POL Government Elected Officials Commissioner Nick Fish News Blog Archive Blog

No Ivy Day

This Saturday, join your friends and neighbors in a community-wide ivy take-down at the 12th annual No Ivy Day!


English ivy and Irish ivy were once used in landscaping in Oregon. While beautiful, they are invasive species that spread quickly, and have taken over our roadways, parks, and natural areas - including in Forest Park and the River View Natural Area. Invasive ivy suffocates plants and trees, which can lead to unstable hillsides and erosion that pollutes our streams. Ivy also doesn’t help soak up rain like our native plants, so there is more stormwater runoff heading to our waterways.


No Ivy Day is hosted by the No Ivy League, a program of Portland Parks & Recreation. Since 1994, volunteers with No Ivy League have saved tens of thousands of trees, and have cleared millions of square feet of ivy from our forest floors. No Ivy League volunteers remove invasive species by hand, rather than by chemical or mechanical removal.


There are over a dozen No Ivy Day sites around the city. Check out Portland Parks & Recreation’s website for a site near you and to RSVP.


No Ivy Day

Saturday, October 24

October 21, 2015

Tips for fall gardening

The leaves are changing color, the weather is cooling, and the rainy season is upon us.


While not the ideal season for gardening, taking time this fall to give your lawn the attention and care it needs will help it be ready to bloom beautifully next spring.


The Portland Water Bureau has tips and tricks to prepare your gardens for the colder seasons:

  1. Make your own mulch by composting leaves and other garden debris. It’ll be great to use in the spring!
  2. Plant ‘waterwise’ plants. Perfect for fall rainy weather, waterwise plants require lots of water while being established. Afterwards, it needs less water than traditional plants, meaning less watering in the warmer months.
  3. Winterize your automatic sprinkler system. Empty the sprinklers of water, and don’t forget to turn them off. This will help prevent pipes from breaking during freezing temperatures – and may end up saving your money!

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

October 20, 2015

What Are Old People For?

On Friday, Nick was proud to emcee What Are Old People For?, a community forum hosted by Age-Friendly Portland.


As Council liaison to Elders in Action, Nick was pleased to attend the forum, and to listen to the robust discussion about the value of older adults in our community. Dr. Janet Taylor, AARP's Life Reimagined Ambassador, gave the keynote address.


Age-Friendly Portland is a partnership among Elders in Action, AARP Oregon, and Portland State University’s Institute on Aging. Age-Friendly Portland is dedicated to building an empowered and engaged community of older adults in our city.  


The City of Portland is proud to partner with Age-Friendly Portland, and is also committed to ensuring the well-being of our older adults. In 2013, Council passed a resolution accepting an Action Plan for an Age-Friendly Portland, a framework to help us address the unique needs of older adults.


Over the last two years, we’ve made progress, especially in increasing civic engagement and volunteerism, economic development, employment, and more! Age-Friendly Portland’s Advisory Council is working hard to keep the Action Plan on track.


Check out Age-Friendly Portland’s website for more information.

October 19, 2015

The Week Catch

October 16, 2015

Principal for Almost a Day


Today, Nick was honored to serve as “Principal for Almost a Day” at Glenfair Elementary School in Northeast Portland.


Glenfair is part of the Reynolds School District.


Principal for Almost a Day is sponsored by All Hands Raised, a local nonprofit that partners with community stakeholders to encourage students’ success in Portland and Multnomah County.


The special day provides community leaders with the opportunity to job shadow principals in local schools, gain first-hand experience, and learn more about the challenges our kids face.


Nick shadowed Principal Lisa McDonald and Assistant Principal John Dixon, and met with students, teachers, counselors, staff and parents.


Thanks to Portland’s voter approved Arts Education & Access Fund, students now have more access to art, with a full-time music teacher and a part-time arts teacher. 


Thanks Glenfair, and Principal McDonald, for hosting Nick today.


Check out All Hands Raised’s website to learn more about Principal for Almost a Day.

October 15, 2015

A budding rain garden

Bureau of Environmental Services (BES) staff recently joined volunteers with Depave and Saints Peter and Paul Episcopal Church to help make space for a new rain garden in the church’s parking lot in Southeast Portland. 


The crew removed pavement and invasive English ivy to make way for native plants and trees. Green spaces – like rain gardens – are great for managing stormwater. Plants and soils in the garden soak up rain and stormwater runoff, reducing the amount of water entering our sewers and keeping pollutants out of our rivers and streams.


The project is funded by a Community Watershed Stewardship Program grant (CWSP). The program provides grants for local organizations to complete neighborhood projects that help manage stormwater and restore waterways. Since 1995, CWSP has awarded more than $1 million in grants for watershed projects, and helped organize more than 40,000 volunteers to work on local community projects.


On October 24, volunteers will be back for a planting party – and they need your help! Volunteers will be provided tools, gloves, gear, and snacks. Check out BES’s website for more information.


Planting at Saints Peter and Paul Episcopal Church

8147 SE Pine St.

Saturday, October 24, 10am – 1pm

October 14, 2015

El Espíritu del Emprendedor

Join the Portland Mercado this Thursday for the grand opening of El Espíritu del Emprendedor (the Spirit of Entrepreneurship), an exhibit about Latinos in Oregon.


El Espíritu del Emprendedor highlights our region’s proud and diverse culture of Latino entrepreneurship. The exhibit shares stories dating back to the 1800s, before census data even captured the Latino community in Oregon.  El Espíritu presents an important conversation about transitioning from employee to business owner, and from immigrant to Oregonian.


The Mercado is a grassroots economic development project of Hacienda CDC in southeast Portland. It celebrates Portland’s Latino cultural heritage with food, entertainment, and art.


El Espíritu del Emprendedor is funded in part by the Regional Arts & Culture Council’s project grant program. Nick is proud to serve as Council Liaison to RACC, as it invests in diverse and accessible arts and culture programs that reach all people in our community.


Check out the Portland Mercado’s website to learn more about the exhibit.


El Espíritu del Emprendedor: Latinos in Oregon Exhibition

Portland Mercado

7238 SE Foster Rd.

Grand Opening: Thursday, October 15, 6 – 7:30 pm

The exhibit runs through the end of the year.


Photo courtesy of Portland Mercado.

October 13, 2015

WILD virtual reality

Portland’s creative economy just got a little more “WILD.”

On Friday, Nick experienced a virtual reality adventure at local tech company WILD in Southeast Portland. 


WILD is an innovative local business that creates lifelike, interactive journeys in virtual reality. Wireless headsets can transport you into a multi-sensory, virtual 3-D world with sound effects, music, and even temperature changes.


WILD is currently developing their software and business model – and helping make Portland a hub for the industry. They hope to soon open to the public, so Portlanders can experience a 3-D cinematic virtual reality!


As Council liaison to the arts and small businesses, Nick is pleased to support creative industries that contribute to our local economy.


Check out WILD’s website for more information. 


Photo courtesy of WILD.

October 12, 2015

A natural area naming contest

A part of Johnson Creek was recently restored – and it needs a new name!


The Bureau of Environmental Services (BES) is proud to partner with the Johnson Creek Watershed Council and North Clackamas Parks & Recreational District in asking YOU to help name a newly renovated natural area in Johnson Creek!


In 2014, BES completed the Luther Road Habitat Restoration Project. Back in the 1930s, Johnson Creek was artificially deepened and cut off from its natural floodplain. Over time, the creek eroded the stream bed and exposed a large sewer pipe and manhole.


The restoration project repaired and reburied the sewer pipe that crosses under Johnson Creek. It also moved the creek channel and created a more natural flow. Now, when high water reaches that part of Johnson Creek, it’ll spread onto the floodplain and slow down, which helps prevent erosion.


The project also benefits the critters that live there. It improved habitat for endangered salmon and trout, removed invasive plants, planted native plants, and created a more healthy and beautiful environment.     


The naming contest ends on Tuesday, October 13, at 5pm. Submit your name idea here! The top three entries will receive a framed Johnson Creek nature photo.


Check out the Johnson Creek Watershed Council’s website for more information. 

October 9, 2015

The Weekly Catch

Street Roots:


Nick Fish: The state of our public utilities

Nick Fish in Street Roots


Street Roots 2015 Breakfast Video

Street Roots in Youtube


Low-Income Discount:


2015 Low-Income Discount Report


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


Portlandia's Birthday:


Storm Large, Bud Clark among attendees of Portland statue’s 30th birthday celebration

Dave Killen in The Oregonian


Happy 30th birthday, Portlandia!

KGW News


Happy birthday, Portlandia: Iconic Rose City statue turns 30

Fox 12 Staff


How Portland businesses and arts fans celebrated ‘Portlandia’s’ 30th birthday (Photos)

Andy Giegerich in the Portland Business Journal


Portlandia Turns 30

Matt Strangel in Artslandia


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

Joseph Rose in The Oregonian


Party like it’s 1985 for Portlandia’s birthday

Kevin Trevellyan in the Portland Tribune




The bold promise to reduce homelessness: Editorial Agenda 2015

The Oregonian Editorial Board


Mayor, council move to combat housing crisis

Jim Redden In the Portland Tribune


Police Ride-Along:


Nick Fish with PPB at Portland club killing

Kohr Harlan and KOIN 6 News Staff


Nick Fish sees aftermath of deadly violence first-hand in Portland ride-along

Fedor Zarkhin in The Oregonian


Weekend gunfire leaves 3 dead, 3 wounded in Portland

Rebecca Woolington in The Oregonian


Man killed outside NE Portland bar remembered ‘as a hero’

Fox 12 Staff


Commissioner picks deadly night for Portland ride-along

SF Gate


Gas Tax:


Portland gas tax: 10-cent-a-gallon proposal set for May ballot

Brad Schmidt in The Oregonian


Indigenous Peoples' Day:


City of Portland to recognize Indigenous Peoples Day

Steven DuBois in the Associated Press

October 9, 2015

Portlandia Turns 30!

30 years ago, former Mayor Bud Clark welcomed Portlandia to the City of Roses.


Today, we celebrated her birthday with a party fit for our Portland icon.


Nick was proud to join his Council colleagues, Mayor Bud Clark, former Commissioner Mike Lindberg, Rose Highbear from the Wisdom of the Elders, the great Storm Large, and students from Chapman Elementary School for the big celebration.


Rose Highbear gave a special native blessing to mark the occasion, and Mayor Clark shared how he floated down the Willamette to welcome Portlandia as she arrived by barge in 1985. Storm Large and the Chapman choir led the crowd in singing "Happy Birthday," followed by an inspiring performance of "Amazing Grace" in honor of Roseburg.


Thanks to our event sponsors, The Standard, Starbucks, and Cupcake Jones -- and to our outstanding team at the Regional Arts & Culture Council for organizing a great event!


Portlandia (c) Raymond Kaskey


Storm Large, Bud Clark among attendees of Portlandia statue's 30th birthday celebration
Dave Killen in The Oregonian


Happy 30th birthday, Portlandia!

KGW News


Happy birthday, Portlandia: Iconic Rose City statue turns 30

Fox 12 News


How Portland businesses and art fans celebrated 'Portlandia's' 30th birthday

Andy Giegerich in the Portland Business Journal


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 8, 2015

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

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