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Commissioner Steve Novick

Official Website for Commissioner Steve Novick

Phone: 503-823-4682

fax: 503-823-4019

1221 SW 4th Ave. Suite 210, Portland, OR 97204

The intersection of transportation and health

On May 29, 2013, Portland City Council unanimously voted to revise the City of Portland Health Plan and City of Portland Cafeteria Plan to reflect recommendations made by the City's Labor Management Benefits Committee and the Bureau of Human Resources. Commissioner Novick made the following comments in response: 

I just wanted to make a couple of comments. One is that it is an interesting coincidence that we were talking about transportation and now we’re talking about health and wellness, because there is a connection between the two and we should always remember that when we make investments in active transportation in Portland, we’re making investments in health. Meaning, in Copenhagen, where 40% of all trips are taken by bicycle, the government justifies their investments in bicycle infrastructure by the return they see in terms of reduced health care costs. So our City’s values, in terms of active transportation, fit in well with our goals in terms of health. I also wanted to say that the work that Cathy [Bless, the City’s Benefits Manager,] and the Labor Management Benefits Committee does is important, and it’s innovative, and it’s far sighted. I think that this City, along with some other private sector employers in the region, such as Intel, that are looking really hard at health care costs and innovative strategies, can be models and partners to the rest of the region. I think that this is an area that we can be very proud of what we have done and are going to do. So, thank you.

Listen to Commissioner Novick's comments here.