1221 S.W. 4th, Room 240, Portland, OR 97204
This afternoon, Council voted 4-0 to direct City bureaus to transition their handheld leaf blowers to electric- or battery-operated models by January 1, 2021.
Gas-powered leaf blowers pollute the air, burn fossil fuels, are a noise nuisance, and create health risks for both the operators and the public. The City is proud to take steps to protect our environment and the health of the public and our workers.
The Resolution also creates a workgroup tasked with finding an equitable path towards a future city-wide ban and directs bureaus to transition backpack-style blowers to electric when the technology evolves.
Special thanks to State Representative Alyssa Keny-Guyer; Multnomah County Commissioner Vega Pederson; Michael Hall and Quiet Clean PDX; Mary Peveto and Neighbors for Clean Air; Kellie Barnes; Cameron Stewart and Relay Resources; Osmani Alcaraz-Ochoa and VOZ; Stan Penkin; Bob Sallinger from Audubon; Michelle Crim and the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability; Senior Policy Director Asena Lawrence on the Fish team; and the many stakeholders who helped shape this Resolution.
The Next Target in Portland’s War on Pollution? Gas-Powered Leaf Blowers
Nigel Jaquiss in Willamette Week
Portland City Government To Transition Away From Gas-Powered Leaf Blowers
Rebecca Ellis in OPB News
Portland Plans to Get Rid of City's Gas-Powered Leaf Blowers Starting in 2021
Everton Bailey Jr. in The Oregonian
Pictured above: Rep. Keny Guyer Policy Advisor Jason Trombley, County Commissioner Vega Pederson, Commissioner Fish Senior Policy Advisor Asena Lawrence.
Last Saturday, I attended a wedding at the First Congregational Church in downtown Portland. My friends Denise and Julius tied the knot in the presence of family and friends. Their relationship has taught me life lessons I will never forget. And their story reminds me why Portland is such a special place.
Ten years ago, Denise and Julius were homeless, living under a bridge. Outreach workers from JOIN helped them find their first apartment together. At the time, I served as Housing Commissioner for the City. I asked my friend Marc Jolin (Executive Director of JOIN) if I could deliver a meal to one of their clients over the holidays. That’s how I was first introduced to Denise and Julius.
On Christmas Eve, my family visited them at their apartment off Powell and 72nd. They were kind and welcoming. Later, I became part of their informal support group and we were able to help them in other ways. Over the years, they faced significant adversity – evictions, financial challenges, disabilities, and major healthcare setbacks. Their story of resilience and grace is inspiring enough, but what I witnessed on Saturday was even more powerful.
Denise and Julius volunteer for Potluck in the Park and have served on the board of the non-profit. They have brought hope to the lives of literally thousands of people. And they serve as role models of what it means to be deeply engaged in your community.
Originally, their plan was to get married in Vancouver – it would be cheaper than getting married in Oregon. But their friends and colleagues at Potluck in the Park had a different plan. They started a GoFundMe campaign, lined up donations including a two-night stay in the downtown Hilton, rented the church, and reunited long lost family members. And, as a result, Denise and Julius had a wedding that truly honored their commitment to each other.
Thanksgiving is a time to count our blessings. This year I’m grateful for my friendship with Denise and Julius. For the Potluck in the Park family that organized an unforgettable wedding. For the JOIN family that every day helps people transition from our streets to safe homes. And for all those who believe that housing and healthcare are basic human rights.
Today, Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) held a work session with Council called “A Sustainable Future.”
After last year’s challenging budget, Council directed Parks to take a deeper look at the financial trajectory of the bureau. Today’s work session was the bureau’s opportunity to share the findings of their research into future service levels and potential new funding models.
Council also offered preliminary feedback about next steps for the bureau with a shared goal of creating a more equitable parks system for all.
Commissioner Fish and bureau leadership will take what they heard from Council at the work session and work together to develop a strategy to put the bureau on solid, sustainable footing for current and future Portlanders. That includes coming up with preferred funding scenarios and taking a deeper dive on funding alternatives that show promise.