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The City of Portland, Oregon

Nick Fish

Commissioner, City of Portland

phone: 503-823-3589


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

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Commissioner Fish Health Update

December 10, 2019 - Last week, I learned from my team of OHSU doctors that my illness has become more complicated. I am also managing the cumulative effects of chemotherapy. Through the rest of this month, I plan to take time to focus on my health and my family. I will continue to work as I am able and expect to have more to share in the new year.

The Weekly Catch

Leaf Blowers

Portland City Government to Transition Away from Gas-Powered Leaf Blowers

Rebecca Ellis in OPB News


Portland Plans to Get Rid of City’s Gas-Powered Leaf Blowers Starting in 2021

Everton Bailey Jr. in The Oregonian


The Next Target in Portland’s War on Pollution? Gas-Powered Leaf Blowers
Nigel Jaquiss in Willamette Week

Water Bureau

Portland Approves $51 Million Design Contract for Controversial Water Filtration Plant

Rebecca Ellis in OPB News


Portland Approves $51 Million Contract to Design Water Treatment Plant
Everton Bailey Jr. in The Oregonian


Visitor Development Fund
Portland Tourists Will Now Help Pay for Homeless Services

Rebecca Ellis in OPB News

Portland-Area Governments Inking Deal to Funnel Tourist Dollars to People on the Edge of Homelessness
Aaron Mesh in Willamette Week


Portland Adopts Sweeping Changes to Rules Regarding Bike Parking

Rebecca Ellis in OPB News


Portland Bureau of Transportation Unveils Map of 20 Roads Picked for Bus-Only “Rose Lanes”

Sophie Peel in Willamette Week


The City of Portland Wants to Change the Way It Responds to 911 Calls. Public Safety Unions Are Hopping Mad.
Nigel Jaquiss in Willamette Week

Portland Police More Likely to Arrest, Search Black People Than White, Analysis Shows
Noelle Crombie in The Oregonian 

In Other News

Lacking Permit, Free Hot Soup Meals Persist in Director Park

Zane Sparling in the Portland Tribune


Portland Plan to Ban Facial Recognition Gets Eyes Around US

Velena Jones in KOIN 6 News


Portland Fire Chief Sara Boone Climbing Historic Ladders
Everton Bailey Jr. in The Oregonian

Putting South Portland on The Map

Bill Gallagher in the Portland Tribune

Artists Feel Chill at Milepost 5, An Affordable Housing Complex in East Portland

Rachel Monahan in the Willamette Week


Lime Teams with Disability Groups, Portland To Raise Awareness of Risks of Scooting on Sidewalks
Andrew Theen in The Oregonian


Portland Youth Activists Part of National Climate Strike

Elise Haas and News Staff in Koin 6 News

Transitioning from Gas-Powered Leaf Blowers

December 4, 2019

This afternoon, Council voted 4-0 to direct City bureaus to transition their handheld leaf blowers to electric- or battery-operated models by January 1, 2021.

Gas-powered leaf blowers pollute the air, burn fossil fuels, are a noise nuisance, and create health risks for both the operators and the public. The City is proud to take steps to protect our environment and the health of the public and our workers.

The Resolution also creates a workgroup tasked with finding an equitable path towards a future city-wide ban and directs bureaus to transition backpack-style blowers to electric when the technology evolves.

Special thanks to State Representative Alyssa Keny-Guyer; Multnomah County Commissioner Vega Pederson; Michael Hall and Quiet Clean PDX; Mary Peveto and Neighbors for Clean Air; Kellie Barnes; Cameron Stewart and Relay Resources; Osmani Alcaraz-Ochoa and VOZ; Stan Penkin; Bob Sallinger from Audubon; Michelle Crim and the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability; Senior Policy Director Asena Lawrence on the Fish team; and the many stakeholders who helped shape this Resolution.


The Next Target in Portland’s War on Pollution? Gas-Powered Leaf Blowers
Nigel Jaquiss in Willamette Week 

Portland City Government To Transition Away From Gas-Powered Leaf Blowers
Rebecca Ellis in OPB News

Portland Plans to Get Rid of City's Gas-Powered Leaf Blowers Starting in 2021
Everton Bailey Jr. in The Oregonian 


Pictured: Rep. Keny - Guyer Policy Advisor Jason Trombley, Commissioner Vega Pederson, and Commissioner Fish Senior Policy Advisor Asena Lawrence

Pictured above: Rep. Keny Guyer Policy Advisor Jason Trombley, County Commissioner Vega Pederson, Commissioner Fish Senior Policy Advisor Asena Lawrence. 

A Thanksgiving Story

November 27, 2019

Last Saturday, I attended a wedding at the First Congregational Church in downtown Portland. My friends Denise and Julius tied the knot in the presence of family and friends. Their relationship has taught me life lessons I will never forget. And their story reminds me why Portland is such a special place.

Ten years ago, Denise and Julius were homeless, living under a bridge. Outreach workers from JOIN helped them find their first apartment together. At the time, I served as Housing Commissioner for the City. I asked my friend Marc Jolin (Executive Director of JOIN) if I could deliver a meal to one of their clients over the holidays. That’s how I was first introduced to Denise and Julius.

On Christmas Eve, my family visited them at their apartment off Powell and 72nd. They were kind and welcoming. Later, I became part of their informal support group and we were able to help them in other ways. Over the years, they faced significant adversity – evictions, financial challenges, disabilities, and major healthcare setbacks. Their story of resilience and grace is inspiring enough, but what I witnessed on Saturday was even more powerful.

Denise and Julius volunteer for Potluck in the Park and have served on the board of the non-profit. They have brought hope to the lives of literally thousands of people. And they serve as role models of what it means to be deeply engaged in your community.

Originally, their plan was to get married in Vancouver – it would be cheaper than getting married in Oregon. But their friends and colleagues at Potluck in the Park had a different plan. They started a GoFundMe campaign, lined up donations including a two-night stay in the downtown Hilton, rented the church, and reunited long lost family members. And, as a result, Denise and Julius had a wedding that truly honored their commitment to each other.

Thanksgiving is a time to count our blessings. This year I’m grateful for my friendship with Denise and Julius. For the Potluck in the Park family that organized an unforgettable wedding. For the JOIN family that every day helps people transition from our streets to safe homes. And for all those who believe that housing and healthcare are basic human rights.

Portland Parks & Recreation: A Sustainable Future Council Work Session

November 26, 2019

Today, Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) held a work session with Council called “A Sustainable Future.”

After last year’s challenging budget, Council directed Parks to take a deeper look at the financial trajectory of the bureau. Today’s work session was the bureau’s opportunity to share the findings of their research into future service levels and potential new funding models.

Council also offered preliminary feedback about next steps for the bureau with a shared goal of creating a more equitable parks system for all.

Commissioner Fish and bureau leadership will take what they heard from Council at the work session and work together to develop a strategy to put the bureau on solid, sustainable footing for current and future Portlanders. That includes coming up with preferred funding scenarios and taking a deeper dive on funding alternatives that show promise.


Work Session Presentation


Portland Parks & Recreation: A Sustainable Future. City Council Work Session on Tuesday, November 26, 2019

PP&R Website


Portland Wants to Rescue It's Park System. Where Will the Money Come From?

Rebecca Ellis in OPB News