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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

'The Best of Times'

December 27, 2010

We hope you saw Zach Dundas' great article, "The Best of Times," in the January 2011 issue of Portland Monthly.

"Lately," he writes, "Nick Fish has been pitching the hardest of hard sells: optimism."

Despite a host of bad indicators - unemployment, foreclosures, homelessness, hunger - there's plenty to indicate that "Portland's underlying strengths could soon pay off big time."

Among Dundas' examples:

  • Over the last decade, we've decreased our per capita emissions by 20%
  • Our downtown office vacancy rate is half that of suburban areas around Portland
  • Air travel at PDX - ranked the #1 domestic airport this year - is up
  • 2009 saw a record number of business licenses issued
  • Portland is #2 nationally in export volume
  • PSU is on the rise, strengthening its partnership with OHSU, building a new LEED-certified dorm, increasing research funding, and awarding more degrees than ever before

Elsewhere, we note that TriMet outshines its peers, carrying more people than any other US transit system its size; PP&R's Community Garden Initiative will add 2000 new community garden plots by 2012; PNCA has become a nationally competitive school of art and design and recently exceeded its $32 million capital campaign goal; and we've solidified our reputation as Soccer City USA through successes at all levels of the sport.

So what's the takeaway? The possibility that "another, alternative narrative is taking shape: the story of a city on the cusp of a singularly bright future."