1221 S.W. 4th, Room 240, Portland, OR 97204
This afternoon, Council approved the City Budget for the 2018-19 fiscal year. In June, City Council will formally adopt the budget. Nick’s full statement during the vote is below:
Thank you, Mayor.
I’m pleased to support this budget.
It balances the many urgent needs facing Portland, while also positioning us for the future.
There are a few items I’m especially proud of:
• For the first time ever, our utility bureaus will be able to help cost-burdened renters. We're also approving a handful of other new tools and expanding eligibility for more struggling families.
• This budget includes $3 million new dollars for housing placement services, $2 million of which we're investing in supportive housing, moving us closer to our goal of 2,000 new units by 2027. Supportive housing is a proven, cost-effective way to help many of the people sleeping outside move into a stable home.
• We're funding a new position at Prosper Portland to help turn brownfields – land that has contaminated soil or water – into community assets. This small investment will deliver a huge return to our community.
• And we not only continued our support for small businesses in East Portland, but we also made those funds permanent. Venture Portland, which runs the highly successful Catalytic Investment Initiative, will use our modest investment to leverage big wins for small business owners in underserved parts of town.
Colleagues, every budget presents its own challenges, and I want to thank you and your teams for working collaboratively – this is a good budget, and it reflects many of our shared values.
I want to thank the community members who served on the Budget Advisory Committee and all the people who shared their input with us.
Finally, our budget process is showing its age. I look forward to working with my Council colleagues, staff, and the community over the next year to reform and improve the way we engage the public and make tough budget choices.
I also want to thank my team, headed by Sonia Schmanski, for their work in getting to this point.
Today, Council held a work session to review our partnership with the Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC).
Last year, Commissioner Fish and Mayor Wheeler asked Auditor Hull Caballero to conduct the City’s first-ever outside review of RACC. The timing is good – RACC is conducting a national search for a new Executive Director and the City and RACC are renegotiating their contract.
For over 20 years, RACC has been a key partner in advancing our shared vision of a City that honors and invests in arts and culture.
Today, we heard the Auditor’s recommendations to strengthen oversight and increase accountability of our public investment.
We are already taking steps to implement some of the recommendations. For example, in the budget we just adopted, we funded a dedicated contract administrator position.
Special thanks to Auditor Mary Hull Caballero and her team for their thoughtful work and the RACC board and staff for their service to our city.
Today, City Council proclaimed May 30th to be Vanport Day of Remembrance.
Vanport was once Oregon’s second largest city and had a substantial African-American population. On May 30 – Memorial Day – 1948, the Columbia River levee surrounding Vanport broke, flooding and wiping out the city in less than an hour.
Today’s proclamation honors the survivors of Vanport and remembers the rich history of this often-forgotten chapter in Portland’s past. This is year we highlighted several important anniversaries:
• The 76th anniversary of Vanport’s construction in 1942.
• The 70th anniversary of the Vanport Flood on May 30, 1948.
• And the 50th anniversary of the federal Fair Housing Act.
Special thanks to Laura Lo Forti from Vanport Mosaic, local historian James Burke, and former Vanport residents Marge Moss White and Joyce Nelson for speaking today.
An exhibit of art by former Vanport resident Peggy Ball, titled “Beyond Vanport: Remembering Native North Portland” is on display through Friday, May 25th in the City Hall atrium.