POL Government Elected Officials Commissioner Nick Fish News Blog Archive Blog

City Council to honor Pastor Hardy

On Thursday, June 4, at 2:00 pm, the Portland City Council will host a day of appreciation for Rev. Dr. W. G. Hardy, Jr.


Join us to celebrate Pastor Hardy and his lifetime of service to the Portland community, most recently as senior pastor of the Highland Christian Center.


Pastor Hardy has been serving the community for more than 20 years. From head start education and youth ministries to mental health and addiction services, Pastor Hardy’s leadership and advocacy has made a big difference.


During the celebration, we will present an official Proclamation to Pastor Hardy, and then hear from some special guests.

June 2, 2015

Meet our summer intern

We are delighted to have Lilly Lee join the Fish Team! 


Lilly is currently a Portland Community College student who will transfer to Portland State University in the fall. She’s majoring in International Studies and Early Education. 


Lilly is a Carpe Mundi scholarship recipient. Completing an internship in the Portland community is part of the scholarship requirement – we’re grateful she chose us!  


Another aspect of her scholarship includes traveling abroad. Lilly just spent the last several months living in Central America. 


Carpe Mundi provides mentorship and scholarship for first generation college students. It focuses on creating significant and sustainable social changes within the greater Portland community, as well as increasing global awareness and empathy. 


Lilly’s internship was arranged through Worksystems’ SummerWorks youth employment program. Worksystems is a local non-profit that helps place youth in great summer jobs throughout the city.     


Welcome, Lilly!

June 1, 2015

Commissioner Fish introduces ordinance to create the Portland Utility Board

Portland City Commissioner Nick Fish today filed an ordinance to establish the Portland Utility Board (PUB). The PUB will strengthen public oversight of the Portland Water Bureau (PWB) and Bureau of Environmental Services (BES).


The ordinance contains key recommendations presented to Council by the Utility Oversight Blue Ribbon Commission (BRC) chaired by former U.S. Attorney Dwight Holton. The eleven-member BRC was charged by Mayor Hales and Commissioner Fish with identifying potential public oversight and accountability reforms for PWB and BES.


The BRC submitted its final report to Council at a work session held in December 2014. The report recommended the formation of a year-round community oversight body, with dedicated professional staff under its direction, to be actively involved in upstream deliberations on utility bureau budgets, capital spending, policies, and programs. 


The new PUB will replace the existing Public Utility Review Board (PURB) and the individual utility Budget Advisory Committees (BAC), and will report directly to the City Council.


“Today we are following through on a commitment to bring forward the BRC’s recommendations to improve public oversight of our public utilities,” said Commissioner Fish. “In concert with a unique partnership with the Citizens’ Utility Board of Oregon, the PUB will bring a new level of accountability and transparency to our utilities.”

Under the proposed Ordinance, nine new board members will be appointed by the Mayor this summer. The goal is to have the PUB up and running for the next utility budget cycle.


The proposed Ordinance will be considered by Portland City Council on June 3, 2015 at 10:00 AM.


Portland Utility Board Ordinance


Press Release


Fish submits ordinance to create Portland Utility Board

Jim Redden in the Portland Tribune

May 29, 2015

Justice for Sgt. Henry Johnson

Nearly a century after his service to our country in World War I, Sergeant Henry Johnson will finally be awarded this nation’s highest military honor.


On June 2, at the White House, President Obama will posthumously award Sgt. Johnson the Medal of Honor for his courageous actions during World War I.


Nick is honored to be invited to the ceremony, and will join an Oregon delegation including The Skanner publisher Bernie Foster and Nick’s former public advocate, George Hocker, at the White House on Tuesday.


Nick is especially grateful to the two United State Senators who took up Sgt. Johnson’s cause: Oregon Senator Ron Wyden and New York Senator Chuck Schumer.


Sgt. Johnson served in the 369th Regiment, also known as the Harlem Hellfighters. The African American regiment fought under the French flag, a legacy of segregation in the Army during WWI.


Nick’s grandfather, Hamilton Fish, was a Captain in the regiment.


In 1918, a wounded Sgt. Johnson fought off a German raider party for an hour – with only his jammed rifle and a bolo knife. His actions saved the lives of other soldiers. Sgt. Johnson was the first American soldier to receive France’s highest military honor, the Croix de Guerre with Palm.


Since 2010, Nick has been working with Senator Ron Wyden and The Skanner newspaper to right this wrong, and to secure the Medal of Honor for the WWI hero.


President to Award Medal of Honor to Sgt Henry Lincoln Johnson

Helen Silvis in The Skanner


Medal of Honor at Last for Black WWI Veteran

Jacob Siegel in The Daily Beast


97 years later, soldiers to receive Medal of Honor

The Oregonian


WWI hero to receive posthumous Medal of Honor after push from Oregon politicians, newspaper

Jim Ryan in The Oregonian

May 29, 2015

Friday Roundup

Fish submits ordinance to create Portland Utility Board

Jim Redden in the Portland Tribune


Grant High School Constitution Team – We the People Proclamation


Sgt. Henry Johnson Medal of Honor Press Release  


Henry Johnson’s Medal of Honor to be received by local guardsman

Mark Baker in News 10


Fish submits ordinance to create Portland Utility Board

Jim Redden in the Portland Tribune


Nick Fish wants legal opinion on city’s standoff with Pembina

Wendy Culverwell in the Portland Business Journal


Fish question brings life to Pembina plan

Chris Woodard and KOIN 6 News Staff


Not Dead Yet: Two City Commissioners Are Going to Tour the Site of That Proposed Propane Terminal Tomorrow

Dirk VanderHart in the Portland Mercury


Propane export terminal cold still get a shot at city zoning approval

Ted Sickinger in The Oregonian


Reservoir hearing ends without decision as questions linger

Jim Redden in the Portland Tribune


These garden plots are not for sale

Jim Redden in the Portland Tribune


Neighbors worry St. Johns community garden may be in jeopardy

Nina Mehlhaf in KGW News


Flush with cash, Portland Oks city budget with little debate

Steve Law in the Portland Tribune


Portland approves $485 million general fund spending plan, with roads at the center

Andrew Theen in the Oregonian


A $100 monthly utility bill in Portland? Almost

Brad Schmidt in The Oregonian


Portland Oks higher development fees for parks

Brad Schmidt in The Oregonian


It just got easier to fight Portland City Hall, and City Council is thrilled

Andrew Theen in The Oregonian

May 29, 2015

Expanding cultural access to the arts

The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) has awarded 20 local non-profits with grants totaling more than $50,000 in “Expanding Cultural Access” grants!


The Expanding Cultural Access grants help invest in wonderful arts and culture programs for Portland’s diverse and underserved communities. They are made possible thanks to Portland’s voter-approved Arts Education and Access Fund in 2012. 

Nick is proud to serve as Council liaison to RACC, as it works to provide equal access to art for everyone in our community.


The 20 grants awarded will help fund festivals, musicals, HIV awareness programs, and more!


Check out a RACC’s website for more information and a full list of grantees.    

May 28, 2015

Council welcomes Grant High School's Constitution Team

This morning, City Council proudly welcomed the Grant High School Constitution Team, winners of the 2015 National We the People competition in Washington, D.C.!


Nick was honored to read a Proclamation to celebrate their victory. 


The We the People competition, designed to simulate congressional hearings, teaches students about the United States Constitution and Bill of Rights.


The Classroom Law Project has administered Oregon’s We the People competition since 1987. Nick has been proud to serve as a judge for the regional competition for the past six years.


2015 marks the fourth year in a row that a Portland Public School team has brought home the gold. Oregon boasts more national titles than any other state in the country!


Grant High Principal Carol Campbell, Constitution Teacher Jeremy Reinholt, and Classroom Law Project Program Director Barbara Rost praised the students’ work. Two students, Cassie Hill and Amelia Morrison, shared how the program has made a difference in their education – and even in their future career goals.


Congratulations to the Generals for their incredible achievement!


Grant High School Constitution Team’s We the People Proclamation


Grant High team wins national 'We the People' competition

The Oregonian

May 27, 2015

Japanese butterbur

Spring is officially here. The weather is warmer, the sun is out, and most flowers are in full bloom – including invasive weeds. 


The Japanese butterbur is an invasive weed that is slowly spreading through Portland’s natural areas. 


It looks like a tropical plant, with large, thick green leaves that can reach up to four feet wide. The leaves’ underside is fuzzy, and the weed can grow to be six feet tall.   


Invasive species damage forests, streams, rivers, and personal gardens. Controlling invasive weeds (and fixing the damage they cause) costs Oregonians $125 million each year. It’s important to catch invasive weeds before they become dangerous infestations. 


If you find Japanese butterbur, please contact Dominic Maze (dominic.maze@portlandoregon.gov) at the Bureau of Environmental Services to discuss control options.


Check out the Bureau of Environmental Services’ website to learn more. 

May 26, 2015

Friday Roundup

Press Release for Sgt. Henry Johnson Medal of Honor

Senator Wyden


President will award Medal of Honor to Sgt Henry Lincoln Johnson

Helen Silvis in the Skanner


Where We Live: Benson Bubblers

Ken Boddie in KOIN 6 News


Water, sewer rates on the rise again in Portland

Chris Woodard and KOIN 6 News Staff


Portland's water and sewer rates may increase

KATU News Staff


Harnessing Hydropower From Urban Water Pipes

Virginia Gewin in Popular Science


Drought: Portland Area Water is Good Short-term, But Potentially “Scary” in the Future

Rebecca Randall in GoLocalPDX


Hall Monitor: Inside the Black Box

Dirk VanderHart in the Portland Mercury



WW Movie Staff in the Willamette Week


Making room for blue collars in blue Portland: Editorial Agenda 2015

The Oregonian Editorial Board


Uber Not Living Up to its Promises in Portland

GoLocalPDX News Team


Who Represents You?

Shelby R. King in the Portland Mercury


Make less than $16.61 an hour? You can't afford a 2-bedroom apartment in Oregon

Denis C. Theriault in The Oregonian


Bad News for Author of Proposed Ballot Initiative

Shelby R. King in the Portland Mercury


Business Movers: Sarah Cochenour, Christian Coleman, Jeff Hawthorne

Vickie Kavanagh in The Oregonian

May 22, 2015


BodyVox and the Amphion String Quartet are reuniting for the world premiere of their latest performance, Cosmosis


Cosmosis is a beautiful and riveting blend of dance, theater, and live chamber music. 


BodyVox is a local arts organization that combines dance, theater and film into incredible productions. It’s funded in part by the Regional Arts & Culture Council’s General Operating Support grant program. 


The Amphion String Quartet is an award-winning string quartet internationally known for its intense and gripping music.


Together, the two groups create a stunning performance full of passion and wonder.  


Cosmosis begins tonight and goes through June 6. 


Check out BodyVox’s website for more information and to purchase tickets.  



BodyVox Dance Center

1201 NW 17th Ave.

Portland, OR 97209


Photo courtesy of BodyVox.

May 21, 2015

Grant Magazine wins Gold

This morning, Nick was proud to present a Proclamation for Grant High School’s award-winning Grant Magazine team. 


Grant Magazine tells authentic stories of their high school community, including students, faculty, parents, and more.


In March, Grant journalists were awarded a prestigious Columbia Scholastic Press Association Gold Crown Award at a ceremony in New York City!


The Gold Crown Award is the Association’s highest award. It recognizes the best student publications across the country, based on writing, design, photography, and online coverage. Grant Magazine is the only Oregon publication to ever receive a Gold Crown Award – and this is the second year in a row that they won!


Congratulations, Grant Magazine!


Check out Grant Magazine’s impressive website, and consider supporting them with a subscription to the magazine.

May 20, 2015

Sipping from the Benson Bubblers


The Benson Bubbler drinking fountains are legendary in the City of Roses. 


The Benson Bubblers were named after businessman and philanthropist Simon Benson, who donated $10,000 for the purchase and installation of 20 fountains in 1912. 


Folklore suggests that Benson was concerned that local loggers were visiting saloons too much during the work day. He wanted to provide them with the alternative of fresh, clean water. 


Over a century later, the Bubblers are still flowing. They are so famous, there’s even one in our sister city of Sapporo, Japan!


There are 51 “true” four-bowl Benson Bubblers in Portland. Forty-eight are installed in downtown Portland while three on the Eastside. They provide drinking water from the Bull Run reservoirs.


An additional 79 bubblers replicating the original style have been cast and installed over the years, but are not to be confused with the “true” 51. 


KOIN 6 News has a great article about the history of the Benson Bubblers. 


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


Where We Live: Benson Bubblers

Ken Boddie in KOIN 6 News

May 19, 2015

Summer arts camps

School’s almost out and summer is just around the corner. Kids know what that means – it’s almost camp time!


There are many arts organizations throughout our city that offer a variety of great summer arts camps and workshops for youth. 


The Regional Arts & Culture Council (RACC) has a huge list of camps in Portland. Dance, music, visual arts, and more – there’s something for everyone.


Check out RACC’s website for the full list.


Photo courtesy of RACC.

May 18, 2015

Irvington students visit City Hall

This afternoon, we were pleased to welcome a surprise visit from some third graders from Irvington School in Northeast Portland.


After seeing the Oregon Children's Theatre's performance of Ramona Quimby at the Newmark Theatre, the students walked down from Portland'5 for a tour of City Hall!


They enjoyed a quick rest in Commissioner Fish's office before heading to their next destination.


Ramona Quimby, a play based on one of Beverly Cleary's beloved characters, runs through May 31. For more information and to purchase tickets, visit http://www.octc.org/onstage/ramona.

May 15, 2015

Friday Roundup

May 15, 2015

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