Skip to Main Content View Text-Only

The City of Portland, Oregon

Community & Civic Life

Promote the common good

Main: 503-823-4519

City/County Info: 503-823-4000

TDD: 503-823-6868

1120 SW 5th Ave, Suite 114, Portland, OR 97204

Online comments (HTML format) July - Sept. 2012 - on City's 2013 State and Federal legislative agendas

City of Portland State and Federal Legislative Agendas

Community Engagement Online Comments

From July 23, 2012 to September 30, 2012

Submitted to and compiled by the Office of Neighborhood Involvement



I am co-chair of the East Portland Action Plan here are out priorities:

  • Fund the ‘Outer Powell Conceptual Design Plan’
  • Implement the ‘Gateway Education/EconomicDevelopmentCenter’
  • Establish incentives to upgrade materials and design quality of multi-dwelling development
  • Increase energy assistance to low-income residents
  • Increase opportunities for minority home ownership
  • Initiate pilot projects for development of high-quality housing compatible with existing development and natural features and a housing rehabilitation program to improve the safety and appearance of existing housing stock
  • Explore ways to balance regional affordable housing supply and promote fair share for different parts ofPortland.  


My main issue that I would like our lobbying team to address is that our state legislature and Congressional delegation take steps to obtain an amendment to the US Constitution that forever eliminates "personhood" from corporations, and which removes Constitutional protection from corporate money.  There is already a great deal of support for this in several Oregon cities, as well as in several of the states.  The only "anti" forces are those of the ALEC ilk.  

I'd also like to see a strong law on campaign spending inOregon - something on the lines ofMontana's, perhaps.

My very top concern is that the State legislature be encouraged to call for an amendment to the US Constitution, declaring that "corporations are not persons" and "money is not speech," and that neither are Constitutionally protected.

Most people use Citizens United vs. FEC as a reference, but the damage began over a hundred years ago (see the attached WILPF documents if you're interested).

The damage done to our system of "democracy" is evident to all but the most somnolent and hide-bound of us.  I know this is not a magic bullet, but I do think that it is the first step in unraveling what I have come to think of as the corporate straight jacket, one that is squeezing not only theUSbut the entire globe to death.

My other top-of-my-head concerns:

(1) Oregonhas no laws regarding campaign financing.  We could do with some!

(2)  Coal and "natural gas" can stay in the ground.  Shutting the export doors can keep it there.

(3)  No LNG pipelines (see #4).

The rest of it, in no particular order:

(4)  The law passed by the last full legislature granting land theft, if necessary to provide jobs, is a disaster.  Is there any way to rescind it?

(5)  PSU, state colleges have no business being in the war business.  I refer specifically to PSU's involvement with drone research, but am sure this is a widespread practice.

(6)  The recent end-run around the legislature and democratic process is outrageous!  I refer, of course, to the recent fluoride debacle.  Let's have a law declaring such end-runs illegal!  Anything that affects everyone needs to be agreed to by All.

(7)  Let's restore an equal time law to both the national andOregonairwaves and media.

(8)  Abolish the (ugh) electoral college.  It negates the very notion of "democracy."

(9)  Health Care for All is the cheapest and best.  I would hope that includes free education from MD's and RN's on down.

(10)  Keep Social Security!!!

(11)  Reinstate "illegals'" right to obtain a drivers license WITHOUT being deported.  (If this one is still on the books.)


-Providing housing & services for individuals released from prison.
-Providing shelter & services for victims of sexual & domestic violence.
-More treatment for drug & alcohol problems and for mental health.
-Programs, services & education for youth, to prevent behavior leading to criminal justice problems.
-Justice Reinvestment: less state revenue spent on prisons and mandatory minimum sentencing would provide for more city needs, those above and others.
(I volunteer with Partnership for Safety & Justice)  


The legislation is to remove the State exemption given to taxi companies so they do not have to carry PIP or uninsured motorist insurance like every other driver in the state does.  If we are in an accident that is our fault or the other driver is uninsured we as drivers have no monetary replacement or medical putting ourselves and our family’s at substantial financial risk as well as making it so many times cab drivers are unable to seek medical attention for injuries unless they put the burden on Medicaid if it is serious enough or the charitable are of the hospitals if it is not quite that serious.

None of us are allowed to move our personal cars without this insurance without running the risk of being towed and fined yet the City of Portland has 300+ taxis driving around without it and that number doesn’t even represent the rest of the state.

You can verify the urgency of this situation with Kathleen Butler at the Revenue Department.  These disclosures came out of a series of hearings commissioned by Mayor Adams on taxi driver conditions that were held in February and March, the results of which were released the other day.  Kathleen stated that the City wants the companies to carry insurance but it is delicate because the exemption is in state law and I knew about this meeting for the Legislative agenda so I thought I would submit it.  I would have come to the meeting to do it, but I had my dates wrong and then I tried to do it this way and Melina forgot about me, lol.

I hope you can still include this on the City’s legislative agenda for this year.  Please let me know.  I consider it to be of an emergent public matter and needs to be declared an emergency based on public safety.


Air and environmental quality for healthy, sustainable communities (Include: BPA ban, Flame retardant ratification, and ban of all endocrin-mimicing substances); Neighborhood Association involvement in Climate Change initiative solution strategies; Require a connection between land use to air and quality standards (currently missing in Statewide Land Use Laws); Neighborhood Association lead neighborhood area coordinator of Emergency Preparedness.  


Update to vehicle code to include skateboards.


Arlington Heightsneighborhood seeks amendment of Oregon Vehicle Code to add skateboards to definition of "vehicle", to ensure that skateboards are subject to traffic laws to the same extent as bicycles  


Change state law to allow inclusionary zoning to assist in distributing affordable housing throughout the city.  Changing property tax laws so compression does not occur resulting in loss of review for voter approved taxes.  


  • More engagement with TriMet for more affordable and frequent transit service.
  • Sustainable funding for YouthPass for all high school students in the metro region (not just PPS), starting with youth most in need.
  • Repealing the prohibition on mandatory inclusionary zoning so we can develop true mixed-income communities and stem the tide of gentrification and displacement.  



Bicycle and pedestrian improvements needed on 82nd Avenue and jurisdictional transfer of 82nd Ave from ODOT to PBOT, and funding to make the needed improvements. Also bike and ped improvements needed onNE Glisanbetween NE 86th and NE 102nd.  


Prioritizing Active Transportation, pedestrian-friendly ROW. Community Food Security, Food Bill




  • 1) Earned Sick Leave - First and foremost, the City ofPortlandshould follow the lead ofSeattleandSan Franciscoand support a basic labor standard that provides earned sick leave toPortlandworkers.


In addition, the City of Portlandshould advance a similar measure on the state level. As a possible model of state action, the state of Connecticutrecently passed legislation supporting workers by creating a basic labor standard for earned sick leave:

  • 2) Increased funding for summer employment programs - Milagros hosted two summer interns this year and continued its involvement in the 9th Grade Counts program that introduces local teens to the local business community. These programs have been the result of local leadership in addressing work readiness challenges facing our local youth. I would like to see the City enhance these local programs and make the current business tax credit for youth training a permanent program.

That said, the biggest constraint on youth summer employment and job readiness training has been the decrease in federal support for these types of programs. The City should advance increased support for job readiness programs for youth at the federal and state levels.

  • 3) The Dream Act/Tuition Equity - Despite the headlines, the Executive Order President Obama signed in June regarding young immigrants should not be confused with the DREAM Act or negate the need for real federal immigration reform. A work permit is not the same as the permanent residency with a potential path to citizenship that was offered by the DREAM Act.


The Executive Order also does not address the issue of tuition equity (where non-citizen state residents are charged out of state tuition for public colleges and universities).  Oregoncan and should take action on tuition equity.  I encourage the City to work with Rep. Dembrow and Rep. Keny-Guyer to advance tuition equity inOregon.



  • Discussions and meetings of the Joint Oversight Committee on the CRC will be important to follow and admittedly there will be attention on many sides on the allocation of funding. 
  • OLCC discussions regarding licensing of multiple locations as well as discussions on privatization.  The impacts toHaydenIslandbecause of multiple licensed locations have been terrible and I'm sure there will be ongoing discussions. Two bills of interest are: HB 2151 Licensed Liquor Serving Establishments - which would have permitted cities to place limits on number of licensed liquor-serving establishments within a particular area and SB 700 which would have enhanced OLCC’s ability to place restrictions on liquor license at problem establishments. I realize there are politics beyond my ability to comprehend on regulating the OLCC but I believe changes and corrections to the current system must be made legislatively. Based on a presentation by the Washington Liquor Control Board to the house committee on Business and Labor Washington has experienced some difficulties.  Oddly, one of them has benefitedOregonliquor stores in border cities. Oregonhas realized over $30 million dollars in increased sales fromWashingtonresidents coming toOregonto buy spirits. Washingtonprices on many brands are much higher thanOregon.  Committee members had concerns on a number of topics, and the Oregonian raised only a few in its coverage of the meeting.
  • Equity issues regarding women's health care coverage.  There were several bills mentioned regarding parental leave and coverage for cancer screening.
  • I'm most interested in land use bills that were discussed and left in committee at the end of the last session: HB 4032 – Standing for Land Use Appeals, HB 4049 – Requirements for Appealing Land Use Decisions, SB 1583 – Land Use Appeals.  All of these have negative impacts for land use appeals by neighborhoods, and could be resurrected out of committee.



East Portland Action Plan item priorities that need legislative support; your organized effort could make them City legislative priorities:


  • Fund the ‘Outer Powell Conceptual Design Plan’ (T.4.1, T.4.2, T.4.15)
  • Implement the ‘Gateway Education/EconomicDevelopmentCenter’ (EC.2.3, EC.4.1-.4, L.3.2, L.6.3, CM.1.2-.4, CM.2.4, CM.2.7)
  • Establish incentives to upgrade materials and design quality of multi-dwelling development (HD.1.6)
  • Increase energy assistance to low-income residents (SN.1.1)
  • Increase opportunities for minority home ownership (SN.2.2)
  • Initiate pilot projects for development of high-quality housing compatible with existing development and natural features and a housing rehabilitation program to improve the safety and appearance of existing housing stock (HD.1.4, HD.2.3)
  • Explore ways to balance regional affordable housing supply and promote fair share for different parts ofPortland. (EQ.2.1)



  • A concerted effort to get ADA access across I-405… probably legislation to compel ODOT to act to rebuild or modify every overpass between Goose Hollow and Downtown to comply with ADA.
  • The enabling legislation for STC's amended to allow STC's gathered from projects that add density or intensity to already built-up locations applicable to projects to "beef up" infrastructure made insufficient by that new or re-development.



A couple of people fromHaydenIslandandBridgetonare planning on attending the Legislative Agenda meeting Thursday.  We want to make sure the scaled back funding plan proposed for the CRC keeps the promises made to the city and the impacted community.


  • Is it possible to prevent private investors from drilling and/or fracking for natural gas and/or oil within the State ofOregon?  
  • Stopping coal trains.  
  • Stopping Nestles from harvesting pure mount spring water from Little Herman Creek to their plastic bottling plant in exchange for their willingness to pump toxicColumbia Riverwater into the Oxbow Fish Hatchery?
  • Oregon's beer tax has been frozen at a penny a pint since 1977.  A 10-cent-per-drink increase could provide more than $80 million a year in targeted funds for substance abuse prevention (school counselors), treatment and recovery (out patience care, and in prisons) and law enforcement programs (annual police officer training how to interact with persons drunk and/or on drugs)   *$900 million of your state dollars are paid into human services each year because of alcohol and other drug problems.  Did I fail to mention PPS pushing for $35 annual fee to support Arts in the Schools?   Raising $12 million?  If only that beer tax were increased--  *Yes, it is time the beer industry pays its fair share of the social and economic cost of its product.  When in City Hall several days ago, I left a note with asking the City Auditor to please update these 2002 figures to reflect today's.    Distributor Lobbyist's scream, bankruptcy, lost of jobs, every time the beer (tax) subject is raised in the Capitol.   Legislatures simply lie down under their steam roller -- reporting the Lobbyists are too powerful.     
  • State ofOregon Resolutionin 2013 urging action on the United   States Constitutional Amendment --- makes it clear that corporations are not people and money is not speech.  AS WELL AS Call for FEDERAL ACTION LIST.
  • Once again, I referenceBCA,WA-MO CAC member Ed Lyles's question in 2003.  "Why must we taxpayers purchase publicly owned land in the commons paid for with taxpayer funds, to purchase land we already own for a public park?"   One more reason to vet the action date for 332.155 Land: buildings....  was approved without the public's knowledge.   Please help me vet the date, the which committee reviewed the text prior to becoming what?   ORS?   and/or in the City ofPortland's City Charter, now under review.   One more reason to vet the action date.  And work to amend it.   


What is even more troublesome to ONI 95 neighborhoods, who already faced 38 PPS school closures -- five years out -- will be declared surplus school property?   The 2011 Legislator's approval of SB766 -- as it now relates METRO'S FORECAST FOR 600 INDUSTRIAL ACRES -- discounting the current 240 brown field acres.   Should a developer decide to purchase surplus school property -- construct an industry in a R-t, $-2.5 zones, the immediate neighborhood association has no legal zoning recourse power to say NO, NOT IN MY BACK YARD, for air quality, noise.  On that point,WestHaydenIslandneighborhood association residents come to mind currently protestingPortofPortlandplans to construct two (2) terminals on 300 acres.   

Now please Stop here a second -- remember when in 1999 Distributor's Lobbyists were successful in tweaking of the 1999 ORS mandating OLCC rubber stamp approval for Liquor Applications as-long-as the business owner does not have a FELON ON RECORD, signs off on Good Neighbor Agreement.    Even Time, Place, and Manner within any 30-day calendar is worthless without a police report.   When it comes to noise at 2:30 a.m. low priority for 9-1-1 calls for "enforcement".   

Am I reading poorly written amendments to the State ORS, City Charter and Comp Plan as related to the disposition of publicly owned school property.   Not reading ORS 332.155, was this merely approved by PPS Board of Directors -- without public review?


  • School districts can basically do anything they want with the property once they decide it is not needed for school purposes (see #5 bold):  332.155 Land; buildings; lease-purchase agreements; equipment and services. A district school board:


 (1) May furnish, equip, repair, lease, purchase and build schoolhouses, including high schools, junior high schools, career and technical education schools, gymnasiums, houses for teachers and other employees, and like buildings; and locate, buy and lease lands for all school purposes. Leases authorized by this section include lease-purchase agreements whereunder the district may acquire ownership of the leased property at a nominal price. Such leases and lease-purchase agreements may be for a term of up to 30 years.

 (2) May contract for the removal or containment of asbestos substances in school buildings and for repairs made necessary by such removal or containment. Contracts authorized by this section may be for a term exceeding one year.

(3) May construct or cooperate in the construction of schools for training of student teachers on state or district owned lands, for any public university listed in ORS 352.002 that is in or contiguous to the district, and to expend district funds in so doing.

(4) May acquire personal property by a lease-purchase agreement or contract of purchase for a term exceeding one year. A lease-purchase agreement is one in which the rent payable by the district is expressly agreed to have been established to reflect the savings resulting from the exemption from taxation, and the district is entitled to ownership of the property at a nominal or other price that is stated or determinable by the terms of the agreement and was not intended to reflect the true value of the property.

(5) May lease, sell and convey all property of the district as may not in the judgment of the district school board be required for school purposes.

(6) May sell property of the district in transactions whereby the district has the right to lease, occupy or reacquire the property following the sale or have facilities constructed thereon or furnished to the specifications of the district. The construction or furnishing of such facilities shall be subject to:

       (a) ORS chapter 279A, except ORS 279A.125 and 279A.250 to 279A.290;

                  (b) ORS chapter 279B, except ORS 279B.235, 279B.240, 279B.270, 279B.275 and 279B.280; and

       (c) ORS chapter 279C.005, 279C.100 to 279C.125 and 279C.300 to 279C.470.

 (7) Shall furnish the schools with supplies, equipment, apparatus and services essential to meeting the requirements of a standard school and may furnish such other supplies, equipment, apparatus and services as the board considers advisable.

(8) May construct, purchase or lease in cooperation with other school districts or community college districts facilities for secondary career and technical education programs for pupils of more than one district and may furnish or cooperate in furnishing supplies and equipment for such facilities, to be financed in the same manner as other school buildings and supplies are financed.

(9) May purchase real property upon a contractual basis when the period of time allowed for payment under the contract does not exceed 30 years.

(10) May purchase relocatable classrooms and other relocatable structures in installment transactions in which deferred installments of the purchase price are payable over not more than 10 years from the date such property is delivered to the district for occupancy and are secured by a security interest in such property. Such transactions may take the form of, but are not limited to, lease-purchase agreements.

(11) May enter into rental or lease-purchase agreements covering motor vehicles operated by the district. [Formerly 332.380; 1965 c.100 §143; 1969 c.311 §2; 1969 c.434 §1; 1975 c.358 §1; 1981 c.212 §1; 1983 c.740 §103; 1989 c.138 §2; 1993 c.45 §47; 2003 c.794 §255; 2009 c.94 §6; 2011 c.637 §113]


  • Good Morning to Oregonian's Dedicated Water Stewards [to protecting water quality for  humans as well as Fish and Wildlife]:    Not that long ago, I read an article where the Oregon State Highway Patrol -- working with Oregon Fish and Wildlife have been stopping driver's pulling "dirty" fishing boats driving up from California.   As for their stopping boat trailers coming in from other States -- it not mentioned in said article.  It seems the reasons for the stopping and inspecting boat bottom to prevent [suspected] invasive species from enteringOregon's rivers, streams and lakes. 


After instruction to clean my shoes -- careful inspection prior to entering the Water Bureau's van were we individuals permitted to tour the Bull Run Dam I.   How can we Oregonians assist the State Forestry and law enforcement pass legislation to do the same for all scuba diving equipment?   Job creation, ORS mandating divers scuba diving equipment pass inspection prior to their obtaining a permit to dive intoCrater Lake?

      ...risk of invasive species?   I'd like to add this topic on the City’s 2013 State and Federal Legislative Agendas.   Save the date, Thursday, September 27th.    


  • I hope to have three (3) minutes to present a zillion proposals, starting with OLCC includes,

1.  Review of ONI Noise Ordinance -as related to OLCC guidelines over riding commerce.  

2.  Saturation of OLCC outlets and Lottery outlets in strip malls near CRC. 

3.  FindPortlandPlan PEG to weigh in on the Comp Plan 2035

4.  Review OLCC Liquor License fees -- ORS needed to adjust fee to public safety concerns, lower for Bed & Breakfast, based on volume perhaps including Big Box Grocery Outlets, Fred Meyers, Safeway, Albertsons, QFC --  putting

Connivence Stores in the public safety classification -- employees killed in botched robberies, as for those with and strippers and pole dancers and Karaoke bars where patrons take turns singing their lungs out over rerecorded backing tracks.    

OLCC time place and manner are worthless without written police reports.   OLCC Commission Rice, (serving since 2003) recently told Sellwood Neighborhood Representative, "...if neighbors don't like the GNA -- they can take the business owner to court." Listening and seeing his face, I was reminded of Alicein Wonderland surprised to hear then see hiding in the tree tops a big cat with a bigger grin on his face.   OLCC Commissioners "volunteer" four year terms.  However, as for term limits, like you I'm clueless.     

5.  The OLCC board of commissioners is lacking a community-at-large chair.   Apparently the Governor is primed to select persons who were pre-approved by the high skilled Lobbyists working for Distributors, and Oregon Restaurant, or not.

6.  Work to keep OLCC as is -- Did you know that employees working with Steve Pharo, signed a letter addressed to the OLCC Commissioners -- only to dismiss it.   She actually stopped the reader from speaking.   If OLCC were a toxic working environment -- no one would have sign it.   Had someone asked me to write a letter in support of building Principals, only one stand above the rest.   I would have signed one written for Vocational Village Principal Paul Erickson.   As for the others, I would have taken a sick day, just as City Commissioner Dan Salzman does when issues are somewhat tacky.   

6.  Time to raise the frozen 1977 Beer production privilege fee (Oregonhas no sales tax -- yet)  from a penny-a-pint to 50 cents at point-of-sale in the grocery store....   In 2002 with Time for a Dime, Lobbyists PR offered Oregon Partnership and City and County representatives five cents.  Everyone refused.  Yet, had we accepted five cents, due the math -- add up how much could have ...   stay tuned.    


  • On this point, I remembered when a Madison High School Parent, with four children, two in elementary school and two in high school, working the graveyard shift alone was murdered in a botched robbery for $69.00.  Benchmark in time, neighborhood gas stations were closing and convenience stores popping up -- bringing in drug dealers, ladies in business, delivery trucks at all hours -- air conditioners and parking lot lights blaring in bedroom windows.   Sebastian Degens may have also chaired the SEUL Board of Directors in addition to SNA and this newly formed committee.    My rage so great over the tragic loss to his family and Madison community, I worked with five neighborhoods, who organized a Southeast Uplift Convenience Force Task Force Committee.  Two years later, 1988 published  A Neighborhood Workbook:  Negotiating the Development of a convenience Store,  -- report shared with Paul Leistner months ago.  We did our work so well, even the Distributors modeled it in 1999 when tweaking the ORS -- " long as Liquor Applicant has not felon on record and is willing to sign a Good Neighbor Agreement, OLCC Board of Commissioners must approve it."   Portlandthanked Commissioner Randy Leonard, who took time to drive to Salemto visit with the Governor -- (Mayor Tom Potter's ira)  -- for his efforts giving immediate neighbors a tool to work with, time, place, and manner.


Local President of NAREB, concerned about housing in particularly Minorities in the North/NE area



Delineate walking, running lanes onSW Fairmount Blvd.



Air quality



Aging and disability issues