POL Government Elected Officials Commissioner Nick Fish News Blog Archive Blog

Art project grants

This year, the Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) has awarded over $600,000 in project grants for 146 projects and programs in the tri-county region!


The Project Grant Program provides financial support to non-profits, school, and artists.  Grants are up to $6,000 and awarded in three categories: Community Participation, Arts-In-Schools, and Artistic Focus. 


Nearly half of the grant applications received were awarded full or partial funding. 65 grants went to nonprofits and schools, and 80 went to individual local artists. 


Nick is proud to serve as City Council liaison to RACC – the City of Portland is RACC’s largest funding source. 


RACC is committed to funding diverse and accessible art programs that reach all people in our community.


Check out RACC’s website for a complete list of funded projects. 

Photo courtesy of RACC.

December 18, 2014

Unidirectional flushing

The Portland Water Bureau works hard throughout the year to provide us with some of the best drinking water in nation.


One of the ways the Water Bureau maintains our high quality water is by unidirectional flushing (UDF). 


Over time, tiny bits of sediment and organic matter from the Bull Run watershed settle and accumulate in the bottom of pipes.  Unidirectional flushing forces high-speed water through pipes to remove those sediments.  Flushing crews temporarily close valves to isolate sections of pipe, and water is directed through an open fire hydrant. 


This year, over 43 miles of water mains have been flushed in southwest and northwest Portland. 


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

December 17, 2014

Community Watershed Stewardship grants

Do you have a "green" idea for your neighborhood? The Bureau of Environmental Services (BES) is accepting grant applications through the Community Watershed Stewardship Program


The program gives Portlanders an opportunity to enhance their neighborhoods and communities, while improving the health of our watersheds.  Grants are up to $10,000!


The program is a partnership between BES and Portland State University.  Since it began in 1995, it has granted more than $1 million for watershed projects!


Across the city, people are getting involved in their neighborhoods, and making a lasting difference in their communities.   And you can too!  Need help developing project ideas or filling out your application?  Join BES staff at one of these three grant workshops:


Saturday, December 6

1 – 2:30 pm

Midland Library, 805 SE 122nd Avenue


Tuesday, January 6

6 – 7: 30 pm

Holgate Library, 7905 SE Holgate Boulevard


Saturday, January 17

4 – 5:30 pm

St. Johns Library, 7510 N Charleston Ave.


Check out BES’ website for more information. 

December 16, 2014

Are you looking for a muralist?

The first issue of the Regional Arts & Culture Council’s (RACC) Muralist Roster is now available!  The on-line resource is a great guide for those in the greater Portland area seeking artists for a mural project. 


The Roster features talented local artists who were selected by RACC’s Public Art Murals Program Committee.  Read the artists’ bio, view details on their past projects, and more! They have great skills and experience in painting murals and/or large scale artworks. 


Public art murals are wonderful expressions of art and community engagement.  They beautify our streets and deter graffiti.   


Check out RACC’s Public Art Murals Program page for more details, or contact Peggy Kendellen at pkendellen@racc.org


Photo courtesy of RACC.

December 15, 2014

Friday Roundup

December 12, 2014

Celebrating human rights


Today, Nick was honored to speak at the Emily G. Gottfried Award Ceremony, presented by the Portland Human Rights Commission


The event celebrated human rights leaders in our community.  Former Senator Avel Gordly received the lifetime achievement award.  Senator Gordly was the first African American women elected to the Oregon State Senate.  The Albina Ministerial Alliance (AMA), Coalition for Justice and Police Reform, received the award for outstanding organization. Corey L. Murphy, director of operations with Pride Northwest, was recognized as an emerging leader.   


The event also honored the memory and legacy of Emily G. Gottfried.  Emily was a champion of human rights, and organized the first annual Human Rights Award Luncheon last year.  She passed away in 2013.   


The Human Rights Commission is dedicated to ending discrimination, and to build greater justice and inclusion for all those who live and spend time in Portland.  It is guided by the principles of the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights. 


Congratulations to all the awardees!  We appreciate your dedication to furthering human rights in Portland.


Learn more about the Portland Human Rights Commission on their website

December 11, 2014

All the art that fits

The Portland Building’s art installation space has a wonderful new collection of art from a unique source – public employees. 

City of Portland and Multnomah County employees submitted their original artworks for the installation, called all the art that fits.  The salon-style show features a delightful mix of charming, amateur works.

Check out the installation, and vote for your favorite! This year’s winner receives a membership to the Hollywood Theater.

The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) sponsors the Installation Art Series.  Selected through a juried process, each installation questions common perspectives through art. 


All the art that fits is up until January 6th.  Check out RACC’s website for more information.


Portland Building Installation Art Series

1120 SW 5th Avenue

8 am – 5 pm

Photo courtesy of RACC.

December 10, 2014

Portland’s “Wild” creative economy


Portland’s growing creative economy has had an exciting week!


On Sunday night, TNT debuted the latest season of the Portland-based TV show, The Librarians.  Nearly 5.5 million people tuned in, making it cable TV’s most watched series premiere this year!

Nick enjoyed visiting the set of The Librarians over the summer, where he toured and watched filming.   


Last night, Nick was delighted to attend the star-studded premiere of the movie Wild at Cinema 21.  The movie is based on the best-selling memoir of Portlander Cheryl Strayed.  Reese Witherspoon plays Strayed, who hiked the Pacific Crest Trail following her mother’s death.


Wild was filmed throughout Portland and Oregon, and showcases the spectacular beauty of our city and state. 


It’s an exciting time for Portland, and a testament to the hard work of countless people working in our creative economy. In 2013, Portland ranked fifth in the nation for the best place to live and work as an independent American filmmaker.


As Council Liaison to the arts and small businesses, Nick supports creative industries that contribute to our local economy. Since 2007, the greater-Portland area has experienced a 24% increase in film and video production jobs – thanks to producers from projects like Wild, The Librarians, Grimm, Portlandia, and many others who are committed to hiring our local talent.


Party Report: Reese Witherspoon, Lauara Dern Appear at Portland "Wild Premiere"

Byron Beck in GoLocalPDX


On the "Wild" Movie Trail in Oregon

Tim Neville in The New York Times


Wild premiere: Reese Witherspoon, Laura Dern and the stars come out in Northwest Portland

Jeff Baker in The Oregonian

Filmed-in-Portland 'The Librarians': A playful, hectic mix of comedy, fantasy and adventure (review)

Kristi Turnquist in The Oregonian

December 9, 2014

Supporting East Portland small businesses

Nick is proud to serve as Council liaison to Venture Portland and to our thriving small business community. 


Small businesses are the backbone of Portland’s economy. They bring character and strength to our neighborhoods, create jobs, and drive economic growth.


Nick regularly visits with small business owners across Portland. Throughout his visits, Nick noticed a visible difference with some business districts in East Portland. 


Because of East Portland’s infrastructure, districts like Midway and Gateway do not have the same commercial retail corridors as other popular business districts in Portland.  Its small businesses are spread throughout large neighborhoods, making it more challenging for business leaders to recruit workers and build strong business associations. 


Venture Portland organized a focus group of East Portland business stakeholders to brainstorm solutions. With their input and ideas, Venture Portland designed a year-long program to jump start East Portland business districts. 


Nick secured $100,000 to fund the program through the Fall Budget Monitoring Process. Business districts east of SE 82nd Avenue will receive targeted support and outreach staff to recruit members and strengthen their districts!


Check out Venture Portland’s website to learn more about Portland’s great business districts. 

Venture Portland is hiring! Click here for more information. 

December 8, 2014

Final Report of the Utility Oversight Blue Ribbon Commission

Today Mayor Charlie Hales and Commissioner Nick Fish released the final report of the 12-member Utility Oversight Blue Ribbon Commission.


The report keeps a pledge they made to review the oversight of the Portland Water Bureau and Bureau of Environmental Services.


The Commission, formed in July 2014 and led by former US Attorney Dwight Holton, was comprised of members representing a variety of technical and management disciplines including public and private utilities, engineering, communications, environmental science, and organizational development. The panel included a current wholesale water customer and a representative of the independent Citizens’ Utility Board.


The independent commission was charged to “analyze potential reforms of the oversight and accountability of the Portland Water Bureau and Bureau of Environmental Services and then report to the City Council.”


The Commission convened from July to December and presented draft recommendations to the Portland City Council in a Work Session in November. The public was invited to testify at three of the Commission meetings.


“The Commission has carried out its charge with diligence and care,” said Mayor Hales, “On behalf of Portland’s ratepayers, I want to thank Chair Dwight Holton and Vice-Chair Christine Chin Ryan, whose leadership brought us these recommendations.”


“We applaud the Blue Ribbon Commission for their service to our ratepayers,” said Commissioner Fish, “These recommendations provide a framework for a new, highly engaged, public utility oversight body.”


Commissioner Fish will lead the coordinated effort to create the new Public Utility Board in time for the FY 2016-17 budget process.


Final Report to City Council


Final Report to City Council: Appendices




Statement from Citizens' Utility Board

December 8, 2014

Wilkes Creek Headwaters

Wilkes Creek Headwaters in Northeast Portland used to be farm land. Now, City Crews are restoring the green space as a natural area!  The creek’s springs feed into the only free-flowing stream in the city that enters the Columbia Slough watershed. 


This summer, the Bureau of Environmental Services (BES) removed a culvert at the site, which was interfering with stream flow and wildlife movement. They replaced it in an innovative way - with a recycled railroad bridge.  Now, the spring water flows directly into Wilkes Creek! 


The Bureau of Environmental Services and Portland Parks & Recreation are working hard to restore Wilkes Creek Headwaters’ ecosystem. City crews are removing invasive plants and restoring native vegetation. 


Eventually, the City will complete a master plan for the area, and open Wilkes Creek Headwaters to the public. Learn more about the Wilkes Creek Headwaters project on BES’ website.

December 5, 2014

Friday Roundup

December 5, 2014

A different kind of Christmas Carol

Just in time for the holiday season, Portland Center Stage is presenting the humorous play, Twist Your Dickens


Twist Your Dickens is a zany take on Charles Dickens’ beloved novel, A Christmas Carol.  The unique show was developed by the legendary comedy troupe, The Second City.  It includes hilarious sketches, improv, and audience participation. 


Portland Center Stage is a wonderful part of Portland’s thriving arts and culture community.  It seeks to inspire our community by bringing beautiful and lively stories to life in unique ways.  The organization is funded in part by the Regional Arts & Culture Council’s (RACC) General Operating Support program. 


Check out Twist Your Dickens! It’s showing at the Gerding Theater in the Portland Armory through December 24.  Visit Portland Center Stage’s website for more information.

Photo courtesy of RACC.

December 4, 2014

2014 Steve Lowenstein Award

This morning, Nick was proud to join Lowenstein Trustee Michelle Harper in presenting the 2014 Steve Lowenstein Trust Award to Ignacio Paramo. 


The Lowenstein Trust Award is named for attorney, author, and civil rights activist Steve Lowenstein. The award is given to individuals who are dedicated to making a difference in the lives of low-income people in our community.


Ignacio Paramo has been a tireless advocate for the immigrant community in Portland for the last 15 years.  He works at VOZ Workers’ Rights Education Project, as the Director - and heart - of the Martin Luther King, Jr. Worker Center.


VOZ is a remarkable worker-led organization in Portland.  It empowers immigrant and day laborers with leadership development, organizing, and community education. 


Congratulations, Ignacio!  Thank you for making a difference! 

VOZ day laborer director receives award, recognized for dedication to vulnerable workers: Portland City Hall Roundup

Andrew Theen in The Oregonian

December 3, 2014


Today is #GivingTuesday! It’s a special day dedicated to celebrating generosity and giving back to those in need.


#GivingTuesday follows Black Friday and Cyber Monday each year. But, instead of buying gifts for our loved ones, it provides a wonderful opportunity to donate to nonprofits in our community.


Need some ideas for nonprofits? The Willamette Week Give!Guide is a great way to donate to Portland nonprofits that need our help during the holiday season. 


And by giving, you get something back too! Donations through the Give!Guide earns you free and discounted products from favorite local businesses. 


Give on this #GivingTuesday, and check out Give!Guide’s website for more information. 

December 2, 2014

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