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The City of Portland, Oregon

Nick Fish

Commissioner, City of Portland

phone: 503-823-3589

Email: nick@portlandoregon.gov

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

Friday Roundup

News from and about Portland City Commissioner Nick Fish

For four hours, City Hall councilors took testimony on proposed sick leave rule

Ryan Kost in The Oregonian

 

With one hearing down, Portland City Council pushes forward on earned sick leave rule

Ryan Kost in The Oregonain

 

Portland homeless being counted

KXL News

 

Mult. Co. surveys number of homeless

Ashley Korslien on KGW News

 

VIPs, volunteers and staffers convene to discuss veterans issues during annual homeless count

Mike Francis in The Oregonian

 

Whitaker site proposal in Northeast Portland could be a model for urban farming

Larry Bingham in The Oregonian

 

Charlie's in charge---Hales will take bureaus next week: Portland City Hall roundup

Brad Schmidt in The Oregonian

 

Days before 2013 Legislative Session, council members outline top priorities: Portland City Hall roundup

Ryan Kost in The Oregonian

 

Return of Chucky: Portland needs to make big spending cuts. Charlie Hales is swinging the ax

Aaron Mesh in The Willamette Week

 

Sick leave ordinance goes before Portland City Council

Don Mcintosh on nwlaborpress.org

 

N Williams, NoPo Greenway projects seek funding support

Jonathan Maus on bikeportland.org

 

City county gear up for one-night count of homeless

On the Street Roots blog

 

Whitaker School site to be community farm? Proposal open house Wednesday in Northeast Portland

Larry Bingham in The Oregonian

 

VIDEO: Peninsula Park Rose Garden Celebrates 100 years with 3,000 Shrubs and a Lot of Mulch

Lisa Loving of The Skanner News

Mark finds his dream home

Oregonian columnist Steve Duin wrote about Mark Gunderson, a veteran struggling with homelessness. Mark has secured a home, and is scheduled to move in today!

February 1, 2013

We have an inspiring story to share with you.

Recently, Oregonian columnist Steve Duin wrote about Mark Gunderson, a veteran struggling with homelessness.

In December, Mark was issued a VASH voucher. The VASH program provides veterans with rent assistance to help pay for a home, and case management and services through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

The challenge is that once he was issued a VASH voucher, Mark only had 90 days to find an apartment or else the voucher goes back into the pool. And with a tight rental market, many veterans are having difficulty finding an apartment to rent.

Here’s the good news: Mark has secured a new home at Weidler Commons, and is scheduled to move in today!

Weidler Commons is owned by our partner, Northwest Housing Alternatives, which has been serving our community for over 30 years.

There are many unsung heroes to thank, including the VA, Home Forward, and Mark’s case manager.

But special thanks go to Cascade Management CEO Dave Bachman, who read Steve Duin’s column and stepped up to rent Mark an apartment.

The VASH program was created to help men and women who served our country move from homelessness to self-sufficiency. But the program doesn't work if landlords don't rent to our veterans.

Recently the Portland Housing Bureau was proud to partner with Home Forward, Multnomah County, and United Way to help veterans overcome barriers to successfully using their vouchers.

Yesterday I attended a town hall on veterans and homelessness with VA Assistant Secretary Mooney and local leaders and partners. We discussed the progress we have made together, and the challenges ahead.

Thanks to strong partnerships, our community has helped nearly 270 veterans find a place to call home. That's a great success, but there are still dozens of veterans looking for homes to rent.

We call on landlords in our community to join with Cascade Management and others to open their doors to our veterans.

For more information on the program, email Home Forward at landlordservices@homeforward.org, or call (503) 802-8333, Option 6. Home Forward has created this fact sheet about how you can help.

Mark Gunderson is a veteran of Portland's war on homelessness

Steve Duin in The Oregonian

 

Mr. Gunderson finds his dream house

Steve Duin in The Oregonian

 

VIPs, volunteers and staffers convene to discuss veterans issues during annual homeless count

Mike Francis in The Oregonian

February is Black History Month

February is Black History Month!

February 4, 2013

February is Black History Month!

All month long there are events around the city for reflection and celebration to grow awareness that Black History is American History.

Black History Month began in the United States in 1926 when historian Carter G. Woodson and the Association of Negro Life and History dedicated the second week in February as “Negro History Week.” The 2nd week in February was chosen because both Fredrick Douglass and President Lincoln’s birthdays were in that week.

The week grew in popularity throughout the decades, and in 1976 the federal government expanded Black History week to Black History Month.

On Wednesday, February 6 City Council will issue a Black History Month Proclamation at 9:30am in City Hall Chambers. Other events around the City of Portland include films, a Taste of Soul Luncheon at the Portland Building, community events, and a market place.

Get out and about in your community to reflect and celebrate!

To learn more about what the city is doing in honor of Black History Month check the City's activities calendar.

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: www.portlandonline.com/parks/budget.