POL Government Elected Officials Commissioner Nick Fish News Blog Archive Blog

Happy Lunar New Year!


This weekend, Nick was honored to attend the TET Vietnamese New Year’s Celebration.


Today is the official beginning of the lunar year for many people around the world, and in our community too.


Ethic, racial, and religious diversity are some of our city’s great strengths. The immigrant and refugee families who choose to call Portland and Oregon home enriches our community.  


And, we are grateful for the many contributions the Vietnamese-American community makes to our great city.


We wish you and your loved ones a happy, healthy, and prosperous New Year!

February 8, 2016

Celebrating Venture Portland


Last night, Nick was honored to attend and speak at Celebrate Our City, Venture Portland’s 30th Anniversary Party.


The diamond-anniversary celebrated Venture Portland and our wonderful neighborhood business districts.


And, on Wednesday, Nick was proud to present a proclamation at City Council, honoring their huge milestone.


Nick is Council liaison to Venture Portland. It is a local organization with a strong focused on investing in the smart, strategic growth of our neighborhood small business districts.


Neighborhood small businesses are the backbone of our community. They bring character and strength to our neighborhoods, create jobs, and encourage economic growth. For every dollar spent a local small business, nearly 70 cents stays in Portland’s local economy.


Check out Venture Portland’s website for more information.

February 5, 2016

The Weekly Catch

February 5, 2016

Kids experience the Bull Run


City Council had special visitors this morning!


Fourth-graders from Boise-Eliot/Humboldt School and their art teacher spoke at Council about their experience inside the majestic Bull Run Watershed.


Last fall, students participated in a unique field trip to the Bull Run that focused on water and art. The Portland Water Bureau guides hundreds of students through the Bull Run every year, to study water science and engineering. The Boise-Eliot/Humboldt field trips added a special mission: visit Bull Run and share their experience with Portland through art.


The tour was designed for students to experience the watershed through their five senses - including taste! Students took a silent walk through the forest, recorded sounds from inside a dam, practiced photo yoga, and tasted an oxalis plant.


After their trip, they created the beautiful artwork currently on display in City Hall’s atrium, which runs through February 25th.


Special thanks to Briggy Thomas and the Portland Water Bureau team!


Check out the Water Bureau’s website for more information.


Bull Run Art Exhibit

Portland City Hall atrium

Monday – Friday, 7:30 am – 5:00 pm

1221 SW Fourth Ave.


Students create art project after field trip to Bull Run Watershed

Fox 12 Staff


Where to celebrate Valentine's Day with kids, and other February family events in Portland

Amy Wang in The Oregonian

February 3, 2016

Funding our utilities

It’s budget season!


Today I submitted Requested Budgets for the  City’s public utilities – the Bureau of Environmental Services (BES) and the Portland Water Bureau (PWB).


Together, these two bureaus manage over $20 billion in infrastructure, employ more than a thousand people, and protect six watersheds.


The requested budgets reflect our priorities for each bureau: clean water in our rivers and our taps, maintaining our aging infrastructure, and ensuring that we are ready for “the Big One.”


For the third year in a row, I directed BES and PWB to keep their combined rate increase below five percent – and once again they have delivered.


Thanks to my two bureau directors, Mike Stuhr and Mike Jordan, the new Portland Utility Board (PUB), the Citizens Utility Board (CUB) and many others for helping to shape the budget proposals.


Over the weekend, The Oregonian ran an op-ed I authored. It answers many questions we are asked during the budget season, and explains why I am so proud to lead these bureaus.


Your voice matters!


Over the next few months, you can attend a Budget Forum or Hearing – find one that is convenient for you. In the meantime, you can comment on the requested budgets, and I hope you do so.


When the BES and the PWB budgets are finalized, you’ll be able to find them on the City Budget Office website.

February 1, 2016

The Weekly Catch

January 29, 2016

Personal Advocates

Elders in Action’s Personal Advocate Program helps change lives for the better.


Personal Advocates are volunteers who work with older adults facing difficulties in their lives. They provide important relationships that engage and empower individuals who contact Elders in Action for assistance.


Every year, Elders in Action’s Personal Advocates help many older adults with a variety of challenging situations, including assistance in setting a budget, helping determine health benefits and resources, terminating a bank card, situations of elder abuse, and much more.


Nick is proud to be Council liaison to Elders in Action, a mission-driven nonprofit dedicated to creating a vibrant community of active and engaged older adults.


Check out Elders in Action’s website to learn more.

January 28, 2016

Arts Equity Grants

The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) is investing $100,000 in Arts Equity Grants to local nonprofit organizations!


The Art Equity Grant Program provides financial support to nonprofits that provide arts and culture programs and services for diverse communities, including communities of color, immigrants, refugees, LGBTQ communities, persons with disabilities, and other under-represented communities.


Grant awards will range from $1,000 - $7,000 each.


Nick is proud to serve as City Council liaison to RACC, as it is committed to funding diverse and accessible art programs that reach all people in our community.


Letters of Interest are due by February 24 at 5:00pm. Applicants who meet the objectives of the Grant Program will be invited to submit a full application in March.


Interested in applying? RACC is hosting three free information sessions to help community members learn more about the Arts Equity Grant and how to apply. The next one is Thursday, January 28, from 3:00 – 5:00 pm at RACC’s offices. 


Check out RACC’s website to learn more.


Arts Equity Grant information session

Thursday, January 28, 3:00 – 5:00 pm

RACC’s offices

411 NW Park Ave, Suite 101

January 27, 2016

Bodies in Motion, Bodies at Rest

Join the Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) this Thursday to celebrate the Portland Winter Light Festival.


RACC and the Hollywood Theatre collaborate on First Thursdays for a projection series named Night Lights. February’s projection is a special collaboration with the Light Festival, called Bodies in Motion, Bodies at Rest.


Local artist Fernanda D’Agostino teamed up with seven Oregon video artists to explore people’s senses and sensibilities. The projection investigates the psychology and science of movement, as well as analyzes cultural identity, life experiences, and different perceptions.


Check out RACC’s website to learn more.


Bodies in Motion, Bodies at Rest

Regional Arts & Culture Council

Thursday, February 4, 5:00pm – 9:00pm

411 NW Park Avenue

January 26, 2016

Straight Talk: Islamophobia


Last week, Nick was honored to appear on KGW’s Straight Talk.


Nick joined host Laural Porter, and local faith leaders Wajdi Said, co-founder of the Muslim Educational Trust, and Jan Elfers, executive director of Ecumenical Ministries.


They discussed the importance of combating Islamophobia and bigotry in our community.


Check out the videos!


Straight Talk: Islamophobia (Part 2)

Laural Porter in KGW News


January 25, 2016

The Weekly Catch

January 22, 2016

Soaking up the storm

The Bureau of Environmental Services works hard to manage storm and wastewater in Portland.


The Columbia Wastewater Treatment Plant processes an average of 70 million gallons of wastewater a day. On Sunday, we had heavy rains, and the plant processed nearly 240 million gallons!


The plant is the largest in Portland. It collects and treats storm and wastewater 24 hours a day, every day, for 600,000 customers. There are dozens of pump stations and thousands of miles of sewer lines that bring wastewater to the plant.


Environmental Services also tackles storm and wastewater with the Big Pipe, which helps protect the Willamette River. Before, heavy rainstorms and stormwater runoff from our streets would cause our sewer system to overflow, dumping millions of gallons of raw sewage into the Willamette - up to 50 times a year!


Since the Big Pipe has been installed, sewer overflows have dramatically reduced, improving the Willamette River’s water quality. Everything caught in the Big Pipe goes directly to the Columbia Wastewater Treatment Plant.


Learn more about the Big Pipe and the Columbia Wastewater Treatment Plant by visiting the Bureau of Environmental Services’ website.

January 21, 2016

Welcome Paige!

We are happy to welcome Paige Spence to the Fish Team!


Paige serves as our Policy and Communications Advisor.


Paige is dedicated to public service. She graduated from Lewis & Clark Law School in January 2014 with honors, including the Cornelius Honor Society, a stipend for environmental work through the Public Interest Law Project, and a Pro Bono Honors Award.


Following law school, Paige worked as the Chief of Staff to State Senator Elizabeth Steiner Hayward MD. In that role, Paige developed the Senator’s legislative agenda, managed office communications, assisted constituents in navigating social and economic issues, and managed the Senator’s 2014 campaign.


Paige is also on the board of the Bus Project, loves traveling internationally, and can often be found in tents, slopes, or beaches in Oregon’s beautiful outdoors.


Welcome, Paige!

January 20, 2016

The Weekly Catch

January 15, 2016

Benson Bubblers

Our Benson Bubblers are back on!


Thanks to warming temperatures, the Portland Water Bureau is turning back on the Benson Bubblers.


The Benson Bubblers are Portland’s iconic bronze drinking fountains. They provide fresh, Bull Run drinking water throughout downtown.


The Water Bureau previously turned off many of the Bubblers due to cold weather, which can freeze pipes, damage property, and cause safety hazards on sidewalks for pedestrians. Of the 130 bubblers around downtown, two were left on to provide water to those who rely on them as their primary water source.


Now, everyone can enjoy them.


Check out the Portland Building’s website to learn more about the Benson Bubblers.

January 13, 2016

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