project.

The project, spearheaded by Verde

Oregon House hosts 8.5-hour hearing on background checks

After passing the Oregon Senate last week, the House is taking up the bill that would close loopholes on background checks to purchase firearms -- an important law to ensure that law-abiding citizens do not unknowingly sell guns to someone who plans to hurt themselves or someone else. More from Mayor Hales' testimony: The House Rules Committee tonight is hosting a public hearing from 1 to 10 p.m. Details from The Oregonian. For the agenda and video of the hearing:…/…/Legislative-Video.aspx

City Council meets four times this week

This week City Council‬ is meeting Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday. The full agenda:

  • Tuesday, 5 to 9 p.m., Council will consider private-for-hire transportation. Click on No.'s 388 and 389 on agenda for details. 
  • Wednesday Council is at 9:30 a.m. and again at 2 p.m. The morning session will take on sustainability items -- and on ‪‎Earth Day‬! Click No. 405 on agenda for details.
  • Thursday Council will meet at 2 p.m.

This week city council

Video: Singin' in the Square

Had a great time this weekend at Singin' in the Square. It's a free event that uses one of Portland's great spaces -- Pioneer Square -- for one of its favorite pastimes -- music. 

South Korean mayors visit Portland, other U.S. cities

Korean mayors at City HallLast week Mayor Hales welcomed a delegation of eight Korean mayors to Portland. The U.S. Department of State chose these South Korea Mayors through the U.S. Embassy in South Korea to participate as part of a project designed to explore American values and traditions of the U.S. political system; it was organized locally by the World Affairs Council of Oregon.

The delegation visited Portland, Washington D.C., Sacramento and San Francisco in an effort to understand diversity of U.S. local systems of governance; learn how mayors shape both local and national policy in the U.S.; and understand evolving U.S.-Korea security policies and how they will affect local governments.

Among the visiting mayors was Mr. Sung Min Park, district-level mayor to Portland sister city Ulsan, South Korea.

"Portland and Oregon have many ties to South Korea -- Portland-Ulsan Sister City Association, the Korean American Coalition - Oregon, launched in 2014," Mayor Hales said. "This was a great opportunity to talk candidly about governance in our countries and common challenges and themes we face as mayors."

Mayor, First Lady join Singin' in the Square event

Beautiful day for Singin' in the Square, which brought a huge crowd to Pioneer Courthouse Square to sing along with some of Portland's favorite bands -- Pink Martini and The Von Trapps -- as well as PHAME Academy, which does great work making the arts accessible to adults with disabilities. This is what happens when we tear up a parking lot; we create a paradise — the story of Pioneer Square and The Portland Way.

Mayor, First Lady, PHAME singers  The Von Trapps sing

Mayor, Commissioner Novick announce pilot program with Uber, Lyft, other transportation network companies

News Release: Hales, Novick propose 120-day pilot program for taxis and Uber, Lyft and other Transportation Network Companies

Mayor Charlie Hales and Commissioner Steve Novick today proposed a 120-day pilot program that will modernize for-hire transportation in Portland and ensure fair competition between all private-for-hire operators, including both taxis and Transportation Network Companies (TNCs), such as Uber and Lyft.

An excerpt from the press release:

Under the proposal by Hales and Novick, the City would lift the cap on taxi fares, so taxis and TNCs could both set their own fares without city regulation. Both taxis and TNCs would be required to provide service to people with disabilities, provide service 24 hours a day/seven days a week, and certify that their drivers have passed City-approved background checks. The City will audit these records to enforce compliance. The resolution directs Transportation Director Leah Treat to create and sign an administrative rule launching the pilot program.

“This is an historic deal,” Hales said. “We were able to move from confrontation to collaboration, with an open process and tough negotiations that have come up with a result that will improve our transportation system and create a real win for consumers.”

Mayor rings in new art installation on Tilikum Crossing

Honored today to celebrate the Chinuk artwork displayed on Portland's newest bridge, Tilikum Crossing. Artist Greg Robinson, member of the The Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, named the three-piece installation, "We Have Always Lived Here." Tilikum's name and art installation recognize an important piece of Portland's history: its deep Native American heritage. More photos: Story from KOIN 6…/chinuk-sculptures-installed-at-tilikum-c…/. Video of MAX going over Tilikum from TriMet

Mayor Hales speaks in front of Tilikum Crossing Drummers with the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde

Youth Orchestra performs with Oregon Symphony

Bravo, Youth Orchestra! Playing with the Oregon Symphony in the Arlene Schnitzer Concert Hall. I love music‬, and as mayor I've seen firsthand how music creates community. Thanks to Oregon Symphony for its work getting young people involved.

Youth Orchestra performs  With Concertmaster Sarah Kwak

Mayor, First Lady read names for Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day

Residents from throughout the community came together in Pioneer Courthouse Square on Thursday for Yom HaShoah, or Holocaust Remembrance Day. All throughout the day, people read aloud the names of those who died in the Holocaust. In Portland, the annual remembrance is sponsored by the Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education, and the Jewish Federation of Greater Portland.

First Lady Nancy Hales

Track Town USA wins 2021 IAAF World Championships

This will keep momentum going from the ‪#‎Portland2016‬ IAAF World Athletics Club World Indoor Championships coming our way next March!

Portland and Eugene are becoming forces in the world for track and field -- exciting for our economy and in access to world-class athletes and events. Thanks, Track Town USA!

Thanks to Nasdaq for the message in #TimesSquare in NYC. Excited for the 2021 IAAF World Championships coming to #TrackTownUSA. First time this event has ever been held on USA soil.

NASDAQ board in Times Square

Op-ed in Portland Tribune in support of energy performance reporting

More from the Portland Tribune: An op-ed in support of Mayor Hales' energy performance reporting proposal, written by Kevin J. Cosgriff, president and CEO of the National Electrical Manufacturers Association, and Gary Young, business representative of International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers, Local 48.

The policy would require 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' goals to keep Portland living up to its green reputation.

An excerpt from NEMA's and IBEW's op-ed of support: 
"The citizens of Portland have the opportunity to address energy waste, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and create quality local jobs in the process. Enacting an energy performance reporting policy is beneficial for the environment, for local businesses, and for workers. It is beneficial for Portland."

Nice Portland Tribune piece on the city budget

The Portland Tribune does a nice job explaining the city budget situation. One of the mayor's assignments is to work with the City Budget Office to create the Mayor's Proposed Budget. This year, the city is fortunate to have a $30 million surplus -- but nearly $70 million of asks. An important note: The budget process is still underway, trying to balance needs and wants with resources.

The Mayor's Proposed Budget will be released the first week of May. More on the budget process:

Story by Steve Law:

Council hearing on energy performance reporting happening now

Watch the live stream of the Council hearing on energy performance reporting: The policy would require 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' goals to keep Portland living up to its green reputation.

Reducing building energy use is the single biggest opportunity for carbon reductions in the entire county. But right now in Portland, of the city's 5,000 commercial buildings -- spending $335 million annually on energy -- only 81 are ENERGY STAR certified. Buildings that track energy use with save an average of 2.4 percent on energy costs per year. If all 1,000 buildings covered by the policy saved 2.4 percent, that effort would save millions of dollars each year.

The City is leading by example. The City's target is a 2 percent reduction in building energy use per year. And City Hall and the Portland Building receive ENERGY STAR certification. This policy puts our sustainable city in the ranks of others: Austin, Boston, Cambridge, Chicago, Washington, D.C., Minneapolis, New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco, and Seattle.

Read more about the policy:

City seeking new Housing Director

From Commissioner Dan Saltzman: Our recruitment has begun for a new Housing Director. Follow this link for more info, and spread the word. 

Civic Scholars address City Council

Parkrose High School senior Jade Bradford, left, speaks to the Portland City Council on Wednesday regarding the Civic Scholars program through the City Club of Portland, a program coordinated by Amanda Shore, right. Bradford was among the students who interviewed Mayor Hales after this year’s State of the City address:

Parkrose student addresses Council

Mayor hosts Twitter Town Hall 

TOMORROW Mayor Hales will host his fourth Twitter Town Hall, discussing the upcoming Energy Performance Reporting policy for commercial buildings. More on the policy: 

Twitter Town Hall, 1 p.m. April 15

Council hosts work session on incorporating Lyft, Uber into city rules

Tune in 3 to 5 p.m. to watch a live stream of the Council work session on the Private-For-Hire Transportation Innovation Task Force recommendations it heard last week: Currently private-for-hire rules govern taxis; the task force was working to incorporate transportation network companies, such as ‪#‎Lyft‬ and ‪#‎Uber‬.

Council members requested the work session to discuss questions about the report's recommendations. Read the recommendations:

The work session is open to the public, but will not include public testimony or a Council vote.

Mayor Hales discussed the effort to incorporate transportation network companies into Portland's private-for-hire economy during a Twitter Town Hall:

Background check bill passes Oregon Senate

A measure that would require criminal background checks for private gun transfers passed the Oregon Senate today and heads to the House. This policy will make Oregon safer. It's such a simple, common-sense decision, and I thank our senators for their leadership on this issue. I testified in support of this bill

Leaders on this issue have included Eugene State Sen. Floyd Prozanski and Portland Sen. Ginny Burdick, a chief sponsor of the bill and longtime advocate for gun safety.

“I am proud to be a member of the Oregon Senate today,” said Sen. Burdick. “By passing universal background checks, we are honoring the wishes of the overwhelming majority of Oregonians who want to prevent criminals and the dangerously mentally ill from getting easy access to guns.”

This Week City Council, April 15

#‎ThisWeekCityCouncil‬ is at 9:30 a.m. and 2 p.m. Wednesday. The full agenda: Click on No.'s 387 and 376 for details on the highlighted items. 
Join Mayor Hales for a Twitter Town Hall at 1 p.m. Wednesday, prior to the 2 p.m. Council session, to discuss the first highlighted item, energy performance reporting. Tweet to ‪#‎SustainableCity‬.

City Council is Wednesday

Idaho passes gas tax increase; Portland should too

The Idaho Senate has passed a gas tax increase, with a bipartisan coalition recognizing the tremendous need for funding to maintain roads and bridges. "If Idaho can do it, Oregon certainly should be able to," Mayor Hales said.

Like leaders across the country, Mayor Hales has been grappling with a lack of state and federal funding to maintain the city's largest asset -- its streets. He has asked the Oregon Legislature to index the state gas tax so that it keeps pace with maintenance needs ( Last week the mayor joined leaders across the country in a ‪#‎StandUp4Transportation‬ campaign, calling on Congress to adequately fund transportation.

But Mayor Hales predicts funding street safety and maintenance will fall to the local level: "I wish Congress would do its job. I wish they would pass a transportation reauthorization bill. I wish they would move the gas tax from where it’s been stuck for 21 years at 18 cents. That’s crazy. What did $0.18 buy 21 years ago versus now? Well, not as much asphalt. I can tell you that. So Congress is inert and running for cover, and those of us at the local level are going have to step up on this stuff."

More on Mayor Hales' transportation funding efforts: 

Mayor stops by charette for Redd on Salmon

Mayor Hales this morning stopped in on the Ecotrust charette on Redd on Salmon, its planned maker space for food service companies and a unified delivery network. The group of private, public and nonprofit minds brainstormed scenarios for developing the former steel fabrication facility into a site for multiple small-scale food production businesses, as well as wholesale, marketing, education, restaurant and distribution facilities -- all on the same footprint.

"I want to see more ideas like this," Mayor Hales said. "The Redd is the future -- sharing economy for food businesses. How can your business use the sharing economy? We, the city, want to help."

Get involved! Apply for Socially Responsible Investments Committee

A way for adults to get involved: Apply for the city's new Socially Responsible Investments Committee. Applications are due Monday, April 13!
In December of 2014, City Council passed a resolution creating the committee and established the following social and value concerns as principles for the committee to weigh in on:
* Environmental concerns
* Health concerns including weapons production
* Concerns about abusive labor practices
* Concerns about corrupt corporate ethics and governance
* Concerns about extreme tax avoidance
* Concerns about exercise of such a level of market dominance so as to disrupt normal competitive market forces
* Concerns about impacts on human rights

Encourage young people to apply for Multnomah Youth Commission

The Multnomah Youth Commission is seeking young people interested in policy, activism, community organizing, and improving their communities to be Youth Commissioners. MYC, a partnership between Multnomah County Office of Diversity and Equity and City of Portland Office of Neighborhood Involvement, is made up of Youth Commissioners who consult on city and county issues -- having a real impact on their communities. For example, two weeks ago MYC Youth Commissioners talked with Mayor Hales and Portland Police Bureau (Portland, Oregon) Captains about police interactions with young people. "I've talked to so many young, future leaders -- Parkrose High School students after State of the City, Nabi Amin at the Portland Workforce Alliance breakfast, current Youth Commissioners at a community dialogue -- so I know these motivated young people are out there," Mayor Hales said.

"I encourage all young people to have some engagement with their community, whether civically or service learning or volunteering," Mayor Hales says. "It's especially important in Portland, because individual citizens make a difference here. Power is not confined to elected officials. So young people need to be heard; it's important that their views are represented in policy, so we need to hear from them."

Online application form. 

Mayor, leaders across the country call on Congress to fund transportation

Last fall Mayor Hales talked with The Urbanophile about Portland, touching on the need for transportation funding. Mayor Hales has been grappling with a lack of state and federal funding to maintain the city's largest asset -- its streets. Now he is standing with leaders across the country to call for Congress to adequately fund transportation. ‪#‎StandUp4Transportation

An excerpt from the interview: "I wish Congress would do their job. I wish they would pass a transportation reauthorization bill. I wish they would move the gas tax from where it’s been stuck for 21 years at 18 cents. That’s crazy. What did $0.18 buy 21 years ago versus now? Well, not as much asphalt. I can tell you that. So Congress is inert and running for cover, and those of us at the local level are going have to step up on this stuff." ‪#‎MayorsDo

Mayors call for funding in #StandUp4Transportation campaign

Today more than 60 mayors across the country are joining New York Mayor Bill de Blasio to call on Congress to invest in our infrastructure. Mayor Hales has called on the Oregon Legislature and Congress to do their part to provide adequate funding for street maintenance and safety ( The current state of the streets is unsafe, and the lack of funding is unacceptable. Today, mayors ‪#‎StandUp4Transportation.

Congressman Blumenauer speaks at Portland Building

Congressman Earl Blumenauer returned to his roots Wednesday, speaking to an estimate 100 staff members of the City of Portland. Blumenauer served on the City Council from 1987 to 1996, where he championed transportation issues, including light rail and bicycle use. He continues to do so in Congress as a steady partner in calling for much-needed federal transportation funding: 

U.S. Re. Blumenauer

Video: The Somali work-out plan, featuring East African All-Stars

Great video by The Oregonian's Casey Parks on our friends, the East African All-Stars. This group of Somali young men has worked hard, and we're proud we've been able to help out a bit along the way:

Keep an eye out for Casey's big feature about the team.

This Week City Council, April 8

#‎ThisWeekCityCouncil is Wednesday at 9:30 a.m. and 2 p.m., and Thursday at 2 p.m. The full agenda: Click on No.'s 370 and 364 for details on the highlighted items.

More information on 3 to Ph.D. investments: 

City Council is Wednesday at 9:30 a.m.

West Coast mayors lift travel ban to Indiana

ANNOUNCEMENT: West Coast Mayors Lift Travel Restrictions on Indiana

Today, the mayors of Portland, Oakland, San Francisco and Seattle announced that, after consulting with each other and reviewing the changes to Indiana law, they have agreed to lift their cities’ respective bans on City-funded travel to Indiana.

The issue came about after the Indiana Legislature and Gov. Mike Pence passed a law that codified discrimination against lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender people in that state. Cities throughout the nation immediately rose to condemn the action, along with counties, states, and independent businesses. Late last week, the governor and legislature clarified the intent of the Indiana law, stating explicitly that the law may not be used by most private businesses to defend against discrimination claims. The clarification identifies – for the first time in Indiana law – that sexual orientation and gender identity are characteristics for which nondiscrimination protections may exist.

The decision to lift travel bans is announced today by Mayor Charlie Hales of Portland; Mayor Libby Schaaf of Oakland; Mayor Ed Lee (mayor) of San Francisco; and Mayor Ed Murray of Seattle.

With Indianapolis Mayor Greg BallardMayor Hales said the changes in Indiana are a good first step, and he will lift the travel ban today: “Indiana as a state should follow the leadership of the great city of Indianapolis, and of City of Indianapolis - Mayor Greg Ballard,” Hales said this week. “In Indianapolis, protections for ‪#‎LGBT residents are clearly delineated. Indianapolis understands that which so many other cities and states know: that protecting all residents, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity, is sane, smart, practical and ethical.”

Read comments from the other mayors:

Help inform Portland Police Bureau policy

Help inform Portland Police Bureau (Portland, Oregon) policy: The bureau currently is seeking public feedback on four policies:

  •  Police Response to Mental Health Crisis
  •  Peace Officer Custody (Civil)
  •  Police Response to Requests for Mental Health Custody
  •  Police Response to Mental Health Facilities

Public feedback on police policy is an ongoing piece of the bureau's reform, making its processes accountable and transparent. Learn more about police reform:

To submit feedback:

Background check bill advances to Oregon Senate 

Great news from ‪#‎ORLeg: The expanded background check bill, SB 941, advanced to the Oregon Senate. The bill would require background checks on private gun sales -- ensuring there are no loopholes that make it easy for criminals to get guns. No law-abiding person wants to sell a gun to someone who's going to hurt someone else in a gang confrontation, drug sale or other crime, or themselves in a suicide. This bill will help reduce gun violence. READ MORE: 

Mayor joins more than 70 cities, counties supporting President's immigration executive action

More than 70 cities and counties from across the country joined a legal brief filed today asking an appeals court to allow President Barack Obama's immigration executive actions to move forward. Millions of Americans are united to move forward with the reforms needed to grow our economy and keep our families together. “Cities are strongly affected by immigration. The old, dysfunctional immigration policies hurt our economies, our neighborhoods, our businesses and our residents," Mayor Hales said. "The President is attempting to interject common sense and humanity. We are grateful for his efforts and we stand with him.”

MORE from Cities United for Immigration Action: 

Love the Portland Fish Market! And being more sustainable

I love ‪Woodstock's Portland Fish Market — all local and wild-caught. ‪‎Sustainability tastes great!

Mayor at Portland Fish Market

(And check out the owner, Ben, with a HUGE halibut.)

Portland Fish Market

The Fish Market is the epitome of Portland's localism and drive to be a good environmental steward. Our Climate Action Plan is part of that. This is the last week to comment on the proposed plan, an important roadmap for Portland's environmental stewardship. Comment by April 10! Learn more in this video.

Portland leaders talk environment; highlight importance of commenting on Climate Action Plan

In this video, Portland leaders discuss why taking care of our environment matters. The city's Climate Action Plan -- open for public comment for one more week, until April 10 -- is an important roadmap for Portland's environmental stewardship.

The plan is aimed at achieving an 80 percent reduction in carbon emissions by 2050. Portland can get there: Already the city is making tremendous progress on reducing carbon emissions. Portlanders recycle or compost 70 percent of solid waste; have planted 3 million new trees and shrubs since 1996; and have built 390 ecoroofs covering 20 acres of rooftops. And Portland's attention to livable neighborhoods can have a greater impact: We’ve had an outsized, catalytic effect on the world. I was at the C40 conference in Johannesburg, South Africa, and in that gathering of mayors from around the world, everybody knew Portland. We have influenced the conversation and action around the world, and we need to continue to do so.

Visit the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability site to learn what you can do immediately to reduce your carbon footprint, and to comment on the proposed plan:

Mayor Hales hosts third community dialogue

Community facilitatorsMayor Hales last weekend hosted the third of six community dialogues, this one focused on teens and police. Teens from the Multnomah Youth Commission, an intern from the Mayor's Office, and other young people attended, as did Portland Police Bureau (Portland, Oregon) captains and former Oregon Supreme Court Justice Paul DeMuniz, who is working with the Portland COCL & COAB.

The mayor emphasized the need for young people's civic engagement, helping to shape policies that affect their lives.

"Individual citizens DO make a difference here -- that's the great thing about Portland," Mayor Hales said. "Power is not confined to elected officials. People can roll up their sleeves and make a real difference."

"Don't think you need a title to be a leader in your community," added King Bishop Stylze, a community facilitator who helped organize the meeting. "You can make a difference."

Discussion focused on how police officers can connect with young people. Teens said seeing police outside of their official role -- e.g. attending sports games -- could help build a rapport. Police Capt. Vince Elmore said there is an onus on police officers to reach out. "We need to build relationships so when you kids see me, I'm not Capt. Elmore, I'm Vince," he said. "Officers have to have that trust."

Teens discussed how getting to know police officers develops that trust. Stephon, an intern in the Mayor's Office, pointed to an School Resource Officer who had stuck with the same cohort of students through elementary school up to high school. "He worked with us and got to know us, and we trusted him," Stephon said. "I think he was successful because he didn't take petty disrespect personally; he knew we were just kids."

Capt. John Scruggs let teens know about the activities police host for young people, such as:

 The next community dialogue will be at the end of April.

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Mayor Hales' 2013 Blog

Archived blog from 2013, mayor's first year in office.

Street Roots Resource Guide Released 

TUESDAY, DEC. 31, 2013 – The Rose City Resource, a publication of Street Roots, has been released.

“This is an invaluable asset,” Mayor Charlie Hales said. “A lot of organizations do a lot of good in the metro area. This resource guide is a comprehensive listing of who does what, and how to reach them.”

The guide includes updated lists of services for people experiencing homelessness and poverty in Multnomah, Washington and Clackamas counties. It is available at the Street Roots website, as well as in government offices throughout the region, including the mayor’s office at City Hall.

Portland Lawmaker Tina Kotek Nets National Honors

THURSDAY, DEC. 26, 2013 – Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek, D-Portland, is getting national recognition from Governing Magazine as a state legislator to watch in 2014. 

According to The Oregonian’s Christian Gaston, Rep. Kotek is one of a dozen state lawmakers highlighted by the magazine, which covers trends in policy and public affairs debates.

 "You can't overestimate the importance of the Speaker in Oregon's Legislature," Mayor Charlie Hales said. "Having someone as smart and progressive as Tina Kotek in that role is good for all of Oregon, of course, but we're proud that one of Portland's own carries the gavel."

 Kotek's district includes a portion of North and Northeast Portland including St. John’s.

Interim Chief Administrative Officer Hired for City

WEDNESDAY, DEC. 18, 2013 -- Mayor Charlie Hales announced today that Fred Miller will join the city as interim chief administrative officer and director of the Office of Management and Finance.

Portland does not have a city manager. The director of the Office of Management and Finance, or OMF, fills some of those traditional roles.

Miller, 71, will replace Jack Graham, the former chief administrative officer for the city. Miller will serve until a permanent replacement is selected.

The mayor has begun the process for an outside analysis of the financial and management sides of OMF. That analysis should be completed early in 2014. Following that process, a nationwide search for a permanent chief administrative officer will commence.

Miller said he will not be a candidate for a permanent position at OMF.

He served in leadership positions under four Oregon governors, Democrats and Republicans, from 1976 to 1992.

“Fred brings decades of expertise to the city,” Hales said. “He knows how to get the most out of a large organization like the city. He knows how government works, especially here in Oregon. He brings knowledge of the public and private sector, and he’s a longtime Portlander. He’s exactly who we need right now.”

Miller served as director of the Oregon Executive Department – now known as Department of Administrative Services, or DAS. He also ran the state departments of Transportation and Energy.

Director of the Oregon Executive Department, “is roughly equivalent to OMF director for Portland,” Hales said. “It’s the department that lets all the other departments function at their best.”

Miller left state government in 1992 and joined Portland General Electric and retired as an executive vice president. His areas of service included distribution, consumer service, delivery system planning, engineering, public affairs and corporate communications.

He has a bachelor’s degree from Portland State University and both a master’s and doctoral degrees in economics from Michigan State University.

Jack Graham stepped down in November and will stay with the city in an advisory capacity through the end of January, when OMF’s annual budget proposal is due to be completed.

The OMF position is Hales’ fourth opportunity to hire a director at the city, and he has ordered national searches for all four. Other open positions in 2013 included Director of Transportation, City Attorney and Director of Fire & Police Disability & Retirement Fund.

Reports: Nelson Mandela Has Died

Nelson Mandela has died at 95, according to the Washington Post.

Mandela was a South African anti-apartheid activist who went on to serve as president of that country from 1994-99.

“The passing of such an historic figure makes us pause and think about our role in the world,” Portland Mayor Charlie Hales said. “Nelson Mandela overcame prison, and prejudice, and unimaginable inequality. He didn’t turn to hate, to turned to leadership. The entire world benefited from his greatness.”

Dembrow Appointed to Oregon Senate

MONDAY, NOV. 18, 2013 – State Rep. Michael Dembrow has been appointed by the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners to fill the vacant seat in Senate District 23, representing portions of Northeast and Southeast Portland.

 He replaces Jackie Dingfelder, who stepped down Nov. 3 to be a policy director for Mayor Charlie Hales.

 Dembrow, 62, was first elected to the Oregon House of Representatives in 2008.

 A swearing in ceremony has been scheduled for 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, Nov. 20, in the Senate Chambers at the Oregon State Capitol in Salem.

Korean War Vets Honored

FRIDAY, NOV. 15, 2013 – Six veterans of the Korean War took part in a tour of Ulsan, South Korea, on Sept. 30 to Oct. 5, as part of the Portland/Ulsan Sister City Program.

The veterans spoke to the Portland City Council on Nov. 14 about their experiences.

Gay rights bill passes Senate under leadership of Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley

THURSDAY, NOV. 7, 2013 -- A bill that would ban workplace discrimination against gays trans-gendered individuals passed the Senate Thursday under the leadership of Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley.

Sen. Ron Wyden also is a vocal supporter of the Employment Non-Discrimination Act, known as ENDA.

"I couldn't be more proud of our Senate delegation," Mayor Charlie Hales said. "Passing ENDA shows tremendous leadership. This is a very good day."

The act passed on a 64-32 vote in the Senate.

It faces a difficult fate in the House where Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, charged that the bill could invite a new wave of litigation against employers and said he didn't intend to take it up.

Oregon is one of 21 states that have similar statutes prohibiting discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation against gays in employment and in public accommodations. And it is one of 17 states that prohibits discrimination on the basis of gender identity

 The Oregonian’s Jeff Mapes has a story.

Mayor Hales Leads Delegation to Urban Land Institute

 THURSDAY, NOV. 7, 2013 – Portland Mayor Charlie Hales and three other city leaders have been named a 2013 fellow of the Urban Land Institute’s Daniel Rose Center for Public Leadership.

Hales will begin the year-long fellowship by traveling to the institute’s headquarters in Chicago, Nov. 7-8, with three city leaders: Susan Anderson, director of the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability; Patrick Quinton, executive director of the Portland Development Commission, and Leah Treat, director of the Bureau of Transportation.

The mayor returns to Portland on Friday.

Hales selected these three to take part in the year-long project.

“This area is complex, but presents a great opportunity,” Hales said. “Participating in the Daniel Rose Fellowship ensures the integration of these three bureaus to make sure we get it right. It allows the directors time to really dive into this at the leadership level, not just the staff level. And it nets us the resources of the nationally recognized institute.”

Rounding out the 2013 fellowship are Mayor Kirk Caldwell of Honolulu, Mayor Gregory Ballard of Indianapolis and Mayor A. C. Wharton Jr. of Memphis, along with senior staff from each city.

The purpose of the fellowship program is to provide city leaders with the insights, peer-to-peer learning and analysis needed to successfully build and sustain their cities. The fellowship’s program of work includes a study tour of another U.S. or foreign city, a working retreat, and study visits to each of the four fellowship cities.

 The fellows will travel to Portland in February.

 More information on the fellowship and the Urban Land Institute is available at

Mayor Hales Mourns Passing of Nohad and Dirce Toulan

TUESDAY, OCT. 29, 2013 – Mayor Charlie Hales expressed his sadness today at the passing of Nohad Toulan, 81, and his wife Dirce Angelina Moroni Toulan, 78. They died Monday in a traffic accident in Uruguay.

Mayor Hales and his wife, Nancy Hales, are on a mission to China.

“Both Nancy and I were very close to Nohad and Dirce,” Mayor Hales said. “He and I spoke just before his departure for Uruguay. And typical of Nohad, he was excited about the trip and eager to meet again and talk about planning and public administration ideas after they got back.”

Dr. Toulan was Dean Emeritus of the College of Urban and Public Affairs at Portland State University, and Distinguished Professor Emeritus of Urban Studies and Planning.

“He was a mentor to both Nancy and me; the wise and warm-hearted sage who really cared about you,” Mayor Hales said. “Everyone in Portland who wanted to learn something about the way cities work, or should, sat at the feet of Dr. Toulan ... and listened.”

Wim Wiewel, Portland State University President, said funeral arrangements are pending and a memorial service will be announced.

The Toulans are survived by their adult children, Mariam and Omar.

Mayor Hales Hires Policy Director For Police

MONDAY, OCT. 28, 2013 – Mayor Charlie Hales today announced the addition of Deanna Wesson-Mitchell to his staff. She will serve as policy director for Portland Police.

Wesson-Mitchell is a 10-year veteran of the Portland Police Bureau. She is a sworn officer.

“She is of, and from, the community. She is of, and from, the bureau,” Mayor Hales said. “She is focused on the goal of making this the best urban police departments in the country. She’s exactly who we need right now.”

Wesson-Mitchell was born and raised in Portland and graduated from Jefferson High School. She has a bachelor’s degree in history from The George Washington University in Washington, D.C.

Since joining the Portland Police Bureau in 2004, Wesson-Mitchell has served as a patrol officer (2004-08), an investigative officer (2008-11) and recruitment coordinator for the Personnel Division. She also has been a Gang Resistance Education and Training (GREAT) instructor, and has been involved with the Making Positive Choices Youth Forum; Racial Profiling Committee; Citywide Diversity Committee; Police Equity: Leadership Council; and Community and Police Relations Committee.

She lives in Lents with her husband, JaMarr Mitchell, and their sons.

Her first day in the mayor’s office will be Nov. 18.

“I am very excited to continue the equity work began in the police bureau two and a half years ago,” Wesson-Mitchell said. “We have made forward progress and, with support of the Mayor’s office, will continue to build capacity and specific skills, which promote equity in both service toPortland’s diverse communities and internal operations.”

Portland Police Chief Mike Reese praised the hire. “We are very pleased that the mayor’s office has selected Deanna for this important role,” Reese said. “I have a great deal of respect and appreciation for the work Deanna has done at the Police Bureau. In addition to being an excellent police officer, in her recent role in the Personnel Division, she has assisted the bureau in recruiting and hiring diverse officer candidates. She has also been a member of the Community and Police Relations Committee and taken an active role in helping the bureau with issues regarding equity.”

That was echoed by Officer Daryl Turner, president of the Portland Police Association. “I think she’d be a wonderful addition to the mayor’s staff. I look forward to working with her,” Turner said.

Under Portland’s commissioner style of government, the five elected members of the Portland City Council also serve as bureau commissioners. Hales’ bureaus include Portland Police, as well as several others.

Hales, who took office in January, initially hired Baruti Artharee to serve as policy director for police. Artharee retired this fall.

Wesson-Mitchell is the second recent hire for the mayor. Earlier in October, he announced that State Sen. Jackie Dingfelder will leave the Legislature and will join the staff as a senior policy director.

Wesson-Mitchell and Dingfelder join Josh Alpert and Ed McNamara as the primary policy directors for the mayor. All four work under the direction of Chief of Staff Gail Shibley.

Portland Hosts Career Expo for Job Seekers with Disabilities

THURSDAY, OCT. 24, 2013 – The City of Portland is partnering with Incight and Oregon Vocational Rehabilitation Services to host a career expo for jobs seekers with disabilities. The event, called Meet Business, will be held from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 29, on the second floor of the Portland Building, 1120 S.W. Fifth Ave. Twenty bureaus from the City of Portland will be exhibiting.

In addition to networking opportunities, job seekers will receive a 10-minute overview of each participating bureau and will have the option to attend workshops on how to apply for a city job.

 The complete schedule is available with registration at

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

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

The 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.

“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.”

The PSU students will ask 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.

“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. 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.”

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.”

The public is also 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 #1, 740 SE 106th Ave.

Wednesday, Nov. 13, 6:30 to 8 p.m., Hollywood Library, Community Meeting Room, 4040 NE Tillamook St.

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.

State Senator to Join Mayor’s Staff

Gail Shibley, Chief of Staff for Portland Mayor Charlie Hales, announced today that State Senator Jackie Dingfelder will be stepping down from her elected role to join the Mayor’s staff as a senior Policy Director.

Senator Dingfelder has represented Portlanders in the Oregon Legislature since 2001. In 2008, she was elected to the Oregon State Senate for District 23, which includes portions of NE and SE Portland and Maywood Park. While in the Senate, Dingfelder chaired the Senate Committee on the Environment and Natural Resources. She also served on the Senate Judiciary Committee and the Ways and Means Subcommittee on the Environment and Natural Resources. In 2011, the Oregon League of Conservation Voters named her the Environmental Champion of the Year. She was also one of only eight state legislators to receive a perfect score of 100% on the OLCV’s issues scorecard.

Senator Dingfelder holds a Bachelor’s degree in Geography-Ecosystems Management from the University of California, Los Angeles; a Master’s Degree in Regional Planning from the University of North Carolina; and is currently a PhD candidate at Portland State University, Hatfield School of Government.

“I am delighted that Senator Dingfelder is joining my team,” said Mayor Charlie Hales. “She brings a diverse portfolio of academic and professional expertise to us on sustainability, planning, social justice, and environmental issues. Her political and policy background will be a huge asset for us and for the city. Soon all of Portland will know what District 23 already knows about her effectiveness!” 

Senator Dingfelder is stepping down from the Senate to accept her new role.

“I have been privileged to serve Northeast and Southeast Portland for many years. However, now I look forward to bringing my skills to all the people of Portland,” she said.

 “This is a staggering loss for Oregon’s environment,” said Senate President Peter Courtney. “Jackie Dingfelder has been the Legislature’s go-to person on the environment for more than a decade. It’s a tremendous boost for the quality of life in the City of Portland. I’ve never seen a legislator who was more prepared. I know she will serve Portland well. I will really miss her.”

 Senator Dingfelder’s first day in City Hall will be November 4, 2013.

Sunshine Division Needs Cereal!

Portland Police Chief Mike Reese has sent out an email to all City employees asking for extra help for the SUushine Division annual food drive. They are in great need of hot and cold cereal.  The Sunshine Division is a year-round emergency food and clothing supplier for hundreds of needy families each MONTH!  The Cereal Drive is especially critical. So, if you work where there is a Sunshine Box, or you knw where one is, please help out!  Many thanks!

City Hall Food Carts Up and Running!

 October 15th, 2013. The Mayor was all smiles as he welcomed the Portland media to the opening of three food carts at City Hall’s 4th Avenue entrance courtyard. Three mini-food carts are part of a pilot program to offer good food and a place to sit outside for City Hall employees, as well as anyone else passing by. Mayor Hales has worked to make City Hall more accessible and welcoming to visitors, by removing a lot of the barriers that sent, in his opinion, a message of “hey, we’re not so sure we want you to come in.”

“This is all part of what I’ve been trying to do at City Hall since elected Mayor. Put a friendlier face on City Hall. Sometimes you get to work on big issues, and sometimes you get to work on small issues that can have a big impact.”

The three carts in the pilot program are Al Forno Ferruzza, Saigon Noodle, and Olympic Provisions.

Following his statements, the Mayor bought lunch at Olympic Provisions and sat outside in the beautiful autumn sunshine to enjoy it with fellow employees.

New issue of Pathways to Portland & Bologna Features Mayor

 In case you missed the event in August, here’s a replay of the Portland Bologna Sister City Association Youth Ambassador’s Honored by Mayor Hales in City Council Meeting

Mayor Hales Interviewed by the Today Show

WEDNESDAY, OCT 2, 2013 – Mayor Hales was interviewed by Erica Hill, anchor of NBC’s Weekend Today for a story highlighting Harper’s Playground, a fully accessible play area in Arbor Lodge Park.

The Mayor, who was a supporter of the project even before he was elected mayor, touted the playground as an example of a public/private partnership making good things happen. He compared it to the old story of “Stone Soup” where everybody brings something to contribute to the pot, with great results for all.

The NBC crew also interviewed the Goldberg family, who spearheaded the fundraising effort to build a park that their special needs child, but that all children enjoy.

The story will air on Weekend Today within a couple of weeks, but no specific air date has been set yet.

Workshop To Help Artists Understand Portland’s Mural Process

 TUESDAY, SEPT. 24, 2013 – Portland’s Regional Arts & Culture Council will help artists and community members learn how to organize and navigate two different paths for creating murals in the city of Portland.

 The free workshop is set for 10 a.m. to noon, Saturday, Oct. 12, at Miracle Theater, 425 S.E. Sixth Ave. It will be led by Peggy Kendellen, manager of the Public Art Murals Program for the council, known as RACC, along with Jean Hester from the Portland Bureau of Development Services, and local artists Addie Boswell, Gage Hamilton and Antwoine Thomas.

 The city offers two options for painting a mural on a wall: The city has an Original Art Mural Permit Program, which costs only $50, and RACC’s Public Art Murals Program, which is free, and approved projects may receive up to $10,000 in matching funds.

 The RACC process requires building owners to provide easements that allow the mural to be added to the city’s public art collection. The workshop is designed to help artists, property owners, business owners and community members understand the two options available for creating murals.

The workshop is free but space is limited and RSVPs are required. To sign up, contact Cheryl Norton at or call (503) 823-5865.

Portlanders Pound the Pavement to Raise Money for Cascade AIDS Project.

 Monday, Sept. 23, 2013 -- An estimated 10,000 walkers took to Portland streets Sunday for the 27th annual AIDS Walk Portland. The goal is to raise an estimated $500,000 for the Cascade AIDS Projects.

New shelter beds at Portland Rescue Mission help ease shortage, at least a little

WEDNESDAY, SEPTEMBER 18, 2013 --  The Portland Rescue Mission this month added 36 new beds to the city's tight shelter space, with another 16 to open in the near future.

A $250,000 remodel of its longtime facility on West Burnside just off the Burnside Bridge turned the second and third floors into sleeping areas for men and women who are looking to get off the street -- a small but significant dent in Portland shelters' temporary housing needs.

Men moved into the 36 third floor beds Sept. 5. Sixteen women's beds will open on the second floor once a grant is approved.

The biennial homeless census in January counted 2,869 people living on the street or staying in emergency shelters, while there are about 700 shelter beds regularly available. Nearly 1,600 temporary housing spaces are full with waiting lists, say those who work with Portland's homeless.

A smattering of recent renovations has introduced cumulative 63 beds to the shelter offerings, with another 58 on the way.

Outreach groups try to get people off the street and into temporary housing as soon as possible to prevent full descent into street life.

The Portland Rescue Mission ground floor holds 58 emergency shelter beds.

Its second and third floors until June were used for the men's recovery program, which helps homeless men kick addictions and get off the streets. The second floor held a learning center and the third was a dorm for 15 men. The recovery center this summer relocated to a renovated facility in Northeast Portland, which expanded capacity to 42 beds.

Before the renovation, men who were trying to transition off the street through the organization's "Link" program used beds in the emergency shelter, reducing capacity to 22 beds per night.

Daimler To Build $150 Million HQ on Swan Island

 FRIDAY, SEPT. 13, 2013 – Daimler Trucks North America confirmed that it plans a massive new waterfront headquarters on Swan Island, a $150 million project that the German-owned company says will result in 400 new, high-wage, white-collar jobs.

The Oregonian’s Mike Rogoway reported that Daimler's decision is a major economic boost for the city and region. Daimler already employs about 2,000 in Portland-- 1,200 at Swan Island and hundreds more scattered in offices across the city -- plus 750 workers who turn out as many as 30 Western Star trucks a day. The new headquarters will bring all workers to Swan Island.

Mayor Charlie Hales was on hand for today’s announcement, along with Gov. John Kitzhaber and Tina Kotek, Speaker of the Oregon House, whose district includes Swan Island.

At a time when a lot of the buzz is around software and apps, Hales said, "We're still a real manufacturing city. We make steel and make things out of steel."

 Daimler's decision erases doubts about the city's receptiveness to large businesses, said Patrick Quinton, director of the Portland Development Commission.

"It sends a really strong message about where the economy is going here in Portland and how large companies, with global operations, view the city as a place to do business," Quinton said.

Portland Streetcar Mobile Tickets Now Available

TUESDAY, SEPT. 10, 2013 -- Portland Streetcar Inc. makes it easier than ever to ride public transit with the introduction today of a new mobile ticketing application for use with iPhone or Android devices. Portland Streetcar riders can now download the free PDX Streetcar Mobile Ticket app from an app store and begin buying and using Streetcar tickets with just a few clicks.

 “Providing our customers with a new channel to purchase Streetcar tickets is very exciting,” said Rick Gustafson, Executive Director of Portland Streetcar. “Now, Portland Streetcar riders can buy tickets directly from their phones without having to wait in line or have exact change.”

 The application was developed in partnership with local software developer GlobeSherpa.  

How to get the app: To download the free Portland Streetcar mobile ticket app, visit an Android or iPhone app store and search for PDX Streetcar. Enter your account information, select fare type and ticket quantity, then press “Checkout.” Load your credit or debit card information into the secure system and then you’re ready to ride. It’s that easy! There’s a minimum $5 purchase requirement but the tickets you buy, such as five Streetcar 2-Hour tickets at $1.00 apiece, can be stored on the device and activated individually at any time.

For help downloading the app, email or call 503-242-0084.

City Commissioners Fritz, Novick Team up to Look For a Solution to Save NE Portland’s Historic Rayworth House

FRIDAY, SEPT. 6, 2013 -- Commissioners Amanda Fritz (Development Services, Parks & Recreation) and Steve Novick (Transportation) announce a new timeline for the preservation of the historic Rayworth House. 

Complications arose Thursday, Sept. 5, when city staff learned that the height of the home during its cross-town move was actually three and a half feet taller than previously indicated in the permitting process. This information, coming less than 72 hours before the home was to be moved, raised significant concerns over vital infrastructure issues such as traffic impacts, utility/electric and communication line impacts, and on impacts to both private and city-owned trees.

This change necessitates a new route for a potential move and new permits. Property developer Andre Koshuba has agreed to a one-week delay of demolition to allow for additional route planning.

Fritz, Novick and city staff will continue to work with all parties to find a new or modified route that minimizes impacts on traffic, gives advance notification of impacted neighbors, and includes a thorough assessment of utility/electric and communication line issues and the structural and safety-related impacts to both privately and city-owned trees.

The city offers thanks to neighborhood advocates Roy and Kim Fox, who committed to saving the home, located on Albina Street, and have made a significant financial and emotional investment in preserving the historic structure.  Further, the city offers special thanks to developer Andre Koshuba who has graciously granted several needed extensions to avoid demolishing the house. Commissioners Fritz and Novick also are appreciative of the advocacy of Boise Neighborhood Association.

“Everyone wants to make this move happen, in a manner that protects neighbors and the house,” says City Commissioner Amanda Fritz. “I very much appreciate the efforts of Mr. and Mrs. Fox, of Mr. Koshuba, of Pat Brady of Emmert International, and everyone involved.”

Commissioner Novick praised the work of staff from the several bureaus to work together to try to find a way to relocate the house while protecting infrastructure the community depends on every day.

“The Transportation Bureau has to protect the trees, power lines and traffic signals that are in the public right-of-way,” Novick said. “I’m glad we may be able to find a way to preserve this house, which reflects the character and charm of Portland. But all parties need to continue to work together to protect the utilities and other infrastructure that are essential to our quality of life.”

The home is believed to have been built in 1890 by Edwin Rayworth. It went into foreclosure in 2010.  Koshuba, the developer, then bought it and plans to replace it with a pair of homes on the Rayworth property’s existing site.

What Nashville Can Learn from ‘Portlandia?’

FRIDAY, AUG. 30, 2013 – Talented writer Jamie McGee of the Nashville Business Journal wrote a story this week on the impact of “Portlandia” on our city, comparing it to the impact of the TV show “Nashville” on her town.

The story was picked up by reporter/producer Saadia McConville at Bloomberg Television in New York.

Police: Bike Project Benefits Youths in Togo

WEDNESDAY, AUG. 21, 2013 -- Portland Police Bureau will donate approximately 100 bicycles to Alaffia’s Bicycles for Education Project, which benefits youths in Togo, West Africa.

The event is set for 10:30 a.m. Thursday, Aug. 22, in partnership with Whole Foods Market Hollywood, 4301 N.E. Sandy Blvd.

Community members may donate adult-sized bicycles in any condition at this location from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. that day. All donations are tax deductible.

"Portland is one of the most bicycle-friendly cities in the United States,” said Assistant Police Chief Donna Henderson. “We felt that, in participating with Alaffia’s Bicycles for Education program, we are sharing a part of Portland with children across the globe."

Henderson will speak at the Aug. 22 event along with Alaffia founder Olowo-n'djo Tchala.

Both the Village Bicycle Project and Alaffia's Bicycles for Education program provide much-needed transportation for students in Togo, West Africa. The donated bicycles are from the Portland Police Property and Evidence Division and are unclaimed or disposed-of property.

“Alaffia thanks Mayor Charlie Hales, the Portland Police Bureau, Whole Foods Markets, and the good people of Portland for this generous donation to our Bicycles for Education Project," said Lanessa Inman, Alaffia community project coordinator. “Our bike recipients have a 98 percent graduation rate. Because of Portland's contribution, more than 100 girls in Togo will be empowered with an opportunity for an education, which will provide a lasting impact on alleviating poverty in our communities in Togo. We are deeply grateful and look forward to working with Portland communities again in the future

Information about Alaffia's Bicycles for Education and other Community Empowerment Projects can be found at

Venue Changed for Bargaining Session

WEDNESDAY, AUG. 14, 2013 -- The next bargaining session between the city of Portland and the Portland Police Association – the union representing police officers – has been changed.

The bargaining talks are set for 8:30 a.m. to noon, Thursday, in Room 2500 A, Second Floor, 1900 SW Fourth Ave., Portland.

Fire destroys apartment in Northeast Portland

THURSDAY, AUG. 8, 2013 – A five-alarm fire has destroyed an apartment complex and reached adjacent homes in Northeast Portland's Elliott neighborhood. No one was injured.

Portland firefighters were on scene early today, along with volunteers from the Trauma Intervention Program:

Mayor Charlie Hales was on site early this morning, along with Fire Commissioner Dan Saltzman and Fire Chief Erin Janssens.

“Our firefighters did a great job. Fortunately, no one was hurt – none of the residents and none of our firefighters, either,” Hales said from the scene.

“You see the best of Portland in a terrible situation like this,” he added, pointing to the volunteers from the Trauma Intervention Program, Portland Fire & Rescue and Red Cross. “The people who were displaced are being cared for.”

Hales pointed out that crews from other Portland fire stations are on hand, along with firefighters from Gresham to Vancouver. “The system works. We have mutual-aid agreements in this kinds of fires."

The fire burned and destroyed an unoccupied four-story apartment under construction at the corner of Northeast Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd. and Northeast Monroe Street.

Lt. Rich Chatman, a spokesman for Portland Fire & Rescue said no one was injured.

Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard., a busy north-south throughway, is closed between Northeast Knott and Ivy Streets, as more than 120 firefighters and fire equipment used the street to stage their assault against the flames.

Fire spread to two or three nearby buildings and residents from between six and 10 homes were evacuated, with people loaded onto TriMet buses, Chatman said.

Five ladder trucks pumped between 1,200 and 2,000 gallons of water a minute onto the still burning rubble.

City Expands Program to End Lawlessness on Sidewalks

WEDNESDAY, AUG. 7, 2013 – The City of Portland today began expanding a program to reduce the number of people living on city sidewalks.

The program started in front of City Hall in July. Today, Portland Police informed people in other sections of the central city that it is illegal to establish a home on the sidewalks.

“This is about lawlessness; this is about activities that are appropriate and inappropriate in the right-of-way,” Mayor Charlie Hales said. “Some of the people involved have said that the laws don’t apply to them. And they’re wrong.”

Police began monitoring specific sidewalks in July, making note of persons who had been in one place, and who had established large piles of belongings on the sidewalks. Today, police returned and told those people they were in violation of city ordinance and had to move.

Those who do not can be charged with interfering with a police officer. The charge can lead to arrests and court time.

Today’s actions are under way at several locations.

The Multnomah County District Attorney’s staff has assisted the police in establishing criteria regarding which persons may be cited.

The sidewalk plan began at City Hall after police reported receiving 113 calls for service there in the first 180 days of the year. Portland residents called the mayor’s office often to say they felt they could not go to City Hall because they had been harassed by the Occupy Protesters living on the sidewalk.

“We started at City Hall because of the many police calls,” Mayor Hales said. “Also, this is the people’s building, so there was an urgent need to start here. We’re rolling this out slowly and methodically. We’re taking our time and doing this right.”

 Since July 22, the street in front of City Hall has been cleaned daily. Protesters still arrive each day to speak for and against specific city, state, federal or international policies. And homeless people can sleep on the sidewalk overnight. But people no longer are allowed to live on the sidewalk for weeks or months at a time.

“This has become a quality-of-life issue for people in the central city,” Mayor Charlie Hales said. “Certain activities – including drug- and alcohol-use on city sidewalks, or establishing a makeshift home on the sidewalk – aren’t permitted. And almost every Portland resident agrees with these rules.”

The enforcement project is expected to continue throughout the summer.

Note: A list of resources for the homeless can be located at the Portland Housing Bureau.

Portland Seeks to Draw Attention to Traffic Fatalities

THURSDAY, JULY 25, 2013 – Portland Mayor Charlie Hales and City Commissioner Steve Novick have asked Portland Police to provide targeted enforcement on Thursday, designed to improve traffic safety this summer. An unusually high number of traffic fatalities so far this year is cause for concern, they say, and the public needs to know driver awareness can help keep the roadways safe.

“Our message is the same for drivers, for bike riders and for pedestrians,” Mayor Charlie Hales said. “You have the power. If you share our streets, and if you do so without undue distraction, you can make a dramatic difference in the number of injuries and fatalities. But it takes all of us, equally, to make that difference.”

“Safety is the transportation bureau’s top priority,” said City Commissioner Steve Novick, who oversees the bureau. “We’re building safer crosswalks as fast as we can and working with the community to address our high crash corridors. But everyone plays a role by paying attention no matter how you’re getting around.”

“We have had 23 fatal crashes this year compared to 17 at the same time last year,” said Police Chief Michael Reese.  “People are dying or being injured on Portland’s streets from traffic crashes that often can be avoided.  We usually see a seasonal increase in traffic fatalities this time of year, due to more motor vehicles, motorcycles, bicycles and pedestrians on the road during summer months.  However, we are concerned at the rising number of fatalities this year and we want to remind people to slow down, not drive distracted or impaired and make traffic safety a priority.”

Traffic safety mission details

Why:  23 fatal crashes this year (17 same time last year)

When: Thursday July 25, 2013. noon – 3:30 p.m. and 7:00 p.m. to 10:00 p.m.

Who: Portland Police Traffic Division, East Precinct and Central Precinct; the Multnomah County Sheriff’s Office; and, the Oregon State Police

What:Mission will focus on all traffic violators, including distracted and speeding drivers, pedestrian violations and unsafe bicycle operation.

The first phase of the mission, from noon to 3:30 p.m., will focus on Southeast Division Street, from 82nd to 162nd Avenues.

The second phase of the mission, from 7 to 10 p.m., will be on Southwest Barbur Boulevard, from Hamilton Street to Capitol Highway. 

Both of these areas among the 10 corridors in the city’s High Crash Corridor Program, where the City of Portland is working with residents and businesses to identify traffic safety solutions and encourage compliance and additional enforcement of traffic laws. To learn more about the Transportation Bureau’s High Crash Corridor Program, see:

Statistics about recent traffic crashes

  • To date in 2013 there have been 23 fatal traffic crashes in the City of Portland. There were 31 in all of 2012.
  • Breakdown of 2013 fatalities: 14-motor vehicle; 3-motorcycle; 6-pedestrian; 0-Bicyclists
  • 12 of the 23 fatalities have involved impaired drivers with BAC’s ranging from .15 - .25 %
  • Of the 6 pedestrian fatalities, motor vehicle drivers have been at fault in 4 of them
  • There were 4 traffic fatalities in 6 days from July 5 to 11. Two involved speeding and impaired drivers.
  • Driver/pedestrian distraction or inattention: 4 of the 6 pedestrian fatalities could have been avoided if the pedestrian and/or driver were focused on their actions

Statement from Mayor Charlie Hales on Today's Federal Court Hearing before Judge Michael Simon

 THURSDAY, JULY 18, 2013 -- “I am pleased the court provided such clear guidance to all parties regarding next steps in the City’s and U.S. Department of Justice’s draft Settlement Agreement.

Both the Justice Department and the public are expecting us to change practices in our Police Bureau.  We are doing so, and will continue to do so, because they are the right things to do.  I believe that, by setting a potential trial date a year in the future, the court is expressing trust in our continued focus and action. 

The result will be the same whether commitments are codified in a Settlement Agreement or in City Policy:  we will demonstrate continuous commitment to civil rights in the Portland Police Bureau.”

Legislature Secures funding for East Portland Sidewalks

MONDAY, JULY 8, 2013 – The Oregon Legislature today secured $3.6 million for sidewalks and crosswalks on Southeast 136th Avenue in Portland. The funding had been a top priority for State Rep. Shemia Fagan and several other area lawmakers.

The Oregon Legislature is expected to finish its business and call the 2013 session to an end later today.

“The goal is safety for all residents, regardless of the mode of transportation they prefer,” said City Commissioner Steve Novick, who oversees the Bureau of Transportation. “Sidewalks, crosswalks, signage, paving, bike lanes – they all come down to safety. Today’s news from Salem means the Legislature and the city are working hand-in-glove on this issue.”

The issue became galvanized on Feb. 28 when 5-year-old Morgan Maynard-Cook of Portland was struck by a car and killed while crossing a stretch of Southeast 136th.

“For too long, East Portlanders have been told to ‘be patient,’” Rep. Fagan said today. “But Morgan’s family, and every family, has a right to be very impatient when it comes to the safety of their children. I am proud to make East Portland a big winner in my first session in the Oregon House.”

Mayor Charlie Hales praised the lawmakers for their action. “When the city needed partners on this sidewalk project, Rep. Fagan was right there. So were Sens. Monroe, Dingfelder and Thomsen, and Reps. Reardon, Keny-Guyer and Vega Pedersen,” he said. “We often say safety is the northern star that guides our decisions. Our legislators obviously live by that code, too.”

Sen. Thomsen spoke about the project on the Senate Floor today, calling it one of his top priorities for the 2013 session.

The first of three phases of a city project to create sidewalks on Southeast 136th Avenue between Powell and Holgate boulevards will get under way this fall or winter. The city budgeted the project at $1.2 million.

 The Legislature’s action today will prove to be a huge boon for the project, Hales and Novick said.

Legislation Bans Housing Discrimination Against Section 8 Renters

MONDAY, JULY 8, 2013 – Oregon landlords no longer will be able to broadly turn away prospective tenants because they receive federal rent assistance under a bill that passed the Oregon Senate on Monday.

The new law will go into effect July 1, 2014, according to The Oregonian’s Brad Schmidt.

The law makes it illegal to discriminate against renters who use the federal Section 8 voucher program.

“Section 8 is the country’s largest housing program,” said Commissioner Nick Fish, an advocate for this change. “Nearly 7,000 people in our community use housing choice vouchers – almost half are families, one-third have a disability, and one in five is a senior citizen. They are veterans, immigrant families, older adults – they are the face ofAmerica.”

The bill was a priority for House Speaker Tina Kotek, who proposed the bill and fought for it. Kotek's district includes portions of North Portland.

"This victory would not have been possible without Speaker Tina Kotek’s strong and persistent leadership and the support of landlords, housing authorities, and housing activists," Fish said.

"Our thanks go to the Speaker," Mayor Charlie Hales added. "She doesn't just get the thanks of the city. The big winners in all this are the many advocates of low-income housing."

Passage of this bill marks the third major victory for the City’s housing agenda in this legislative session. They include renewal of the city’s tax exemption program for low income and first-time homeowners, known as HOLTE; clarification on the tax-exempt status of city-owned affordable housing properties; and, today, Section 8 reform.

City Wins Arts Tax Ruling In Court 

The Portland arts tax passed a major legal hurdle today, when Circuit Judge Kelly Skye ruled the tax constitutional.

The Arts Education and Access Income Tax was created by the city in 2012 and passed by 62 percent of voters in November. It provided funds for arts educators in area K-12 public schools, and funds for arts organizations in the region.

The issue received three legal challenges. The first was a challenge to the ballot title in 2012. In the second, a challenge in federal tax court was thrown out in May for a lack of legal standing.

Today’s ruling clears the third legal hurdle.

“Asked and answered,” Mayor Charlie Hales said, upon hearing the news today. “Can the challenges be appealed? Yes, but we don’t know that they will. We want to wait to hear from the city attorney regarding our best options, and then we want to get the input of the entire City Council before moving forward.”

The plaintiff in this case, George Wittemeyer, had argued that the arts tax was unconstitutional because it is a “head tax,” or a tax on everybody. In response, Judge Skye wrote, “The Arts Tax is not a Poll or Head tax because it is not assessed per capita.”

Commissioner Nick Fish praised the ruling. He is the City Council liaison to the Regional Arts and Culture Council. “It passes constitutional muster. We’re very pleased,” Fish said. “But not all potential legal arguments were addressed, and (the federal tax court) suit could be appealed, too. We’ll seek the advice of the city attorney before moving forward.”

After the suits were filed, Mayor Hales decided not to disburse the arts tax funds to school districts or arts organizations, until the courts clarified the legal status of the taxpayers’ money. Distribution of that money had been scheduled for November 2013. In May, the mayor proposed a plan to distribute some of the money to the six area school districts, provided they would pay a portion of it back if the tax were deemed unconstitutional.

Hales said he would reach out to the superintendents of the six school districts immediately to explain the ruling and to discuss next steps.

Last Thursday to kick off for June

THURSDAY, JUNE 27, 2013 -- People are encouraged to come out and celebrate the arts at Last Thursday, from 6 to 10 p.m. on Northeast Alberta Street between 15th and 30th Avenues.

The monthly summer celebration, now in its 16th year, brings together artisans, performers, neighbors and the business community.

“One of the best ways to get to know Portland is neighborhood-by-neighborhood,” Mayor Charlie Hales said. “The city has many street fairs every year. And Last Thursday is the biggest. It’s a great time to find out about Alberta Street, the businesses and the arts scene.”

The City of Portland decided this week to go ahead with Last Thursday, after the event’s volunteer coordinators resigned on Monday. They cited goals set by the mayor’s office regarding the number of volunteers, security personnel and portable bathrooms.  

Alberta Street will be closed to automobile traffic from 6 to 10 p.m. tonight.

Portland Police will be on hand. Standard rules established by the city and by the Oregon Liquor Control Commission will be enforced, including rules regarding alcohol consumed from open containers. Businesses that serve alcohol are reminded to maintain control of their establishments. Alcohol is not permitted outside the businesses.

Beyond police, other city personnel will be on hand too, including staff from the mayor’s office, Fire & Rescue, Transportation, Development Services, and the Office of Neighborhood Involvement, among others.

The city is providing portable toilets for the 15-block event. Neighbors in recent years have complained about finding urine and feces from Last Thursday revelers in their yards and driveways. One of the city’s goals has been to alleviate that stress on neighbors.

After the fair closes at 10 p.m., Transportation Department street sweepers will come through to clean Alberta Street. “When shops open in the morning, they’ll find their neighborhood ready for business as usual,” Hales said.

Starting shortly after Hales took office in January, his staff began working with Last Thursday’s volunteers to help coordinate the event, and to alleviate concerns by some neighbors that the events had grown into all-night parties.

Staff laid out a number of goals for the May event, including an increased number of volunteers, security personal and portable bathrooms.

The volunteers were unable to reach those goals. In response to that, the mayor’s office suggested shrinking the time and size of the event: closing it at 9 p.m. rather than 10 p.m., and shrinking the “footprint” from30th Avenueto27th Avenue.

The volunteer coordinators resigned Monday over those suggestions.

Following tonight’s celebration, the mayor’s office will reach out to the neighborhood associations, the business community and the city’s Office of Neighborhood Involvement, to help find a new volunteer committee for future Last Thursday events. That could happen as early as next week.

“Organizing a street fair takes an amazing amount of hard work. In neighborhoods throughout the city, residents do it for free. We appreciate that,” Hales said. “We want to help identify the next volunteer leaders for Last Thursday, and then give them the tools they need to keep the event successful.”

Mayor Speaks Out on DOMA Ruling

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 26, 2013 – Mayor Charlie Hales joined a wide array of celebrants at Terry Schrunk Plaza, in front of City Hall, today to celebrate the end of the Defense of Marriage Act.

The U.S. Supreme Court today ruled 5-4 that the act, called DOMA, is unconstitutional. The court struck down the federal law because it denies same-sex couples the "equal liberty" guaranteed by the Fifth Amendment.

The 1996 act bars federal recognition of same-sex marriages for purposes such as insurance benefits, taxes and immigration. Section 3 of the law defines marriage as "a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife" and a spouse as "a person of the opposite sex who is a husband or a wife."

Joining Mayor Hales was his wife, Nancy, along with Gov. Barbara Roberts; Brad Avakian, state labor commissioner; Ellen Rosenblum, state attorney general; and City Commissioners Amanda Fritz and Steve Novick.

Hales read from today’s ruling, as written by Justice Anthony Kennedy. He ended by holding his wife’s hand and shouting to the crowd, “Let’s put a ring on this!”

 “DOMA stated, very clearly, that some Americans may marry the ones the love,” Hales said before City Council, earlier today. “And some Americans may not. In 1996, no state permitted gays and lesbians to marry. In 2013, 12 states and the District of Columbia authorize same-sex marriages. Oregonis not one of them. In 2014: We can dare to hope that we will change that.”

Oregon does allow domestic partnerships. However, proponents have pushed for a statewide vote allow same-sex marriage.

“The late Congresswoman Geraldine Ferraro once said, ‘We have chosen the path to equality, don't let them turn us around,’” Hales said. “Today’s ruling clears the way for all states – including Oregon– to be that pathfinder. And to find our way toward marriage equality for every Oregonian.” 

City to Proceed with Last Thursday

TUESDAY, JUNE 25 – The City of Portland plans to go ahead with plans for Last Thursday, the once-per-month celebration of the arts community on Northeast Alberta Stree tbetween 15th and 30th Avenues.

The June event is set for this Thursday. It will run from 6 to 10 p.m.

The two volunteer coordinators for Friends of Last Thursday both resigned on Monday, citing goals from the mayor’s office regarding the number of volunteers, security personnel and portable bathrooms.  Lacking a volunteer coordinating body, just three days before the event, the city has opted to move forward.

Agencies involved in Last Thursday include the mayor’s office, Police, Fire & Rescue, Transportation, Development Services, and the Office of Neighborhood Involvement, among others.

“The event is happening even if the volunteer board resigns,” Mayor Charlie Hales said. “We will close off Alberta and we’ll see how it goes. I’ll be there to see for myself.”

Leading up to the May event, the mayor’s office laid out a number of goals for the volunteer coordinators, focusing on reaching the appropriate number of volunteers, security personal and portable bathrooms. The volunteers were unable to reach those goals.

In response to that, the mayor’s office suggested shrinking the time and size of the event: closing it at 9 p.m. rather than 10 p.m., and shrinking the “footprint” from 30th Avenue to 27th Avenue.

The volunteer coordinators resigned over those suggestions, calling them “onerous” and “unsavory.”

“We can’t pretend Last Thursday isn’t happening,” Hales said. “So we’ll make the best of it this week, and make plans for July.”

The city also will employ street-sweeping trucks after the 10 p.m. closure, to return Alberta Street to its usual state before the opening of business on Friday, and to encourage revelers to end.

Hales said he would reach out to the neighborhood associations, the business community and the city’s Office of Neighborhood Involvement, to help craft a new volunteer coordinating committee for future Last Thursday events. That could happen as early as next week.

“We don’t know who will step up, but we’ll be here to help them succeed,” Hales said.

Director selected for Fire, Police Benefits Board

TUESDAY, JUNE 25, 2013 -- Mayor Charlie Hales has appointed Sam Hutchison of Portland to serve as director of the Fire & Police Disability and Retirement Fund.

The fund administers disability, death and retirement benefits to Portland firefighters, police officers and their survivors.

The board of FPD&R met Tuesday to accept the appointment. Hutchison is slated to begin serving the city this summer.

He replaces Linda Jefferson, who is retiring after 25 years with the city.

“This is a small operation with a huge impact on the city,” Hales said. “We wanted to find a director with the financial background to do the job well. In Sam Hutchison, I think we have it.”

Hutchison brings to the position more than 25 years’ experience in disability, PERS and workers compensation issues. He is an assistant vice president at Standard Insurance Co. in Portland. Prior to 2001, he managed Group Benefits and Disability Benefits, and also served as a claims auditor.

“This position will require leadership, strategic planning and project management, and I think I’m the right fit for the job,” Hutchison said. “I’m excited. This is a great opportunity to serve a city I love.”

Hales said FPD&R is ready for the change, thanks to the leadership of Linda Jefferson. “She has seen the fund through a wide array of vital changes over the years. It has been in steady hands, and we thank her.”

‘Grimmfest’ Inspires Digitial Creators

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 19, 2013 – Story by The Oregonian’s Kristi Turnquist about “Grimmfest,” a competition to get the region’s digital storytelling community involved in the NBC drama, “Grimm,” which is filmed in, and set in, Portland.

The city’s own Shelley Midthun is part of the story, too. Shelley plays the role of air traffic controller between production companies -- working on such projects as "Grimm" and "Leverage" -- and the various city agencies.

"We really get to integrate the Portland film office into the idea of economic development and jobs creation," Shelley told The Oregonian.

For more details on "Grimm," go to:

Portland selects transportation director

TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2013 – Following a thorough nationwide search, Portland City Commissioner Steve Novick has tapped Leah Treat as the city’s new Portland Bureau of Transportation Director.

Treat will be relocating from Chicago, where she is currently serving as chief of staff to Chicago Transportation Commissioner Gabe Klein.

“Transportation is something that affects us every day,” Novick said. “Portland needs a transportation leader who has the budget management background to help us address our deficit in basic street maintenance and who understands the value of sustainable modes such as biking and walking. We know we have found the right person for PBOT in Leah Treat and we are excited to have her join us in Portland.”

Treat and Klein were selected by Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to join his new administration in 2011, to deliver innovative projects and to push the city ahead of the curve in progressive transportation. Treat also served as Klein's director of finance in the Washington, D.C., Department of Transportation when its bikeshare system was launched and the streetcar network was designed.

Treat is passionate about livability and her love of transportation was born out of the connection between economic development, mobility and livability.

“I have always loved Portland,” Treat said. “It is one of the most progressive cities in the country and it syncs with my personality and lifestyle. I believe Portland to be a national leader in sustainable transportation modes and know we can continue to push an aggressive agenda by developing smart, fiscally responsible budgets, focusing on efficient operations and incorporating smart planning and economic development strategies into future city goals.”

Mayor Charlie Hales said that filling the leadership role at PBOT was not an easy task. “The job requires common sense plus innovation,” Hales said. “The new leader needs to help the bureau take care of the assets we have, and help us dream about the assets we could have. In selecting Leah Treat, I think Commissioner Novick threaded that needle.”

Police Respond to 11 Gang-Related Shootings in 10 Days

TUESDAY, JUNE 18, 2013 – In the past 10 days, Gang Enforcement Team investigators have responded to 11 gang-related shootings in Portland.

The Portland Police Bureau Gang Enforcement Team and Gun Task Force are continuing to investigate gang and gun crimes in the city. Anyone with information about gang and/or illegal gun crimes in the city is encouraged to provide information to the Portland Police Bureau.

If you see an illegal gun crime in progress, call 911.

Arts Tax advisory committee to meet

THURSDAY, JUNE 13, 2013 – The Arts Education and Access Citizen Oversight Committee has scheduled a meeting from 6 to 8 p.m., Tuesday, June 24, in the Eighth Floor Conference Room of the Revenue Bureau,111 S.W. Columbia St. 

The committee was formed to advise the city on issues related to the Arts Tax.

Portland Arts Tax: Estimated $7.6 Million Collected

TUESDAY, JUNE 11, 2013 -- The deadline for Portland residents to file their 2012 Portland Arts Tax passed last night at midnight. City staff now are focusing on processing the estimated 10,000 paper tax returns and checks that are pending. Returns postmarked by June 10 are considered timely.

As of June 11, 2013, the Revenue Bureau has received an estimated $7.6 million in Arts Tax payments from more than 248,000 taxfilers. The Revenue Bureau expects to collect about $8.3 million by June 30, 2013.

City efforts to increase the capacity of the Arts Tax website worked as intended and no issues were reported.

The Arts Education and Access Income Tax ("Arts Tax") was passed by 62 percent of Portland voters on Nov. 6, 2012.  The tax will fund art teachers and access, and is $35 for most adult Portland residents.

Details about tax can be found at

Senate Leaders Clear Way for Affordable Housing

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 5, 2013 – Today the Oregon Senate took action on a bill that allows cities and counties to better serve low-income Oregonians seeking affordable housing.

House Bill 3112A, which passed the Senate on a vote of 28-2, specifies that residential buildings designated for low-income housing, and which are owned by local governments, are not subject to property taxes.

“Housing is a basic necessity, and Oregonians should be able to afford somewhere to live and still have enough money for groceries and other basic needs,” said Senate Majority Leader Diane Rosenbaum. “Today we’re ensuring that low-income Oregonians have a chance to find adequate affordable housing.”

Mayor Charlie Hales praised the bill, saying it clears a path to better serve low-income Oregonians. “Sen. Rosenbaum serves a portion of Portland but this vote serves the whole state. Her leadership on this will make the difference for an untold number of residents looking for a hand up.”

Current law does not clearly specify whether buildings owned by local governments are subject to property taxation when units in the building are rented to low-income tenants. House Bill 3112A provides a clear exemption such buildings, provided that the exemption is targeted at providing affordable housing opportunities for low-income Oregonians in need.

In 2001, the City of Portland acquired the Fairfield Hotel, an 82-unit single-room occupancy rental property that serves the community’s most vulnerable and low-income residents. Recently, the Multnomah County Assessor found the property to be taxable under an interpretation of the current law. House Bill 3112A resolves that ambiguity by making such properties not taxable.

“As we continue to struggle with the effects of the housing and foreclosure crisis, it’s especially important for communities to have affordable housing options available,” said Sen. Ginny Burdick, whose district includes portions of Southwest Portland, and who chairs  of the Senate Finance and Revenue Committee. “Oregonians shouldn’t have to choose between paying the rent and putting food on the table, and providing this clarity on property taxes will hopefully expand housing options for Oregonians on limited incomes.”

The bill now goes to Gov. John Kitzhaber for his approval.

 Flags Lowered to Honor Unidentified Child

WEDNESDAY, JUNE 5, 2013 – Portland's city flag has been lowered today to honor a newborn girl, who was found last week dead at a recycling center.

The city flag has been lowered at City Hall, the Portland Building, the World Trade Center, Pioneer Courthouse Square and Jeld-Wen Field.

Commissioner Dan Saltzman asked anyone with knowledge to help provide information about the child. He also asked for a moment of silence at this morning’s City Council meeting.

Police are investigating the baby's death and detectives want to hear from anyone with information about this case. The mother of the baby may require immediate medical attention.

Crime Stoppers is offering a cash reward of up to $1,000 for information that leads to an arrest in this case. Tipsters can remain anonymous.

Leave a Crime Stoppers tip online, text CRIMES (274637) and in the subject line put 823HELP, followed by your tip, or call (503) 823-HELP (4357).

The Portland City Council approved a resolution in 2009 to lower the flag in honor of children who die from abuse, neglect or homicide. This is the 10th time the flag has been lowered for this issue. 

City, County, Court Leaders Come Together Over Issue of Domestic Violence and Firearms

TUESDAY, JUNE 4, 2013 – City and county leaders in the Portland area are coming together today to announce a common-sense step to address the epidemic of domestic violence.

“One of the best tools to combat domestic violence already exists, and we want to begin implementing it,” said Portland City Commissioner Dan Saltzman. “Existing state allows the court to restrict an individual who is subject to a domestic violence restraining order from possessing a firearm. It’s time to take this important step to protect the victims of domestic violence.”

Saltzman was joined by Portland Mayor Charlie Hales, Multnomah County Circuit Court Presiding Judge Nan Waller, Multnomah County District Attorney Rod Underhill, Multnomah County Sheriff Dan Staton and Portland Police Chief Mike Reese. Also standing with them was Sally Green, a Portlander whose daughter felt threatened after her former spouse was served with a restraining order.

The group came together to announce new procedures to implement state law regarding firearms surrender when an individual is under a domestic violence restraining order.

“The studies are conclusive,” Mayor Hales said. “Domestic violence victims are more likely to die when guns are around.  We’re not asking for any new law. We are enforcing existing laws.”

Judge Waller said two-thirds of intimate-partner deaths in Multnomah County are hand-gun deaths. And DA Underhill said a quarter of all homicides in Multnomah County are related to domestic violence.

Under Oregon law, courts may restrict anyone who is subject to a restraining order from possessing firearms, when the court deems the step necessary to protect the safety and welfare of a restraining order applicant, and any child or children in the applicant’s custody.  When a judge issues such an order in Multnomah County, the restrained individual is served with the order by the Multnomah County Sheriff.

Under the new protocols, the restrained individual also will be able turn unloaded firearms to law enforcement at three locations in Multnomah County, or to an approved third party.  In addition, compliance with the court’s orders regarding firearms possession will be closely monitored and tracked by law enforcement and the District Attorney. A person deemed non-compliant with the Court’s order could be found in contempt of court.

The city, county and court officials will be on hand Tuesday to discuss the collaboration and to take questions. 

Less Than a Week Remaining to File Portland Arts Tax

The deadline for Portland residents to file their 2012 Portland Arts Tax is less than a week away, Monday, June 10.

The original deadline of May 15 was extended after too many users overwhelmed the payment website. The City has since expanded the website’s capacity. It takes approximately three minutes to pay your tax online.

To file and pay online, visit Taxpayers also can pay by mail or in person at 111 S.W. Columbia St., Suite 600. Payments postmarked on June 10 are considered timely.

The Arts Education and Access Income Tax (“Arts Tax”) was passed by 62 percent of Portland voters on Nov. 6, 2012. The tax will fund art teachers and access, and is $35 for most adult Portland residents.

As of June 3, 2013, the Revenue Bureau has received $7.2 million in Arts Tax payments from more than 251,000 taxfilers. The Revenue Bureau expects to collect about $8.3 million by June 30, 2013.

“We’re pleased that Portlanders are continuing to pay their Arts Tax,” said Revenue Bureau Director Thomas Lannom.

All income earning adults in the City of Portland are required to file an Arts Tax form. People and families who earn less than the 2012 federal poverty guidelines must file an exemption form, but are not required to pay any tax. For a family of four, the guideline is $23,050. Exemption details are outlined on the website at

Portland residents can call (503) 865-4ART (4278) for more information or to make a payment over the phone.

Voters: ‘No’ On Fluoride, ‘Yes’ on Children’s Levy

Portlanders on Tuesday night rejected a plan to fluoridate city water, by 60 percent to 40 percent. The voter overturns a decision by the City Council in 2012.

“The measure lost, even with my own ‘yes’ vote,” Mayor Charlie Hales said Tuesday evening. “I’m disappointed but I accept the will of the voters.”

Meanwhile, voters easily approved a third renewal of the Portland Children’s Levy, with more than 70 percent of participating voters saying “yes.” The levy directs approximately $9 million per year to programs that support close to 14,000 children in such arenas as foster care, child-abuse prevention and after-school activities.

Commissioner Dan Saltzman led the charge to renew the Children’s Levy. 

“Bravo Dan Saltzman,” Hales said. “The Children’s Levy is a good idea with good leadership.”

Citizens Rally to Save Horse Patrol

TUESDAY, MAY 21, 2013 – Mayor Charlie Hales today announced a plan to save the city’s Mounted Patrol Unit – or horse patrol – for at least two years.

The mayor had proposed not funding the horse patrol in his recommended budget for 2013-14. That has not changed, and the mayor is adding no additional funding.

A private group, Friends of The Mounted Patrol, has pledged to raise $200,000 per year for two years, to keep the horse patrol. And Police Chief Mike Reese has agreed to reconfigure the patrol to save money.

“I cut the budget for the horse patrol as part of the effort to address this year’s $21.5 million shortfall,” Hales said. “This is an example of the community stepping in, when city budgets are tight, to keep a beloved and effective community-policing program.”

Bob Ball, vice president of Friends of The Mounted Patrol, lobbied hard to keep the horses and the officers. But he also said he recognized the city’s tough economic situation.

“We want to thank the Mayor and the Council for listening to the people of Portland, and those around the world, who advocated for the Mounted Patrol,” Ball said. “We’ll be launching a fundraising campaign in the coming days on our Facebook page, but for today, we just want to say ‘Thank You.’”

The Friends will launch a website, in the coming days to accept donations.

  • As part of the deal, Chief Reese offered personnel changes:
  • Two officer positions are eliminated
  • One sergeant position is transferred from property crimes to the Mounted Patrol Unit, or MPU
  • Two officer positions transferred from personnel division to MPU
  • One officer position transferred from training division to MPU
  • One officer position transferred from complaint signer/detectives division to MPU
  • 2.5 non-sworn positions transferred from non-sworn positions currently vacant to MPU

Mayor Hales accepted the chief’s recommendation.

Budget Season Opens with Brokered Deal

FRIDAY, MAY 17, 2013 – The Portland area budget-crafting season has kicked off with a deal cut between Jeff Cogen, chairman of the Multnomah County Commission, and Portland Mayor Charlie Hales.

Less than two hours before Thursday’s budget hearing at Portland City Hall began, the two leaders hammered out a joint agreement on funding for a wide array of area services – with the county picking up the tab on some and the city on others.

“What’s really great is that the city and county have collaborated to address the needs of our community,” Cogen told The Oregonian’s Dana Tims. “This spirit of partnership and collaboration leaves me feeling very hopeful about this arrangement.”

"Chair Cogen has been a great partner in these talks," Mayor Hales said. "He gets the whole focus behind collaboration and clarity in the budget-writing process."

Under the agreement, the city will maintain, for one year, its portion of the funding for the Crisis Assessment Treatment Center, known as CATC. Mayor Hales had planned to end that funding in his original budget.

In exchange, Multnomah County will pick up the city's share for the needle exchange program and a one-stop domestic violence center. And the county will provide one-time money to maintain the current level of funding for our community's senior centers and will split the cost of three SUN schools for one year, giving both the city and county time to work on a longer-term solution for both of those vital services. The county also will fund a needle exchange program.

Both governments’ budget hearings continue in coming weeks. Portland’s meetings are set for 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday, May 18, at Warner Pacific College, 2219 S.E. 68th Ave.; and 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Thursday, May 23, at Jackson Middle School,10625 S.W. 35th Ave.

Multnomah County has two public budget hearings remaining, on May 22 at the East County building, 600 N.E. Eighth Gresham; and on May 29 at IRCO,10301 N.E.   Glisan Portland. Both meetings begin at 6 p.m.

Multnomah County, City of Portland leaders reach budget agreement

Joint Statement from Chair Cogen and Mayor Hales

May 16, 2013

We are happy to announce we have reached a budget agreement to preserve key community services that include SUN schools, the needle exchange program, the one-stop domestic violence center, our senior centers and the Crisis Assessment Treatment Center.

Because Multnomah County is in a stable budget position this year, we agreed that the county will pick up the city's share for the needle exchange program and one-stop domestic violence center. And the county will provide one-time-only money to maintain the current level of funding for our community's senior centers and split the cost of three SUN schools for one year, giving both the city and county time to work on a longer-term solution for both of those vital services.

The city will fund its 50 percent share of the treatment center's funding for the coming year, and we are gratified that people having serious mental health issues will continue to have this vital resource. In the two years since the county and city jointly opened the CATC, the center has helped to stabilize about 1,300 people in a mental health crisis.

Both of us appreciate the collaborative spirit of our discussions to help the city deal with the budget shortfall it faces this year. We are optimistic this spirit will be a model for our future discussions. The good news today is that we have reached an agreement that will benefit our entire community.

Portland’s first budget hearing is tonight, 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., at City Hall, 1221 S.W. Fourth Ave., in the second floor council chamber. Two more hearings are set for 3 to 5 p.m. Saturday, May 18, at Warner Pacific College, 2219 S.E. 68th Ave.; and 6:30 to 8:30 p.m., Thursday, May 23, at Jackson Middle School, 10625 S.W. 35th Ave.

Multnomah County has two public budget hearings remaining, on May 22 at the East County building, 600 N.E. Eighth Gresham; and on May 29 at IRCO,10301 N.E. Glisan St. in Portland. Both meetings begin at 6 p.m.

Arts Tax Deadline Delayed

-- 10 A.M., THURSDAY, MAY 16, 2013 --

Portland Arts Tax deadline extension continues.

Wednesday night, the city’s website experienced a problem related to the overwhelming response of Portlanders paying their Arts Tax. The computer problem is being addressed this morning. The city has extended the Arts Tax deadline, and will maintain that extension until this problem is resolved. We appreciate everyone’s patience and hope to have further details later today.

-- 6 P.M., WEDNESDAY, MAY 15, 2013 --

Due to the overwhelming response of Portlanders paying their Arts Tax, the City's website is experiencing a capacity issue.  We are working on the situation.

At this point the deadline to pay the Arts Tax will be extended until the problem is resolved. We appreciate everyone's patience with this situation. 

On a high-usage day the website will see about 230 concurrent users.  Throughout the day we have been experiencing approximately double that number just on the Arts Tax website alone.

Portland Arts Tax Deadline is Today; More Than 220,000 Portlanders have Filed; Revenue Office will Remain Open Until 7 p.m.

WEDNESDAY, MAY 15, 2013 -- The deadline for Portland residents to file their 2012 Portland Arts Tax returns is today, May 15.  Tax returns and payments will be considered timely if postmarked with today’s date, or filed online by midnight tonight.  To file and pay online, visit

Taxpayers also can file and pay in person at 111 S.W. Columbia St., Suite 600. The Revenue Bureau will keep its doors open to taxpayers until 7 tonight and any taxpayer filing in person by then also will be considered timely.

The Arts Education and Access Income Tax (“Arts Tax”) was passed by 62 percent of Portland voters on Nov. 6, 2012. The tax will fund art teachers and access to the arts, and is $35 for most adult Portland residents.

As of noon today, the Revenue Bureau has received more than $6 million in Arts Tax payments from more than 220,000 taxpayers, and expects more than $7 million by Friday, May 17.  The Revenue Bureau previously estimated it would collect $8.6 million by June 30, 2013.

“I’m pleased that so many Portland citizens have already paid their Arts Tax, and many tens of thousands more will pay today,” Bureau Director Thomas Lannom said.  “Despite changes and legal challenges, most Portlanders are stepping up and paying the tax on time.”

Taxpayers who do not file today may be assessed a $15 penalty. Taxpayers who do not file by Oct. 15 may be assessed an additional $20.

All income-earning adults in the City of Portland are required to file an Arts Tax form. People and families who earn less than the 2012 federal poverty guidelines must file an exemption form, but are not required to pay any tax. For a family of four, the guideline is $23,050. Exemption details are outlined on the website at

Portland residents can call (503) 865-4ART (4278) for more information or to make a payment over the phone.  Staff will be available to answer calls until 7 tonight.

Bring it on!

TUESDAY, MAY 14, 2013 -- Mayor Charlie Hales took the stage at Pioneer Courthouse Square on Tuesday to cheer on the Portland Winterhawks, who won the Western Hockey League tournament and now head on to the Memorial Cup championships in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan. Mayor Hales made a side bet with the mayor of London, Ontario – home of the London Knights – with the finest regional dinner going to the winning team’s mayor.

Also in the tourney: the Halifax Mooseheads and the Saskatoon Blades. The event starts Friday, May 26.

Asian Pacific Heritage Honored

TUESDAY, MAY 14, 2013 – Mayor Charlie Hales took part in Friday’s celebration of Asian Pacific American Heritage month, sponsored by the Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization.

IRCO’s Asian Family Center celebrated nearly two decades of outstanding service to the Asian and Pacific Islander communities of the Portland Metro area. This event HONOREDIRCO’s accomplishments of the past several years.

Arts Tax Deal Reached

MONDAY, MAY 13, 2013 – Mayor Charlie Hales on Monday proposed a deal on the 2012 city arts tax, which should allow all six school districts to hire art instructors for the coming year.

The arts tax – OK’d by voters in November, 2012 – has been challenged in two law suits. If the city were to lose either suit, the money might have to be given back to taxpayers. Consequently, the mayor announced in March that the city could not distribute the money to the schools, or to arts organizations, as intended; he understands, however, the importance of having teachers in classrooms.

Distribution of the money – an estimated $6 million – was scheduled to begin in November 2013.

Under the deal proposed by Hales, some city money would be freed up to help the six districts – Portland Public Schools, along with Centennial, David Douglas, Parkrose, Reynolds and Riverdale school districts.

The city will disburse $3 million in November, but no more during the 2013-14 fiscal year, pending favorable rulings or settlements on the law suits.

 “The superintendents and I have been working to find a way to be true to the taxpayers, whose money this is, and to the voters, who approved the arts tax,” Hales said. “We think this does it.”

Of that $3 million disbursement, the risk will be shared equally: $1 million from the city’s contingency fund; $1 million from future budget appropriations to the Regional Arts & Culture Council, or RACC; and $1 million combined from the six school districts.

The money disbursed fall overwhelmingly to Portland Public Schools, the largest of the districts. About two-thirds of the dollars are earmarked for PPS; one-third to the other districts.

Each district will decide how it wants to spend the money. For instance, Superintendent Carole Smith of Portland Public Schools will recommend hiring an estimated 30 FTE arts teachers – not 45 FTE, or full-time equivalent – and spreading those 30 positions evenly across her district.

Other districts could spend the money to hire, or bank it in case the law suits go against the city and money has to be returned.

“We are not in the business of telling superintendents how to run their districts,” Hales said. “These decisions have been tough to reach, but it’s been a combined effort all along, and we’re grateful to the arts community and our school districts for working with us to find a practical solution. In the end, getting teachers in our classrooms will pay dividends for generations to come.”

The mayor said his focus has been on elementary school students in the Portland area. “We want these students to have the benefit of the arts education that taxpayers have supported, and to do it in a financially responsible way,” he said.

Mayor Greets Dalai Lama

WEDNESDAY, MAY 8, 2013 – Mayor Charlie Hales greeted the Dalai Lama today as he arrived in Portland for four days of events.

His Holiness will be in Portland through Sunday for a wide array of public activities.

The Dalai Lama is the spiritual head of Tibetan Buddhism. The current owner of the title is the 14th Dalai Lama. He was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1989.

Details of his visit:

Sunday Parkways

Representatives of  Kaiser Permanente came to City Hall on Wednesday to present a check worth $100,000 to Sunday Parkways.

Portland Sunday Parkways promotes healthy active living through a series of free events opening the city's largest public space - its streets - to walk, bike, roll, and discover active transportation while fostering civic pride, stimulating economic development, and represents the community, business, and government investments 

Some People Due Refund for city Arts Tax

TUESDAY, MAY 7, 2013 – An analysis of the arts tax of the city o fPortland has revealed that some people who have received most or all of their income from Social Security or the Public Employees Retirement System have paid the tax. And those types of income are not a taxable by the city. 

This means some people who have paid the arts tax are eligible for refunds.

notice explaining the refund process is posted on the city’s homepage,, with links at and

 This is the second revision so far for the tax, which was approved by voters in November 2012. Earlier this spring, an analysis of the tax showed that anyone in a household above the federal poverty level was expected to pay the $35 per year, even if an individual in that household made less than $35.

The City Council adopted a revision to the arts tax, setting excluded people who made less than $1,000 in 2012.

The deadline for people to pay the arts tax is May 15. “To date, the Revenue Bureau has collected over $4.25 million and thousands of checks are being processed daily,” said Thomas Lannom, director of the City Revenue Bureau.

People who don’t need to pay the tax are those who income derives solely or primarily from Social Security and PERS. Refunds are not applicable if people had $1,000 or more in other income that is taxable.

Social Security is not a taxable form of income in Oregon, even though it often is taxable at a federal level.

The Revenue Bureau has not estimated the number of people eligible for the refund.

“This arts tax puts us in a bind,” Mayor Charlie Hales said. “We want to be true to voters, who approved it in November. We have to be good stewards of taxpayers’ money. And we want to support the public schools and arts community. These problems – which stem from the way the tax was written – make it difficult to meet all those goals.”

Hales said staff will continue to study the arts tax, and will recommend changes, as directed by City Council in March.

The tax was created last year to support arts programs in public schools, as well as the metro area arts community.

Two law suits have been filed against the arts tax.

Multnomah County Releases Budget

THURSDAY, MAY 2, 2013 – For the first time in a dozen years, Multnomah County likely won’t need to make significant service cuts because of budget shortages, according to a story by The Oregonian’s Dana Tims.

The budget that county board Chairman Jeff Cogen has proposed relies on consolidations and recent wage freezes to avoid cuts that, in recent years, have resulted in layoffs and service reductions. Savings also were realized from Cogen’s order to managers several months ago to submit 1-percent across-the-board cuts to their departments, Tims reporter.

“We’re basically in a position of stability,” Cogen said. “For Multnomah County, that’s the best news we have had in a decade.”

Mayor Charlie Hales unveiled his budget on Tuesday.

PDC Contest Draws 16 Entrepreneurs

THURSDAY, MAY 2, 2013 – The Portland Development Commission named 16 semifinalists in a competition designed to boost entrepreneurship in the city and promote commerce in the "Produce Row" neighborhood.

Approximately 240 companies applied to participate in the Startup PDX Challenge, according to Oregonian reporter Mike Rogoway. The challenge will award up to six $10,000 grants, plus free rent and professional services for a year.

Budget Forums Slated

FRIDAY, APRIL 26, 2013 -- 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:

State of the City 2013

FRIDAY, APRIL 26, 2013 – Mayor Charlie Hales will present the annual State of the City speech at noon Friday at the City Club of Portland.

The Oregonian's Ryan Kost offered a preview.

By tradition,Portland mayors have chosen the City Club as their venue for the annual speech. Hales was elected in November and took office in January, making this his first State of the City.

The City Club’s Friday Forums take place at The Governor Hotel,614 S.W. 11th Ave. They are broadcast live on Oregon Public Broadcasting and also can be heard and watched at the City Club’s website archives, as well as on radio and television. Times and stations are available at the club’s website.

Hail to the Chief

MONDAY, APRIL 22, 2013 -- Excellent Profile in The Oregonian this Sunday of Gail Shibley, chief of staff to Mayor Charlie Hales.

The story was written by reporter Ryan Kost, with photographs by Benjamin Brink.

Officials Discuss Impacts of Affordable Care Act

THURSDAY, APRIL 18, 2013 – Dr. Bruce Goldberg, director of the Oregon Health Authority, came to Portland City Hall on Thursday to discuss the Affordable Care Act and expansion of Medicaid in Portland and Multnomah County.

Invited participants included Mayor Charlie Hales and City Commissioner Steve Novick, along with representatives from Multnomah County, Health Share of Oregon, Volunteers of America, Central City Concerns, FamilyCare coordinated care organization and DePaul Treatment Centers.

“Expansion of Medicaid means serving many more residents who otherwise couldn’t afford care,” Mayor Hales said. “It was valuable to get an analysis of what the expansion means for the city.”

Topics of discussion included:

Medicaid coverage for behavioral health services for currently uninsured people.

Providing services for people involved in the criminal justice system.

City and county outreach for those who are, or will be, newly eligible for Medicaid.

Currently, Medicaid and the Oregon Health Plan cover children whose households are up to 300 percent of the federal poverty level, and only some low-income adults.

The Affordable Care Act – one of the signature achievements of President Obama’s first term in office – allows expansion of all adults ages 19 to 65 with income below 138 percent of the federal poverty level. The act also allows coverage for single people making up to $15,856 per year, and a family of four making up to $32,499 per year.

As of Jan. 1, 2014, the Oregon Health Plan will cover all eligible adults with incomes less than 138 percent of the federal poverty level, as well as children in families with income less than 300 percent of poverty level.

Candidates Line Up to be Transportation Chief

THURSDAY, APRIL 18, 2013 – The job of director for the Portland Bureau of Transportation has drawn 44 candidates from throughout the United States.

The former director, Tom Miller, resigned in January. Interim Director Toby Widmer came out of retirement – having spent almost three decades at the bureau – to serve for six months. Meanwhile, Mayor Charlie Hales initiated a nationwide search for a permanent director.

The application deadline has passed. City officials hope to have a director hired in May or June.

The 44 candidates include 10 people living in Portland, and a total of 22 living in Oregon. Other candidates hail from close by –Washington,California and Idaho– as well as from across the nation, including North Carolina and Florida.  

Goal!: City Council Recognizes the Thorns

WEDNESDAY, April 10, 2013 – Members of the Portland ThornsFootball 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). 

Bureau of Development Services Takes Action In Response to Citizen Complaint

MONDAY, APRIL 8, 2013 -- The Bureau of Development Services (BDS) received a complaint on Nov. 30, 2012, concerning BDS employees taking long breaks at a restaurant. BDS took immediate action to investigate the complaint and corrective actions are under way at this time. The details of the complaint, investigation and corrective actions are confidential.

“The reason this is coming to light now is because the Bureau of Development Services undertook the investigation, interviewed the employees, and is taking appropriate action,” said Paul Scarlett, Director of the Bureau of Development Services.

The Bureau of Development Services has clear and established rules and expectations that are communicated periodically to its employees about the use of City resources and time. Since receiving this complaint, BDS has reiterated these rules and expectations both in writing and verbally. The bureau continues to explore improved management tools to ensure compliance with work rules.

BDS takes this issue very seriously and does not condone any employee’s misuse of City time or resources, Scarlett said.

“The city has policies and bureau-specific work rules regarding use of work time and city resources," Mayor Charlie Hales said. "These are routinely communicated to employees. In this particular matter the bureau did exactly what it is supposed to--it conducted a prompt investigation into allegations of misuse and is taking appropriate steps to remedy this situation. While I can not discuss employee discipline matters, I support the actions taken by the bureau.”

Mayor, Police Chief Testify on Gun Violence Bills

FRIDAY, APRIL 5, 2013 – The Oregonian’s Jeff Mapes reported on today’s lengthy hearing at the State Capitol in Salem, regarding bills designed to address illegal gun violence.

Among those testifying on behalf of the bills were Portland Mayor Charlie Hales, Portland Police Chief Mike Reese, and Gov. John Kitzhaber.

“Measures like the ones before you today will make it harder for certain Oregonians to get their hands on guns,” Hales told the Senate Judiciary Committee. “And almost all Oregonians, including gun owners, agree that some people shouldn’t have access to guns.”

Southeast 136th Safety Project Launched

WEDNESDAY, 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.

“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.

Project on Hold at 37th and Division

THURSDAY, MARCH 21, 2013 – The mayor has instructed the director of the Portland Bureau of Development Services to suspend further review of the permit revision for an apartment project at 37th and Division.

“The city strives for fairness and doesn’t always get it on the first shot,” Mayor Charlie Hales said Thursday. “That’s why I’m taking this action.”

The city issued a stop-work order on Feb. 25.

Hales has pushed the Planning Commission to expedite a recommendation to the City Council regarding on-site parking for new, multi-family developments.  The council will hear the commission’s policy recommendations at the Thursday, April 4, Portland City Council meeting.

Construction on the 37th and Division development has not resumed, and won’t be allowed until a new permit is approved. The developer can apply for a new permit no earlier than April 11.

Several neighbors in the vicinity had complained that they did not have an opportunity to speak out on a revised permit.

“The city did a disservice by not providing clear answers to the neighbors over the last month,” Hales said. “The neighbors acted in good faith.”

Learn How to Prepare for Earthquakes

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 20, 2013 -- The Portland bureaus of Emergency Management and the Development Services will play host to a free seismic-strengthening presentation at 7:30 p.m. Thursday, March 21. The event is part of Earthquake Awareness Month and is set for the Multnomah Arts Center, 7688 S.W. Capitol Highway. Parking is available in the parking lot and on-street.

Area residents are invited to learn the basic, affordable steps involved in reducing the likelihood of earthquake damage to their homes.

Development Services Inspections Manager Jim Nicks will provide an overview of the permitting and construction processes required for seismic home-improvement projects, including a show-and-tell explanation of needed materials.

Emergency Management Director Carmen Merlo will share her own recent experience bracing her century-old house against earthquakes. She also will share tips for securing everyday household items.

Volunteers from Portland’s Neighborhood Emergency Team program also will be on hand to share information about community training and preparedness.

Mayor, Bureaus Speak Out on Traffic Fatalities

TUESDAY, MARCH 19, 2013 – The number of people dying in traffic crashes on Portland streets this year is unacceptable, according to Mayor Charlie Hales. In office for less than 80 days, the new mayor was alarmed that there have already been 11 traffic fatalities with five of those 11 involving driving under the influence.

“Every person who dies in a crash represents a family and community tragedy. So far in 2013, we’re averaging about one death a week. That’s unacceptable,” Hales said. “Leadership at the Transportation Bureau, Portland Police Bureau and I are alarmed that five people have lost their lives this year related to driving under the influence. Drive sober to save lives. Doing otherwise is illegal and reckless.”

According to Mothers Against Drunk Driving, citing the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration, every day another 27 people die as a result of drunken driving crashes.

The Transportation and Police bureaus plan a crosswalk enforcement action for today, March 19, to raise awareness of pedestrian safety and traffic law.

The enforcement action will be from 12:30 to 2 p.m. at the marked crossing ofSoutheast Powell Boulevardat28th Place.

A crosswalk enforcement action includes a pedestrian decoy positioned at marked or unmarked crosswalks. Drivers who fail to stop for pedestrians in the crosswalk and pedestrians who jaywalk may be issued a warning or citation by the Portland Police Bureau.

Lt. Chris Davis of the Portland Police Traffic Division, also reflected on the 2011 fatalities. “As we travel, the choices we make can significantly reduce the chances that tragedy will strike. None of us leave the house planning to be involved in a traffic crash. But, we all can slow down, stay sober and follow the rules of the road. Our officers have been way too busy this year and the Portland Police Traffic Division is asking all Portlanders to recommit to travel safely no matter if you are walking, bicycle riding or driving.”

“The Transportation Bureau is working diligently to make streets safer for everyone and raising awareness that drunk and distracted driving is a killer. We’re fortunate to have the men and women of the Portland Police Bureau and Mayor Hales committed to traffic safety as well,” Transportation Director John Widmer said.

In addition to talking about traffic fatalities, the Transportation and Police bureaus held three community meetings in the last month to get input on improving traffic safety. Meetings were held to make Northeast Sandy Boulevard, Burnside Street on both sides of the river and Northeast Glisan Street safer places for people to walk, bike, use transit and drive. 

An additional meeting is scheduled for April 8 with the Powellhurst-Gilbert Neighborhood Association, the location of another pedestrian fatality in 2013.

Burnside and Sandy are two of the 10 streets the bureau calls “High Crash Corridors.”Glisan Streetwas the location of the first pedestrian fatality of 2013. The High Crash Corridor program’s goal is to reduce the number of traffic fatalities and injuries where they are most prevalent.

Findings from the “Metro State of Safety Report” issued in April 2012 focused on major streets and high numbers of crashes. The report said arterial roadways comprise 59 percent of the region’s serious crashes, 67 percent of the serious pedestrian crashes and 52 percent of the serious bike crashes, while accounting for 40 percent of vehicle miles travel. That is why the City focuses safety funding toward these corridors through education, enforcement and engineering activities.

The report also said alcohol or drugs were a factor in 57 percent of fatal crashes. More information about the report is online at

The Portland Police Bureau partnered with transportation on these efforts, particularly through enforcement actions designed to educate drivers and pedestrians of crosswalk laws and cite those who break them. On January 23, police cited 12 people and warned two others for traffic safety violations at a crosswalk on Northeast Sandy Boulevard at Northeast 85th Avenue. And on February 26, police issued 27 citations in 90 minutes on at a crosswalk on West Burnside Street at Northwest 21st Place.

Mayor Proposes Arts Tax Fix

MONDAY, MARCH 18, 2013 – The Arts Tax, as approved by voters in November 2012, contains a significant flaw, and the Portland City Council will take action this month to address the issue.

As written, any Portland resident with any income – living in a household above the poverty line – has to pay the $35 annual arts tax. So in a household that is above the poverty line, a teenager who made $10 last year dog-sitting is expected to pay $35 of that $10 to the arts tax.

“No one crafting this tax intended this to be the rule,” Mayor Charlie Hales said Monday. “This is just silly. And we need to move right now to address the Law of Unintended Consequences.”

To fix that problem, Council will debate an emergency ordinance at the March 27 City Council meeting. The rule change would create an income threshold or $1,000, beneath which income is not taxed.

The change would be effective immediately and would affect Portland residents paying this year’s arts tax.

For those who already have paid, but whose annual income is less than $1,000, a refund will be required. City Revenue staff is aware of the situation and will work to address those who fall into this category.

There may be other issues of fairness in the arts tax to be considered at a later date.

Farmers Market Open for Business

SATURDAY, MARCH 16, 2013 -- Mayor Charlie Hales on Saturday rang in the start of the Farmers Market in the South Park Blocks, amid the Portland State University Campus.

The market is open each Saturday now through Dec. 21 between Southwest Hall and Montgomery.

Mayor Shadows City Employees Do in the ‘City That Works’

FRIDAY, MARCH 15, 2013 – Mayor Charlie Hales has taken part in “ride-alongs” with Portland police and firefighters. And now he’s toured street maintenance projects around the city.

“This is important,” Hales said Friday after meeting up with three crews from the Portland Bureau of Transportation, at Northeast Hancock Street, Northeast Cesar Chảvez Boulevard, and Southwest Barbur Boulevard. “We’re right in the middle of writing budgets for every bureau of the city. Knowing how our workers get the job done helps inform those decisions.”

Peter Wojcicki, Street Systems Division Manager, said crews spread out throughout the city most days, weather permitting, to address minor and major problems. Crews also coordinate with police, Water Bureau, and other divisions inside and outside the city, to make sure the timing for projects is right.

Portland has approximately 5,000 lane miles of streets, making it the city’s single largest physical asset. An analysis by the City Auditor’s office last month said the city has significantly underfunded street maintenance in recent years.

"This has to be a priority, taking care of our streets," Hales said. It's like taking care of the roof of your house. It costs a lot less if you stay on top of the maintenance projects, and not let your assets deteriorate."

The City Council is struggling to address a $25 million shortfall in the 2013-14 budget.

Other members of the Portland City Council often participate in ride-alongs with city employees as well. Mayor Hales has encouraged his own staff to participate in future opportunities.

City Council approves paid sick leave 5-0

WEDNESDAY, MARCH 13, 2013 – The Portland City Council today approved a new sick-leave mandate for employers doing business in the city. The vote was unanimous.

Beginning next year, employers in Portland won’t be able to fire employees for taking a day off with an illness, or staying home with a sick child. Most employees will receive a week's paid sick leave at minimum.

A City Council subcommittee, consisting of Commissioners Amanda Fritz and Dan Saltzman, came together this year to craft the ordinance.

“The leadership of Commissioners Fritz and Saltzman were essential in making this happen,” Mayor Charlie Hales said today. “I think it’s the right move for Portland’s work force and the business community. Now we’d like to see the state of Oregon follow suit.”

The year-long delay in the provision is intended to put pressure on state legislators to enact the rule state wide.

Companies, nonprofits and governmental employers with five or fewer employees won’t have to provide paid time off, but no longer could fire workers who phone in ill. Those with six or more employees must offer at least five days’ paid sick leave to full-time workers, though other paid time off benefits may suffice.

It is estimated that 40 percent of private sector employees in Portland do not now have sick leave.

Oaks Bottom Bluff Opens

SATURDAY, MARCH 9, 2013 -- The Portland Parks Bureau celebrated the restoration of the Oaks Bottom Bluff this morning.

Mayor Charlie Hales and his wife, Nancy Hales, were on scene. The event included guided nature walks, bird-watching, and more.

The trail is part of the Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge in Southeast Portland. The project included a new boardwalk, as well as a vantage point for wildlife- and bird-watching. The $750,000 project began last August.

Sick Leave Goes To Vote

SATURDAY, MARCH 9, 2013 -- The issue of protected sick leave goes before the Portland City Council at 9:30 a.m. Wednesday, March 13.

The City Council will vote to authorize changes to the city code to require protected sick time for employees of businesses working in the city of Portland and who enter into a contract with Oregon State Bureau of Labor and Industries for enforcement. This item is on the council’s regular agenda for the Wednesday morning council meeting. 

Mayor appears on ‘Your Voice Your Vote’

FRIDAY, MARCH 8, 2013 –Mayor Charlie Hales will appear on the political news show “Your Voice Your Vote” at 9 a.m. Sunday, March 10, on KATU, the ABC affiliate at Channel 2.

Topics for the half-hour show include the city’s budget-crafting process, an FBI arrest of a Portland city employee on terrorism-related charges; and efforts to lure more businesses into Portland.

Host Steve Dunn conducted the interview. Other recent guests on the show included Congressman Kurt Schrader and City Commissioner Amanda Fritz.

City Employee Arrested, Allegedly Linked to Terrorist Attack

TUESDAY, MARCH 5, 2013 – FBI agents today arrested a man on suspicion of assisting in a deadly 2009 bombing in Lahore, Pakistan. The man arrested, Reaz Qadir Khan, is an employee of the Portland Bureau of Environmental Services.

Khan, 48, was charged in federal court on Tuesday with conspiracy to provide material support to terrorists. He has pleaded not guilty. He is scheduled to appear again in court Wednesday afternoon for a custody hearing.

Mayor Charlie Hales was made aware of Khan’s employment earlier today. He has no public statement on the man’s work for the city.

“The deplorable act of triggering a bomb at a federal building inLahoreresulted in approximately 30 deaths and 300 injuries,” Hales said. “However, we should all remember that the charges contained in Mr. Khan’s indictment are allegations only, and that Mr. Khan is presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.”

The charge stems from a May 2009 bombing of the headquarters of the Pakistani intelligence service – the Inter-Services Intelligence Agency – in Lahore.

“This week’s arrest brings home the reality that worldwide headlines can resonate right here in Portland,” Hales said.

Secretaries of State visit City Hall

TUESDAY, MARCH 5, 2013 – Oregon Secretary of State Kate Brown was at Portland City Hall today to hand out awards from the National Association of Secretaries of State. Joining her was Ross Miller, who serves as secretary of state for Nevada and president of the national association.

Brown will be association president next year.

Brown formerly served portions of Portland in the Oregon Senate.

Governor, Mayor Meet to Discuss Issues for Portlanders

FRIDAY, MARCH 1, 2013 -- Gov. John Kitzhaber came to Portland City Hall on Friday to meet with Mayor Charlie Hales.

Kitzhaber is in an historic third term as Oregon  governor, having served for two four-year terms, then stepping down for eight years. Similarly, Hales served on the Portland City Council for 10 years then left city government for 10 years, before seeking election last year as mayor.

Topics for the brief morning gathering included education, transportation, public safety and mental health.

Mayors Focus on Supporting Schools 

THURSDAY, FEB. 28, 2013 – Mayors from throughout Oregon are coming together this week to discuss a shared concern for adequate state support for local public schools.

Portland Mayor Charlie Hales hosted a conference call Thursday to get the process rolling by launching a new group, Mayors For Oregon’s School Kids.

Hales and other Oregon mayors also have engaged the Legislature in discussions regarding sufficient and predictable funding for schools.

Hales – who was sworn into office in January – made the issue one of his three priorities for this year.

“I, for one, am tired of our schools being held together by bake sales and short-term financial Band-Aids,” Hales said. “Instead, our State Legislature needs to fund schools first, and fund them adequately, whether the school is in Pendleton, Coos Bay, Portland or Medford. The value of providing a first-class education to our students pays dividends in every city and town in Oregon.”

In years past, the city of Portland has earmarked millions of dollars to public schools. But this year's shortfall will make that impossible. Other cities and school districts face similar crises. 

Beyond Portland, mayors participating in the discussion range from smaller communities such as Junction City and Cave Junction, up to large cities such as Hillsboro and Beaverton.

Information released by teachers, administrators and school board members have pointed to proposed budgets that would disenfranchise public schools even further. The numbers cited at the Capitol in Salem include:

$6.15 billion - Crisis budget

Loss of teachers

Increased class sizes

Cutting more school days

Elimination of many extra-curricular activities

$6.55 billion – More of the same

Loss of teachers

Increased class sizes

Cutting more school days

$6.75 billion – Stability

Some districts can restore some school days

Status quo for class sizes

Status quo for programs

“This is not an urban, suburban, or rural issue,” Hales said. “It’s an Oregon issue. I believe that there is power in mayors coming together with a unified front.”

Charlie Hales Sworn in as Mayor

JANUARY 2, 2013 -- Mayor-elect Charlie Hales today was sworn into office.

He thanked supporters, and used his speech as a call to action to "work together in an open and collaborative manner to get things done."

"I say here in public what I have said to each of you in private," he said, "I can’t wait for us to roll up our sleeves and tackle the challenges facing our city."