What is happening on our streets every day is heartbreaking. Listening tours and campaign promises aren’t going to be enough to solve this multifaceted problem. Our city has struggled to find impactful solutions and a long-term vision for serving those who are experiencing homelessness.
We need new policies, community engagement, and transformative planning to break City Hall out of its current cycle of indecision and inaction.
Homelessness is a dynamic, ever evolving issue too. We need real time data to identify trends and understand what is and what isn’t working to calibrate policy and act swiftly. We must also be transparent with the public and partner organizations about the effectiveness of these programs and the use of public funds.
Reduce the number of people becoming houseless
- Prioritize comprehensive care for people in need through housing-first approaches and long-term supportive housing options for people experiencing housing insecurity.
- Prevent evictions of families with children.
- Safeguard transitional housing for families and victims of domestic violence.
Focus on affordable, accessible housing for people at every level
- see housing policy
Create safe shelters for those without housing
- Evaluate capacity and demand to determine scale of expansion of existing shelter programs.
- Evaluate use of and effectiveness of onsite services to inform expansion of existing programs.
- Ensure that any person leaving an abusive relationship, fleeing sex trafficking, or trying to keep their children safe in any way have a priority in secure shelter.
Address root causes of homelessness
- Develop new, and strengthen existing programs that adequately address drug addiction.
- Expand protection services for vulnerable youth, especially LGBTQ youth
- Build on existing programs to support veterans transitioning back into civilian life.
- Partner with state and local authorities to bolster mental health care services.
Expand workforce re-entry programs
- Support people who are looking to re-enter the workforce through city-led initiatives and partnerships with local businesses.
Too many of our neighbors are worried about their future in the city and feel forced to consider long commutes or leaving Portland entirely. We must do more to ensure more Portlanders can have real housing security and assurance of a long-term future in our city.
If housing is really Portland’s top priority we need City Hall to act like it, and that means being responsive and finding solutions.
Increase supply of affordable and accessible housing by using smart development practices
- Cut red tape. The inefficient administration of important regulations must not be a barrier to development. We will implement a review of licensing and permitting processes to identify, then eliminate or reduce roadblocks to the development of affordable housing.
- Expedite projects in appeals process, that include affordable housing units, with seemingly unreasonable challenges. This is not an automatic approval of all appeals. It will establish a process that allows for case by case examination of projects, especially when there are common sense exemptions and solutions that can be made.
- Audit the administration of fees and make public the review of collection processes and use of the funds. To incentivize affordable housing development, the city can crunch the numbers to find the right level of fees to get developers moving.
- Collect and distribute data on the impact fees have on the market, administration of incentives, and enforcement of tenant protections to inform public policy and ensure supply is being increased at affordable rates.
- Determine impact of short term rentals (such as Airbnb offerings) on rental rates.
Ensure housing for people who make cities work
- Develop programs for essential members of the workforce – such as teachers, police officers, laborers, and firefighters – to more easily access affordable housing. By creating incentives to keep our essential workers close to their places of work, we can create cost savings for the city and employers through reduced commute times, higher productivity, and lessen climate impacts.
End rent gouging through effective enforcement and oversight
- Decrease response times to complaints of rent gouging and eviction policy violations.
- Create an online portal to be transparent with the public about founded complaints.
Addressing the challenge of climate change should be our city’s highest priority. The adverse effects of a changing climate affect each of us, but especially those without secure housing and in underserved communities. They will bear the brunt of the consequences of inaction unless our leaders go on the offensive and take bold steps now.
The good news is that there’s no lack of passion in Portland for tackling climate change and ensuring that we have clear air, clean water, and open spaces. However, this passion needs to be linked with the innovative approach Oregon is famous for, creating first in the nation policies such as the Urban Growth Boundary, the bottle bill, and protected public beaches.
The passage of the Portland Clean Energy Fund provides us with an incredible opportunity to build on our state’s legacy. It is incumbent on the city council to ensure we maximize the benefits and enter into partnerships that can meet our ambitious goals and bolster our economy at the same time.
- Embrace and implement new, green technologies that create a sustainable future across all industries from transportation to construction to utilities.
- Put in place clear and transparent oversight policies to ensure Clean Energy Fund dollars are used as intended, especially in support those on the frontlines of climate change in underserved communities.
- Ensure that new job training programs are accessible and affordable and maximize apprenticeship opportunities.
- Ensure that contractors meet labor standards and include business owners from underserved communities.
- Collect and analyze data on efforts to improve public transit, such as dedicated bus lanes, to inform the expansion of such measures in the effort to improve ridership.
- Convert City fleet of vehicles to electric vehicles.
- Expand network of charging stations to encourage electric vehicle use and support public electric fleets.
- Prioritize transitioning away from diesel engines immediately. Provide incentives for cleaner engines for businesses that are women and minority owned, as the cost savings can also benefit their bottom line and deliver cleaner air in the communities they work in.
- Take a fresh look at our building codes to make sure energy and water efficiency standards are stringent enough to help Portland reach its carbon reduction goals.
- Audit the highest energy users in the City and use insights to find efficiencies and energy reductions.
- Attract clean energy companies that will produce energy close to Portland. Including solar farms that produce utility scale solar.
Whether it’s homelessness, housing, climate change, or any other pressing issue facing this city, the answers to Portland’s challenges require a deep examination of our resources. The city must take a critical eye to its use of taxpayer dollars and explore innovative solutions for the chronic problems that have held Portland back for the past several years.
Any success we have in reshaping the city’s approach to its challenges will be rooted in strong oversight and reporting, both by partnerships with the City Auditor and city bureau’s in-house data teams.
Piper will recruit and lead a team committed to accountability and transparency for themselves and the city departments they work with.
- Deeply examine our resources and open the books to the public.
- Revist programs and ensure they are achieving their goals.
- Scrutinize contracted work and set high standards for external contractors while holding existing contractors to their obligations.
- Reduce or eliminate fees for public records and reduce processing times.
- Empower the Auditor by holding regular meetings to give City Council much-needed insight into existing programs and to ensure current programs are achieving their goals.
- Coordinate across the tri-county area to create efficient solutions to large challenges that have impact beyond Portland’s city border (e.g., transportation, clean energy, business development, housing).
- Be a true partner to our neighbors and help facilitate change in the region and across the state.
Portland’s greatest strength is its diversity. However, we must continue to foster programs of inclusion, so every person who lives within our city’s limits truly feels like Portland is home. Our city leadership can work directly with communities to understand the issues they are facing and make space for community voices in crafting the solutions and creating policy.
- Ensure the voices of under-represented groups of all races, ages, abilities, gender identities, religions, socioeconomic levels, and sexualities are heard and taken seriously by our city leaders.
- Empower local leaders with a range of experiences and perspectives so that the voices of our communities are represented in city policy.
- Ensure community oversight of police, pushing for progress in anti-racist, community-minded policing and work towards a fairer criminal justice system.
- Expand mental health de-escalation training.
- Train law enforcement agencies on best practices for interacting with transgender and gender-expansive individuals.
- Prohibit bias tools or technology used by the police force or purchased by the city. This includes any technology that is bias related to race, gender, religion, income or sexual orientation
- Train teachers in unconscious bias and equip teachers with the knowledge and tools to intervene in racially charged incidents.