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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

Housing Budget & Transition

I write to update you on the City’s budget and its impact on the Portland Housing Bureau.

February 4, 2013

I write to update you on the City’s budget and its impact on the Portland Housing Bureau.
This year, the City is facing a $25 million hole in its General Fund. Mayor Hales has asked all bureaus to identify cuts of 10% to the General Fund portion of their budget.
For the Portland Housing Bureau, that means a cut of more than $1 million – in addition to a possible million dollar cut to the bureau’s federal funding.
Starting today, and for the duration of the budget process, Mayor Hales will assume responsibility for all City bureaus, including the Portland Housing Bureau.
What can we expect in the upcoming budget?
First, some context.
Last year, working together, we protected Safety Net programs and services for our community’s most vulnerable – including rent assistance, foreclosure prevention, and extra shelter beds during the winter months.
But we also did something even more important – we successfully converted the bureau’s $4.6 million in “one-time” funding to “ongoing.”
One-time money is treated as a new request each year, while ongoing funding is considered part of the bureau’s base budget. That’s especially important this year, when we face a $25 million General Fund shortfall and forecast no one-time funding.
In other words, had we not been successful last year, we’d be facing a potential cut of $5.6 million – in short, a wipeout of core investments to prevent and end homelessness in our community.
I am grateful to our community partners for rallying around the Safety Net last year, and proud of our success.
Over the next few months, I will be working with the Mayor and my Council colleagues to close a $25 million hole while preserving core City services. We will have to make some very tough decisions. As in prior years, I will continue to prioritize investments in public safety, job creation, and the safety net.
Once again, the Council will need to hear your voice in order to protect the vital programs and services low-income Portlanders depend on.


Parks & Recreation Budget and Transition

Portland Parks & Recreation has submitted a requested budget for FY2013-14.

February 5, 2013

Portland Parks & Recreation has submitted a requested budget for FY2013-14.  

Following the Mayor’s request to propose a budget with a 10% cut, PP&R has submitted a proposal that includes programs and services that are most critical to the bureau’s mission.

The remaining 10% of the bureau’s budget is submitted as add back proposals ranked in priority order.

As of February 4, Mayor Hales has assumed management of all City bureaus.  He will keep them throughout the budget process. As a result, individual Commissioners will not be acting as official advocates for the bureaus they manage.

I will be looking for ways to deliver services more efficiently, including better coordination with partners like Multnomah County.

I am committed to working with Mayor Hales, my colleagues, and the public to craft a responsible budget that maintains the core services and programs that Portlanders value. 

Portland Parks & Recreation’s budget proposal, timeline, and a message to Parks staff from Director Mike Abbaté are all available online:

East Portland neighbors cheer E205

Yesterday, Oregonian reporter Daniel Moran highlighted the completion of our E205 initiative

February 6, 2013

Yesterday, Oregonian reporter Daniel Moran highlighted the completion of our E205 initiative.

E205 brought much-needed parks improvements to our underserved neighborhoods in East Portland.  40% of Portland families with children live in East Portland neighborhoods, but there were fewer parks for them to enjoy.

Last week, Portland Parks & Recreationstaff were proud to present the completion of E205 at City Council. 

The Oregonian spoke with East Portland neighbors, who are thrilled with the changes.  Hazelwood resident Linda Robinson shared that “these parks are available in a way that they weren’t before… they get used when just those simple, basic amenities are added.”

Park upgrades included playgrounds, drinking fountains, surface trails, and much more.

Over the last 18 months, E205 has brought new life to 12 parks in East Portland.

Now, our East Portland neighbors and their children can enjoy our Gold Medal parks system.  

Learn more about E205 online.

Portland Parks & Recreation completes 18-month E205 Initiative to refurbish parks in East Portland
Daniel Moran in The Oregonian

Parks announces E205 Initiative completion
Mark Ross in the Mid-county Memo

Eastside Parks get $800,000 makeover
Jennifer Anderson in the Portland Tribune

East Portland Parks Project Invest Record Funds in Under-Developed Greenspaces
Lisa Loving of The Skanner News

Portland's Urban Forest Ranked in Nation's Top 10

American Forests ranks Portland in the top 10 urban forests in the nation

portlandparksFebruary 6, 2013

We are happy to announce that Portland's urban forest has been ranked in the top 10 best in the nation!

American Forests, a non-profit group that restores and protects forests, evaluated cities by their park land per capita and their efforts to create green spaces and make them accessible to the public.

The other cities in the top 10 list were Austin, Charlotte, Denver, Milwaukee, Minneapolis, New York City, Sacramento, Seattle and Washington, D.C.

Portland boasts a total of 1.2 million trees in our city parks and natural areas!

We're also famous for the decision to transform a huge highway stretch into Waterfront Park—a largely unprecedented action. In 2012, Waterfront Park was named one of the best public spaces in the country by the American Planners Association.

The benefits of our healthy urban forest include removing carbon dioxide, controlling stormwater and flooding, and providing a restful, stress-reducing oasis.

Portland is close to meeting its goal of having 33% of our city covered by an urban tree canopy by 2030. According to a Portland Parks & Recreation 2012 report, our canopy has grown 2.6% over the last 10 years; we currently have 30% urban canopy coverage.

We are proud of Portland's efforts, and of our continuing recognition as one of the nation's greenest cities!

As American Forests writes, "trees don’t grow up overnight, but a healthy urban forests’ benefits can be enjoyed by generations."

The Best Urban Forests

By Melinda Housholder, American Forests


The 10 best cities for urban forests

By Wendy Koch, USA Today

CASH Oregon helps local families this tax season

CASH Oregon is partnering with AARP Tax-Aid at 140 different tax sites around Oregon with free tax preparation and tax credit outreach

February 7, 2013

Need help with your taxes?

CASH Oregon is providing free tax preparation for hard-working families.

CASH Oregon is committed to improving the financial health of low-income working families and individuals. Once again this year, CASH Oregon will support families by helping them with the often daunting task of preparing their taxes.   

CASH Oregon is partnering with AARP Tax-Aid at 140 different tax sites around Oregon with free tax preparation and tax credit outreach.

To learn more about the organization, check out CASH Oregon’s website. If you are looking for a site for free tax preparation, click here for their list.

Where to get free help with your 2012 tax return

Brent Hunsberger in The Oregonian