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The City of Portland, Oregon

Planning and Sustainability

Innovation. Collaboration. Practical Solutions.

Phone: 503-823-7700

Curbside Hotline: 503-823-7202

1900 SW 4th Ave, Suite 7100, Portland, OR 97201

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Building the Portland Clean Energy Community Benefits Fund Team

Management and implementation of the new community benefits fund gets started with new staff.

The Portland Clean Energy Community Benefits Fund (PCEF), which Portlanders overwhelmingly voted for last November, is becoming a reality! The Bureau of Planning and Sustainability and our coalition partners are thrilled to announce the team that will get the PCEF programmatic work off the ground is getting hired – and off to work.


Meet the team

Sam Baraso headshot

Sam Baraso has joined BPS as the program manager for PCEF and will be leading the design, development and ultimate implementation. Sam brings a wealth of government experience and community leadership to this new effort. He will work closely with other City staff, City Hall and members of the PCEF community coalition to establish the fund’s grant program and grant committee to start funding clean energy projects in 2020.

 


Jaimes Valdez headshot

We also recently welcomed Jaimes Valdez to the PCEF team. In addition to being core program staff, Jaimes will play a significant role in leading policy development and strengthening our community partnerships. Jaimes has spent the past 15 years working to broaden opportunities for people to access the benefits of clean energy and achieve social and environmental goals.


Cady Lister geadshotCady Lister, the third program staff, will join the team on July 8. Cady brings nearly 20 years of experience in renewable energy advocacy, community engagement and project management, including running programs that have delivered more than $100 million in grants, loans and training. An application review is currently underway for the fourth program staff recruitment. We anticipate having five or six staff on board by the end of the calendar year.

 


Community grant committee recruitment

On June 21, applications for the PCEF grant committee closed after remaining open for five weeks. Program staff are currently working with the Office of Community & Civic Life and City Hall to define a selection process that reflects the outcomes of the ballot initiative and community vision of the program. The Mayor and the City Commissioners will each appoint one member of the grant committee, and then those grant committee members will recommend the remaining four members for City Council’s appointment from the applicant pool.

While the immediate priority for the program is to get fully staffed and establish the nine-person grant committee, the next year will be incredibly busy one for the fund and our community. Efforts this fall will include engaging community members and hosting networking and capacity-building events. This is a critical step to ensure successful grant applications in 2020. Also, during the coming months, the grant committee and program staff will develop the policies, procedures, infrastructure and application timelines that enable a competitive funding process for next year.


Background

The Portland Clean Energy Community Benefits Fund (PCEF) was created by a local ballot measure (Measure 26-201) passed in November 2018. PCEF is anticipated to bring $54 – $71 million in new revenue for green jobs and healthy homes for all Portlanders. The initiative aims to ensure that the City of Portland’s Climate Action Plan is implemented in a manner that supports social, economic and environmental benefits for all Portlanders, including the development of a diverse and well-trained workforce and contractor pool in the field of clean energy.

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Portland City Council Approves Ordinances to Write Portland Clean Energy Fund into City Code

Grassroots Supporters Laud Early Implementation Efforts

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Thursday, February 21, 2019

Contact:
Damon Motz-Storey
303-913-5634
damon@oregonpsr.org

Portland City Council Approves Ordinances to Write Portland Clean Energy Fund into City Code

Grassroots Supporters Laud Early Implementation Efforts

(Portland, OR) - Portland City Council voted this afternoon to approve an ordinance to write the Portland Clean Energy Fund into City Code and authorize four new program staff positions to oversee and support the Portland Clean Energy Community Benefits Fund. They also approved a small handful of amendments proposed by the City Revenue Division. The pair of ordinances writes Measure 26-201, which was approved by 65% of Portland voters on November 6th, 2018, into City Code with a small handful of housekeeping amendments proposed by the City Revenue division that were supported by the coalition that led the Portland Clean Energy Fund campaign. The city invited testimony from community leaders and took comments from members of the public who expressed their support of a robust implementation faithful to the will of the over 200,000 voters who approved the measure.

"My heart breathes a sigh of hope at the collective hard work of our citizens. I am especially grateful for the foresight of Commissioner Hardesty for being one of the initial visionaries of and for inviting community partners to work together on Measure 26-201," said the Reverend E.D. Mondainé, President of the NAACP Portland Branch 1120 and a chief petitioner of Measure 26-201. "We look forward to workers with living wage jobs, well-insulated homes, and energy as renewable as our renewed sense of spirit. We look forward to continued collaboration and strong implementation of this historic measure."

"We would like to thank the Mayor and each commissioner for their engagement on this measure, as well as their incredible staff. We also thank the Revenue Division for their good work exemplified today. And we thank the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability for being an outstanding partner," said Jenny Lee, Advocacy Director of the Coalition of Communities of Color. "These amendments will help to improve the ordinance by aligning its language with the city code, making it easier for the Revenue Division to collect the clean energy surcharge efficiently and effectively."

"The actions we take to create quality jobs and to protect working people and the environment must go hand-in-hand, and that together, we will build clean, thriving and fair economy," said Ranfis Villatoro, Oregon State Policy Director of BlueGreen Alliance. "This initiative has the opportunity to do just that and be a beacon of hope for this City, State, and Country."

"We are discussing 300 to 500 jobs new jobs yearly," said Nate McCoy, Executive Director of the National Association of Minority Contractors (NAMC) of Oregon. "This fund has the opportunity to ensure that tenants and owners can benefit from rooftop solar on affordable housing. New living-wage jobs from this program can help ease the burden on those facing homelessness."

Leaders in the Portland Clean Energy Fund coalition identified next steps for the implementation of the Portland Clean Energy Community Benefits Fund, including but not limited to recruiting a diverse and representative grant committee to be appointed by City Commissioners, hiring program staff to be housed at the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, and building capacity among community organizations to prepare them to submit competitive proposals to the fund.

More information may be found at the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability website and at the website from the Portland Clean Energy Initiative campaign.

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