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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

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10th Anniversary Portland World Soccer Tournament

June 28, 2019

Today, Nick was honored to speak at the 10th Annual Portland World Soccer Tournament hosted by Portland Parks & Recreation’s Parks for New Portlanders. He was joined by Commissioner Amanda Fritz and Parks Director Adena Long.

The event builds community and welcomes immigrants and refugees to Portland.

A total of 75 soccer tournaments will be held at Southeast Portland parks over the next two days. You can find more information and details here.

Special thanks to Presenting Sponsor Adidas and our partners, including Portland Fire & Rescue, Portland Police, the Office of Community and Civic Life, and the many volunteers who made this event possible.

Tomorrow, Nick and Senator Ron Wyden will be at Lents Park at 3pm for the Closing Ceremony and to celebrate Portland’s World Refugee Day.

2019 Mid-Year Report

June 27, 2019

Dear Friend,

I write to update you on the first six months of 2019.

A new colleague and a new Parks director. Progress on environmental issues and affordable housing. Important votes on JTTF and renter protections.

In January, I was sworn in for my third full term. With the departure of Dan Saltzman, I am now the longest-serving member of Council. And we welcomed our newest colleague, Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty.

A New Budget

This year we changed our budget process to strengthen transparency. It required us to build the budget from the ground up, which was an improvement.

A number of my priorities were funded but didn’t grab the headlines:

   • Additional resources for supportive housing

   • Full funding for the Joint Office of Homeless Services

   • A Bureau of Environmental Services rate increase of 2.95% – below the rate of inflation

   • Small investments in the Portland Film Office and the Rose Festival that generate big returns for our local economy

   • Support for environmental priorities including brownfield cleanups, a dark skies initiative to reduce urban light pollution, and the next phase of our work to clean up the Willamette River

   • An age-friendly coordinator in the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability

   • Almost $700,000 to cover ongoing operations and maintenance of new parks facilities, many of which are in East Portland

This was a challenging budget year for Parks. The bureau faced a $6.3 million gap caused by costs rising quicker than revenue and by its reliance on user fees. One-time funds would not have solved the structural problem.

I am grateful to Mayor Wheeler and my colleagues for supporting significant funding to continue this year’s already-scheduled summer programming.

Parks are an important part of a healthy community. I am taking a deep dive to identify new models for funding Parks & Recreation going forward. My goal over the next 2-3 years is to put the bureau on a solid and sustainable foundation.

Parks and Recreation

Following a national search, I hired Adena Long as our new Parks director. She’s off to a great start, and we’re fortunate to have her leadership.

Parks’ premiere summer program, Summer Free For All, is in full swing. It offers free, family-friendly activities like movies and concerts in the park, swimming, and over 100,000 healthy lunches for hungry kids. Thanks to our sponsors for their generous support.

I also attended celebrations of new Parks facilities, including new playgrounds in the North Park Blocks and in Couch Park, a new community garden at David Douglas High School, and the groundbreaking for the Barbara Walker Crossing.

Protecting Our Environment

I am committed to making Portland a healthier city and protecting our urban environment.

Parks has a pest management plan that prohibits the use of avicides – bird pest controls. I partnered with Portland Audubon to extend that prohibition to all City-owned and -managed land. These poisons put people, pets, and wildlife at risk. They have absolutely no place in our community.

I’m working with Mayor Wheeler and the community to clean up the Willamette River. The City and State launched a new, unique partnership that will efficiently leverage public investment to encourage private parties to begin design work.

Portland has over 900 acres of brownfields. I’m committed to turning them into productive community use. In April, BES awarded a grant to help clean a site that will become affordable housing in North Portland.

JTTF

This year, Council has taken several votes to change how we participate in the Joint Terrorism Task Force (JTTF). I believe that communication among public safety agencies keeps us all safer. In March, Council approved an updated agreement that allows us to continue working with the FBI on an as-needed basis. You can read an op-ed I wrote in The Oregonian here.

Supporting Renters

During my service on Council, I have been focused on removing barriers – in the workplace, in our economy, and in housing. I believe that when we remove arbitrary barriers, everyone wins.

That’s why I supported a bold proposal from Commissioner Eudaly to change requirements for renter screening and security deposits. I appreciate that Commissioner Eudaly extended the roll-out until next year, which will give us more time to do education and outreach, draft rules, and fine-tune the policy. I’m also pleased the Council approved my amendment to require annual reports.

Project SEARCH

I’m proud that the City continues to partner with Project SEARCH to be a model employer. That means removing barriers in the workplace and providing meaningful experience for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. We expanded the program this year and graduated another great group of interns.

Arts

Many music venues in Portland have a loading zone right outside. But musicians were getting tickets for using them. Commissioner Eudaly, who oversees the Portland Bureau of Transportation, and I worked with partners to develop a pilot Musician Loading Zone program.

And my team created a new special events permit for small arts and culture organizations.

Out and About

   • Appearing on KGW's Straight Talk with Laural Porter

   • Receiving the "Public Official of the Year" award from the Oregon Daily Journal of Commerce

   • Hosting Senator Jeff Merkley for a town hall at East Portland Community Center

   • Participating on panels with The Intertwine Alliance and the Oregon Coalition for Living Well with Serious Illness

   • Celebrating the Portland Trail Blazers' incredible season

Closing

My battle with cancer continues. I’ve learned many lessons over the past 20 months, especially the importance of a network of loving family and friends. I’m grateful for everyone in my corner.

It’s an honor to serve on your City Council. Thanks for all that you do to make Portland a special place.

Sincerely,

Nick

The Weekly Catch

Opinion: Bill for Statewide Uber Regulations Put Cities, Local Concerns in The Back Seat

Commissioner Chloe Eudaly in The Oregonian

Parks

Summer Free For All Kick-Off

Nick Fish Blog

 

Fun, Free Summer Activities for Kids

KATU News

 

Portland Parks & Rec Opens Outdoor Pools for The Season

Genevieve Reaume in KATU News

 

Portland Parks & Recreation Outdoor Pools Open for the Summer

Christine Pitawanich in KGW News

 

Oh Bouy! Portland Public Pools Officially Open for Summer

FOX 12 News

 

Portland Parks and Rec Pools Open Today

Jacob Dean in KXL News

 

Where We Live: Mill Ends Park

Ken Boddie in KOIN 6 News

 

New East County Park Starts Construction

Teresa Carson in the Portland Tribune

 

Citing Safety Concerns, City Council Imposes Longer Penalties for Park Violations

Diana Kruzman in The Oregonian

Renter Screening and Security Deposit Policy

Commissioner Nick Fish Statement on Renter Screening and Security Deposit Policy

Nick Fish Blog

 

Portland Requires Landlords to Use First-Come-First-Served System to Choose Tenants

Amelia Templeton in OPB News

 

Portland City Council Passes New Tenant Protections Aimed at Helping People with Criminal Histories

Rachel Monahan in Willamette Week

 

Portland Gives Renters Win with New Screening, Security Deposit Rules

Elliot Njus in The Oregonian

 

City Council Passes Rental Screening Ordinance

KOIN 6 News

BES

News Release: Environmental Services Reminds the Public That It Is Illegal and Unsafe to Enter the City’s Sewer and Stormwater System

BES News

 

'Sewer People' Spur BES to Upgrade Security

Emily Burris in KOIN 6 News

 

Videos Show Groups of People Emerging from Portland Sewer Through Manhole

Christina Morales in The Oregonian

 

Advisory: Sewage Release from City Manhole on SE Long Street Near SE 128th Avenue

BES News

Affordable Housing Audit

Audit: Affordable Housing Bond Spending Off to Good Start

Elise Haas in KOIN 6 News

 

Portland’s Housing Bond Off to Strong Start but Risks Not Serving Veterans, Seniors as Promised, Audit Finds

Elliot Njus in The Oregonian

In Other News

Portland Pride Parade Shines with Rainbow-Colored Love

Zane Sparling in the Portland Tribune

 

Thousands Line Streets Downtown for Portland’s Pride Parade

FOX 12 News

 

Ancestors Honored at Portland's Juneteenth Festival

Zane Sparling in the Portland Tribune

 

Good in the Hood Rolls Into 27th Year

R. Dallon Adams in The Skanner News

 

Portland Police Chief Relaxes Education Standard for New Recruits, Allowing No College; May Also Allow Tattoos Above Collar, Beards

Maxine Bernstein in The Oregonian

 

Inside the Revamped and Expanded Home of The Timbers and Thorns

Jon Bell in the Portland Business Journal

Summer Free For All Kick-Off

June 20, 2019

Today, Nick joined kids, sponsors, and Parks staff in celebrating the kick-off of Portland Parks & Recreation’s Summer Free For All.

Summer Free For All provides free, family-friendly activities all summer long, all across Portland. There’s something for everyone – movies and concerts, free lunches, open swim and swim lessons, and more.

The kick-off also marked the first day of Free Lunch + Play.

The program will serve over 100,000 free, healthy lunches to kids in need. Visit Parks’ website for locations and hours.

Special thanks to all of our sponsors for their generous support of the program, especially Nike – our first-ever Title Sponsor.

Commissioner Nick Fish Statement on Renter Screening and Security Deposit Policy

June 19, 2019

Today, Council approved a proposal introduced by Commissioner Eudaly to reform rental screening and security deposit requirements.

You can read Nick's statement during the vote below:

“I’d like to thank my colleague Commissioner Chloe Eudaly, and her Director of Policy Jamey Duhamel for bringing this policy forward.

In particular, I’d like to thank them for taking the time to get it right.

Sometimes the hardest thing to do with big, meaningful policy like this is to wait. But the additional time has given the community and the Council the opportunity to weigh in, make suggestions, and improve this policy.

I’d like to thank many of our key community stakeholders for the hundreds of hours they volunteered to helping us strengthen this policy.

Special thanks to:

  • Katrina Holland with the Community Alliance of Tenants
  • Allan Lazo with the Fair Housing Council of Oregon
  • Hannah Holloway with the Urban League of Portland
  • Legal Aid Oregon
  • The Oregon Law Center
  • The Coalition of Communities of Color
  • SEIU Local 49
  • Portland for Everyone
  • The New Portlanders Policy Commission
  • Dozens of affordable housing providers
  • Elected officials
  • And the hundreds of community members who came out to testify over these past few months.

In my ten years on Council, I have been focused on removing barriers – in the workplace, in housing, and in our economy.

From helping individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities find meaningful work at the City; to the creation of our first Fair Housing Action Plan; to “Banning the Box,” removing the question of criminal history on job applications; to creating Harper’s Playground, the most inclusive and accessible playground in Portland; to setting a $15 minimum wage for City employees; and to removing gender designations and creating all-user restrooms across the city.

They all reflect a simple truth: when you remove arbitrary barriers, everybody wins.

This proposal has a lot of individual components that I deeply support.

  • Security deposit reforms
  • Standardized applications for tenants
  • Tools for more fully implementing and supporting the Fair Housing Act
  • Education for landlords and tenants
  • Clear rules for the entire community to abide by

We continue to hear concerns from critics.

They need more time.

These regulations are burdensome.

Any new regulation will drive up the costs of housing.

And that this could lead to a decrease in supply.

I appreciate that Commissioner Eudaly has extended the roll out until next year.

This will give us time to do an education campaign with landlords and tenants. I am also pleased that Council approved my amendment to require annual reports.

As we draft regulations, and work with the community, we will have the flexibility to make changes as necessary to ensure our goals are met without unduly burdening any landlords.

In my role as a policy maker, constructive criticism is welcome if it leads to improvement. But I reject efforts by some to mischaracterize the law, and to target and demonize classes of people, like those exiting the criminal justice system who deserve a second chance.

During my service, we have made big investments in combatting homelessness and increasing the supply of affordable housing.

Since Commissioner Eudaly joined this Council, we have sharpened our focus on the rights of renters, building in protections for the 47% of people who rent in our community, many of whom are severely rent burdened.

Chloe, I appreciate your leadership on this issue.

I vote aye.”