Housing for One Portland

The City of Portland is transitioning from a quaint and quirky city to a booming metropolis and by many metrics it is thriving. We should all feel proud to be part of a city that everyone wants to move to — everyone who lives and works here has been an active part of developing Portland’s character, culture, and splendor.  

Yet, when it comes to enjoying the rewards of a growing Portland, as a community we have much work to become “One Portland”. While home values are pushing up, valuable residents and communities are being pushed out. Our painful, and enduring, history of displacement and gentrification combined with a growing houseless population is proof that our housing policies have created two Portlands: Those with the means to maintain housing and a quality of life in a growing Portland, and those forced to leave their housing and search to maintain a quality of life elsewhere.

We need to create a city that has room and opportunity for everyone, while ensuring the communities impacted most are at the center of the decision making table. Our mantra should be “nothing about us without us.”

Everyone who lives or works in Portland should have a safe and stable place to call home in the community where they work, play, and pray. To afford this home, they should not have to sacrifice their health or a dignified quality of life. We should all be able to afford our housing and food, health care, and time to care for ourselves, families and community. To get there, meaningfully and sustainably, will take innovation and courage by elected officials, community members and voters. Together, we must critically analyze the tools, values, constraints, efficacy, motivations, and structural inequities of our current housing ecosystem: from homelessness to homeownership, and everything and every stakeholder in between and be willing to make bold changes.

Affordable Housing

Affordable housing is key to maintaining a healthy community. Affordability for our most vulnerable residents, working people and elders remains one of the most important issues facing our community.

Everyone deserves an opportunity of having a safe and stable place to call home. Everyone deserves the opportunity of finding affordable housing that is close to work and schools. Everyone deserves a chance at a better life.

We must take action to increase affordable housing not only in Portland, but throughout our region and state.

We must work tirelessly with the public, government, non-profits, and the private sector to find ways to create more revenue to support affordable housing and to explore new ways to increase the affordable housing stock in our community.

Homelessness

Portland should work to minimize the relationship between homelessness and the criminal justice system and create public health opportunities and prioritize housing for people on the streets.

We must continue to support and improve a Home For Everyone, a joint office made possibly through the City of Portland, Multnomah County, the City of Gresham and Home Forward.

We must prioritize supporting people from losing their home, while working to give people of color, women, families, elders and veterans a safe place to call home.

At the same time, we must work to provide opportunities for the larger community and people on the streets to have a voice in improving our approach to giving people a safe place to call home.

We must work to create opportunities to integrate healthcare services for people experiencing homelessness. Healthcare remains an essential way to providing people on the streets a pathway to stability. We must do everything in our power to support and improve our healthcare system to support people experiencing homelessness.

Tenant Protections

We have long accepted the doctrine that homeownership is the surest and best pathway to stability and wealth building. But for many, homeownership is not—and may never be—an option.

A critical component to an equitable housing platform must include robust protections and resources for renters, a demographic representing nearly half of Portland’s population. Portland’s renters come from every possible demographic but disproportionately includes those from vulnerable and marginalized communities: seniors on fixed incomes, people of color, immigrants & refugees, single parents, people with disabilities and health issues, veterans, low-wage workers, victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, and the queer community. All renters should have access to quality rental housing that they can afford and feel secure in. We need rental housing that focuses on creating a sense of home rather than a temporary place tenants are passing through.  When renters feel this security and dignity they invest and participate in the community and get to know and take care of our neighbors.  When renters can afford their rent without working multiple jobs they can take better care of themselves and their children a benefit to employers, teachers, and taxpayers.

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One Portland, One Police

Policing is a partnership between the community served and those trained and sworn to protect and serve. Over the last decade Portland Police have expanded their reach into areas where policing may not be appropriate.

My vision for Portland Police includes getting the community and police on the same page regarding how our various communities in Portland want to be policed. At this time, more and more technology, more discretion to use a gun, more interface with those experiencing mental health crises, and less and less training are provided to police – and this is not just a Portland problem, but it still is a Portland problem. This widening discretion to use deadly or excessive force stands in conflict with community accountability.

I believe we will get to a shared vision after we have made critical improvements to how these services are provided, such as training our police properly, limiting police duties and putting common sense accountability measures in place.

Training

As much as possible I believe we need to include community members as co-trainers in all training conducted at Portland Police Training Facility. My experience training officers at the Department of Public Safety Training Standards and Practices (DPSST) proves that police learn from each other as well as community members and it ingrains the practice into policing behavior. I believe there are five basic principles to creating a meaningful training program:

  1. Recruit and train community members to co-facilitate Portland police training at the Portland Police Training Facility
  2. Invite other local law enforcement to participate in co-facilitated training
  3. Introduce new, better-informed training on use of force with an emphasis on how internal bias impacts an officer’s choice to pull the trigger of a gun
  4. Ensure training instills the value that all community members are valued
  5. Ensure all officers are well trained in de-escalation tactics and strategies

Back to Basics

I believe we need to allow our police to get back to policing, which means re-assigning officers back to patrol from activities that don’t serve a community policing model. I would move to:

    • Reassign school resource officers to patrol
    • Reassign gang enforcement officers to patrol
    • Reassign Portland Joint Terrorism Task Force Officers to patrol
    • Allow firefighters to serve as first responders for persons experiencing mental health related issues

Create a Real Community Policing Program

I want to work with Chief Outlaw to develop a robust community engagement program that is led by community needs and concerns. I believe we need to get to a model where we actively deploy officers in a manner that allows them to walk the community and get to learn about the people they serve in the community. This will require building trust in the community. I believe we need to require priority engagement with adults from diverse communities and should also include creating meaningful relationships with our children.

Create Meaningful Community Accountability Standards

In order to build meaningful relationships, first, meaningful accountability must be provided. I believe we need to review the current police oversight process, and to make appropriate changes. These changes include a need to:

    • Review all advisory committees to determine their usefulness and reporting structure.
    • Ensure that any committee evaluating or recommending remedies for the use of excessive force are more accountable to the community, and that these remedies are taken seriously, including above the job security of police officers
    • Ensure evaluations capture complaint resolution, disciplinary recommendations, final actions by the department, and citizen appeals
    • Disband, revise, or replace committees or advisory groups as needed
    • Require public input on all policy changes proposed to Portland Police Bureau practices
    • Create a model whistleblower policy for Portland Police Bureau that ensures that our officers feel safe if they need to report unacceptable behavior

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One Portland, One Planet

We have a responsibility to ensure that low-income communities and communities of color are leading our efforts to address climate change and to create healthy communities.  As a graduate of the NAACP Climate Justice program I am equipped to address these pressing needs at Portland City Council. Though the City of Portland has a vision of moving us to a 100% renewable future by 2050 I am concerned that low income communities once again are not being included at the front end of this process.  We must:

  1. Reduce harmful emissions, particularly greenhouse gases
  2. Advance energy efficiency and clean energy projects that benefit all of Portland while improving the economic prospects of those left behind
  3. Strengthen community resilience and livability
  4. Be a national model of responding to climate change and economic inequality

Portland Just Energy Transition

In order to move towards our vision, we need to pass and implement the Portland Clean Energy Fund. I support and have helped champion the creation of the Portland Clean Energy Fund which will be on the November 2018 Portland city ballot.  This measure will create a Business License Surcharge of 1% on large retail operations with at least $1 billion dollars in national sales and $.5 million sales in the city of Portland. This will raise a pool of resources estimated at $30-35 million annually that will be focused on those left out of the economic prosperity in Portland, through investment in the people and communities most impacted by climate change and economic inequities.  This fund will be managed by a community oversight board of community members modeled after the Portland Children’s Levy.

The measure is a partnership between Coalition of Communities of Color, Portland Audubon, and Oregon Physicians for Social Responsibility, APANO, NAYA, Verde, 350PDX, Sierra Club and the NAACP Portland Branch. There are currently 140 community, faith and non-profit organizations already signed on in support of our efforts.  This measure is a model of centering communities disproportionately impacted by these issues and engaging them in problem solving that benefits the entire community.

Transportation

I live on Portland’s East side and use our bus system. My experiences as a Trimet rider have helped shape my belief that our community needs access to free and widely available public transportation. I believe in a Portland where you can get where you need to go without using a car and that you shouldn’t be punished for taking the bus by having it take twice as long to get there. This Portland is possible if we prioritize expanding our current system, making it free and securing and expanding our Youth Pass for students. We must make these changes because transportation is the second biggest expense for households after housing. As Portland grows we also need to support options like the SW Corridor Project that Metro is working on, and I look forward to working in coalition with Metro leaders to make these projects a reality.

All of this work needs to be done before we consider congestion pricing. People of color in our community have been pushed to the edges of town, and I don’t believe that it is just to then charge those community members for the privilege to come back for work or play. Additionally, when drivers look for alternatives to taxed roads, we know they will turn to other options. Those roads won’t be prepared for additional traffic and will jeopardize our commitment to Vision Zero. I am committed to building a Portland where no one should die trying to get where they need to go. I also believe that consideration of congestion pricing requires deep community conversations where everyone can participate. Under some models, the money raised through congestion pricing can only be used to build more roads such as freeways. That is not compatible with our city’s climate solution goals and we need to be thinking about how to invest in other modes of transportation. I look forward to working with community advocates and the team at PBOT to supporting the work they have been doing on these issues and to break through the political gridlock that has been holding us back.

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One Portland, One Access

Our city is an incredible place to live. Portland has become a booming metropolis that’s always looking to innovate and improve. But what makes Portland truly special is our diversity. We are a rich fabric of many different communities, who are all working together to make Bridge City a home for everyone.

But our democracy needs reform. Our elections and our city government must be updated, because right now it is skewed towards the wealthy and the powerful. One out of three Portlanders is a person of color, but in our 167 year history there have only been two people of color elected to City office. We’ve had just 8 women represent on City Council in our entire history. And shockingly, even though 60% of Portland’s population lives East of 47th avenue, only two city commissioners have come from this part of our community. Too many people feel that their views are not being represented.

We need a city where every voice matters. Where our democracy works for everyone, and our government listens to all of us. Where our skin color and our gender and our zip code and the size of our paycheck aren’t a barrier to being a part of our community’s conversation. We need to create a city that has room and opportunity for everyone, while ensuring that the communities impacted most are at the center of the decision-making table. Our guiding light should be “Nothing about us, without us”.

Jo Ann wants to put our democracy back in balance. Our grassroots campaign isn’t about big money. It’s not about special interests. Our campaign is about One Portland, that’s of the people, by the people, and for the people.

Money in Politics

Let’s be honest: big money has dominated our politics. Wealthy donors and special interests have been able to take advantage of loopholes and try to skew the conversation. But we can fight back. Jo Ann has long been a champion for getting big money out of politics. She’s worked for decades to pass reforms in our city and in the legislature. Here’s how she’ll lead the movement for reform:

Protecting and Growing Open and Accountable Elections

Jo Ann worked with an array of community groups to pass the Open and Accountable Elections reform in December 2016. This was a major victory for our city. If candidates for city office agree to give up big donations, then the small donations from everyday Portlanders are matched 6-to-1 by the city. So if a waitress living in East Portland gives $50 to a candidate that she likes, then that is matched and turns into a $350 donation. That makes her voice as loud as a big donor’s.

What’s innovative about Open and Accountable Elections is that people can run for office without big money. Candidates can run–and win–based on the support of everyday people like us. No more hobnobbing with corporate lobbyists and mega-donors. Campaigning becomes about listening to all communities, and hearing our voices.

Open and Accountable Elections will go into effect in 2020. But we need to protect and grow this program. Jo Ann will work on the City Council to make sure this program is funded, is transparent, and is available to small donor candidates across this city.

Limiting Campaign Contributions

Big money should never drown out the voices of everyday people. But unfortunately, Oregon is one of the only states to not limit campaign contributions. So wealthy special interests and out-of-state donors can write big checks, and can dominate the conversation about our city. Oregon already has the second most expensive legislative races in the country, and we see the ever-increasing cost of city campaigns. This needs to stop.

Jo Ann has long believed that one of the best ways to put our democracy back in balance is to require limits on mega-donations. If she’s elected to the City Council, she will use her platform to advocate for getting big money out of politics.

Access to Your City Council

The City Council belongs to the People. So why is it so hard for folks to access City Hall? Currently, City Council meetings often only occur during business hours when everyday people are working. And they always take place in downtown Portland. But it doesn’t have to be this way.

We should hold City Council meetings in different parts of the city. A meeting in North Portland, a meeting in East Portland, and a continual rotation throughout the city. This common-sense reform would allow people all over Portland to come meet their commissioners, attend hearings, and be a part of the community conversation. You shouldn’t have to live in the right zip code to participate in our government. The City Council works for you, and we should make sure that the Council works to be available to you. Jo Ann will make sure that we keep the doors to our city government open to all.

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