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The City of Portland, Oregon

Nick Fish

Commissioner, City of Portland

phone: 503-823-3589


1221 S.W. 4th, Room 240, Portland, OR 97204

Transitioning from Gas-Powered Leaf Blowers

December 4, 2019

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: Rep. Keny - Guyer Policy Advisor Jason Trombley, Commissioner Vega Pederson, and Commissioner Fish Senior Policy Advisor Asena Lawrence

Pictured above: Rep. Keny Guyer Policy Advisor Jason Trombley, County Commissioner Vega Pederson, Commissioner Fish Senior Policy Advisor Asena Lawrence. 

A Thanksgiving Story

November 27, 2019

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.

Portland Parks & Recreation: A Sustainable Future Council Work Session

November 26, 2019

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.


Work Session Presentation


Portland Parks & Recreation: A Sustainable Future. City Council Work Session on Tuesday, November 26, 2019

PP&R Website


Portland Wants to Rescue It's Park System. Where Will the Money Come From?

Rebecca Ellis in OPB News

The Weekly Catch


Portland Parks & Recreation: A Sustainable Future. City Council Work Session on Tuesday, November 26,2019

PP&R Website

Loo loot: How much has Portland made in the toilet business? Where does the cash go?

Keaton Thomas, KATU

Many Portland Parks Catalogs Dumped After the City Spent $726,862 to Print Them

Kyle Iboshi in KGW8 News

Emails Show Portland Businesses Wanted Homeless Service Gone from a Downtown Park

Kelsey Harnisch in the Willamette Week

Portland Street Response

City Council Unanimously Approves Street Response Pilot Program

Alex Zielinski in the Portland Mercury

Portland To Pilot Street Response Team For 911 Calls Involving Homeless in Lents

Amelia Templeton in OPB News

City Council Approves New Crisis Response Program

Elise Haas, Amy Frazier, & Staff in Koin 6 News

Portland Announces Pilot Program to Respond to Mental Health, Homelessness Issues


Portland Street Response, Homeless First Responders, To Start in 2020 After Council OK’s Proposal

Molly Harbarger in The Oregonian

Neighborhood Associations

As City Resets Conversation Around Neighborhood Associations, Public Asks for Transparency

Alex Zielinski in the Portland Mercury

City Hall Hears Divergent Views on How to Change the City’s Approach to Neighborhood Associations

Rachel Monahan in the Willamette Week

City Delays Decisions on Role of Neighborhood Associations

Saundra Sorenson in The Skanner News

New Transition Projects Overnight Homeless Shelter Opens



Sources: City Resets Clock for Rewriting Code on Neighborhoods

Jim Redden in the Portland Tribune

URM Buildings

Council Poised to Pay $350,000 to URM Building Lawyers

Jim Redden in the Portland Tribune


Portland Poised to Settle, Pay $350,000 In Attorneys’ Fees for URM Signs Lawsuit

Rebecca Ellis in OPB News

Portland Agrees to Pay $350,000 Settlement Linked to Lawsuit Over Earthquake Warning Signs

Everton Bailey Jr. in The Oregonian


Portland to Pay $350K Linked to Earthquake Warning Sign Suit

The Skanner News

Portland to Pay $350K Linked to Earthquake Warning Sign Lawsuit

Associated Press in KGW8 News

Fossil Fuels

On Shaky Ground

Blair Stenvick in the Portland Mercury

Portland Considering Revised Policy to Ban New Fossil Fuel Terminals

Everton Bailey Jr. in The Oregonian

Portland City Council Moves Toward Readopting Fossil Fuel Restrictions

Cassandra Profita in OPB News

In Other News

Winter Gear Donations Are Needed in Preparation for a Freezing Portland Winter, County Officials Say

Elise Herron in the Willamette Week

President of Portland’s Police Union Fields Questions from Community as Contract Negotiations Near

Maxine Bernstein in The Oregonian

‘OPB Politics Now:’ The Rising Cost of Pristine Water

Dirk VanderHart, Amelia Templeton, and Lauren Dake in OPB News

Portland Delays Hearing on New Density Rules

Jim Redden in the Portland Tribune


Jeh Johnson: Hamilton Fish IV of Hudson Valley set example to follow in political climate

Jeh Johnson, Poughkeepsie Journal

The Weekly Catch

Parks & Recreation

Major Bank of America Grant Enhances PP&R’s Mobile Lunch + Play Program

PP&R Website


Bank of America Funds Portland Parks Program

Jim Redden in the Portland Tribune


Two Local Nonprofits Announced as Grant Recipients for Portland – Area Programs

The Skanner News


Gabriel Park Playground Area Getting an Upgrade

Bill Gallagher in the SW Community Connection


A New Parks Policy Threatens to Hurt Portland’s Poorest Residents

Alex Zielinski in the Portland Mercury


Dinners in Parks

OPB’s Think Out Loud


City of Portland Takes First Step to Fix O’Bryant Square

Lindsay Nadrich in KGW News


Portland Accepting Bids to Demolish O’Bryant Square, Downtown’s Notorious “Paranoid Park”

Henry Latourette Miller in Willamette Week

Environmental Services

3000 Gallons of Sewage Spills into Willamette River in Portland

Associated Press Staff in KGW News


Portland Leaf Pickup Day Starts Friday

Joe English in KATU News


Blumenauer Bridge Breaks Ground; I-84 Bike, Pedestrian Crossing to Open in 2021

Andrew Theen in The Oregonian


Blumenauer Bicycle and Pedestrian Bridge Coming in 2021

Elise Haas in KOIN 6 News


Work Starts on New I – 84 Bike and Pedestrian Bridge

KATU News Staff


November Meetings Will Be Crucial for SW MAX

Bill Gallagher in the SW Community Connection


‘Girl Cops Are Awesome’ Event Engages Portland Youth

Koin 6 News Staff


Community Can Offer Input on Portland’s Negotiations for New Police Union Contract at Two Forums

Maxine Bernstein in The Oregonian


Wheeler and Hardesty to Host Police Union Contract Meetings

Jim Redden in the Portland Tribune

Office of Community & Civic Life

SE ‘Code Change’ Meeting: Heat – But Little Light

David F. Ashton in The Sellwood Bee


Neighborhood Watch No Longer Part of Portland’s Plan

Bill Gallagher in the Southwest Community Connection

Special Election

Portland Voters Handily Approve Four Ballot Measures in Election with Feeble Turnout

Aaron Mesh in Willamette Week


‘It’s Delicious Water’: Bull Run Measure Aims to Protect Watershed

Jennifer Dowling & News Staff in KOIN 6 News


Portland Voters Approve Spending Ratepayer Money in Water System Aid to Other Cities

Everton Baily Jr. in The Oregonian


Portland Approves Both Water Measures in Tuesday’s Special Election

Rebecca Ellis in OPB News

In Other News

Shop Local 2019

Portland Mercury Staff


Could Consistent Outreach Impact Most Entrenched Homeless Camps? City Says Yes.

Molly Harbarger in The Oregonian


Incentives for More Multifamily Housing Before the City Council on Wednesday

Jim Redden in the Portland Tribune


Portland City Council to Hold Meeting on Climate Change

Elise Haas in KOIN 6 News


Portland City Council Goes on The Road to Discuss Climate Action

KATU News Staff


Final Four Clean Energy Fund Committee Members Appointed

Jim Redden in the Portland Tribune


Portland Water Bureau Could Lose Big Customers as It Builds $1 Billion Filtration Plant

Amelia Templeton in OPB News


Portland Mayor Wheeler Hears Livability Concerns in Lents

Zane Sparling in the Portland Tribune