Portland communities came together with a vision for a clean energy future, where new renewable energy and energy efficiency investments improve homes, train workers and support local businesses.
Supporters of the Ballot Measure
The Portland Clean Energy Community Benefits Fund (Fund) ballot measure campaign was supported by over 200 community organizations, major affordable housing and homelessness service providers and advocates, Business for a Better Portland, the Oregon Food Bank, 16 neighborhood associations, the faith community and elected officials.
The Steering Committee of the community coalition, who developed the measure and are now working with the City to implement the Fund, includes the NAACP Portland Branch, Native American Youth and Family Center, Coalition of Communities of Color, the Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (APANO), OPAL Environmental Justice Oregon, Verde, 350 PDX, Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility, Audubon Society of Portland, Columbia Riverkeeper and the Oregon Chapter of the Sierra Club.
Funding a clean energy future for under-served communities
Climate change has a disproportionate impact on communities of color and low-income residents of our city. The Fund allocates specific percentages in its guidelines for clean energy funding, job training programs and green infrastructure projects to ensure that these communities living on the "frontlines" of climate change are prepared for a changing climate as we move towards our goal of achieving an 80 percent reduction in carbon emissions and transitioning to 100 percent renewable energy in Portland.
The program is funded through a 1 percent surcharge on the retail sales of certain large retailers within Portland. The Fund finances programs that meet the following priorities:
- clean energy projects, including renewable energy and energy efficiency projects, and regenerative agriculture and green infrastructure projects;
- clean energy jobs training;
- programs that both reduce greenhouse gases and promote economic, social and environmental benefits.
All projects prioritize Portland’s under-served populations and neighborhoods including communities of color and low-income residents. Examples of community benefits include: solar panels and energy efficiency upgrades on multifamily housing, new workforce training programs in clean energy manufacturing and installation, shared food gardens and increased tree canopy in heavily concreted neighborhoods.
Community Benefits Committee and City Staffing
The Fund is overseen by a nine-member Portland Clean Energy Community Benefits Committee made up of experts and community members who will make funding recommendations to the Mayor and City Council and evaluate the effectiveness of the Fund achieving the goals of the initiative. Membership of this committee must reflect the racial, ethnic and economic diversity of the City of Portland, include at least two residents living east of 82nd Avenue, and possess significant experience in the types of projects supported by the Fund. Staffing for the Fund are housed at the City’s Bureau of Planning and Sustainability.