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Community Input at Nov. 10, 2011 Town Hall on City's State & Federal Legislative Agenda

 

Community Engagement Forum

November 10, 2011

Issues Summary

The City of Portland engaged the community in the development of the state and federal legislative agendas by asking for community representatives to identify critical issues important to their neighborhoods and communities. There were two avenues for providing comment to the City of Portland: 1) community members provided their input at a community engagement forum listening session where community representatives made comments on issues they recommended be considered for inclusion in the state and/or federal legislative agendas. Community members voted on their top three priorities at the end of the meeting, which is reflected on the following table and,  2) the City received online submissions from community members.  This document summarizes all of the comments submitted to the City either in the community forum or through online submissions.

A PDF version of the content below can be found here.

 

City of Portland's Draft 2012 State Legislative Agenda

 

 

Issue/Comment

Votes

Long Term 2 Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule (LT2)-- oppose EPA’s mandate to install an expensive water filtration system and cover reservoirs by exempting mandate from federal EPA rule in both federal and state legislative agendas. Bring back the clean water variance. This should be a high priority in the federal agenda.

10

Oregon Sustainability Center (OSC)—Support the City of Portland’s advocacy for the OSC at the state legislature. Also support the Park Avenue West project.

9

Tuition Repayment—Advocate for state to pass legislation that would allow college graduates to work off student loans through community service after graduation. This would help mitigate rising tuition costs.

 

9

Tuition Equity—Support tuition equity legislation.

7

Corporate personhood—Pass legislation to change the legal doctrine that allows corporations to have the same rights as people.  Cities that have passed resolutions to end corporate personhood areBoulder,CO;Missoula,MT; andMadison,WI.   

7

Ecodistricts Development—Support creation of ecodistricts throughout Portland, not just in the downtown core area, and scale it to the neighborhoods.

6

Homeschooling—End homeschooling, as more kids are being homeschooled. When they drop out, they have an impact on the graduation rates and there isn’t evidence that homeschooled youth are getting an adequate education.          

4

Cell Tower Siting—The City should oppose the siting of cell towers that are being built in close proximity to residences.  The City needs to fight federal preemption and their control over cell tower siting. 

4

Virtual State Bank--HB 3452 was introduced in the 2011 State Legislative Session that would have established a state bank. The City should support reintroduction of this bill as it keeps helps localize capital investments and helps small businesses and farms.

2

Instant Run Off Voting System – support election reform legislation that would allow voters to rank their preferences on the ballot causing the candidate to receive the lowest number of first choices to drop off the ballot. This process continues until the candidate that has received the majority of the votes is declared the winner.

2

Cap Rent Increases—Limit rent increases by tying any increases to median income and the consumer price index by lifting state preemptions.

2

Solar panel installation – Homeowner Associations (HOA) have restrictions on installing solar panels. Advocate for the state legislature to remove HOA barriers to solar panel installations.  

2

Conflict of Interest—Establish stronger conflict of interest laws to prevent individuals from working in an industry they are regulating. This is important to prevent corruption by preventing a person to work for a business they are regulating.

 

2

Youth Resources—Advocate for more investment and resources forOregon’s youth. The increase in youth gang activity requires more prevention programs to prevent gang youth involvement.           

2

Health Care Cultural Competency—Support cultural competency programs forOregon’s health care workers.

2

Feed-in Tariffs – Advocate for legislation that would support feed-in tariffs for renewable energy.

2

Community Gardens—Implement and develop more community gardens statewide. This will reduce reliance on state hunger programs.

1

Bicycle/Pedestrian Safety—Advocate for a law that would prevent bicyclists from bicycling in crosswalks, as this creates a hazard for pedestrians.

1

Bicycle Safety Training—Begin to train bicyclists starting in grade school on bicycle safety (similar to a program being implemented in theNetherlands). This program should be linked to the Safe Routes to School program.   

1

Employment for Disabled Persons—Advocate for enhancing the ability of people with disabilities to access jobs.

1

Glass-Steagall Act—Reinstate the provisions of the Glass-Steagall Act, which would prohibit a bank holding company from owning both a commercial and investment bank.

 

1

Public Campaign Financing—Advocate for candidates to be able to quality for public funding for their campaign.

1

Public Investment Credit Union—create a publicly owned credit union to encourage small business and worker collectives inOregon.

1

Tri-Met Service--Reinstate Tri-Met’s “owl service” in order to accommodate those who get off work after the current service ends. 

1

Elder Care—Advocate for increased resources to care for the seniors and frail elderly people.

1

Job Creation Impact—Require that all legislation and city ordinances report how many jobs would be created, lost or eliminated as a result of the respective legislation and/or ordinance.

1

Transportation Tax Allocation--Balance the allocation of transportation taxes between cars and other transportation modes.

1

Tuition Reciprocity--Reinstate reciprocity betweenOregon andWashington college students who reside on the respective state borders to allow in-state tuition for students who meet this criterion.

1

Tri-Met Board Representation--Appoint a task force to examine Tri-Met board representation.            

1

Rising Tuition Costs--Address the rising cost of higher education tuition, which is making college inaccessible for more potential students.  State legislature needs to understand these tuition increases within the context of how this impacts education and workforce development.

 1

Job Creation--Need to create more jobs using Keynesian programs for job creation.    

No votes

Wi-Fi Infrastructure—Develop free Wi-Fi infrastructure.

No votes

Campaign Contributions—Place restraints on campaign contributions        

No votes

Energy Tax—Assess power shipped toCalifornia fromOregon wind farms who received anOregon tax credit

No votes

Redistricting--The Powellhurst-Gilbert neighborhood is being divided into multiple legislative districts, as a result of redistricting. This has created a situation where the neighborhood must engage seven legislators. The neighborhood is requesting that the City help them have a “voice”.

No votes

DMV Online Test— Require all drivers to pass an on-line exam of current traffic laws, with emphasis on the rules pertaining to pedestrian and bicycle rights and responsibilities, before their license can be renewed.

No votes

On-line voting—Pass legislation to allow online voting similar toCanada’s system. This would also boost the youth vote.   

No votes

Green Buildings--Support developing model green building projects in all ofPortland’s neighborhood, not just the Central City.

No votes

Hydrogen Buses—Pass legislation that would require Tri-Met to test hydrogen buses.

 

No votes

UGB Population Forecasting—Reexamine law that relates to Metro’s data modeling to forecast population growth, as Metro needs to find the right methodology to accurately predict population growth.

No votes

Urban Agriculture—Advocate for more protections and incentives for urban agriculture and provide incentives to use underused and blighted properties for urban agriculture

No votes

OLCC Licensing—Support to allow for emergency closures of establishments serving alcohol because of serious alcohol-related incidents that endanger public safety. 

No votes

Urban Renewal—Support urban renewal.

No votes

 

  

 

ONLINE SUBMITTED COMMENTS

Issue

Pedestrian Traffic--Change the law regarding where peds are required to walk.  Currently we are to face traffic.  On some of our curvy SW streets that is a suicide mission.  Rewrite the law to make it legal to walk with traffic where it is unsafe to walk facing traffic.  

Pedestrian/Bicycle Traffic Rights--Provide a label and legal description for climbing bicycle lanes that also accommodate pedestrians.  This would mean pedestrians would have equal rights with bicyclists in these specially marked lanes, and that bicycles would yield to pedestrians, which by definition would be an uphill route where the bicycles should be going slowly. 

Pedestrian/Bicycle Facility--Modify the law to make a street with a bike lane and no sidewalk a combination ped/bicycle facility.  Currently, if we have a marked bike lane, the pedestrians must yield to the bicycles.  This does not make much sense to me since the pedestrian has less flexibility to move than does the faster moving bicycle.  It is a conflict we do not need. 

Crosswalk Law--Clarify the crosswalk law to allow people to cross all legs of an intersection even though one is marked with striping and the others are not so marked.  The only way pedestrians would not be able to cross the unmarked legs would be if the legs are specifically marked as "no pedestrian crossing". 

Crosswalk Definition--Add to the definition of an unmarked crosswalk all locations where trails cross streets or highways.  Currently a trail intersecting as street is not defined as being a legal crosswalk so trail walkers cannot legally get the same response from cars as they would get at an unmarked crosswalk anywhere else in the city.  The problem is the trail users do not know that and expect cars to act the same way as they do on unmarked crosswalks. 

Midblock crosswalk law--Change the law to make all midblock crosswalks legal crosswalks.  Currently, as some understand the law, a crosswalk like the one at 4900SW Barbur, Rasmussen Village Apartments, is not marked.  When I asked for crosswalk enforcement, I was told it could not be done because it was not a legal crosswalk.  If it were to be marked, as it will be when they put in the Rapid Flashing Rectangular Beacon in the next month or so, it becomes a legal crosswalk.  Again, the pedestrians would expect anyplace where there is a signage telling motorist that pedestrians will be crossing to be a legal crosswalk. 

9-1-1 Confidentiality—Reintroduce Confidentiality of 9-1-1 Communications bill.

Air Quality-Poor air quality is a concern.

Corporate Personhood and Banking Regulations:

  1. Limited duration charters of incorporation. Alters the default so that a corporation chartered inOregonis chartered for a temporary duration (10 years) subject to renewal rather than of permanent duration.
  2. Statutes of dissolution- empower the Attorney General to dissolve corporations, removing the rights and protections therein, in circumstances of repeated labor or environmental intransigence.

Campaign Finance Reform and Electoral Reform:

  1. Automatic default of voter eligibility- selective service registration at the age of 18 also serves as default voter registration, making Oregonians registered voters by default. Widens the voter pool and decreases the need for voter registration drives.
  2. Fair and balanced coverage- requiring OPB to provide fair and equal amounts of coverage time to political candidates.
  3. Stronger campaign contribution disclosure laws- all significant gifts must be subject to disclosure, and all donors to PACs must be transparent to public examination.

Alternative Energy Promotion:

1.         Feed in Tariff- requiring power utilities to buy solar and sustainable electricity from local generators

2.         Community Solar- A statewide implementation of Ashland’s Solar Pioneers II project, allowing citizens and business to invest in joint ownership of local solar farms.

Small Business/Alternative Business Development:  Preferential treatment for worker collectives and ‘B’ charter corporations- alternative tax schedules to encourage worker co-ops and businesses with alternative management structures.

Tax Reform:

1.         Investment firm tax- tax on brokerage firms and investment companies.

2.         Stock transaction tax- tax on the exchange publicly traded stocks. This will act to cool rapid trading and promote more sober and long term investment strategies.

3.         Non-sustainable goods tax. A tax upon foods (for example, bluefin tuna) and goods that cannot be grown or harvested in a sustainable manner (another example: harvestable doug fir trees would be exempt, sequoia hardwoods would be taxed).

4.         New tax schedule for the state income tax- currently, there is a class of $100,000 and up. We wish to see new schedules, like a $200K-500K schedule, a 500K-1M$ schedule, to redressOregon's tax and infrastructure woes, with new minimum taxes for certain levels of income.

5.         Out-sourcing tax- increased schedules of taxation for businesses calculated on their proportion of non-American workers, penalizing companies that destroy American jobs and rewarding businesses that invest in our community.

6.         Increased marginal tax rate for the upper 1% of individuals and businesses inOregon.

  

Foreclosure Relief

1.         Foreclosure holiday- temporary moratorium on the enforcement of foreclosure orders, until such time as the Attorney General has completed a full investigation of ‘robo-signing’ and other practices of mortgage fraud.

2.         Foreclosure relief program- government assistance to help families keep their homes.

3.         Writs of transitory domicile- putting empty homes to use and reducing homelessness by allowing the state to temporarily permit domicile to idle homes (subject to security deposit and contracts of good keeping on part of residents)

State Legislative Session--2012 is scheduled to be a short session. The people of Oregon are in a profound economic crisis, and we need a legislature with a long session to address our many issues.

Oppose Afghanistan war—Propose a resolution statingOregon’s desire to see the end of military operations inAfghanistan.

Law Enforcement Professionalism--Maintaining professionalism in law enforcement and prison work- a prohibition on state agencies using private security firms for security or corrections facilities management.