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Sharing Public Spaces Report - Printable Version - September 11, 2009 - 0 Comments

Commissioner Amanda Fritz

 

Report on Sharing Public Spaces

Community Forums

September 10, 2009

 


The Purpose of this Report


 

On May 2, 2007, the City Council enacted the Sidewalk Obstruction Ordinance, which included a sunset date in June 2009.   In April, Council contemplated whether to sunset or extend the ordinance.  There was sharp disagreement between those who opposed the ordinance as unfair to people experiencing homelessness and wanted Council to allow it to sunset, and those who felt that the ordinance helped bring orderliness to the city's sidewalks and should be renewed. 

 

At the same time, the Council was deep in work to formulate the 2009-10 City of Portland budget. The city faced a shortfall of $6.7 million in unfunded housing and shelter programs running on one-time annual allocations.  Funding for the Resource Access Center was still unresolved, tied up in the Land Use Board of Appeals remand of the River District Urban Renewal Area amendments.  Further, there had been very little discussion of the SAFE (Street Access For Everyone) Committee Report, which had been released in November 2008 but not widely publicized.  The SAFE Report outlines the services provided under the SAFE program, as well as concerns on the Sidewalk Obstructions ordinance.

 

Commissioner Fritz and Commissioner Fish asked the Council to delay the decision on the Sidewalk Obstructions ordinance until September, with an extension of the sunset until October 2009.  Their goal was to create an opportunity for public dialogue where they could hear all constituents before deciding whether to keep or abolish the ordinance, and to encourage all sides to listen to each other and discuss problems and solutions. 

 

In April, the Council extended the sunset of the Sidewalk Obstructions ordinance until October, by a vote of 4-1 with Commissioner Leonard dissenting.  He stated the Ordinance should sunset as planned in June.  Commissioner Fritz pledged to provide a report to Council in September, reviewing the SAFE report findings and summarizing the dialogues over the summer.  The report was intended to inform the decision on whether to extend or sunset the Sidewalk Obstructions ordinance.  This memorandum constitutes that report.

 

Two weeks before the first Town Hall forum was to take place, a Multnomah County Circuit Court judge ruled the Sidewalk Obstructions ordinance unconstitutional because it preempted the Oregon State disorderly conduct law.  Chief Sizer, with advice from the City Attorney and Commissioner Saltzman, responded by suspending enforcement of the Sidewalk Obstructions law, and giving guidance to officers on behaviors that could qualify for arrest under the Disorderly Conduct statute.

 

Commissioner Fritz and Commissioner Fish proceeded with the forums because their purpose was never only to discuss whether or not to continue or sunset the Sidewalk Obstructions ordinance, rather to review the SAFE Report’s findings, assess outstanding service needs, and promote dialogue and listening between advocates on all sides of the issues. 

 

The following outlines Commissioner Fritz's summary of concerns heard, and recommendations for next steps formulated after consultation with each member of the Council under Mayor Adams’s leadership and direction. 


 

Comments and suggestions welcome.  Email Amanda directly if you don't want to use the comments function at the end of the report.



 Background

 

The Street Access for Everyone (SAFE) Workgroup was called together by Mayor Tom Potter in May 2006, with the intent to address sidewalk behavior in the Lloyd and Downtown business districts and to identify needed services in the city.  The Workgroup convened in June 2006 and met every two weeks until the end of October 2006. In December 2006, the Workgroup recommended five core elements to be enacted:

  • Implementation of a day access/resource center
  • Provision of adequate public seating and benches in areas with high pedestrian traffic
  • Implementation of a public restroom plan
  • Enactment of a sidewalk obstruction ordinance
  • Creation of an oversight committee to oversee implementation. 

 

The City budgeted $1,342,000 toward this effort in FY 07/08 and FY 08/09. An additional $150,000 was provided by the Portland Business Alliance. Council enacted the Sidewalk Obstruction Ordinance on May 2, 2007.  The workgroup issued a report to Council In November 2008.

 

Forum Participation

 

The first forum in the Sharing Public Spaces discussion occurred on a July Saturday morning in North Portland at the Kaiser Town Hall, where over 70 people showed up in 100 degree weather to share and listen to each other.   The second meeting, held on a Tuesday evening at the First Unitarian Church on SW 12th, had standing-room-only attendance, with over 200 participants comprised of a broad cross section of Portland residents.  Both events were facilitated by Judith Mowery of the Office of Neighborhood Involvement, with volunteer mediators from Resolutions Northwest providing expert small group facilitation.

 

Findings

 

Discussions at the forums were very productive and community members provided excellent input and insight.  Many of the themes/concerns captured during the discussions were in line with the core elements of SAFE recommendations.

 

  • Although significant progress has been made in providing services, needs still outnumber resources
  • Many remain concerned about the rights of people experiencing homelessness 
  • Concerns of “Portland’s Own” vs. “Road Warriors,” and aggressive panhandling, drug dealing and other disorderly conduct vs. passive sidewalk use 
  • Concerns of businesses and tourism interests, in maintaining viable business districts and attractive, comfortable, safe neighborhoods citywide

 

1. Although significant progress has been made in providing services, needs still outnumber resources

 

The SAFE Committee remains invested in providing a central forum for review of services and issues.

 

Recommendation: Provide a permanent home for the SAFE Committee, with funded staff support.

 

Implementing Action:  Seek advice from SAFE Committee on their recommendation for Council liaison for their work. 

 

Leadership by: SAFE members; Mayor/Housing Commissioner/Police Commissioner/ONI-OHR Commissioner; community partners

 

Specific services:

 

A.  Bathrooms available at night

  • Restrooms open 24 hours:

            i.      The Portland Loo (NW 5th and Glisan)

                         * 4-6 more are planned to open in 2009

            ii.      Portland Rescue Mission (Burnside Shelter) (2)

 

  •  Restrooms open until 11 p.m.

i.      SW 8thand Ankeny

ii.     South Waterfront Park (north of Hawthorne bridge)

iii.    SW 4th and Clay (Ira Keller Fountain)

iv.    Chapman Square/Lownsdale Square (SW 4th and Main)

v.     NW 1st and Davis (Smart Park Garage)

 

Recommendation: Provide more porta-potties in strategic locations until the Resource Access Center and more Portland Loos are operational, for night use.

 

Implementing Actions:

  • Include more porta-potties accessible by people with disabilities
  • Publicize locations available

Leadership by: Water Bureau (Commissioner Leonard);, Parks & Recreation (Commissioner Fish); Portland Business Alliance (Clean & Safe cleaning services); Resource Guide; PHLUSH; other non-profit partners

 

B.  Benches

  • There are a total of 413 benches in place, including 31 new benches installed by SAFE in 2007 (as of July 21, 2009)
    • 17 of these benches are for Tri-Met users only
    • The remaining 396 are for public use
    • 12 new benches are proposed by SAFE for installation in the fall

Recommendation: Continue to seek funding from public and private sources to add more benches, especially in strategic locations.

 

Leadership by: SAFE committee and its Commissioner liaison; Portland Business Alliance; TriMet; downtown residents/visitors

 

CNight emergency shelter, especially for women, couples, and single fathers to sleep safely

 

Emergency shelter beds for women are full with a waiting list at the Salvation Army Female Emergency Shelter (SAFES) 

  • 50 beds and 2 police mats (used for police referral), with an additional 15 beds available in the winter 
  • Transitions Projects, Inc., Jean’s Place 
    • 55 beds available per night 
    • 2-3 month wait list 
    • People can call at 5 p.m. to check for emergency bed openings 

There is enough shelter for families in the Winter, but more than 40 families are homeless and sleeping outside in other seasons on any given night. There are about 100 year-round shelter beds for families.


No shelters where opposite-gender couples can stay in the same place, let alone in the same bed.

 

Recommendation: Provide more safe spaces for women and children as first priority. Consider providing shelters where couples can stay in close proximity.

NOTE:This would require additional City and County shelter resources.

 

Leadership by: Portland Housing Bureau, Multnomah County; non-profits

 

D.  Day spaces

  • Julia West House 
    • Serves approximately 200 people per day 
    • Open 6:30 am – 3:30 p.m. Monday- Saturday and 6:30 am – 1:30 pm on Thursday
  •   Salvation Army Female Emergency Shelter (SAFES) 
    • Serves approximately 80 women per day 
    • Open 7:00 am – 11:00 p.m. everyday
  •  Salvation Army Harbor Light 
    • Serves approximately 60 men per day 
    • Open 7:00 am – 3:00 p.m. everyday
  • Transition Projects, Inc. Community Service Center 
    • Serves approximately 30 people per day 
    • Open 8:30 am – 7:30 p.m. Monday- Friday 

 

Recommendation: Continue to seek more safe dry spaces for day use

 

Leadership by: Portland Housing Bureau, non-profits.

NOTE: This would require additional City and County shelter resources.

 

E.  Shower and laundry facilities

  • Julia West House 
    • 1 private shower 
    • Approximately 25 showers are taken per day  
    • 100-125 uses of grooming station per week 
  •  Salvation Army Female Emergency Shelter (SAFES) 
    • 2 shower stalls in day access center 
    • An additional 2 stalls are in the dorms 
    • Approximately 800 showers are taken per month in the day access center
  • Transition Projects, Inc. Community Service Center 
    • 4 showers for women 12/day 
    • 6 showers for men, 50/day 
    • Approximately 300 showers are taken per week 

 

Recommendation:  Continue to seek more shower facilities.

 

Leadership by: Portland Housing Bureau; non-profits and community partners

NOTE: This would require additional City and County shelter resources.

 

F.  Storage for belongings, particularly when people living outside are booked into jail

 

  • Julia West House
    • No lockers available
    • Shelves are used to hold approximately 40 bags
    • Salvation Army Female Emergency Shelter
      • 18 lockers available
    • Salvation Army Harbor Light
      • 18 lockers available
    • Transition Projects, Inc. Community Service Center 
      • No lockers available
      • Bag check for residents only, not day services recipients

 

  • People may lose their belongings when taken to jail for booking, since law enforcement officers often cannot fit carts etc. into their vehicles, plus belongings may not be suitable for storage without cleaning

 

Recommendation: Improve process by which belongings are safeguarded when people are taken to jail. Provide storage space for people during the day.

NOTE: This might require additional City and County shelter resources.

 

 

Leadership by:: Portland Police Bureau (Commissioner Saltzman); JOIN and other non-profit partners; friends of people arrested

 

 

2. Many remain concerned about the rights of people experiencing homelessness

 

  1. People need safe places to sit and lie when shelters are full
  2. There must be legal places for people to sleep at night when the shelters are full
  3. Concern about safety and cleanliness of bathrooms
  4. Access to health care services
  5. Difficulty replacing ID if lost/stolen
  6. Authority and behavior of private security forces vs. Portland Police officers
  7. Concern over the "secret list" of people prioritized to receive drug/alcohol treatment due to number of arrests (vs. convictions)

 

Recommendation: Continue dialogues between and among affected people and groups, seeking solutions that address these concerns.  Seek more non-local funding for services.

 

Leadership by: All Council members; Portland Business Alliance, Office of Neighborhood Involvement; Multnomah County; legal resources; non-profit partners; people living outside and organizations supporting them; voters and taxpayers; federal and state legislators

 

 

3. Concerns of "Portland's Own" vs. "Road Warriors," and aggressive panhandling/other disorderly conduct vs. passive sidewalk use

 

Many on all sides of the Sidewalk Obstructions debate drew distinctions between Portlanders with chronic or new homelessness challenges, and traveling youth who may be homeless by choice.  There was near-universal agreement of forum participants that “Road Warriors” cause many of the problems experienced by other downtown users, including problems for others living outside.  There was no agreement on how to identify and address problems caused by “Road Warriors.”  The SAFE Report was unable to distinguish in arrest records, leading to the perception that citations for Sidewalk Obstructions were unfairly targeted to people with chronic homelessness issues.

 

Portland Police provided the following data, combining both citations and warnings:

 

48% of the people receiving warning/citations were between 18-29 years of age

28% were between 30-39 years of age

9% were between 40-49 years of age

15% were over 50 years of age

 

The majority of citations and warnings listed the person with no fixed address.  This data does not indicate how long the person had lived outside in Portland. 

 

While it may be true that young travelers cause many problems, it may not be constructive to delineate another “us” and “them” paradigm.  The behaviors interfering with shared use of the sidewalks, and providing services for those who want and need them, are the real issues.

 

Drug dealers and drug users are seen as dangerous to all, including most people living outside.  More treatment services, and better enforcement, are generally desired.

 

Aggressive panhandling was seen as the most egregious behavior of people sitting/lying on sidewalks, by many downtown workers/visitors.  Others believe panhandling is a necessary action for those living outside, to raise money for shelter at night and other basic needs, and that it is not reasonable to expect a person to stand up for the length of time required to raise enough money for a hostel bed.

 

Panhandling is protected by Freedom of Speech/Expression in the Oregon Constitution.  

 

There was consensus that aggressive panhandling is detrimental to all.

 

Recommendation: Avoid labels that further divide and discriminate.  Remember that it is not possible to know a person’s life story by their current appearance and behavior.

 

Leadership by: All

 

Recommendation: Seek ways to address aggressive panhandling

 

Implementing Actions by: Portland Police Bureau (Commissioner Saltzman);, Bureau of Licenses (Commissioner Leonard/Mayor Adams/City Attorney);, Sidewalk Throughways ordinance (Commissioner Fish/Mayor Adams, City Attorney); Public Education (Commissioner Fritz)

 

Recommendation: Clarify disorderly conduct law and educate citizens on what behaviors are legal and which not

 

Leadership by: Chief Sizer, clarifying regulations for officers; Downtown Security Council, clarifying protocol for private security officers; Commissioner Fritz/Mayor Adams, public education; non-profit partners, helping to inform people living outside

 

Recommendation:  Seek enforcement against drug dealers, and treatment for addicts

 

Leadership by: Police (Chief Sizer; Commissioner Saltzman) (enforcement); Mayor Adams, Commissioner Fish, Commissioner Fritz, Commissioner Leonard, Multnomah County (treatment)

NOTE: This will require additional City and County resources

 

Recommendation: Consolidate ordinances that address sharing the sidewalks

 

Leadership by: Mayor Adams; Commissioner Leonard; Commissioner Fritz

 

Recommendation: Provide alternatives for response to street behavior concerns, instead of calling the Police

 

Leadership by: Commissioner Fish/JOIN and/or other non-profits; Commissioner Fritz/ONI Information and Referral; Portland Business Alliance dispatch

 

Recommendation: Provide mechanism(s) for citizens to be able to distinguish between Portland Police and private security officers more readily

 

Leadership by: Commissioner Saltzman, Portland Police; Commissioner Fritz, ONI; Portland Business Alliance

 

 

4.  Concerns of businesses and tourism interests

 

Many expressed concern that people hanging out on downtown streets, whether panhandling or just sitting/lying/standing around, deters patrons and visitors from business and tourist activities.  There is concern that people from outer neighborhoods and out of town do not understand why the behaviors are “allowed”.  Also, that many in outer neighborhoods also want to help provide support for people experiencing hard times.

 

Recommendation: Educate Portlanders and visitors to Portland regarding ways to avoid conflicts and help those living outside.

 

Leadership by: Office of Neighborhood Involvement (Commissioner Fritz); Travel Portland; Portland Business Alliance; Street Roots; Portland Community Media

 

Recommendation: Provide alternatives for easy donations to support services, for good-hearted Portlanders to give constructively instead of to panhandlers

 

Leadership by: Mayor Adams, Portland Business Alliance, Commissioner Fritz; non-profits; Street Roots

 

Conclusions

 

There are many overt and underlying causes of behaviors seen on Portland's sidewalks.  Since there are multiple causative factors, multi-pronged solutions are needed to address concerns and needs.

 

Every member of the Council has bureau responsibilities connected with the problems and with the solutions.  Every member of the Council shares ownership in resolution of the issues. 

 

The Council cannot solve the problems alone.  Multiple agencies, community partners, and individual citizens are needed to participate constructively.  In fact, every Portlander, every business owner and worker, and every visitor must be part of the solution, to support actions that allow sharing public spaces equitably, compassionately, and responsibly.

 

The Council is working on Housing, Economic Development, Tourism, Support of small businesses, and many other strategies that are not addressed in this report.

 

“Sidewalk Management” is one aspect of “Sharing Public Spaces.”  Sidewalk Management is the City’s role in regulating and enforcing standardized approaches to use of the sidewalks.  Sharing Public Spaces carries wider responsibility for all people using public spaces to collaborate in making Portland’s public spaces pleasant, safe places for everyone.

 

A revised ordinance addressing behavior on City sidewalks may be one tool in the range of solutions.  Any new ordinance addressing behavior on sidewalks should:

 

  • Avoid standards that have been found unconstitutional in past court decisions, even if those decisions were in Circuit Court rather than the Court of Appeals
  • Be clear - easily understandable and easily enforceable
  • Apply to all users of the sidewalks, in all parts of the city
  • Allow normal human functions such as sitting, sleeping, and using bathrooms, somewhere in Portland, for those who live outside and do not have shelter
  • Avoid displacing problem behaviors from one location to another
  • Avoid loss of possessions
  • Support business and tourist patrons’ safe, convenient use of the public sidewalk
  • Respect all users of the public sidewalk and avoid privatization of public spaces
  • Respect freedom of speech and of assembly
  • Use the minimum level of infraction and penalties possible while achieving goals

 

Amanda Fritz,

Commissioner, City of Portland

 

Special thanks to Sara Hussein and Dora Perry in my office, and Sally Erickson of the Portland Housing Bureau, for their work on this report.

 

Appendix      

Summary of Concerns voiced at the meetings:

 

Shelter; Day Access/Resource Center

  • When will the Access/Resource Center be completed?
  • Women shelters are working well but always have a waiting list.
  • 40 homeless families outside in any given night and only 60 rooms available. 
  • Give people permission to sleep under the bridge.
  • More affordable housing.
  • Utilize foreclosed, abandoned, and vacant land for temporary housing and tent shelters.
  • Places where homeless people can be during the day.
  • Family friendly shelters.
  • Dignity villages.
  • East side resource center
  • Green zones where camping is allowed.
  • Housing for couples, GLBT, single parents.
  • Ten year plan does not accommodate newly homeless.

 

Public Restrooms

  • Restrooms not available between 11pm and 7am.
  • Need for more restroom access for those with disabilities.
  • More restrooms (such as the LOO) needed in different parts of the city including under the bridges.
  • Bathrooms are not being cleaned as promised.
  • Coordination on reporting issues with Clean and Safe
  • Drug Users in restrooms

 

Health Issues

  • Need to take into account people with disabilities
  • Access to mental health and basic health care
  • Mental illness services should be provided to homeless people
  • Housing is a human rights issue.
  • Social service agencies to provide outreach under the bridges

 

 

General

Aggressive Panhandling – Implement an ordinance to deter

  • Concern about disorderly conduct
  • Private security firms that over-step their authority create a hostile environment.
  • More storage facilities to help people look for jobs.
  • Job training programs.
  • More benches and clarity on how TriMet benches are to be used.
  • Accessible food programs for everyone
  • Some people are homeless by choice
  • A board where complaints can be made
  • 10 year plan does not accommodate the new homeless
  • Access to telephone, computer, counselors and attaining GED
  • There should be a homelessness sensitivity training for Police
  • Business people should talk to homeless and not be afraid of them

 


State disorderly conduct law:

 

 

166.025. Disorderly conduct in the second degree:

(1)  A person commits the crime of disorderly conduct in the second degree if, with intent to cause public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm, or recklessly creating a risk thereof, the person:

(a) Engages in fighting or in violent, tumultuous or threatening behavior;

(b) Makes unreasonable noise;

(c) Disturbs any lawful assembly of persons without lawful authority;

(d) Obstructs vehicular or pedestrian traffic on a public way;

(e) Congregates with other persons in a public place and refuses to comply with a  

      lawful order of the police to disperse;      

(f) Initiates or circulates a report, knowing it to be false, concerning an alleged or

     impending fire, explosion, crime, catastrophe or other emergency; or

(g) Creates a hazardous or physically offensive condition by any act which the

      person is not licensed or privileged to do.

(2) Disorderly conduct in the second degree is a Class B misdemeanor.

 


Information from the Ten Year Plan and the Portland Housing Bureau

 


On a single night back in January 2005, more than 2,300 people were counted sleeping

outside. Two years later, with a focus on permanent housing and a significant investment of local funds that number had reduced by almost 40%. Unfortunately, the recession, unemployment and foreclosures have been causing more individuals and families to fall through the safety net and end up on the street.

 

Four Key points were raised during the report:

(1) Homelessness is an economic and public health issue. The biggest change is the continuous federal disinvestment in affordable housing that began in the early 1980s. Currently, more than 75% of those eligible for federal housing assistance receive none, solely due to insufficient program funding.

 

Cumulative 10-Year Plan Results – Years 1 to 5: January 2005 - June 2009

  • 1,918 Homeless families housed
  • 2,191 Chronically homeless persons moved into housing
  • 2,737 Other homeless households moved into housing
  • 1,388 Permanent supportive housing units opened or in development

 

(2) Most poor households who become homeless end their episode of homelessness

fairly quickly. This is the good news. Their homelessness typically result from loss of a

job or public assistance, that triggers a housing crisis and they usually leave homelessness when the immediate problem is addressed.

 

(3) A significant sub-population of homeless individuals and families with disabilities experience months or years of homelessness. These individuals are considered chronically homeless and there is a lot of research that show that although they comprise just 10-15% of the homeless population, they use more than 50% of our community’s resources.

 

(4) People who experience homelessness are diverse.  There is no measurable difference, with regard to mental illness or addictions, between poor, housed families/individuals and those who are homeless. People with mental illnesses or addictions are found in every neighborhood.

 


Information from Mike Kuykendall, a member of the SAFE committee and PBA staff 

 

SAFE-related Day Services Contracts FY 2009-2010

 

Budget amounts and services reflect only those funded by Portland Housing Bureau. Projects may have additional funding sources and associated activities that are not listed here. Several day service and/or meal providers offer services without City funds and are not represented here. This service summary does not include benches, public restrooms, and other services funded under the SAFE initiative.

 

Day service provider

Hours of service

Hours per week

FY 09/10 Funding

Services

Principle outputs/outcomes

First Presbyterian/ Julia West House

6:30 AM – 3:30 PM

Mon – Sat

 

(6:30 AM – 1:30 PM on Thurs)

52

$192,600*

 

  • bag-check service
  • restrooms
  • showers
  • shampoo/shave stations
  • snacks
  • supportive services

 

 

  • Day services for point-in-time average of 45-60 people, (~200 people per day)
  • 82-110 showers per week (328 – 440 per month)
  • 100-125 uses of shampoo/shave/

grooming station per week (400-500 per month).

  • 125-150 backpack/bag check users per day (700-920 per month)

Salvation Army Female Emergency Shelter (SAFES)

7:00 AM – 11:00 PM

7 days per week

112

$127,500

  • lockers
  • restrooms
  • showers
  • snacks
  • supportive services

 

  • Day services for point-in-time average of 45-60 women (~80 women per day)
  • 140 showers per week (560 per month)
  • 18 lockers available
  • $5,000 annually in direct client assistance for housing placement and rent

 

Salvation Army Harbor Light**

7:00 AM – 3:00 PM

7 days per week

54

$100,000

  • lockers
  • restrooms
  • snacks
  • supportive services

 

  • Day services for point-in-time average of 35-45 men (~60 men per day)
  • 18 lockers available
  • $500 annually in direct client assistance for housing placement readiness

 

Transition Projects, Inc. Community Service Center

8:30 AM – 7:30 PM Monday – Friday

 

55

$243,599§

  • restrooms
  • showers
  • mail center
  • eviction prevention and shelter diversion
  • housing placement and retention
  • case management and referrals
  • Day services for point-in-time average of 5-10 individuals (~30 individuals per day)
  • 300 showers per week (1200 per month)
  • 75 households will be placed into permanent housing.
  • 30 households who are at risk of homelessness/eviction will avoid becoming homeless.
  • 60% of clients placed into permanent housing will remain housed at 12 months.
  • $136,240 in direct client assistance for housing placement and rent assistance
 

*Includes $60,000 in increased funding over FY 08/09 budget.

**All budget and activities are new for FY 09/10.

§Includes $40,000 increase over 08/09 funding to replace comparable former Portland Business Alliance funding.

 

Forum Design and Participation

 

Commissioner Fritz took the lead in coordinating the meetings, with the help of Commissioner Fish’s staff.  City staff, SAFE committee members, and volunteers from business and homelessness advocacy groups gave ideas and support.  After three strategy sessions the agenda emerged with the central question being -- How can we everyone share our sidewalks and what are the gaps in services?  The events were titled, “Sharing Public Spaces.”

 

To ensure good turn out, e-mails and phone calls were made to all the stakeholders, advocacy group leaders and community members.  Prior to the meetings, some groups and individuals had face to face meetings with Commissioner Fritz to clarify or give input in the forum format.  Most of the groups such as Sisters of the Road (CAG), Home PDX, Portland Business Alliance and others made sure that word went out to their constituents.  Commissioner Fritz sent out a press release and responded to media inquiries which resulted in write ups in the local print and broadcast media.  

 

The two locations were intentionally selected to draw people from different parts of Portland, and also to ensure that those in the downtown corridor most impacted by sidewalk regulations had access to one or both of the meetings.  To enhance flexibility and choice, one forum was held on a Saturday morning at Kaiser Town Hall, the second on a Tuesday evening at First Unitarian Church of Portland.  Easy access to public transit, refreshments, and ensuring participants that the forums would be well facilitated contributed to a very large turn out at both forums.  The Portland Business Alliance and Sisters of the Road Café’s Civic Action Group were exceptionally helpful in providing practical support and encouraging their constituents to attend.  

 

The first forum took place on a Saturday morning in North Portland at the Kaiser Town Hall, where over 70 people showed up in 100 degree weather to share and listen to each other.   The second meeting, held at the First Unitarian Church had a standing-room-only attendance with over 200 participants comprised of a cross section of Portland residents.

 

Process

 

Participants were given a summary of the SAFE report as a background for the discussion.  The Commissioners opened the meetings by explaining the objective of the forum, followed was followed by Judith Mowrey who explained the format and logistics.  Judith then posed the question, “who uses the public sidewalk?” The group gave the answers in a rapid fire fashion: panhandlers, police officers, workers, pedestrians, job seekers, vendors, bikers, petitioners, dog walkers, food cars, tourists, shoppers, cafés, fundraisers, newspaper racks, utility workers, and delivery vans.

 

Sally Erickson (1st forum)/Commissioner Fish (2nd forum) gave an overview of the 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness and the Portland Housing Bureau’s assessment of progress made/outstanding needs.

 

Mike Kuykendall, Portland Business Alliance, summarized services provided, such as benches, bathrooms, and day shelter spaces.

 

After the presentations, the participants were asked to break into small groups and encouraged to sit with people they were not familiar with.   Each group of 10 was assigned a facilitator from Resolutions NW and a note taker.

 

The conversations were rich and honest; people felt safe to share their feelings, and asked great questions that were captured by note takers.  At the end, the groups gathered back in a large group for report out and final thoughts by Commissioners Fritz and Fish.

 

Forum participants reported they were pleased to have an opportunity to get together for dialogue and to have the Commissioners take time to listen to them.  They were happy to see more stakeholders at the table.  Some were elated that the sidewalk obstruction ordinance was struck down, while others expressed concern that there should be some regulatory means of creating/maintaining orderliness on the sidewalk. 

 

Overall, Commissioner Fritz and Commissioner Fish believe the meetings helped to ease the tension that was brewing between proponents of the Sidewalk Obstruction Ordinance and those opposed to it. 

 

The views expressed helped inform this report.


 



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One Key Question Resolution
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2013 Span of Control Report (pdf)
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Adopted Protected Sick Leave Code
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Comments on Parks and Development Services, one month into my assignment
Corrected Comments at the vote on the 2013 - 14 Budget
Comments at the vote on the 2013 - 14 Budget
Ordinance creating the Office of Equity and Human Rights, 09/21/10
Job Posting 3/15/13, Administrative Assistant/Constituent Services Specialist
Adopted Protected Sick Leave Code 3/13/13
Helen Moss OpEd in the Oregonian on why Sick Leave is needed now
Task Force Issues Summary
Protected Sick Time Code proposal 2-28-13 (clean version)
Protected Sick Time proposal 2-28-13 showing changes since 1-18-13
Sick Leave Task Force Meeting 3 Notes
Sick Leave Task Force Meeting 2 Notes
Agenda, Earned Sick Leave Task Force Meeting 2
Sick Leave Task Force Meeting 1 Notes
Earned Sick Leave Task Force members
Memo to Venture Portland members on Earned Sick Leave (pdf)
PSU Economists' Analysis of Earned Sick Leave costs and benefits (pdf)
Proposed Sick Leave Code
Proposed Sick Leave Ordinance
NW Parking: Phased Implementation (Exhibit C)
NW Parking: Amended TMA Structure (Exhibit B)
NW Parking: Additional Amendments to Map Boundary
NW Parking: Amended Resolution
Adopted Principles for Budget Advisory Committees
Public Involvement Advisory Council
City Budget Office proposed Code changes
City Budget Office proposed Ordinance
3-1-1 Resolution passed 10/10/12
Link to article commenting on Harvard fluoride study
Substitute Resolution on Coal Trains, 9/19/12
Statement of Intent for improvements in Portland Police Bureau policies and practices, and the City's care for people experiencing mental illnesses, 9/13/12 (pdf)
US Department of Justice Findings in Investigation of Portland Police Bureau, 9/13/12 (pdf)
Comments at the Fluoridation vote, 9/12/12
Open Reservoir Work Session Follow-Up Storage Volumes
Open Reservoir Work Session Follow-Up 08-27-12
DRAFT Summary of current City payments of County services
Library District Budget Impacts
Office of Equity and Human Rights Powerpoint Presentation
Office of Equity and Human Rights One Year Work Plan
Letter to the OLCC from Nine Portland-Area State Legislators
2012 Spirit of Portland Awards Nomination Form
Ordinance Related to Licensing Exterior Areas
OLCC Exterior Areas Petition Document
West Portland Crossroads Report by Patty Lee
Council presentation on Portland Harbor from March 28, 2012
Final State Legislature Summary, 3/7/12
Sidewalks Data
PBA Letter on Downtown Marketing Initiative funding, 2/12
State Legislative Update 2/17/12
Team statistics for the 2009 calendar year
State Legislative Update
Final Resolution on Corporate Personhood
Speech from Oregon Poet Laureate Paulann Petersen
Cox v. New Hampshire 1941 U.S. Supreme Court decision
Letter from CFO Rich Goward Regarding City Investment of Funds
Office of Equity and Human Rights Seeks Director
Report from the 1st International Conference on Age-Friendly Cities, Dublin, Ireland September 28-30, 2011
Letter to the Postmaster General
Office of Equity and Human Rights
Response to NECN regarding Last Thursday, 7/28/11
Safer PDX Report Powerpoint
Mid-project Presentation to Council, Safer PDX
Proposed Office of Equity Work Plan, 8/17 Public Review Draft
Proposed draft Equity Office creation ordinance, 8/17 public review draft
Garbage Rates and Options, October 2011
East Portland Expo Program 2011 (pdf)
State Legislative Update 6/30/11
Technology Oversight Committee Application information (pdf)
State Legislative Update 6/24/11
State Legislative Update 6/19/11
State Legislative Update 6/10/11
State Legislative Update 5/28/11
Reports on Equity/Disparities
State Legislative Update 4/29/11
BOEC (9-1-1 Center) 2011-12 Budget Advisory Committee presentation
Equity Office Concept - DRAFT 3/22/11
Equity Office Concept - DRAFT 3/22/11
3/3/11 Update on siting of Wireless Antennas in neighborhoods
Video of Portland Broadband Strategic Plan kickoff session
Biographies of 2011 Charter Commission members
Mayor Adams's response on Human Trafficking statistics and the real problem we face
2011 Charter Commission process Q & A
Appointees to the 2011 City Charter Commission
2011 Charter Commission Appointment Resolution
Sidewalk Management Citations Data, June - August 2010
Resolution on Broadband Strategic Plan, 9/22/10
Summary of Proposed Portland Alcohol Impact Area
OLCC information on Alcohol Impact Areas
National Women's Health Week Project Report
Sidewalk Management Plan updates
Planning for SW Parks
Comments on West Hayden Island Resolution 7/29/10
Amanda's Amendments on West Hayden Island Resolution 7/29/10
Public Safety bond referral
Process for review of Cellular facilities in neighborhoods
Schools/Parks Amendments 4/28/10
Memo to Council on Schools/Parks Code project
City report on 2010 Oregon Legislative session
Central City Concern - spending taxpayers' money wisely
Report on Central City Concern's program effectiveness
Tree removal and construction on I-5 in SW
2010 Regional Graffiti All-Stars
Tibet Proclamation
Neighborhoods in the News, Summer/Fall 2009
Dirty Duck Demolition Permit remarks
Human Rights Commission statement on Aaron Campbell shooting
Questions and Comments on Bull Run Land Exchange and new Bull Run Code
US Postal Service letter on schedule for changing address from 39th Avenue to Cesar E Chavez Boulevard
Water Bureau Fulton/Willamette Park Pump Station
Independent Police Review Dec 2009 Quarterly report
Status of the Columbia River Crossing Bridge
Willamette Week article on Riverfest 2009
Potential Health Impacts of Wireless Facilities
Report on Prostitution Advisory Committee on 82nd Avenue (pdf)
Winter shelters information
Sharing Public Spaces Report
Visit with Gateway Area Business Association
Comments on Bull Run water treatment options, 7/27/09
Community Discussion on Sharing Public Spaces, 7/21/09
Community Discussion on Sharing Public Spaces, 7/18/09
Comments on Proposed Stadium in Lents Park
Statement of Concerns on Major League Soccer
Hayden Island Plan
My first 100 days
Report on the Office of Healthy Working Rivers
City Auditor Report on the City Government's Financial Condition
Office of Healthy Working Rivers organizational meetings
The Great Soccer Debate
"Made In Oregon" sign
Progress on defeating Graffiti
Radon Awareness Month