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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

Statement of Commissioner Fish on passage of Section 8 reform bill in Oregon Legislature

July 8, 2013

Today, the Oregon Legislature took a giant step forward in promoting housing choice and removing barriers for low-income Oregonians.

Speaker Tina Kotek’s Section 8 reform bill passed the Senate and now heads to the Governor’s desk for a signature.

This historic legislation will ensure that thousands of low-income families in Oregon will have a fairer opportunity to live in the neighborhood of their choosing.

Section 8 is the country’s largest housing program. Nearly 7,000 people in our community use housing choice vouchers – almost half are families, one-third have a disability, and one in five is a senior citizen. They are veterans, immigrant families, older adults – they are the face of America.

This victory would not have been possible without Speaker Tina Kotek’s strong and persistent leadership and the support of landlords, housing authorities, and housing activists.

This legislation builds on reforms pioneered by Home Forward (formerly the Housing Authority of Portland). Many of those reforms came out of a Section 8 Task Force I had the honor of leading with Speaker Kotek and Multnomah County Commissioner Deborah Kafoury.

Passage of this bill marks the third major victory for the City’s housing agenda in this legislative session. They include renewal of the City’s tax exemption program for low income and first-time homeowners, known as HOLTE; clarification on the tax-exempt status of City-owned affordable housing properties; and, today, Section 8 reform.

This is a very proud day for Oregon.

Oregon to ban housing discrimination against Section 8 renters

Brad Schmidt in The Oregonian

Does Portlandia represent you?

“Portlandia,” which graces the front of the Portland Building on SW 5th Avenue, is the second-largest copper statue in the nation

July 9, 2013

Portlandia,” which graces the front of the Portland Building on SW 5th Avenue, is the second-largest copper statue in the nation. She greets visitors with her downward open right hand.

Portlandia depicts the image of a classical female figure with European features, but one new artist wants to create a Portlandia that encompasses all of Portland.

Anthony Hudson, an emerging artist and 2013 Pacific Northwest College of Art graduate is showcasing an interactive art installation in the Portland Building titled Queering Portlandia.  

In the artist’s words, “Queering Portlandia will allow for a multitude of new Portlandias: Portlandia as a person of color, Portlandia as queer, Portlandia as a person with disabilities, Portlandia as a true, living Portlander. Queering Portlandia will demonstrate our community’s commitment to providing visibility, safety and opportunity to all its citizens.”

Stop by the Portland Building from noon to 2 pm, Monday through Thursday, to see the installation or become part of it! Pose or perform on camera sharing your version of Portlandia with the public. The project is open to everyone, and costumes and props are provided.

Each year the Portland Building Installation Space series reserves several exhibition opportunities for advanced students in fine art. Anthony Hudson is the third student artist to present work this season.

Show Portlandia what Portland is really made of!

Queering Portlandia

The Portland Building

1120 SW 5th   Ave

July 9 – August 2

Participate:  12 – 2 pm, Mon - Thurs

View: 8 am – 5 pm, weekdays

'Queering Portlandia' interactive installation opens at Portland Building downtown

Sara Hottman in The Oregonian

Portland to welcome 2014 MLS All-Star game

Nick was pleased to join Mayor Hales, Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber, and Timbers owner Merritt Paulson to celebrate the announcement at Jeld-Wen field today.

July 10, 2013

The 2014 MLS All-Star game is coming to the Rose City!

Nick was pleased to join Mayor Hales, Major League Soccer Commissioner Don Garber, and Timbers owner Merritt Paulson to celebrate the announcement at Jeld-Wen field today.

The MLS's biggest stars will be hitting the pitch in Portland's first-ever All-Star game - an opponent has not yet been named. But we all look forward to welcoming the players and ESPN viewers from around the country to Soccer City, USA!

Portland will host 2014 MLS All-Star Game at Jeld-Wen Field

Oregonian Sports

 

Portland Will Host 2014 Major League Soccer All Star Game

Nigel Jacquiss in Willamette Week

 

Portland Will Host 2014 Major League Soccer All-Star Game

Brian Gjurgevich in Portland Mercury

Federal LT2 Mandate

For a decade, the City of Portland has worked diligently with a broad coalition to secure relief from the unfunded federal LT2 mandate (Long Term 2 Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule).

July 11, 2013

For a decade, the City of Portland has worked diligently with a broad coalition to secure relief from the unfunded federal LT2 mandate (Long Term 2 Enhanced Surface Water Treatment Rule).

The LT2 rule requires us to do two things: treat our water for cryptosporidium, and cover or replace our uncovered finished drinking water reservoirs.

We pursued a number of paths to avoid the requirement to replace our reservoirs, including working with our federal delegation, filing a lawsuit in federal court, appealing directly to the EPA, and requesting exceptions from the Oregon Health Authority (OHA).

First, the good news – we are the only large water system in the country to receive a variance to avoid additional treatment of our water in the Bull Run Watershed. The Portland Water Bureau successfully developed a rigorous sampling and monitoring plan that demonstrated the high quality of raw water in the Bull Run.

Next, the bad news – despite our best efforts, the City has been unsuccessful in its attempts to avoid or delay the reservoir-related requirement. As recently as May of this year, the Oregon Health Authority denied our request for a second time.

Having exhausted all options and with legal deadlines looming, we must prepare to comply with the rule. A June 3, 2013 statement from the City Council – signed by Mayor Hales and Commissioners Novick, Saltzman, and myself – regarding this decision is posted on the City’s website: www.portlandoregon.gov/water/article/452368

Requests from the Public

I have heard from a number of Portlanders who have asked Council to engage our federal delegation to (1) obtain a deferral, (2) write an exception for Portland into the Safe Drinking Water Act, and (3) change LT2 legislation to exempt Portland.

I visited Washington, D.C. late last month to meet with our delegation – including Senator Jeff Merkley and Congressman Earl Blumenauer – on this and other issues. 

Based on those conversations, it is very clear to me that Portland has come to end of the road, and that there is no further recourse we can seek from Washington.

There is no waiver to exempt us from covering or replacing our reservoirs, and our repeated requests for a deferral have been denied. No large water system in the country is exempt from this rule, and despite our best efforts, an exception for Portland is not possible.

Looking Forward

Thanks to our visionary Bull Run Watershed system, Portland enjoys the best water in the world. As your new Water Commissioner, my top priority is preserving the quality of our outstanding drinking water.

I understand the frustration many Portlanders feel with the LT2 mandate – and I share it.

I am committed to a transparent public process as we plan for the future of the historic reservoirs. This year, Council allocated $15,000 to the Parks Bureau to begin a conversation about how to honor these sites and create public spaces our community can be proud of.

For more information on the LT2 rule, including a timeline of key events, please visit: www.portlandoregon.gov/water/53849

Keeping Powell Butte Nature Park Healthy and Safe

Join Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) staff, the Friends of Powell Butte Nature Park, and Hands on Greater Portland tomorrow to help complete Park and trail restoration work.

July 12, 2013

Join Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) staff, the Friends of Powell Butte Nature Park, and Hands on Greater Portland tomorrow to help complete Park and trail restoration work.

Volunteer projects for Saturday’s event include trail maintenance, fence repairs, invasive plant species removal, trash pick-up, and other much-needed projects. The event is family-friendly, and volunteers of every age are welcome. Child volunteers need to be accompanied and supervised by an adult. Volunteers will gather at the Gates Property parking lot, located on SE Holgate Boulevard, east of SE 136th Avenue.

Powell Butte Nature Park has a major construction project underway – a new drinking water reservoir. The Portland Water Bureau asks all volunteers to keep out of fenced hazardous construction areas, and to stay on open designated park trails during the restoration event.

For more information on tomorrow’s event contact PP&R’s Stewardship Coordinator Susan Hawes at (503) 823 – 6131.

Volunteer at Powell Butte Nature Park

July 13, tomorrow!

Powell Butte Nature Park

9 am – 12 pm