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The City of Portland, Oregon

Chloe Eudaly

Commissioner, City of Portland

General Information: 503-823-4682

email: chloe@portlandoregon.gov

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

Commissioner Eudaly's Questions on the Proposed Protest Ordinance

November 8, 2018

Commissioner Eudaly’s Questions* on the Proposed Protest Ordinance

*1160  TIME CERTAIN: 2:15 PM – Authorize the Commissioner in Charge of the Police Bureau to order content-neutral time, place and manner regulations for demonstrations held in the City (Ordinance introduced by Mayor Wheeler) 2 hours 45 minutes requested

Past Incidents/Crowd Management and Use of Force Policies

  1. Since 2017, PPB has acknowledged the use of at least six different types of “riot control agents and less lethal impact munitions,” including pepper spray, rubber ball distraction devices, flash grenades, etc. How much does the Bureau spend on these types of devices? Has spending on these devices increased in recent years?
  2. In 1970, the Police Bureau committed to not using violence on non-violent protestors. How many settlements have there been with protestors since then related to excessive use of force by police during demonstrations? What is the estimated cost of these suits?
  3. How many pending lawsuits are there against the City from protestors or advocacy organizations for demonstrations between November 2016 and now? What is the estimated cost to the City to defend PPB in these lawsuits?
  4. In response to this proposed ordinance, Daryl Turner’s recently decried the “over-emphasis on de-escalation and disengagement.” Is this view on de-escalation consistent with that of PPB leadership?
  5. How should we reconcile PPB’s stated commitment to de-escalation with the numerous injuries we’ve witnessed on our streets, of which the most serious appear to be at the hands of the police? Please note these injuries include third degree chemical burns, open wounds, and a traumatic brain injury.
  6. Why do the police believe that after they give dispersal orders, people who remain are fair game to be subjected to violence, even though they are not committing any violent act by remaining?
  7. What are the conditions that have to be in place for PPB to demand a dispersal order?
  8. I’ve heard feedback that dispersal orders are often contradictory, difficult to understand, or given without enough time for people to respond. What has PPB done to remedy this?
  9. From the videos I’ve seen, it appears that counter-demonstrators are always the ones who are asked to disperse. Is this true?
  1. Where is the evidence that the counterdemonstrators threw projectiles at police before the police began using violence in any of the recent demonstrations?
  2. How is it legal to subject everyone in a crowd to chemicals, flash-bang grenades and other dangerous weapons when there is no individualized reasonable suspicion that they are committing crimes, much less violent crimes?
  3. I’ve heard PPB leadership describe the tactical challenge of sending in officers to pluck out individuals from rowdy crowds. How do other police departments deal with this issue?
  4. Have you looked to other police departments for “best practices” for crowd management? Are there any examples of good policing?
  5. My understanding is the Crowd Control Directive excludes officers’ right to use violence against people who are not engaged in active resistance. Is this a correct interpretation? If so, how does PPB reconcile this with the many injuries of protestors we’ve witnessed.
  6. How does having armed and armored police lined up facing a crowd help create a safe space for people to express their First Amendment protected speech? What alternatives have been considered?

Perceived PPB Bias

  1. Portlanders have sustained countless injuries at the hands of the Portland Police Bureau. I can’t recall of any instances of protestors from Proud Boys or Patriot Prayer being seriously injured by police. Is this accurate? If so, how do you explain this?
  2. How do you explain the perception, if not reality, that PPB see Patriot Prayer and Proud Boys as “more mainstream” than Portlanders who come to stand up to them?
  3. The Mercury recently reported that more PPB officers live in Washington (177) than in Portland proper (158). How can we confidently say this has no bearing on actual or perceived officer biases?
  4. Last summer, Portland activists were “kettled” and forced to provide ID. I still do not understand why this happened. Can you help us understand why that happened? Has PPB ever recorded identification information from the Patriot Prayer or Proud Boys groups in this manner?
  5. Why is it that PPB seems to always be facing counterdemonstrators instead of the far-right paramilitary gangs that come to take over our streets? Has there ever been consideration of how this tactical decision actually empowers the alt-right groups, which makes Portland less safe for all?
  6. What efforts has PPB made to reach out to Portland activists and advocates to discuss policing of protests?
  7. Can the Portland Police Bureau explicitly and unequivocally state that Patriot Prayer, Proud Boys, and similar alt-right, white supremacist gangs are the real threat to our public safety?
  8. During the August 4 protest, my understanding was there were weapons check-points because of the threat of gun violence. Yet, media reports indicate that the Proud Boys and Patriot Prayer were able to breeze by these check-points. Can you explain what happened? Why was no one arrested?
  9. Much has been made of the “cache of weapons” that were discovered on the parking garage. Can you explain why no arrests were made in that situation?
  10. In many of the protests, I’ve witnessed Patriot Prayer and Proud Boys crossing the street and into the side of the road sectioned off for counter-demonstrators while PPB looked on. Why was this allowed to occur?
  1. The Anti-Defamation League’s Center on Extremism has reported that 71 percent of the extremist-related fatalities in the United States between 2008 and 2017 were committed by members of the far right or white-supremacist movements. Why is this, and more local data that we have at our disposal, not enough information to justify “selective enforcement” to address the actual threats to our public safety?

Follow-Up from Past Violence

  1. At this point, we’ve seen countless videos of Patriot Prayer and Proud Boys violently assaulting Portlanders and can identify them by face if not also by name. Can you detail the steps that PPB has taken to follow-up and arrest these folks?
  2. Why are these white supremacist gang members not being prosecuted more harshly?
  3. It appears to me that the “tool” PPB need is more effective collaboration with the DA’s office. Has the Mayor’s office or PPB talked to the DA about this? What was the outcome of these discussions?

Ordinance Questions

  1. Have other cities with similar Time, Place, Manner (TPM) restrictions been sued for these policies? How much did it cost them to defend these policies in court?
  2. Given that the constitutionality of this ordinance has been called into question by multiple experts, is the city prepared to defend this in court, including through appeals?         
  3. Are there any other cities using TPM restrictions as a tool to combat alt-right violence?
  4. How exactly does this ordinance lead to less enforcement or less use of police resources? The limits are surely to be tested, so isn’t it possible that this policy will actually lead to more confrontations?
  1. This ordinance is certain to face a legal challenge, what do you anticipate will be the legal costs associated with defending this policy in court?
    • If so, has the city estimated the cost of that litigation to the public?
    • Does the mayor believe that this is the legal fight worth having with our limited city resources?
    • Wouldn’t it be more responsible to spend our city attorneys’ time and public funds pursuing legal strategies with existing tools to stop the recruitment and mobilization of white supremacist, paramilitary gangs on our streets?
  1. There are aspects of this that are very reminiscent of the gang database. The ordinance give the mayor or police commissioner to designate “groups” as having a  history of violence with other “groups,” and based on that designation, restrict the first amendment rights of those “groups” and individuals the police believe to be associated with those groups.
  • How will the Police Commissioner make determinations that a “group” has committed violent acts in the past and what level of “violence” is required for this designation?
  • How will the Police Commissioner determine who is part of the groups and who is not?
    • Will the rules apply to people who are not part of the groups targeted by the rules, such as people who are unassociated with either group and have no history of violence, but want to counter-protest one of the groups?
  1. If a person is already willing to violate criminal laws against assault, are they actually going to follow these rules about when, where and for how long to protest?
  1. The ordinance would allow the restriction of first amendment rights based on a determination that a planned demonstration presents a “substantial likelihood of violence” based on any “credible information obtained by law enforcement.”
  • How exactly can a city official predict a likelihood of violence occurring?
    • Is there any guidance as to what level of certainty the Commissioner would need to have from this “credible evidence” before he can preemptively limit a protest?
  1. If the plan is to set up free speech zones, will opposing groups be within line of sight of each other, or is the plan to place them far away from each other?
  2. How exactly can PPB and the Police Commissioner limit the number of people in a group at a march?
  3. What if a protest organically and quickly comes together in response to current events, will the ordinance apply to those types of events?
  4. If this is aimed at events that are being planned in advance of their occurrence, how far in advance of the protest will the rules be put out, and how will the City make certain that members of the public have copies of the written ordinance with sufficient advance notice to comply?
  5. If a group disputes the characterization of their members as having a history of violence, how can they challenge that? What if the characterization was false and there wasn’t ample time to dispute it?
  6. Could one group’s right to protest be endangered by another group showing up at their protests and provoking violent encounters, with the aim of giving the group a “history of violence” (aka a heckler’s veto)
  1. The ordinance states that people who violate it would be subject to criminal penalties. Is this ordinance creating a new crime? If not, what criminal offense or offenses is the being referenced in the ordinance?                                   

 

*This list includes questions from constituents and advocacy groups.

 

Bureau of Development Services Transition Memo to Mayor Wheeler

To:               Mayor Ted Wheeler

From:            Commissioner Chloe Eudaly  

CC:               City Auditor Mary Hull Caballero, Rebecca Esau, Director of Bureau of Development Services, City Budget Office, Development Directors, Development Review Advisory Committee, Interested Parties

Subject:       Bureau of Development Services Issues

Date:             September 5th, 2018

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Since assuming responsibility for the Bureau of Development Services (BDS) in January of 2017, my staff and I have taken a series of actions to improve service delivery and customer service at the bureau. Over the course of the last 19 months, I have gained great appreciation for the work that BDS staff does to make a difficult and at times dysfunctional system work. When I was assigned the bureau, the version of the permitting software that tracked over $3 billion in development projects in 2017 was no longer supported by the vendor that created it.

BDS is now using a supported version of the permitting software and is on track to make major improvements in its approach to technology as well as many other areas. I’m writing to offer a snapshot of the work that has occurred during my tenure as Commissioner in Charge of the bureau and a summary of ongoing projects and opportunities for future improvements.

Accomplishments.

Permitting System Improvements - One of my first official acts as the Commissioner with responsibility for BDS was to attend a Government Accountability Transparency and Results (GATR) presentation that was organized by the City Budget Office and focused on development review issues. The presentation highlighted specific pinch points in the review process, difficulties associated with having multiple bureaus engaged in the process and the impact that staffing levels have on development review timelines. In response, BDS convened the bureau directors of all the bureaus involved in the development review process to identify process improvements and resolve policy conflicts. BDS reinvented its hiring process to go from being one of the slowest bureaus to one of the fastest bureaus and has made significant progress in relieving pinch point pressure as documented by an updated GATR presentation this spring. Despite limited resources and direction from myself and the Mayor to prioritize permitting for affordable housing and other important projects (Adidas expansion, Providence Park, school projects, and others), BDS staff processed an historic amount of permits in 2017 while maintaining or improving service delivery. 

Re-organization.

Since I appointed her to be the interim Director of BDS, April 17, 2017, BDS Director Rebecca Esau has launched an ambitious effort to re-organize the bureau to address a span of control issues as well as to identify and correct gaps in services, particularly for historically underserved members of the community. Rebecca and I worked closely with Dora Perry, the bureau’s equity manager, and union leaders to improve morale and address systemic human resource problems at BDS. New service delivery initiatives include:

  • A communications team to help customers navigate the permitting process
  • A small business & arts team to help small business owners and arts organizations
  • A permitting solutions team to help people with outstanding liens and/or code violations on their property
  • A cannabis facilities team to help cannabis entrepreneurs

Hazardous Materials and Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) System Development Charges (SDC) Policies.

The rapid appreciation of real estate values in our city has caused a wave of demolitions of existing homes. Unfortunately, while remodelers have to comply with strict containment and clean up requirements when working around hazardous materials (primarily lead and asbestos), demolition contractors had much less effective regulations for protecting the public from hazardous materials. Senator Michael Dembrow and Representative Alissa Keny-Guyer passed legislation enabling local governments to enact better hazardous materials policies, SB 871, during the 2017 legislative session. I worked with the construction industry, neighborhood leaders and public health officials to adopt new regulations shortly after the new state law was signed by Governor Kate Brown. This summer, I led the effort to permanently exempt ADUs from SDCs, but to limit the exemption to ADUs that will not be listed on short term rental platforms. This was the first in a series of policy actions that I will bring forward to support the development of ADUs, as part of the City’s efforts to address the current housing crisis.

Ongoing Projects.

Portland Online Permitting System (POPS) – As I noted at the beginning of this memo, BDS is in the middle of implementing a new permitting software system with assistance from the Bureau of Technology Services (BTS). The most important and promising aspect of the new system is the portion of the project that will transition the review of permits from paper to digital plan review.  This change will allow people to submit plans remotely and make corrections to them electronically from their home or office, without having to travel downtown to the Permit Center. It will be a tremendous leap forward in efficiency for City reviewers from BDS and the five other bureaus involved in permit plan review. The first commercial building permit using the new ePlan system is underway and the bureau will be rolling it out for more types of projects over the next 18 months until ALL projects can be processed online. Please check out this great video about the project.

Liens – BDS has over $20 million in outstanding liens for building code violations. An analysis of properties that have had liens assessed against them revealed that over 65% of outstanding liens are in neighborhoods that meet the Housing Bureau’s definition of rapidly appreciating neighborhoods. Auditor Caballero’s staff will be doing further analysis of liens in the coming months. Ideally, that analysis will help inform the development of a new approach to code enforcement that enables the City to assist people that are struggling to comply with building codes while moving more quickly and effectively to compel owners whose neglect of their properties causes problems for neighbors and whole neighborhoods to correct problems. 

Tenant Protections – BDS is working on a number of projects that contribute to the city’s focus on affordable housing and improved tenant protections. Bureau staff have begun the RFP process to renew the bureau’s popular training for landlords. The goal is to shift the focus of the training away from viewing tenants as potential criminals and toward seeing tenants as partners in housing.  I am excited about making sure this training is back up and running by Spring 2019. BDS is also ready to update building maintenance regulations in Title 29 of the City Code based on recommendations made by a task force and approved by council several years ago. These changes will ensure that tenants have access to livable units free from mold and pests. The Code changes have been drafted and after public review, I expect the changes will be ready to come to council by the end of this year.  Additionally, BDS is supportive of developing a mandatory inspections program for rental housing, and Portland Housing Bureau’s current voluntary registration program of rentals is an essential first step in making that a reality.

Last, but definitely not least, I recommend that BDS leverage its proprietary data and its relationships with the development community to establish a leadership role on development issues by sharing its data and insights with the community. BDS could produce an annual summary of development activity, trends, and its forecast for future activity. The bureau could share this information via a City Club Friday Forum and/or events with local news organizations that focus on development. The absence of real, readily accessible data about development activity in Portland has led to a proliferation of baseless hypotheses about what is occurring. We shouldn’t waste time arguing about facts: BDS can help our community identify and address real issues by doing a better job of sharing its data and insights.

I have the utmost confidence that Mayor Wheeler will continue to support the ongoing projects listed above and am ready to assist with moving them forward. I will stay engaged in helping improve the permitting process as the PBOT Commissioner and look forward to staying in touch with development review issues.

Thank you to the whole BDS family, the City Budget Office for helping me understand and make progress on development review timelines and the Bureau of Technology Services for its critical assistance with the POPS project.

A Love Letter to the Arts

Dear Portlanders,

What an exciting honor to be entrusted with our City’s Arts Portfolio! It’s been a pleasure to work with Commissioner Nick Fish, the previous Arts Commissioner, and our collaboration is bound to continue in new and innovative ways through our newly assigned bureaus. By way of an introduction, I thought I’d share some of my background and experience in the arts, that of my staff, as well as a few of my priorities.

The arts have always been an essential part of my life. Family legend has it that I started singing before I could talk. I also had the good fortune of early exposure to the arts, including music and dance lessons, ceramics and art classes, music, theater, and other cultural experiences. I sang in choir all through school and played clarinet and saxophone in my middle school band. Although I am a lifelong bookworm, as a teenager and young adult, my social life revolved around music (followed closely by film). My first concerts were at legendary Portland venues like the Starry Night, Pine Street Theater, Satyricon, The X-Ray Café, and Blue Gallery. I also regularly attended First Thursdays (and Last Thursday House events). My favorite galleries in those early days included Jamison/Thomas Gallery, Blackfish, and Northwest Artist’s Workshop.

In 1994 I opened a small specialty bookshop called Reading Frenzy which was devoted to independent, small press, and self-published titles. It became a hub of activity for local writers, artists, publishers, and readers. A few years later my friend Rebecca Gilbert and I co-founded a space for Portlanders to produce their own printed matter called the Independent Publishing Resource Center (IPRC), which celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. I also exhibited monthly art shows featuring unknown, emerging, and sometimes established artists, as well as the occasional oddball collection. In the final years of the bookshop/gallery, the majority of our exhibits featured women, LGBTQ, people of color, and artists with disabilities. All told, I produced around 500 literary and arts events from 1994 to 2016.

Through Reading Frenzy I collaborated with many arts organizations and institutions including the Portland Art Museum, the Museum of Contemporary Craft, and PNCA - Pacific Northwest College of Art. I was also a flagship member of the Multnomah County Cultural Coalition, a group of artists, educators, and administrators entrusted with awarding grants funded by our Oregon Cultural Trust dollars, where I brought an emphasis on accessibility to the arts for people with disabilities and previously overlooked grassroots arts organizations.

The Arts Portfolio includes the Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC), the Arts Access and Education Fund, Portland'5 Centers for the Arts, and working in partnership with the City of Portland’s Creative Laureate Subashini Ganesan. My hope is that as a city we can provide more funding, support, and opportunity for artists and institutions, especially for small organizations and emerging artists. Spaces to live, create and exhibit or perform work are obviously critical to a thriving arts community, so affordability will continue to be a significant focus of my work. And of course, equitable access and education are vital to our entire community, so I intend to expand the excellent work already being done in this arena with our public dollars. I look forward to advancing these causes to ensure that current and future Portlanders from all walks of life can continue to participate, enjoy, and benefit from our rich and diverse cultural landscape.

Finally, I am thrilled to be putting the decades of experience in the arts that my staff brings to City Hall to use. Marshall Runkel, my Chief of Staff, was the Arts Liaison for Commissioner Erik Sten and has served on the boards of RACC, Open Signal: Portland Community Media Center (previously Portland Community Media), DISJECTA, and helped numerous arts organizations and venues navigate our permitting processes. Robin Mullins, my Executive Assistant, has worked for nearly every presenting performing arts organization in Portland, including White Bird, Portland Taiko, and Portland Opera. And I’m delighted to announce that the Arts Liaison in my office will be Pollyanne Faith Birge. Pollyanne brings years of experience that ranges from her previous arts and culture policy coordination, outreach, and development for Mayor Sam Adams, to arts administration having served as Executive Director of the Independent Publishing Resource Center and the Oregon Volunteer Lawyers for the Arts. She also has a wealth of experience in event management, having produced numerous arts-focused events for my office, from George Thorn Day to the Chirgilchin Tuvan Throat Singers to the Nat Turner Project to Dead Moon Night.

I'm so excited for our shared opportunity to serve, support, and shape the future of the arts in Portland, both inside and out of City Hall, with all of you!

Best Regards,

Commissioner Chloe Eudaly 

Thoughts on the 2018-19 Budget

This year’s City’s budget process didn’t work well for city bureaus, the public, or Council. It didn’t entirely make sense to ask bureaus to offer across the board cut packages in a year when the city has more resources available. Bureaus were forced to offer draconian cut packages that alarmed and activated community members. Activated community members predictably showed up at community budget hearings to protest cuts to programs they care about with little or no knowledge or consideration of other budget issues. As we know, some groups are better able to mobilize that others and many of the urgent matters that we need to address were not reflected by the turnout and many voices were barely able to be heard over the din. When all was said and done, community centers were all funded while other equally or more important programs and initiatives were not. We need a more thoughtful and meaningful process that will enable city bureaus, the public and the City Council to work together in understanding and prioritizing the complex budgeting challenges we face.

This budget does do some great work to address our most urgent issues, and I’d like to highlight a few of them:

We’ve dedicated $500K to Universal Defense. 

As our federal administration continues to target and terrorize Portland’s immigrant communities, I am grateful to be in a position to be able to do something about it. This is an important moment and I am proud to be part of a Council that is on the right side of history on this issue. Thank you Mayor Wheeler for including this add package in your proposed budget and continuing to support it.

We’ve increased our contribution to the Joint Office of Homeless Services by $3M. 

We are serving more people facing challenges around affordability, eviction, and homelessness than ever. Unfortunately, what the city and county are actually doing to address houselessness gets lost in distracting debates about Wapato or other well-intentioned, but not well-informed approaches. Investing $31.2 million in the Joint Office of Homeless Services will fund the hard work that doesn’t make headlines, but does make a critical difference for thousands of our most vulnerable community members.

We’re Increasing the Business License Tax for the first time in decades. 

The rising tide of prosperity in Portland is not lifting all boats. In fact, as the increasing number of people who are insecure in their housing and becoming homeless demonstrates, things are getting worse, not better for many people in Portland. Increasing the BLT now is a great first step toward recognizing how we can divert part of that rising tide to help the people who are struggling to stay afloat.


I am worried about some of the expenditures in this budget. The Council Budget Office started the budget process with an appeal to consider the sustainability of the city’s finances. This budget generates more ongoing resources but increasing authorized staffing at the Portland Police Bureau by 49 positions comes with significant new permanent funding obligations. Business tax revenues will fluctuate with the economy. We are setting ourselves up for a very difficult conversation by making new ongoing commitments to funding more police officers with a funding source that we know is subject to economic forces beyond our control.

Despite my remaining questions and concerns, I respect and want to support Chief Outlaw as she continues to implement her vision for the PPB. And there are some:

  • Enhancing the Behavioral Health Unit
  • Creating a Houseless Community Engagement Liaison position
  • Funding Data Analytics to Support Equity and Diversity Goals
  • Securing Resources for the Traffic Division to Enforce Vision Zero

As well as the Mayor’s budget note on a deadline for filling the long overdue Community Service Officer positions and my budget note on decreasing the bureaus reliance on overtime, an expensive and undesirable practice.

There are issues that did not get resolved in this budget, I’d like to highlight a couple of the most important issues that need more work:

Neighborhood Coalition Offices. 

Coalition offices are important partners in our efforts to connect community to government. The audit in 2016 revealed what many have known for a long time: East Portland’s population continues to grow rapidly while funding for the coalition office has remained the same. It was important that we address this disparity now, which is why we requested additional funding.

I am disappointed that we were not able to secure the additional funding for the East Portland Neighborhood Office. I want to acknowledge that while East Portland has a rapidly growing population, all of the coalition offices are serving more people than they ever have. This is why I am working hard to reduce the fiscal impact of the rebalancing that will need to occur this year.

We’ve identified $44,000 in existing bureau fund dollars that we will direct to EPNO in addition to the $30,000 we’ve received in this proposed budget. I am also working with the Budget Office to redirect cost savings from my office budget to the coalitions.

ONI Director, Suk Rhee, and I are committed to working with all of the coalitions to develop a long-term method for equitably distributing funding. I also look forward to brainstorming new ways to structure this work, and finding efficiencies and cost-savings, so that we can continue to strengthen all of our neighborhood coalitions.

ADU Financing.

It is vital that we identify ways for Portlanders to share in the prosperity associated with growth before we move forward with plans for infill. We have a turnkey opportunity to do that by developing a financing mechanism for ADU development. I plan to spend the summer working with my colleagues to develop the support necessary to fund this plan in the Fall budget process.

Accommodations.

I’m disappointed that this item was not fully funded. I agree that the city should provide accommodations as part of its normal course of business and that bigger bureaus should use existing resources to comply with the law. Smaller bureaus and their community partners do not have enough ongoing resources to provide accommodations with existing resources. We need a long-term strategy to address this problem.

Overall, I’m happy that we were able to work together to get to consensus about the budget. During these chaotic times in politics, it is important to demonstrate that local government can work together to overcome differences and make progress on the most urgent issues in our community.

My thanks go out to my colleagues, bureau directors and staff, my office staff, the Council Budget Office, and especially to the community members who serve us in an advisory capacity and all those who came to our budget listening sessions.