Yesterday, City Council approved the Spring BMP for the Office of Community & Civic Life! This means that Civic Life’s FY 19-20 savings will be reinvested toward the following initiatives in the following amounts:
- $250,000 for the Oregon Workers Relief Fund, which is led by a coalition of community organizations to get dollars in the hands of Oregon workers who are being left out of the Federal Stimulus package due to their immigration status. The infrastructure for the fund has been established with initial investments from private philanthropy and supported by funds from the State of Oregon. 100% of donated funds will go directly to community members in need who cannot access unemployment insurance benefits.
- $200,000 to the Equity Corps of Oregon for the Universal Representation Project, which provides legal representation for Oregonians navigating the immigration court system. I have championed the Universal Representation Project for years, and this effort has been incredibly successful in providing legal services and preventing unlawful and unjust deportations. This investment will maintain critical navigation and legal support for families who are isolated, economically vulnerable, and confronting family separation as we adapt to new ways of maintaining public health.
- $5,000 for Street Roots Vendor Assistance Fund. Similar to the Oregon Worker Relief Fund, the Street Roots Vendor Assistance Fund is a mechanism to provide wage replacement support for workers who have increased chances of falling through the cracks of existing relief efforts.
Civic Life’s requests for funding and Council’s support of these efforts is heartening—COVID-19 is hitting already vulnerable communities particularly hard, and existing services are not enough. I know that these investments—while important—are not enough, and am committed to finding additional resources.
Thank you to the Office of Community & Civic Life for your hard work on this request and your continued commitment to serving vulnerable Portlanders and thank you to my colleagues on council for your support.