|Home||Next Up at City Council||Coming Down the Pike||What Happened?||Meet the Team||Contact Us||Blog||Calendar||Links||Sick Time|
Welcome to Amanda's blog
Portland Police Association contract
The most significant issue this week is the approval of the Union Contract between the Portland Police Association (PPA) and the City. A summary of Frequently Asked Questions, with the Mayor's responses, is posted here.
I gave a long speech while voting, because reforms in the contract leading to safety for all community members is a hugely important issue.
Short summary: Police staffing has fallen to unacceptable levels, due to retirements, not enough recruits, and 12 terminations/resignations in lieu of termination, over the past three years.
Officers are working huge amounts of overtime, and those in specialty units such as domestic violence investigators are being pulled to regular patrol shifts to cover 911 dispatches. Tired workers are more likely to make poor decisions. The contract ratified this week provides incentives for new recruits, and for retirees to augment staffing by allowing the Chief to re-hire valued retired officers to assist with shift coverage. The need to provide incentives to boost applications to join the Bureau and/or delay retirements is real, and urgent.
Many testifiers at the two public hearings where dozens of Portlanders spoke, asked me to delay action on the PPA contract until after Mayor Wheeler assumes control of the Police Bureau. Two factors influenced my decision to ratify the contract now. First, Mayor-elect Wheeler has followed the discussions, and didn't ask me to delay ratification. And second, staffing in the Police Bureau needs emergency actions now, not waiting for 2017.
It takes at least six months to conduct background checks on applicants wishing to join the Portland Police Bureau. The background investigators check the 8 references given by the applicant, and ask each reference to provide two or three additional references. The secondary references are then asked to give two or three more. By doing this, hiring panels have much more information than just relying on the references given by the applicant. After initial hiring, recruits are trained for 18 months before being cleared to work independently.
Many Portlanders requested the Council to delay action on the contract until Mayor Wheeler takes office. If we wait another six months to provide recruitment incentives, staffing levels would fall to unsafe levels - unsafe for officers, and unsafe for the communities they serve.
In return for investments in recruitment incentives and higher pay for all officers (which will likely increase lateral transfers of experienced officers from nearby jurisdictions), the Council achieved a victory that has been demanded by community advocates for many years - deletion of the "48-hour rule". Previous contracts with PPA have included a restriction than officers are not required to be questioned on use of deadly force incidents until 48 hours after the event. Community activists have railed against that clause repeatedly, in my time on the Council since 2009. This week's vote deletes that restriction from the PPA Union Contract. By accepting the contract, the Union also accepted the Discipline Guide, which sets clear standards for action when officers don't follow bureau policies.
I voted to approve the Contract largely because of those two clauses - recruitment incentives, and deletion of the 48-hour rule. More details on my thinking are in the very-long statement I read at the vote. This issue was very difficult for me, to choose the right action considering all the information I received from many Portlanders. I understand why some Portlanders disagree with my decision. I pledge to continue working towards a Portland where all residents and City staff are safe, and where all Portlanders value community conversations intended to create mutual respect and understanding - even when we disagree on decisions regarding the pathways needed to reach the goal.
October 12, 2016
Information on Proposed Union Contract with the Portland Police Association
Thank you for visiting my web site. There are several important issues currently stimulating conversations in our community this month. One of the most significant is the proposed Union Contract between the Portland Police Association and the City.
October 5, 2016
Hoyt Arboretum Friends Foundation is Hiring an Executive Director
Hoyt Arboretum Friends Foundation (HAF) is seeking a new Executive Director to join their team. HAF is a membership-based, nonprofit organization working in partnership with the City of Portland Parks & Recreation Bureau and Hoyt Arboretum’s curator, Martin Nicholson, to manage Hoyt Arboretum.
HAF is looking for a dynamic leader to develop the organization’s vision to create new business and growth opportunities, in collocation with the Board to position Hoyt Arboretum as a national leader in protecting and preserving access to one of the country’s largest plant collections. This is a special opportunity for someone seeking an exciting, challenging and important non-profit leadership position.
Summary of Responsibilities
Please see the complete job description and how to apply here. Apply by October 6, 5:00pm, PST.
September 20, 2016
2016 Spirit of Portland Nominations now open
The City Council presents Spirit of Portland Awards each year to individuals and groups who make a difference to the greater community. Please nominate an individual, business, organization, neighborhood or business association that has created a project, service or event that has helped Portland shine!
Spirit of Portland awards ceremony date:
Tuesday, December 13, 2016
6:00 PM to 8:30 PM
How do I nominate someone?
Award recipients will be chosen based on the following Awards categories:
Outstanding Individual Leadership Awards
Community Leader of the Year (2 awards)
Young Leader of the Year (1 award)
City Employee of the Year (1 award)
Outstanding Organization Leadership Awards
Community Group/Organization of the Year (1 award)
Neighborhood Association of the Year (1 award)
Business of the Year (1 award)
Business District Association of the Year (1 award)
Outstanding Individual or Organization Leadership Awards
Equity in Practice Partnership of the Year (1 award)
Making a Difference Award (1 award)
Sandy Diedrich Environmental Stewardship of the Year (1 award)
Deadline for submitting nominations is 4 pm, Monday, September 26, 2016
Send completed nomination forms to:
USPS: Office of Neighborhood Involvement, Attn: SOP
4747 E Burnside Street, Portland, Oregon 97215
ADA or ESL accommodations
To help ensure equal access to programs, services and activities, the City of Portland will reasonably modify policies/procedures and provide auxiliary aids/services to persons with disabilities and/or for those for whom English is a Second Language. Call 503-823-3093 or TTY 503-823-6868 or email firstname.lastname@example.org to request assistance with accommodations.
We will soon be posting the nomination form in Spanish, Russian, Chinese, Somali, and Vietnamese at http://www.portlandoregon.gov/oni/29024
Marco Mejia: 503-823-3093 or email@example.com
August 15, 2016
Risks of Exposure from Wireless Devices
David Morrison, a wireless network emission safety advocate, presented the following information
to City Council on July 6th, 2016:
David recommends using the speaker on your cell phone, rather than holding it to your ear.
He also showed the images below, of the effect of radiation on young, tween, and adult brains. He recommends:
* Don't keep your phone next to your body - carry it in a bag or holder, rather than in a pocket.
* Limit cell phone use by children
* Don't use your phone on the bus - it has to work harder to pull in the waves, so it's more damaging (and also makes the battery run out faster).
* Put your laptop on a table, rather than on your lap or knees.
* Use wired connections whenever possible, rather than WiFi.
* Don't have cordless or cell phones by your bed at night.
* Turn off your WiFi at night and when not in use.
July 6, 2016
How to report concerns regarding people living outside
Mayor Hales has established resources to assist Portlanders in getting services to areas where people are living outside. The contact information is:
One Point of Contact
Homelessness Toolkit www.portlandoregon.gov/toolkit
Online Campsite Report Form www.portlandoregon.gov/campsite
Please note that all reports of Car and RV camping should come to the One Point of Contact, preferably via the online form (www.portlandoregon.gov/campsite) . The Mayor's staff have updated the report form to include questions asking about vehicle camping and license plate numbers. Protocols are being fine-tuned with the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT)'s Abandoned Autos program for coordinated responses. Often, vehicle camping is accompanied by other issues, tents camping nearby, trash, etc. Also the “campsite” report type on the PDX Reporter app is now operational. You can find more information about the PDX Reporter app here: https://www.portlandoregon.gov/?c=53613.
Thank you for using the One Point of Contact system to report concerns. If you need to call, or whenever you have an issue and aren't sure who to call, please call the Office of Neighborhood Involvement's Information and Referral staff at 503-823-4000.
June 20, 2016
Council Agenda Posting Changes
On October 7, 2016 Council passed a Resolution to conduct a six month pilot project to amend administrative procedures in order to increase time for public review of the City Council public meeting Agendas. For many years, the Council Agenda was not posted until 5 p.m. on Fridays for the following week's hearings. The pilot tested procedures necessary to post the Agenda by Thursday afternoon.
After receiving feedback from City employees and the Council Clerk, the Auditor and I are asking Council to modify the pilot, with a second trial period of new timing. Effective on June 21, 2016, the Council Agenda will be released by noon on Fridays. With this change, items carried over from Thursday afternoon hearings may be heard the following week, instead of being held over for two weeks.
If you would like to provide feedback on this change, please call Justine at 503-823-3008.
Many thanks to Jasmine Wadsworth on my office team, who has led our work on preparing for Council hearings for over three years. After exemplary service to the communities of Portland, Jasmine today heads to a swing state in her new job with the Democratic Party working to elect our next President. I am excited for this terrific opportunity to take her organizational and community-building skills to the national stage.
June 14, 2016
Information on lead issues in Parks facilities
The following is the Press Release sent to community journalists on Sunday, June 5. More information will be shared as soon as available.
The community conversation around lead levels in drinking water in schools has prompted Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R) leadership to review past testing results in parks facilities, as well as to begin testing on priority sites in the coming weeks as a voluntary precautionary measure.
After technical consultation with Portland Water Bureau (PWB), PP&R determined priority sites are those that meet two or more of the following criteria:
1. Any sites where there is likelihood for prolonged access to drinking water by vulnerable populations (specifically children under the age of 6 and expectant mothers) (https://www.epa.gov/lead/learn-about-lead#exposed)
2. Any sites where the building or its plumbing was built or updated between 1970 through 1985 (http://www.portlandoregon.gov/water/article/572193)
3. Any sites with previously tested elevated lead levels as outlined by the EPA at or greater than 15 parts per billion
As of June 4, 2016, PP&R determined priority sites to be Multnomah Arts Center (MAC), Portland Children’s Museum and Fulton Community Center. Only one of these sites, MAC, has had test results that cause concerns. Consequently, drinking fountains have been taken out of service and all sinks have been labeled "Do not drink" at MAC. At Fulton and Portland Children’s Museum, we have initiated a flushing protocol prior to opening the facility each day, in partnership with the community operators of those sites.
Multnomah Arts Center
PP&R leadership learned late in the day on Friday, June 3, 2016, that in 2013, drinking fountains at Multnomah Art Center (MAC) had elevated lead test results, and were replaced or installed with filters on Tuesday, May 31, 2016. The reason for the delayed action is under review. The fountains have not yet been retested to confirm that remediation is complete. PP&R leadership also learned on June 3 that elevated levels of lead were detected in 2011, 2012 and 2013 for some sinks at MAC. Some corrective actions were taken for sinks by 2013, but PP&R is still reviewing those records. As a precautionary measure until all retesting is complete, PP&R has shut down the fountains and marked that sinks are not for drinking, and will provide bottled drinking water for all MAC staff and visitors until retesting is completed and all necessary corrective actions are confirmed. Test results available for viewing here:
“I am sorry that Portland Parks & Recreation did not notify the Commissioner in Charge or the MAC community of these test results when they occurred, and that we did not ensure that protocols were in place to ensure immediate and complete remediation," said PP&R Director Mike Abbaté. “Over the coming weeks, we will review what happened and institute new safety and reporting protocols. We are retesting the site so that our staff and visitors can be assured that lead levels for drinking water are within EPA guidelines. Working with our partners at the Portland Water Bureau, we will also prioritize testing at Fulton Community Center and the Portland Children’s Museum, even though we have no previous elevated lead level results at those sites. We will publish testing results as soon as possible.”
“I have directed PP&R to institute immediate testing of the three priority park sites, and to work with technical experts to review the potential need for periodic systematic testing throughout our facilities,” said Commissioner Amanda Fritz. “I have also requested information on remediation work that has occurred in the past at all Parks facilities, and an explanation of the delay in taking action at Multnomah Arts Center. We know that many Parks buildings have infrastructure such as pipes that needs replacing. I will continue to prioritize public safety and prudent investments to keep working on fixing our aging parks.”
Other priority sites: Portland Children’s Museum & Fulton Community Center
Guidelines for “flushing”:
o EPA: https://www.epa.gov/sites/production/files/2015-09/documents/toolkit_leadschools_guide_3ts_leadschools.pdf - Page 55, Item 5.2 and
“We will review available scientific and engineering information, and work with the Portland Water Bureau and partners at Multnomah County in public health to determine any other priority sites, as well as system-wide testing needs. We will be transparent with Portlanders about our decision-making along the way," said Commissioner Fritz, a retired Registered Nurse. “I encourage anyone who has concerns about lead exposure to lead to check with their licensed medical provider. Free testing is available for children under six through Multnomah County.”
1. To understand the science behind lead exposure, call the Lead Line at 503.988.4000 or click here: https://multco.us/health/lead-poisoning-prevention
2. Everyone can play a role in limiting their own or their family’s exposure to lead in water. Learn more about reducing lead exposure at http://www.portlandoregon.gov/water/lead
June 8, 2016
Applications being accepted to join the Portland Parks Board
You are cordially invited to consider applying for membership on the Portland Parks Board. The Parks Board provides advice to the Director, Commissioner-in-charge and Council on parks-related matters. Applications will be accepted through April 1, so please review the invitation and application details here.
March 22, 2016
The Plan for ending Houselessness
Are you wondering what is being done to help people experiencing houselessness? Wonder no more! An easy-to-read summary of the plan, known as A Home For Everyone, is posted here. Read more details here.
Note, I use the term "houseless" not "homeless". A survey has shown that 80% of the people unsheltered in Portland today have been Multnomah County residents for more than two years. Portland is their home. They don't have houses or apartments, but they are still our neighbors. Only 15% of those seeking services in Portland came to our city from elsewhere. Often, those folks come from other parts of the Metro region or the state of Oregon.
In the past 10 years, the City, County and Home Forward (formerly the Housing Authority of Portland) have helped over 12,000 people get off the streets and into homes. In the past ten years, average rent has increased 30% while average wage has decreased 5%. People are losing their housing every day due to this imbalance.
To fix this, the A Home For Everyone plan identifies $30 million in additional funding is needed - $20 million ongoing for services, such as rent assistance, subsidies, social services, etc.,; and $10 million for construction of new affordable housing. The plan calls for $5 million in additional funding for shelters, and $12.5 million for permanent supportive housing, in order to cut the number of people living outside by 50% in two years (i.e., by the end of 2017).
Together, the City and County have allocated $20 million so far. This is in addition to the Council tripling the budget for the Portland Housing Bureau, over the seven years I have been in office and voting on budgets. The plan states; "What it takes to end homelessness: Do enough, for long enough".
The question is now, are Portlanders willing to pay what it takes to do enough, for long enough? We know what needs to be done. We know what works and how to get to the goal. Are Portlanders willing to sacrifice other services, to pay for what it takes? More than half the City General Fund is used for Police and Fire services. The Council made cuts in five of the last seven budgets, since I've been on the Council. Money is needed for basic services in other areas, too, such as infrastructure maintenance, safety improvements, and equity for areas of Portland that lack parks, sidewalks, and other urban necessities.
Please participate in the upcoming City Budget process, to discuss how to pay for what needs to be done to improve the lives of thousands of our neighbors currently living outside, in vehicles, couch surfing, or doubled up with relatives. Information on the City Budget process is here.
February 24, 2016
Successful City Sock Drive 2015!
THANK YOU to all the City employees and visitors who donated to this year's City Sock Drive, and to Jasmine Wadsworth, Cristina Nieves, and the staff in Facilities Services. We collected 807 pairs of socks, plus 4 jackets, 17 hats, 13 scarves and 17 pairs of gloves.
This is what 807 pairs of socks looks like, in three 18" x 18" x 24" moving boxes.
Special thanks to Sock It To Me, who once again partnered with me to provide thousands of warm, woolly knee socks to folks living outside. Carrie Atkinson, Founder of this great local business, delivered 750 pairs of her wonderful socks to Janus Youth, 750 pairs to Street Roots, and 750 pairs to Transition Projects. Please support Sock It To Me! This is their stand at Powell's on Burnside:
With Sock It To Me's huge donation, plus City employees' generosity, the total number of pairs of socks donated this year is 3,057. It is sobering to recognize that this wonderful number in the context of warm-hearted donations still may not be enough to provide one pair of clean dry socks to everyone living outside, in shelters, in vehicles, or doubled up with relatives in Portland. The Council continues to work hard to provide meaningful, long-term solutions for ending houselessness and promoting affordable housing. In the meantime, I am grateful to everyone who made this holiday season a little less grim for our neighbors living outside.
December 17, 2015 | Comments (0) | Post a Comment (Sign-In Required)
City Sock Drive 2015
As you are shopping for gifts these next few weeks, please consider adding “Socks” to your shopping list. As in past years, my office staff and I are collecting new socks that will be donated to people living outside in Portland. New or gently used hats, gloves, and scarves are also welcome. Sometimes a pair of clean, dry socks can make a significant difference to a person or family enduring Portland’s winter without shelter.
Donation bins will be placed on the first and second floors of City Hall, the entrance to the Portland Building, at the Housing Bureau/Office of Equity and Human Rights floor of the Commonwealth Building, and at the 1900 SW 4th building.
I encourage you to “shop local” and/or participate in the Little Boxes adventure http://littleboxespdx.com/, remembering that more of your dollars stay in our area economy when you buy at locally-owned small businesses.
The Sock Drive will run through Tuesday, December 15. Thank you for considering participating. I wish you and your family peace and love over the holiday season.
November 30, 2015
Dog Whistle Politics
I'm reading "Dog Whistle Politics", a book by Ian Hanley-Lopez, a Berkeley professor who spoke at the Governing for Racial Equity conference in Seattle earlier this year. The book details how politicians and media campaigns have perpetuated and exacerbated racial biases and inequities in our country. The title references the fact that dog-trainers use whistles pitched so high that humans can't hear them, but the dogs can.
It's a profound, disturbing, and very helpful book. An excerpt I found particularly compelling:
"RACE AND LIBERAL GOVERNMENT
It would be bad enough if race provided a routine way to win elections, but beyond this, dog-whistling underlies efforts to dismantle government commitments essential to supporting a vibrant and growing middle class. As we learned in response to the last great economic calamity to confront the country, to ensure broad prosperity government has four crucial roles to play:
* first, to weather the vicissitudes that easily plunge families into poverty, for instance job loss or ill health;
* second, to provide escalators of upward mobility, such as quality schooling, higher education, and mortgage assistance;
* third, to build the nation's infrastructure, thus laying the groundwork for the next great economic boom; and
* fourth, to rein in marketplace abuses through regulation, and to prevent excessive concentration of wealth through progressive taxation.
This is the New Deal liberal vision that propelled the largest expansion of the middle class ever seen, and that once enjoyed broad support across the whole country."
I encourage you to read the whole book.
September 1, 2015
Portland Parks Foundation seeks new Executive Director
The Portland Parks Foundation is wonderful, independent, nonprofit organization that brings resources for the long-term stewardship of Portland's parks and park programs. The Portland Parks Foundation is currently recruiting for a new Executive Director. The recruitment is open through Friday, July 24th at 5:00 pm, PST.
Their ideal candidate is a collaborative leader who is passionate about their mission, and prepared to grow the organization. They are looking for someone with proven success and enthusiasm as a fundraiser who is eager to maximize opportunities to support Portland’s park system and partner with Portland Parks & Recreation in pursuing equity. This requires an articulate communicator and strategic thinker who excels at setting ambitious fundraising goals and working with diverse partners to accomplish them.
More information about this opportunity is on their website: www.parklandia.org/opportunities
Please alert anyone you know who may be interested.
July 13, 2015
Hearing on SB 921, the Fritz-Fairchild Act, Monday April 6 at 1 p.m.
The City of Portland's Government Relations staff have been hard at work partnering with me in crafting a bill that will require median crash barriers to be installed on Interstate highways throughout Oregon, wherever they are needed and not present. While the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) has almost finished the safety improvements in Salem where my husband Steve and our friend Cary Fairchild were killed, there are still many miles in central, southern and eastern Oregon that need the barriers. Senate Bill 921 would require median crash barriers to be installed where needed on Interstates in Oregon by 2021.
The Fritz-Fairchild Act, as it will be known, is co-sponsored by Senate President Peter Courtney, House Speaker Tina Kotek, and three Republican legislators (Senator Kruse and Reps Hansell and Parrish). ODOT is supporting the bill. I am hopeful it will pass, however it is not a done deal.
The Senate Business and Transportation Committee will be considering Senate Bill 921 on Monday, April 6th at 1:00 pm in hearing room B of the Oregon State Capitol (900 Court St., NE, Salem, OR 97301). It would be helpful for interested Oregonians to testify in support. Please let me know if you're able to be part of the testimony team at the hearing. If you're not able to attend, please send a letter to the Committee. You may email letters in advance to the Committee Administrator James LaBar, firstname.lastname@example.org . Please send a copy to me if you send a letter.
Thank you for any support you can give to help pass this policy.
April 3, 2015
Previous Articles | RSS Feed