Celebrating the Spirit of Portland
The 35th Annual Spirit of Portland Awards ceremony was one of the highlights of the month. The Spirit of Portland embodies the many values we share and all that we are about in this great city that we love. Portland is a city where all help each other and work together to ensure that this amazing place we live in remains the awe-inspiring home we’re proud of.
I had the honor of choosing one of the award recipients so naturally, I wanted to select someone who I know has gone above and beyond for our community. Someone whose life work has touched so many in ways that transcend tangibility, someone who genuinely cares for every person no matter how big or small their problem might be – and someone who has just the right answer for whatever question comes their way. That's why I nominated Donald Dixon – he embodies all that is positive and uplifting about our community.
(Photo shows Donald Dixon and Mayor Wheeler)
As a guidance Counselor at both Madison and Jefferson High Schools for forty-plus years, he has touched the lives of many while doing his remarkable work. His tireless service over the years has had a tremendously positive impact on our students and youth. He has spend a lifetime dedicated to empowering and encouraging our youth. He has been — and continues to be — a role model, a caregiver, a mentor, a guidance counselor and a friend to so many. He has enriched countless lives during his four decades of service.
Donald exemplifies what the Spirit of Portland is all about, and he continuously carries himself with enthusiasm for helping others while continuing to be an influential member of the community. That enthusiasm, selflessness, and generosity will be his legacy. His compassion, patience and understanding ways are an example for all of us to follow, and his commitment to being a role model for students will continue to benefit our community for years to come. For all those reasons, and for so many more that have been left unsaid, I would like to say Thank you, Donald Dixon, from myself and the entire community.
Addressing the Climate Crisis on a Global Scale
The beginning of October offered me the opportunity to take action in our continuing battle against climate change, when I attended the C40 World Mayors Summit in Copenhagen, Denmark. I was joined the general manager of Portland's Transit Agency, TriMet, and the CEO from PGE. The C40 Summit brings together Mayors from over 75 large cities across the globe. It also convenes climate activists and environmental justice advocates, scientists, nonprofits, funder and business leaders to deliver the transformative action needed to address the climate crisis.
(Photo shows L-R Trimet GM Doug Kelsey, Mayor Wheeler, and PGE President & CEO Maria Pope)
We are at the forefront of that climate crisis, and I recognize the global climate emergency. I am committed to pursuing inclusive climate action that puts frontline communities first and delivers social and economic progress to all. I had the opportunity to sit on two panel discussions about how the City of Portland is tackling the impact of consumption and how economic inequality is linked to the climate crisis.
I also spoke about the Portland Clean Energy Fund as an example of a community-led vision for a "Green New Deal", and a new way to approach climate action that ensures strategies to reduce carbon and deliver community benefits and address economic inequality.
During this trip, I signed onto the C40's New Clean Air Cities Declaration, committing to set ambitious targets for air pollution reduction. I am also committed to implementing substantive policies and programs to address the top causes of air pollution emissions in Portland before 2025.
Through the Summit sessions, the Portland team learned about actions other cities are taking to transition to renewable energy, ways to green their streets and make public transit more affordable and attractive, tackle air pollution, create zero-emission zones and close streets to cars, use green bonding tools to finance renewable energy and energy efficiency, move towards more sustainable food choices and increase resilience, among many other topics.
Wrapping up my trip, I met with several other city leaders to share ideas and experiences of implementing climate policies to reduce emissions in energy, buildings, and transportation, including the mayors of Philadelphia, Toronto, Honolulu and Oslo.
Innovative Initiatives from Across the Pond
(Photo taken by Cupid Alexander, showing a street in Glasgow, Scotland, paved with cobblestone roads and mostly older brick houses)
Cupid Alexander, the Director of Strategic Initiatives with my office, recently visited the United Kingdom to learn best practices on environmental sustainability, jobs of the future, equity in society and good governance. While there, Cupid solidified relationships with other Mayors, governments, non-profits and businesses. With these stronger relationships, our office has enhanced opportunity to coordinate to improve transportation infrastructure, and increase environmental sustainability by reducing carbon emissions. These partnerships will spark conversations about the best way to live, work, travel and enjoy Portland. Identifying opportunities that exist within the Portland Metropolitan Area to partner with businesses will help our city expand its green infrastructure, create more sustainable jobs and reduce carbon emissions.
Mayor Visits Sister City of Sapporo, Japan
(Mayor Wheeler is shown next to Mayor Akimoto of Sapporo, Japan)
Towards the end of October, I had the opportunity to fly to Sapporo, Japan, our sister city. Our Sister Cities program began shortly after World War II to build diplomatic, cultural and economic networks between our cities and respective nations. This year, Portland and Sapporo are celebrating 60 years of sister city partnership. That’s 60 years of sharing economic prosperity, knowledge, earthquake resilience strategies and the forging of deep bonds. The rich history and traditions shared between Portland and Sapporo are the backbone of a successful international trade initiative.
Following my trip to Sapporo, I visited Tokyo and the Kansai region to strengthen economic partnerships that Prosper Portland, the City’s economic development agency, has identified as strategic markets for developing trade opportunities. Japan is Oregon’s 5th-largest export market with $1.8 billion U.S. dollars of goods and services from Oregon sold there in 2017. During this trip, our Portland delegation will be learned about:
- Advancing Sustainability and Innovation
- Emergency management and safety around Seismic Resiliency
- Promoting Equity, Inclusion & Diversity
- Developing new economic partnerships
Hope for the Holidays: Winter Weather Preparedness
As Portland inches closer to winter, those living outside are the most vulnerable. That’s why the City of Portland is partnering with Multnomah County to encourage our community to donate and volunteer to help those living outside prepare for cold weather. For more information, please follow this link: https://www.211info.org/donations
Impact Reduction in Action
(Left photo shows an encampment that has several piles of trash and a few vehicles before the team came through for clean-up, the right photo shows the encampment cleared and majority of trash cleaned up)
I want to share strides that are being made by our City’s Homelessness and Urban Camping Impact Reduction Program (HUCIRP), the agency responsible for coordinating cleanup/abatement of unsanctioned campsites on city and ODOT owned properties/rights-of-way within the City of Portland. HUCIRP manages the city’s One Point of Contact campsite reporting system. The agency develops and implements impact/harm reduction strategies in addition to coordinating services with other agencies and jurisdictions in the region.
Pounds of garbage removed
July— 398,660 lbs.
August— 474,380 lbs.
September— 507,000 lbs.
Total for July through September—1,380,040 lbs.
Total camp cleanups (July through September)—1,017
To learn more about HUCIRP, please visit www.portlandoregon.gov/toolkit.