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My heart goes out to the victims and their loved ones devastated by the terrorist attack in New Zealand. This tragedy is a stark reminder that white supremacy kills, and even though this act of violence took place across the globe it hits close to home. It is appalling, and no person should fear for their life anywhere in our community – particularly a house of worship.
If you experience or witness hate-motivated violence, particularly Islamophobia given these events in Christchurch, please report it and learn about additional available resources through Portland United Against Hate’s ReportHatePDX.com. They offer reporting tools, access to resources like counseling, victim advocacy, and training opportunities from 13 community-based organizations.
We cannot forget that many of our Muslim neighbors, friends, and family are targeted daily here in Portland. I want to say to the Muslim community in our city that Portland stands with you: you are welcome here, you are treasured, and we will protect you.
Commissioner Chloe Eudaly
Over the next two months, we have the chance to shape the transportation future of our city, and I’m urging you to take it.
In mid-February, the 30-day public comment period for the environmental assessment of the I-5 Rose Quarter Improvement Project will open. On March 7th, a Public Open House will be held, followed by a Public Hearing on March 12th. We have been successful in delaying forward movement on the I-5 Rose Quarter Improvement Project in order to allow the community time to mobilize on this issue, and we are continuing to push for an extension of the public comment period to maximize public engagement. And we are working with the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) to form a steering committee to advise on thoughtful, community-oriented execution.
We are prioritizing public engagement because this project is one of the most significant transportation efforts in recent years. It will have an enormous impact on how people from across the region and even across the state travel to, through, and around Portland. I want to ensure that this project reflects our values, particularly our commitment to equity, sustainability, and safety.
ODOT and other state transportation leaders need to hear that the I-5 Rose Quarter Improvement Project must do more than make it easier to merge on highways in the Rose Quarter. Consistent with Central City 2035 (adopted by City Council in May 2018), a project that focuses exclusively on the comfort of highway drivers is unacceptable. This is why the City partnered with ODOT to ensure that this venture prioritizes the needs of pedestrians, bicyclists, and drivers. It should make it dramatically easier and safer for people walking, biking, taking transit, and driving in the Rose Quarter.
I also want them to hear that this development must reconnect the Lower Albina district with the rest of the Rose Quarter. The original I-5 project went right through the heart of this vibrant African American neighborhood, isolating it from the rest of the city and cutting it off from economic development in the Rose Quarter. It’s time that we begin to remedy the harmful legacy of these past decisions. The I-5 Rose Quarter Improvement Project should be a catalyst for a flourishing Lower Albina that shares in our city’s economic vitality.
I am confident that if we raise our voices together, we can continue to make improvements. Remember how this project started out: in 1987, when redevelopment was first proposed, it was an old-fashioned highway expansion project. It would have had tremendous impacts on surface streets in the Rose Quarter and also would have done very little for the safety and comfort of people traveling on local streets. Finally, it would have maintained the isolation of Lower Albina.
But that is not where we ended up. Instead, Portlanders pushed for a better project. They participated in countless committee meetings, planning sessions, and open houses. Gradually, we evolved from a freeway-focused project to one with fewer community impacts and safer and more accessible local connections.
Now is the time to push this evolution further and faster. Please join me during the public comment period, at the Public Open House, and at the Public Hearing, to advocate for an I-5 Rose Quarter Improvement Project that works for all of us.
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
Perceived PPB Bias
Follow-Up from Past Violence
*This list includes questions from constituents and advocacy groups.
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
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.
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.
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:
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.
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.
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!
Commissioner Chloe Eudaly