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The City of Portland, Oregon

Nick Fish (In Memoriam)

City of Portland Commissioner

phone: 503-823-3589

Email: nick@portlandoregon.gov

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

2018 Year In Review

December 18, 2018

Dear Friend,

I write to wish you and your family a happy and healthy holiday season and to share some highlights from this year.

I set three big goals for 2018: beat cancer, win my primary election, and pass a regional affordable housing bond. I am pleased to report that my cancer treatment is going well; I was reelected with over 60% of the vote; and voters overwhelmingly passed the $652 million Metro housing bond.

I’m grateful for everyone in my corner – my outstanding doctors and nurses at the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute, my City Hall team, and my loving and supportive family and friends.

As 2018 comes to an end, I want to share some reflections and accomplishments from the past year with you. I also encourage you to pick up a copy of Street Roots this Friday and read my guest column that goes into more depth on several topics.

New Bureau

This summer, Mayor Wheeler reassigned bureaus. He asked me to lead Portland Parks & Recreation. Paired with the Bureau of Environmental Services, I couldn’t ask for better bureau assignments. My liaison roles include small business through Venture Portland; older adults through Elders in Action and Age-Friendly Portland; and film and TV through the Portland Film Office.

Housing and Homelessness

Affordable housing is the reason I first ran for City Council, and it continues to be my highest priority.

I helped to lead the Metro housing bond campaign. It will mean up to an additional $250 million for affordable housing in Multnomah County. And the passage of Measure 102 allows us to stretch those dollars by partnering with trusted nonprofit developers.

Last year, at my urging, Council set a goal of 2,000 new units of supportive housing by 2028. Supportive housing combines deeply affordable and safe homes with intensive services for people struggling with mental illness and/or addiction. We’re making progress, and a recent report by ECONorthwest confirmed that this is the best tool to address chronic homelessness.

Years in the making, the Water Bureau expanded their financial assistance program to reach cost-burdened renters. The Water Bureau has offered discounts to struggling families and older adults since 1995, but with a catch – you needed a water meter to qualify. Because many apartment buildings have a shared meter, renters were left out. This significant expansion will help families and older adults stay in their homes.

Parks and Recreation

I’m excited to be back at Portland Parks & Recreation. My early priorities with the bureau include finalizing the national search for a permanent director, deepening community partnerships, advocating for our fair share of resources during the budget process, aligning the work of PP&R and the Bureau of Environmental Services, and expanding our network of parks, trails and natural areas so they are more accessible – especially in East Portland.

In October, PP&R, Nike, and the Portland Trail Blazers cut the ribbon on a newly resurfaced basketball court at Parklane Park in East Portland. It’s the first of up to 100 courts to be resurfaced thanks to the public-private partnership, helping kids stay active and healthy.

Every summer, Portland kids and families converge on our parks for Summer Free For All, a series of fun and free concerts, movies, lunches, swim lessons, and more. I look forward to working with PP&R and the community to engage more sponsors and expand this successful program.

Clean Water and a Healthy Environment

I am committed to making Portland a healthier, more sustainable city.

For the first time in nearly 100 years, salmon will be able to access Oaks Bottom Wildlife Refuge. By replacing a small pipe with a new “salmon subway” – a large, natural-bottom culvert – Oaks Bottom will become an important rest stop for salmon in the Willamette River. This is our second “salmon sanctuary” project, following the successful restoration of Crystal Springs Creek in Eastmoreland.

We reached a major milestone in our ongoing “Poop to Power” effort – opening the City’s first natural gas fueling station. Every year, BES treats over 30 billion gallons of wastewater. A natural byproduct of the sewage treatment process is methane, a potent greenhouse gas. The plan is to capture the methane and convert it to renewable natural gas to fuel our vehicles. The goal: reduce emissions, replace dirty diesel fuel, and ultimately deliver a profit for ratepayers. A triple win!

And Mayor Wheeler and I continue to work with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the community, and public and private parties to clean up the Willamette River. We recently met with representatives from the EPA to discuss next steps.

Arts and Culture

I’m passionate about arts and culture. They are important to our local economy and our brand, they inspire us, and they make our community special.

This year, we adopted and began implementing a plan to address arts affordability – responding to the rapid growth and housing crisis that has threatened to displace artists and arts organizations.

We worked with Council colleagues to secure an early win – hiring an arts concierge service team in the Bureau of Development Services to help artists navigate the unique building codes that apply to them. We are exploring ways to showcase and support local artists through Portland Parks & Recreation. And we are developing a universal permit for film and TV productions, streamlining the process and strengthening our reputation as a great place to do business.

Good Government

At a time of declining public trust in many institutions, including government, it is important that we earn that trust every day. That includes shining a light on conflicts of interest. Over the past year, I learned that the City’s policy on outside employment – or moonlighting – doesn’t give employees adequate guidance on City rules and places the burden on employees to disclose potential conflicts. Council passed my resolution to strengthen our policy, protect our employees, and reduce potential conflicts of interest.

A More Welcoming City

When we remove barriers and support a more inclusive community, everyone wins.

Last year, we launched a successful partnership with Project SEARCH. The pilot program in Environmental Services and the Portland Water Bureau provides opportunities and job experience for people with intellectual disabilities. Portland Parks & Recreation has now joined the partnership.

Transportation

One death on our streets is too many. That's why I'm a strong supporter of Vision Zero and will continue prioritizing investments in safe streets, especially in East Portland. Recently, I voted to lower speed limits on residential streets to 20 MPH.

I have been a critic of the so-called “sharing economy.” Companies like Uber and Airbnb have refused to play by our rules, putting consumers and workers at risk.

Drivers for Transportation Network Companies (TNCs) like Uber and Lyft operate in legal limbo – it’s not clear whether they are employees or independent contractors. That’s why I strongly support a TNC Wage Board. When up and running, it will give drivers a voice and a forum to resolve workplace disputes, including wage claims.

Proud Moments

   • Watching my son Chapin play high school soccer, and watching my daughter Maria complete the Seattle Marathon with a personal best time!

   • Honoring the heroes who made the ultimate sacrifice on 9/11.

   • Supporting small businesses at the inaugural Age-Friendly Business Awards.

   • Delivering the keynote at DePaul Treatment Centers’ Freedom Luncheon.

   • Accepting the Community Hero Award from Cascade AIDS Project on behalf of the City.

   • Attending the Center For Women’s Leadership’s Power Luncheon, where Betsy Quitugua on my team received the Emerging Leader Award.

   • Participating in the ribbon cutting for OHSU’s Knight Cancer Research Building.

Looking Forward to 2019

In 2019, I will continue to battle cancer. At work, I am focused on providing leadership to my bureaus, funding supportive housing, developing a robust plan for converting brownfields to productive use, implementing the arts affordability plan, and starting to plan for our next salmon sanctuary project in Tryon Creek.

Thank You

Everything we do at City Hall requires collaboration. Thank you for what you do to make Portland a special place. I am honored to serve on your City Council.

Sincerely,

Nick

The Weekly Catch

Portland City Commissioner Nick Fish: Looking ahead to 2019

KATU News

 

Artists Offered Free Studio Space in Effort to Slow Portland Gentrification

Rachel Monahan in Willamette Week

Affordable Housing

Portland Is Poised to Spend Tourist Dollars to House the Homeless

Rachel Monahan in Willamette Week

 

Portland-Area Officials Seek to Fill a $3.25 Million Gap in the Metro Housing Bond

Rachel Monahan in Willamette Week

 

141 Affordable Units Slated for Sugar Shack Site in Cully

Zane Sparling in the Portland Tribune

 

Portland Police Chief Responds to Concerns from Homeless Community

Emily Green and John Emshwiller in the StreetRoots News

Short-Term Rentals

Airbnb Deal Aims to Fix Problem with Short-Term Rentals

Steve Law in the Portland Tribune

 

City Won't Legalize Vacation Rentals, But Does It Matter?

Steve Law in the Portland Tribune

Water

City Council Approves Capacity, Location, and Technology of Bull Run Filtration Plant

The Portland Water Blog

 

For the Ninth Time This Year, A Bear or Something Pooped in Portland’s Water Supply

Elise Herron in Willamette Week

 

Big Pipe 2.0: Council Approves Construction of Earthquake-Proof Pipe Under Willamette

Alex Zielinski in the Portland Mercury

 

Who Stole a Benson Bubbler? Portland Wants Its Water Fountain Back

Gordon Friedman in The Oregonian

In Other News

Portland Economy Holding Strong, But Recession Would Jolt City Budget

Gordon Friedman in The Oregonian

 

Portland Police Chief Calls Sluggish Public Records ‘Huge Issue’ That Must Be Fixed

Bethany Barnes and Gordon Friedman in The Oregonian

 

Gateway Center for Domestic Violence Services Merges with Multnomah County

Amelia Templeton in OPB News

 

Commission: Infill Report Mostly Good News

Jim Redden in the Portland Tribune

The Weekly Catch

Heroes of HIV Luncheon

Nick Fish Blog

 

Portland Parks Foundation Welcomes New Executive Director Randy Gragg

PP&R News and Media Releases

 

Take a Video Tour of Portland’s Pittock Mansion

Samantha Swindler in The Oregonian

Commissioner Dan Saltzman

Portland City Commissioner Dan Saltzman's Exit Interview

KATU News

 

The Unlikely Politician

Jim Redden in the Portland Tribune

Restoration Projects and Green Streets Audit

Audit Flags Problems with Portland’s Environmental Agency

Cassandra Profita in OPB News

 

Audit Finds Holes in Portland's Watershed Restoration Program

Blair Stenvick in the Portland Mercury

 

Portland Falls Short on Tracking ‘Green Streets,’ Watershed Work, Auditor Says

Gordon Friedman in The Oregonian

Public Safety Support Specialists

Portland Council Unanimously Approves Deal for Unarmed Police 'Safety Specialists'

Amelia Templeton in OPB News

 

City Council Unanimously Approves New Unarmed Police Role

Alex Zielinski in the Portland Mercury

 

City Council Approves Negotiated Job Duties for New Portland Public Safety Specialists

Maxine Bernstein in The Oregonian

 

New Term, New Role: PS3's Coming to Portland Police

Lisa Balick and KOIN 6 News

 

Pepper Spray, But No Gun: Portland City Council Approves New Police Specialist Position

Marja Martinez in FOX 12 News

Plastic Straws

Want A Straw for Your Drink in Portland? You’ll Have to Ask.

Ericka Cruz Guevarra in OPB News

 

Portland Restaurants, Bars - Even Schools - Must Cut Down on Use of Throwaway Plastics

Steve Law in the Portland Tribune

 

Portland City Council Passes Ordinance to Reduce Single-Use Plastics

KGW News

 

Portland City Council Unanimously Passes Single-Use Plastics Ordinance

Fox 12 News

In Other News

Many Vacancies Atop Portland Bureaus at Key Time

Gordon Friedman in The Oregonian

 

Superfund Status Should Not Impede Proposed Ballpark on Portland Harbor

Nigel Jaquiss in Willamette Week

 

Council to Consider Transferring Domestic Violence Staff to County

Jim Redden in the Portland Tribune

 

Portland Likely to Withdraw from FBI Anti-Terror Operation

Gordon Friedman in The Oregonian

 

Electric Vehicle Charging Stations Coming to East Portland, Milwaukie, Hillsboro

Andrew Theen in The Oregonian

 

Lyft Completes Acquisition of Portland's Bike-Share Program Operator

Carrie Ghose in the Portland Business Journal

Heroes of HIV Luncheon

December 3, 2018

Cascade AIDS Project (CAP) is a local non-profit that supports, empowers, and advocates on behalf of people living with HIV/AIDS. Today, Nick was honored to accept the Community Hero Award on behalf of the City of Portland at CAP’s annual Heroes of HIV Luncheon.

The luncheon celebrates the people and organizations supporting people living with HIV/AIDS and fighting to end the stigma around the disease.

In 2016, the City invested in the PRISM Health Center, Oregon’s first specialized healthcare facility for the LGBTQ+ community.

Special congratulations to other honorees Kathleen Saadat and Edward Reeves.

You can read Nick’s acceptance remarks here.

Background

Commissioner Fish's Remarks

   
   

The Weekly Catch

"Little Boxes" Small Business Tour

Nick Fish Blog

 

Dan Saltzman Reflects on His 25 Years in Public Service

Lisa Balick and KOIN 6 News

Superfund

EPA Plans Formal Meeting with Willamette River Polluters to Pressure Them to Get Started on Superfund Cleanups

Steve Law in the Portland Tribune

MLB

Portland Diamond Project Strikes Deal to Develop Riverfront Stadium at Port Terminal (Renderings)

Jon Bell and Erik Siemers in the Portland Business Journal

 

Portland Diamond Project Picks Terminal 2 For Ballpark

Stephanie Basalyga in the Portland Tribune

 

Portland Diamond Project Announces Plan to Build MLB Stadium at Terminal 2 Site

KGW News

 

Portland Diamond Project Announces Plans to Bring MLB Stadium to Terminal 2

KATU News

 

A Riverfront MLB Stadium? We Talked to The Portland Diamond Project for More Details (Subscriber Content)

Jon Bell in the Portland Business Journal

Arts

8 Portland Arts Picks: Dance, Classical Music, Art, Radio Drama and Theater

Amy Wang in The Oregonian

 

15 Smashing Artists Repertory Theater Performances of The Last Five Years (Photos)

Andy Giegerich in the Portland Business Journal

In Other News

Portland Mayor Will Bring Proposal for Unarmed Police Officers to City Council Next Week

Katie Shepherd and Rachel Monahan in Willamette Week

 

Portland City Council Won’t Block NW Portland Affordable Housing Development

Elliot Njus in The Oregonian

 

November 2018 Update: Washington Park Reservoir Improvement Project

The Portland Water Blog