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The City of Portland, Oregon

Nick Fish (In Memoriam)

City of Portland Commissioner

phone: 503-823-3589


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

'The Best of Times'

Zach Dundas in the January 2011 Portland Monthly

December 27, 2010

We hope you saw Zach Dundas' great article, "The Best of Times," in the January 2011 issue of Portland Monthly.

"Lately," he writes, "Nick Fish has been pitching the hardest of hard sells: optimism."

Despite a host of bad indicators - unemployment, foreclosures, homelessness, hunger - there's plenty to indicate that "Portland's underlying strengths could soon pay off big time."

Among Dundas' examples:

  • Over the last decade, we've decreased our per capita emissions by 20%
  • Our downtown office vacancy rate is half that of suburban areas around Portland
  • Air travel at PDX - ranked the #1 domestic airport this year - is up
  • 2009 saw a record number of business licenses issued
  • Portland is #2 nationally in export volume
  • PSU is on the rise, strengthening its partnership with OHSU, building a new LEED-certified dorm, increasing research funding, and awarding more degrees than ever before

Elsewhere, we note that TriMet outshines its peers, carrying more people than any other US transit system its size; PP&R's Community Garden Initiative will add 2000 new community garden plots by 2012; PNCA has become a nationally competitive school of art and design and recently exceeded its $32 million capital campaign goal; and we've solidified our reputation as Soccer City USA through successes at all levels of the sport.

So what's the takeaway? The possibility that "another, alternative narrative is taking shape: the story of a city on the cusp of a singularly bright future."

Meyer Memorial Trust awards Community Relief Fund $200,000, will match up to $100,000 more

The Meyer Memorial Trust has awarded the United Way of the Columbia-Willamette $200,000 and offered another $100,000 through a matching grant

December 28, 2010

The United Way of the Columbia-Willamette is an outstanding community partner, funding programs that focus on education, income, and health - the building blocks of a good life.

Through Community Investment Grants, the United Way supports local partners like Janus Youth Programs, Mercy Corps NW, JOIN, the Hollywood Senior Center, the Community Housing Resource Center, Hacienda CDC, the Native American Youth & Family Center, and Human Solutions. Through the Portland Housing Bureau and Portland Parks & Recreation, we are proud to partner with many of these organizations.

Since 2009, the United Way has also operated the Community Relief Fund, which helps Portland-area families hardest hit by the recession get back on their feet by offering immediate help with food, rent, and utilities. The program has helped over 50,000 people with more than $2 million for basic needs.

Now, the Meyer Memorial Trust has awarded the Fund a $200,000 grant and the offer to match up to $100,000 donated by the public.

Since 2009, writes Larry Bingham in this morning's Oregonian, requests for assistance have increased more than 150%.

Click here for more about this important fund, or donate now.


Bicycle advocate Mia Birk's 'Joyride' is reviewed in today's Willamette Week; she will speak at Powell's January 4

December 29, 2010Mia Birk's 'Joyride'

Earlier this year, Portlander and nationally-known transportation expert Mia Birk debuted Joyride, her account of two decades spent helping make Portland the top cycling city in America. Nick was proud to attend her book release party this summer during, appropriately, a Sunday Parkways event.

In today's Willamette Week, Brett Campbell reviews her book, which "artfully mixes personal history and facts to create a candid, compelling memoir."

"Newbie Portlanders who take for granted our wonderful Eastbank Esplanade and hundreds of miles of bikeways will learn just what a struggle they took to achieve," Campbell writes, "while others can take inspiration from the story of how an idealist with persistence and flexibility can change a city literally from the ground up."

Powell's will host Mia next Tuesday, January 4, at 7:30 pm - from what we know of her, it's sure to be a lively, intelligent, and interesting conversation!

Do Good

Start searching and purchasing with two websites that will support a charity or organization of your choice. Innovative Housing is one such organization that Commissioner Nick Fish supports, and you can support by searching today.

December 29, 2010

As the year comes to a close, many of us are making resolutions for the coming year to change. Change our diet, change our outlook, change our hair... For the coming year, consider using these websites instead and actually do some good while you're at it:


Website donates a penny for each search performed to a charity of your choice.

How it works: 1. Choose a charity or school from the list on the site. 2. Search the web as you normally would. 3. They donate to your cause for every search.

Website donates a percent of your total purchase to a charity of your choice.

How it works: 1. Choose a charity or school from the list on the site. 2. Choose your favorite store from the Goodshop list (such as the Apple Store, Banana Republic,, and more) 3. Up to 30% of your total purchase goes to your cause. 

Portland's own Innovative Housing, Inc. is among the many organizations you can find in the list of charities on both "Good" websites.