POL Government Elected Officials Nick Fish

Welcome to Commissioner Nick Fish's website

Commissioner Fish is in charge of the Portland Water Bureau and the Bureau of Environmental Services.  He also serves as Council liaison to Elders in Action, Venture Portland, and the Regional Arts & Culture Council.



Low-Income Utility Discount Report

Earlier this year, Nick convened a group of community members and City staff and asked them to explore ways to expand the discount offered by the City’s utility bureaus to low-income customers.


Most renters, especially those in apartment buildings, can’t access the low-income discount because they don’t have their own water meter and utility account with the City. Recognizing that many of the most vulnerable people in our community are not being reached by the current program, including older adults on fixed incomes and families using Section 8 vouchers, Nick asked the work group to think creatively about ways to expand access to the discount program and reach more people.


This week, the group submitted its final report to Nick. He has asked the new Portland Utility Board (PUB) to consider the work group’s report and provide him with a recommendation about next steps.


The report presents some potential solutions to this complex issue, including working more closely with affordable housing providers.


The conversation has already produced results. The Portland Water Bureau, which manages billing for both utilities, has enrolled more customers by working with our local housing authority, Home Forward, to identify renters who qualify for the program.


The bigger challenge is finding a way to reach other low-income Portlanders in the larger rental market. The work group’s recommendations offer possible paths forward.


Low-Income Discount Report


Discount Report Appendices


Portland could expand low-income utility discounts -- but will it?

Brad Schmidt in The Oregonian


Report: Portland can increase utility discounts

Jim Redden in the Portland Tribune


October 7, 2015

Design for Equity


Holst Architecture was recently featured at the 2015 Seattle Design Festival, which had the theme Design For Equity. Holst focused on three special Portland-area projects, and how good design makes a difference for the families who call them home.


The City of Portland has been proud to partner with Holst. All three projects - Bud Clark Commons, Glisan Commons, and the LifeWorks Project Network & Beech Street Apartments - reflect the core values of Portland and Holst: beautiful, functional, and green buildings that serve people.


Nick is especially proud of two of the projects during his tenure as Housing Commissioner. The LifeWorks Project Network & Beech Street Apartments provide a unique service, thanks to LifeWorks Northwest and Home Forward. In addition to providing safe, affordable homes, the building also provides culturally-focused residential treatment for women recovering from substance abuse. And Bud Clark Commons is the cornerstone in our fight to end homelessness. The building not only provides permanent supportive homes to our community's most vulnerable, it also hosts a men's shelter and a Day Center where people can do laundry, take a shower, apply for jobs, and more.


Special thanks to Holst for sharing these important community projects - and for being a great partner in building a better city!

October 7, 2015

The State of Our Public Utilities

Nick has had the honor of leading the Bureau of Environmental Services and the Portland Water Bureau for over two years.


From delivering high quality, safe, and reliable drinking water to nearly one million people, to pioneering green and cost-effective approaches to managing stormwater, our public utilities provide essential services to our community.


Last week, Nick shared his first annual “State of Our Public Utilities” report in the latest issue of Street Roots.


The report is now available online, but we also encourage you to buy a copy of Street Roots from your local vendor. This Thursday, Nick will proudly join the Street Roots family at their annual fundraising breakfast.


Nick is honored to serve as your City Commissioner, and to work with the dedicated and talented professionals at our two public utilities.


The State of Our Public Utilities

Nick Fish in Street Roots

October 6, 2015

Celebrating Portlandia’s 30th birthday

On Thursday, October 8, join Nick and the Regional Arts & Culture Council in celebrating a big milestone in our community: Portlandia’s 30th birthday!


30 years ago, Mayor Bud Clark and 10,000 fellow Portlanders welcomed Portlandia to the City of Roses as she arrived by barge on the Willamette River. The 6.5 ton statue was created by renowned artist Raymond Kaskey, who also made the World War II Memorial in Washington DC.


Portlandia is one of the largest copper statues in the country – second only to the Statue of Liberty. It was inspired by Portland’s city seal, and paid for by our Percent for Art program, which celebrates its 35th birthday this year. Portlandia remains one the most iconic symbols of our city.


Our Portland City Council will be joined by former Mayor Bud Clark, former Commissioner Mike Lindberg, and other special guests. The great Storm Large and students from Chapman Elementary School will lead us in singing “Happy Birthday” to our copper goddess.


Join us at the Standard Insurance Plaza across from Portlandia, from 12 – 1:30 pm. Special thanks to The Standard, Cupcake Jones, and Starbucks for sponsoring the event.


Portlandia’s 30th Birthday

The Standard Insurance Plaza

1120 S.W. 5th Ave.

Thursday, October 8, Noon – 1:30 pm


Portlandia Turns 30

Matt Strangel in Artslandia


Quiz: How well do you know the Portlandia statue on her 30th birthday? (PHOTOS)

Joseph Rose in The Oregonian


Party like it’s 1985 for Portlandia’s birthday

Kevin Trevellyan in the Portland Tribune

October 6, 2015

Tall Trees in City Hall

As Arts Commissioner, Nick is proud to host an exciting art exhibit in our City Hall atrium: The Tall Trees of Portland


Hellion Gallery owner Matt Wagner authored the book, The Tall Trees of Portland, which features 40 talented local artists and their creative, colorful, and inspiring art. In the book, the artists also share their workspaces, their favorite things about our city, and even whether or not they use an umbrella when it rains.


The vibrant City Hall exhibit showcases art by 30 of the artists featured in the Tall Trees book. Stop by and see fascinating sculptures, paintings, sketches, and more. 


The Tall Trees of Portland art exhibit is presented by Hellion Gallery and Overcup Press, which published the book. The show is free and open to the public, and runs through October 15.


Join us for an opening reception on Tuesday, October 6 at 4pm, and meet some of the artists!


Checkout Overcup Press’ website to learn more about The Tall Trees of Portland.


The Tall Trees of Portland art exhibit

Portland City Hall Atrium, first floor

1221 SW 4th Ave.

8 am – 5 pm

October 5, 2015

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