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Adopt Advance Portland: A Call to Action for Inclusive Economic Growth


WHEREAS, on July 9, 2009, through Resolution 36714, Portland City Council (“City Council”) adopted the City of Portland Economic Development Strategy Five Year Plan for Promoting Job - A Creation and Economic Growth, with the overarching goal of building the most sustainable economy in the world; 

WHEREAS, on May 5, 2015, City Council accepted a report on the Prosper Portland 2015-2020 Strategic Plan, with the overarching goal of achieving widely shared prosperity among all residents of Portland; 

WHEREAS, since that time, many of the local, national, and international conditions that drive Portland’s economy have changed, necessitating a new strategy for the City of Portland (“City”) to encourage equitable job growth, wealth creation, climate resilience, and healthy and vibrant communities; 

WHEREAS, on November 17, 2021, City Council through Ordinance 190606 directed funding to Prosper Portland to conduct i) an inclusive economic development strategy and ii) a Central City and commercial district market analysis and strategy; 

WHEREAS, in March 2022, Prosper Portland and the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (“BPS”) launched development of an inclusive growth strategy with a diverse team of consultants who conducted an economic analysis of Portland’s industries, workforce, innovation activities, built environment, and institutions, as well opportunities to drive growth through inclusion and climate action; 

WHEREAS, in December 2022, Prosper Portland launched efforts related to a Central City and neighborhood commercial district strategy with consultants who analyzed demographic, employment, industry, housing, and commercial real estate trends across the Central City and commercial districts before and after the COVID-19 pandemic; 

WHEREAS, on February 2, 2023, City Council adopted Resolution 37609, a 90-day City Council Action Plan directing Prosper Portland and BPS to present Advance Portland: A Call to Action for Inclusive Economic Growth (Advance Portland) to City Council for adoption by approximately the first week of May 2023; 

WHEREAS, Advance Portland is a City-wide economic development strategy building on the above analyses that sets forth the goal for Portland to advance inclusive growth through interventions that advance competitiveness, racial equity and climate action over the next five years; 

WHEREAS, Advance Portland reflects input from the robust, inclusive engagement of community members, business owners, entrepreneurs, leaders, and residents, which included over one-hundred individual interviews, focus groups, and affinity meetings with representation from Black, Indigenous, and People of Color; young professional; Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Asexual, Intersex and more; East Portland; differently-abled and disabled; and low-income communities; 

WHEREAS, development of Advance Portland was guided by a Steering Committee and Leadership Roundtable, representing local and national industry experts and community-based partners, representing public, private, and non-profit leaders, that have provided valuable guidance on strategy development and the best path forward for the City’s economy; 

WHEREAS, development of Advance Portland was guided by a City inter-bureau working group (including staff from Prosper Portland, BPS, Bureau of Transportation, Bureau of Parks and Recreation, Bureau of Housing, Bureau of Environmental Services, and Bureau of Development Services) that provided feedback on where other City-led initiatives align with recommendations and actions in Advance Portland; 

WHEREAS, Advance Portland will guide Portland’s economic development and inclusive growth priorities over the next five years with a focus on quality job growth, equitable wealth creation, vibrant commercial districts and access to employment grounded in the values of racial equity and inclusion, climate action, robust partnerships, and intentional growth; 

WHEREAS, Advance Portland identifies key actions that will: 

  • Propel Inclusive Economic Growth and Innovation in key traded sector clusters and expand green products and services while addressing barriers to growth. 

  • Promote Equitable Wealth Creation by supporting Black, Indigenous, and all People of Color-owned small businesses and entrepreneurs to start and grow businesses through partnerships, capital, and support. 

  • Foster a Vibrant Central City and Commercial Districts with tailored strategies to create vital centers of employment, small business, entertainment, and cultural amenities. 

  • Connect Portlanders to High Quality Jobs in Future-Ready Sectors through industry-based and industry-driven job training and improved proximity to quality jobs. 

WHEREAS, adoption of Advance Portland by City Council will require engagement across multiple City bureaus in developing plans, programs, projects and regulations for future implementation; 

WHEREAS, Prosper Portland has the authority and responsibility to implement economic 
development programs for the City and will provide staffing to coordinate and report on Advance Portland; and 

WHEREAS, BPS has the authority and responsibility to advance climate action focusing on a just and equitable transition to a clean, inclusive, emissions-free economy and community.  

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that City Council hereby adopts Advance Portland attached hereto as Exhibit A;  

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that City Council directs creation of a City implementation team responsible for actions identified in Advance Portland,  

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that City Council directs staff and the City implementation team to return to City Council within 90 days with the following specific actions to implement Advance Portland: 

  1. Launch tax increment finance district exploration processes, with early priority on East Portland (including 82nd Avenue), and future focus on Central City 

  1. Formalize a clean energy initiative partnership 

  1. Create an external advisory committee to advise on implementation and monitor progress 

  1. Recommend a process to evaluate the economic and financial impact of proposed new or revised regulations being considered by City Council  

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that City Council calls for public, non-profit, and private entities to engage in implementing, funding, and shaping implementation of Advance Portland alongside Prosper Portland, BPS, and all relevant City bureaus,  

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that City Council directs the City implementation team to develop performance metrics and regularly report on progress, and  

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that this resolution shall become effective immediately upon its adoption.  

Impact Statement

Purpose of Proposed Legislation and Background Information

Advance Portland is a comprehensive City-wide economic development strategy with objectives and actions focused on both industry and place-based interventions to be implemented over the next five years. The goal is to advance inclusive economic growth in Portland by establishing enduring partnerships, policies, and initiatives that propel and align economic prosperity with racial equity and climate action. As a result of strategy implementation, Portlanders will experience quality job growth, racial equity in entrepreneurship and traded sector employment, deployment of innovative green products, and more vibrant and inclusive commercial districts. 

Advance Portland identifies key policies, approaches, partnerships, and investments necessary to achieve inclusive, sustainable economic growth goals in the next three- to five-years through the lens of racial equity and climate action. It prioritizes five industry clusters: Athletic & Outdoor; Green Cities; Food & Beverage Manufacturing; Metals & Machinery; and Software & Media; which, demonstrate economic strength and competitiveness in Portland, as well as future growth potential and opportunities to leverage inclusion and climate action goals. 

Advance Portland is a comprehensive strategy culminating from two primary supporting bodies of work:  

First, under the direction of Mayor Ted Wheeler and Commissioner Carmen Rubio, and with budgetary support from City Council, Prosper Portland, and the City of Portland (City) Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS) launched the Inclusive Growth Strategy (IGS) in March 2022. After a competitive solicitation process in early 2022, Prosper Portland selected a team of consultants with the following key roles:  

  • Conduct economic analysis and planning  

  • Design opportunities for community members and stakeholders to inform the strategy  

  • Advise on racial equity and climate resilience    

Development of IGS included the following high-level tasks:  

  • Market and peer city analyses  

  • Focus and affinity group engagement and interviews  

  • Mission, vision, and strategy development  

  • Evaluation framework design  

  • Communications and engagement plan implementation  

To guide the IGS effort, Mayor Wheeler convened a Steering Committee to provide their expertise and input throughout the process. Comprised of public, private, and non-profit stakeholders, the Steering Committee met six times and was charged with providing guidance on the development of the strategy and the best path forward for the city’s economy.    

While the Steering Committee was the primary advisory body for the project, a Leadership Roundtable, made up of community leaders, also supported this effort by considering substantive strategic questions about the City’s vision for Portland’s economic future and providing tactical feedback on what collective actions are needed to meet shared goals.   

Second, Prosper Portland contracted with a consulting firm to complete a Central City and Corridors Analysis. This included assessing demographic, employment, industry, housing, and commercial real estate trends across Central City subdistricts and select neighborhood commercial districts before and after the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as high-level policy recommendations for Prosper Portland to consider. The Central City and Corridors Analysis was informed by data and quantitative findings blended with qualitative feedback received through stakeholder engagement.  Undertaking the analysis at a Central City subdistrict and neighborhood commercial district scale provided for a more nuanced understanding of how economic market strength and recovery have been experienced differently throughout the city, and to identify prioritized recommendations and tailored interventions.    

The IGS and Central City and Corridors Analysis collectively informed Advance Portland and are included as appendices to the strategy. 

On February 2, 2023, City Council adopted Resolution 37609, a 90-day City Council Action Plan. Through this resolution, and under the leadership of Commissioner Rubio, City Council directed the following actions to be advanced by approximately the first week of May 2023:  

  • In collaboration with the Mayor’s Office, present and adopt a final Inclusive Economic Development Strategy (Advance Portland) to City Council:  

  • Upon adoption, create an implementation task force chaired by the Commissioner-in-Charge and including the Mayor’s Office and relevant bureaus.  

  • Upon adoption, direct bureaus to work with Prosper Portland to prioritize the recommendations and incorporate accordingly into their budget, work plans, or performance measures. 

Financial and Budgetary Impacts

While there are no direct financial impacts, implementation of Advance Portland is expected to inform bureau budget allocations and priorities for the next five years. 

Community Impacts and Community Involvement

Advance Portland has been informed by extensive engagement of stakeholders and technical experts. The consulting team has completed robust engagement through interviews and focus and affinity groups. This engagement included:  

  • Convening a Steering Committee (six meetings) and Leadership Roundtable (three meetings), both of which were made up of diverse groups of experts and leaders, to support development of Advance Portland    

  • Interviews with each member of the Portland City Council 

  • Interviews with each member of the Prosper Portland Board   

  • More than 110 interviews with experts and leaders in the public, private, and non-profit sectors  

  • 19 focus and affinity group discussions  

A virtual open house in April 2023 provided the public an opportunity to submit feedback on the draft strategy.   

100% Renewable Goal

While this action does not immediately increase or decrease the City’s total energy use, implementation of Advance Portland will deliver on the City’s climate goals through supporting businesses, industries, and practices that reduce energy use. 

Budget Office Financial Impact Analysis

No fiscal impact. This action involves no direct appropriations, but adopts an economic development strategy and objectives to inform future budget development decisions. 

Document History

Item 334 Time Certain in April 26, 2023 Council Agenda

City Council


  • Commissioner Dan Ryan Yea
  • Commissioner Rene Gonzalez Yea
  • Commissioner Mingus Mapps Yea
  • Commissioner Carmen Rubio Yea
  • Mayor Ted Wheeler Yea


Justin Douglas

Governance, Learning and Outcomes Manager

Requested Agenda Type

Time Certain

Date and Time Information

Requested Council Date
Requested Start Time
2:00 pm
Time Requested
90 minutes
Confirmed Time Certain