FRIDAY, April 26, 2013 – Portland Mayor Charlie Hales presented his first State of the City speech Friday before a sold-out crowd at The City Club of Portland.
Hales, who took office in January, focused the majority of his speech on budget issues. He took office with the city facing an estimated $25 million shortfall for the 2013-14 budget. The city operates with a general fund of around $500 million.
He also focuses on the topics of police-and-community relations, adequate funding fo rOregon’s K-12 public schools, and illegal gun violence.
He looped a tool belt over the lectern for his speech, to symbolize his hands-on approach to tackling city issues.
He has supported bills to stem gun violence at the Oregon Legislature and in Congress, adding praise for State Sen. Ginny Burdick, D-Portland, for her work on the issue. He also praised the Multnomah County Commission for Thursday’s unanimous vote extending gun violence prevention.
Hales – who was interrupted for applause 11 times during the speech – also took questions from City Club members, ranging from development of West Hayden Island, to human trafficking, to promoting citizen involvement.
The budget issue comes to a head next week as Hales presents the mayor’s proposed budget for 2013-14. The plan will be unveiled at 11 a.m. Tuesday in the Lovejoy Room, second floor, City Hall, during a press conference.