Mayor Ted Wheeler
2017 Year in Review
In 2017 the City Council made progress on the issues Portlanders care about most: housing, homelessness, public safety, economic growth, environmental protection, equity, and government transparency and accountability.
Housing and Homelessness
- Invested a record $28 million in the Joint Office of Homeless Services for homelessness prevention, shelter, services, and housing.
- Passed a strategic framework to effectively invest $258 million in housing bond funds, and began investing funds to create and preserve 1,300 affordable units in Portland.
- Protected renters by passing a mandatory relocation assistance ordinance to help prevent evictions and cover the cost of displacement.
- Addressed longstanding challenges with R2DToo by finding them a new location, establishing fixed structures rather than tents, and facilitating a good neighbor agreement with the community.
- Opened Kenton Village in partnership with the neighborhood, in an exciting pilot to develop innovative shelter options.
- Created and are now implementing the Office of Rental Services to help stem the tide of displacement and provide relief and guidance for both renters and landlords.
- Began a program, Home for the Holidays, to house 40 families over 40 days this winter.
- Provided additional tools to site shelter and build affordable housing by extending the housing emergency for 18 months.
- Set an ambitious goal to significantly increase the number of supportive housing units in our community.
- Partnered with the Central Eastside Industrial Council and Central City Concern, today announced a pilot to increase capacity to remove trash and debris in the Central Eastside.
- Established partnerships region-wide to prevent mass camping along the Springwater Corridor and North Park Blocks.
- Increased investments to remove trash (including needles and other biohazards), abate graffiti, and patrol business districts, parks, and neighborhoods.
- Increased the City’s capacity to post and clean problematic camping. We are now able to address 30-40 camps a week compared to under 10 previously.
- Provided active and consistent support and direction for Portland Police to address structures on public right of way and increased efforts to address crime.
- Implemented the Community Caretaking Tow Program to remove abandoned and occupied vehicles, including RVs.
- Passed an ordinance with unanimous Council approval that criminalizes the transfer of derelict RVs.
- Ensured safe access to public spaces, working with PBOT to establish “Plaza Rules.”
Police and Public Safety
- Appointed a new Police Chief, Danielle Outlaw, who will support and improve the work of the Portland Police Bureau.
- Eliminated the 48-hour Rule to ensure officers involved in the deadly use of force are interviewed by Internal Affairs within 48 hours of the incident.
- Developed a policy, reflecting national best practices, for obtaining compelled statements from officers who are involved in a deadly use of force incident.
- Established the Portland Committee on Community-Engaged Policing (PCCEP) to provide for meaningful citizen engagement on police reform issues.
- Increased the authority of the Independent Police Review to recommend discipline when officers are found to have violated Bureau policy.
- Authorized an additional $2 million to recruit and hire more officers.
- Increased walking beats to focus on community policing.
- Developed a new Community Service Officer program within the Portland Police Bureau to enhance community policing efforts.
- Launched an innovative pilot project, in partnership with the District Attorney and Multnomah County, called Law Enforcement Assisted Diversion (LEAD), to reduce future criminal behavior by people involved in low-level drug offenses and reduce the number of persons of color being arrested and referred to the criminal justice system.
- Improved the 911 response system at the Bureau of Emergency Communications to bring a host of new technology to the call floor.
Economy and Infrastructure
- Passed Build Portland, a plan to invest $600 million over 20 years in Portland’s neglected roads, parks, and civic infrastructure.
- Released the 25-25 workforce development strategy, to support creation of 25,000 new jobs paying at least $25 an hour by 2025, in partnership with Prosper Portland and Worksystems Inc.
- Established Portland as a testing site for autonomous vehicles, so that we are prepared for the arrival of this disruptive technology.
- Fully funded the SummerWorks program to ensure more than 1,000 youth had meaningful employment opportunities.
- Passed a resolution committing Portland to 100% renewable energy by 2050, partnering with utilities and environmentalists.
- Actively working to ensure we act on Superfund, clean the river, and create local jobs.
- Opened Poets Beach this summer, the first in a number of projects that will redefine our relationship with the Willamette River by increasing beach access.
- Committed, along with mayors from across the country, to uphold the commitments made as part of the Paris Climate Accord.
Equity and Social Justice
- Reaffirmed our status as a sanctuary city, and provided additional funds for legal services to protect those facing deportation and other immigration issues.
- Established programmatic efforts to secure our status as a city friendly to people of all ages.
- Passed the Community Equity and Inclusion Plan, to increase equity in contracting and increase workforce opportunities for women and people of color in the city.
- Appointed a Tribal Liaison to represent the Mayor, elected City Council and all bureaus and offices in relationships with sovereign Tribal governments and the urban Native American community.
- Instituted regular community conversations with stakeholders from various communities to discuss public safety, equity, and economic development.
- Passed a unanimous city budget, increasing funds for homeless services, housing, infrastructure, public safety, disaster resilience and other vital programs.
- Increased auditor independence, later approved by voters.
- Passed an open data ordinance to create a policy and program to make more City data readily accessible to the community.
- Established a participatory budgeting process to take effect in 2018. Participatory Budgeting is an innovative democratic process in which community members directly decide how to spend part of a public budget.