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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

Creating an Inclusive Workplace

August 2, 2018 

When we remove barriers and create a more inclusive workplace, everyone wins.

This afternoon, Council heard a report on the first phase of the City’s partnership with Project SEARCH. Project SEARCH’s mission is to provide on-the-job experience to young adults with intellectual or developmental disabilities.

Nick launched our partnership with Project SEARCH in October 2017 with the creation of 5 internship positions in the Bureau of Environmental Services and the Water Bureau. The interns became valued members of the bureau teams and gained meaningful work experience.

Based on the success of the pilot program, and the City’s commitment to be a model employer, we are creating paid positions for qualified candidates, and hope to expand the partnership to other bureaus.

Special thanks to our outstanding interns, the staff and leadership at the Bureau of Environmental Services and the Portland Water Bureau, the Bureau of Human Resources, and Mer Stevens from Project SEARCH.


Pilot Program in Portland Aims to Help People With Disabilities

Christine Pitawanich in KGW News



The Weekly Catch

Welcome Sheila Panyam!

Nick Fish Blog


Oregon, Japan Continue Deep-Rooted Partnership

Shinsuke J. Sugiyama in The Oregonian

Project SEARCH

Creating an Inclusive Workplace

Nick Fish Blog


How the Portland Water Bureau Lead the Way In Bringing Project SEARCH to the City of Portland

PWB Water Blog


Pilot Program in Portland Aims to Help People with Disabilities

Christine Pitawanich in KGW News


Mayor Wheeler and Chair Kafoury Announce Funding Availability for Innovative Supportive Housing Pilot

Portland Housing Bureau Blog


City Hall Update: Council Oks Rental Registration Program

Jim Redden in the Portland Tribune


A New Zoning Change Has Been Delayed—But Housing Advocates May Love It

Kelly Kenoyer in the Portland Mercury

In Other News

In Turnaround, City Decides to Renew Uber's Right to Operate Here for Just Six Months

Steve Law in the Portland Tribune


City Throws in Towel On 'Rain Tax,' Offers Rebates To Houseboat Owners

Steve Law in the Portland Tribune


Editor's Note: 16,000 Vacant Apartments, Redux

Linda Baker in Oregon Business


Fighting Summer Hunger: Oregon Food Bank and Portland Park & Rec Team Up

Orion Ludlow in KATU News


Portlanders Took 5,000 E-Scooter Rides Over the Weekend

Elise Herron in Willamette Week


PSU To Offer State's First Major in Indigenous Nations and Native American Studies This Fall

Ericka Cruz Guevarra in OPB News

New Bureau Assignments

August 7, 2018 

Today, Mayor Ted Wheeler announced that he will be reassigning bureaus in early September.

My new portfolio will include Portland Parks & Recreation, the Bureau of Environmental Services, liaison roles with Venture Portland and Elders in Action, and a new role created at my request – liaison to the Portland Film Office.

Commissioner Amanda Fritz will become Commissioner-in-Charge of the Portland Water Bureau, and will also take over as liaison to the Rose Festival Foundation. The Regional Arts and Culture Council (RACC) liaison assignment will transition to Commissioner Chloe Eudaly.

It has been an honor to work with the women and men of the Portland Water Bureau and the Bureau of Environmental Services over the past five years. I’m proud that we’ve put our public utilities on solid footing – stabilizing rates, focusing on basic services, planning for the future, and strengthening accountability.

The founders of our water system thought 100 years ahead, securing a pristine and plentiful water source. And during my time overseeing the Water Bureau, we have made key decisions to prepare our water system for the next 100 years: bringing major reservoir projects in under budget, working with neighborhood partners to preserve the historic Mt. Tabor reservoirs, beginning a filtration project to protect our water from climate change and future regulations, and launching a historic expansion of our financial assistance programs for people who need a little extra help – including, for the first time ever, renters.

And we have brought a new level of transparency and accountability to both utilities, creating a new community oversight body – the Portland Utility Board – and inviting the Oregon Citizens’ Utility Board to oversee our work on behalf of residential customers.

I am grateful to the hard-working and dedicated Water Bureau employees for their partnership over the past five years, and for their ongoing commitment to our customers.

I have also been proud to serve as Portland’s Arts Commissioner since 2013.

We advocated for robust arts education in our schools and defended the Arts Tax in court.

We developed and launched a bold plan to protect and preserve affordable arts spaces across our community.

We thanked Julie Keefe for her many years of service as Portland’s Creative Laureate and appointed Suba Ganesan as our new Creative Laureate.

We celebrated Eloise Damrosch’s 30+ years of service with RACC, and we partnered with RACC in their search for a new Executive Director.

And we asked the Auditor to conduct the first-ever outside review of our relationship with RACC. Her audit gives us a roadmap for the future, to better align our work and to increase transparency and accountability.

Similarly, I am honored to have been Council liaison to the Rose Festival Foundation since 2017. Portland’s official festival has earned international acclaim and is a treasured Portland institution.

Finally, I am excited to step back into the role of Parks Commissioner. We have an opportunity to create new partnerships and stronger alignment between Parks and Environmental Services while building on the good work of Commissioner Amanda Fritz, who has been a champion for underserved parts of our community.

I will focus on ensuring that parks and recreation programs are accessible to everyone, expanding our world-class network of parks, trails, and natural areas, and bringing more public and private investment to our system.

We have much to celebrate – from jewels like Leach Botanical Garden in East Portland to the Japanese Garden in Washington Park and Forest Park in Northwest – and development fees generated by Portland’s building boom give us a unique opportunity to build out parks and play areas in underserved parts of our community.

I thank Mayor Wheeler for his collaborative approach to the bureau assignment process, and look forward to this next chapter.


Grand Opening of the New Asian Health and Service Center

August 9. 2018

Yesterday, Nick was honored to speak at the ribbon cutting for the new Asian Health and Service Center (AHSC) in Southeast Portland.

AHSC opened its doors in 1983 in the basement of the Chinese Presbyterian Church. Since then, the non-profit has grown into one of the largest healthcare providers in the Portland area that specializes in culturally-specific care for our Asian and Asian-American communities.

The new Center, called the House of Love and Kindness, will serve as a permanent home for AHSC and provide healthcare and educational services. With the new Center also comes a new partnership with the OHSU Knight Cancer Institute, to provide support services to Chinese-American elders.

Special thanks to Board Chair Dr. Erik Szeto, CEO Holden Leung, and the entire AHSC family for their leadership persistence, and for putting on a wonderful event!

You can read more about the new center here.


The Weekly Catch

Grand Opening of the New Asian Health and Service Center

Nick Fish Blog


In Expensive Cities, Rents Fall for the Rich – But Rise for the Poor

Jeff Stein in the Washington Post


Canzano: Portland City Commissioner Nick Fish Rooting for Major League Baseball to Portland

John Canzano in The Oregonian


Patches of Nature in Portland

Hailey Stewart in the Portland Tribune


City Hall Update: City Beating Deadline on Promised Affordable Housing Projects

Jim Redden in the Portland Tribune

Bureau Assignments

New Bureau Assignments

Nick Fish Blog


Portland Mayor Announces Shake-Up of Bureau Assignments

Amelia Templeton in OPB News


Wheeler Shakes Up Portland Bureau Assignments

Jim Redden in the Portland Tribune


Mayor Wheeler Shakes Up Bureau Assignments Again

Sara Roth in KGW News


Portland Mayor Announces Sweeping City Bureau Assignment Changes

Gordon Friedman in The Oregonian


Mayor Wheeler Unveils New Bureau Assignments

Alex Zielinski in the Portland Mercury

Short-Term Rental Audit

Audit Faults Portland's 'Lax' Approach to Airbnb, Other Short-Term Rentals

Steve Law in the Portland Tribune


Nearly 80 Percent of Portland Airbnb-Style Rentals Not Permitted by City, Audit Finds

KGW News


80 Percent of Portland Airbnb-Style Rentals Operate Illegally, Audit Finds

Gordon Friedman in The Oregonian


City Audit Unsurprisingly Finds Majority of Portland Airbnb Hosts Shirk City Regulations

Alex Zielinski in the Portland Mercury

In Other News

PSU Study: More Needed to Understand, Address Homeless Crisis

Jim Redden in the Portland Tribune


This Summer (And All Year Long) Slow Down for Work Zone Safety

The Portland Water Blog


Portland Considers a New Disaster Preparedness Model

Kelly Kenoyer in the Portland Mercury


Disability Advocates Support Limits on Plastic Straws

Zane Sparling in the Portland Tribune


National Night Out

The Portland Tribune