"New data shows the Portland Street Response program is seeing significant growth.
This October, Portland Street Response (PSR) responded to a record 824 calls. That is the largest number of calls in a single month since the program started nearly two years ago."
"The program’s success is drawing national interest. Last month, leaders from California, Phoenix, Austin, Illinois, Detroit, Durham, Minneapolis, New York, and Philadelphia all came to Portland to learn more about how PSR works."
"...PBOT announced a new Community Crossroads Initiative (CCI) they say will, “engage with community using interventions like traffic slowing or traffic diversion to address immediate issues of traffic and gun violence.”
"On the ground, this will lead to more temporary barricades and traffic diverters at neighborhood hot-spots and other street changes such as more lights, trees or crosswalks. The new CCI approach is the formalization of the Arleta Triangle project that debuted in September."
“As students walk and roll to schools in Parkrose and across Portland, they encounter several barriers and hazards ranging from unsafe driver behavior, lack of knowledge about multimodal travel options like biking and walking, limited access to transit, and gun violence,” Hardesty said in a press release from earlier today about the new SRTS programming. “We must take a more holistic approach to traffic safety that includes the intersection of traffic and gun violence as we support our students traveling to, from, and around their schools.”
"Earlier this October, more than two dozen local elected officials, government staffers, and community leaders met with the Portland Street Response to learn from the program and identify best practices that can be adapted in their localities.
“Portland Street Response is one of the most innovative and successful new programs in Portland’s history, providing the first major update to our first response system in almost 100 years. As PSR continues to expand, we continue to ensure the most effective first response is sent to the right 911 call.” said Commissioner Hardesty. “Portland Street Response’s success is inspiring the whole country, and that is something all Portlanders can be proud of. It was an incredible honor to host over two dozen elected leaders from around the country that want to bring Portland’s model to their home.”
"The suffering on our streets is unacceptable, inexcusable, and we must act with far more urgency to address this crisis. I am a renter in East Portland and every day when I leave my apartment, I see large encampments. I see heartbreaking poverty. I also see and hear the frustrations of those who pay a lot in taxes, and hear a lot of promises from politicians, but are still seeing tents on their sidewalks all over the city.
It is with this sense of urgency that I am disappointed these proposals from Mayor Wheeler and Housing / Joint Office of Homeless Services Commissioner Ryan lack details, funding, regional partnerships, and timelines that meet the moment.
I plan to introduce amendments that include the following goals:
- Speed up creation of serviced designated camping areas from current proposal of beginning construction 18 months after securing funding to completing construction of the first designated camp area within 6 months of securing funding.
- Limit the size of serviced camping areas so they can be safely managed to the benefit of unhoused residents and surrounding neighborhoods.
- Ensure new designated camping areas are ADA compliant. Accessibility concerns on our sidewalks are real and the City is seeking to resolve a related lawsuit. It is also true that over 60% of people living in the street are disabled themselves. As City leaders we should not be pitting the houseless and housed disabled communities against each other.
- Seek to ensure designated camping sites are distributed across the city and not placed in just one neighborhood."
"Portland City Council unanimously approved an immediate speed reduction on SE 26th Ave. near Cleveland High School Wednesday, while also asking the Oregon Department of Transportation (ODOT) to do the same on SE Powell Blvd., a highway that is operated by the state. The speed reduction, which relies on creating a “School Speed Zone” in the area, was prompted by urgent calls for safety improvements at the intersection of SE Powell Blvd. and SE 26th Ave. after a truck driver killed a bicyclist at that location earlier this month.
“I want to be really clear, [Portland] is not waiting for ODOT to take action,” said Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty, who oversees Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT). “The moment is right to implement changes to not only this specific intersection, but to be proactively thinking about how we can improve safety around all schools in the city of Portland.”
"Following the fatal crash on Southeast Powell Boulevard, which killed Portland chef Sarah Pliner, Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty is calling for immediate safety fixes along the road and throughout the city.
Along with offering her condolences over Pliner’s death in a press release on Thursday, Hardesty called out the Oregon Department of Transportation, which currently controls the road, for not responding to previous community outcry about the state of the intersection.
“Every traffic fatality is one too many,” Hardesty said. “This was a preventable death at an intersection that [the Portland Bureau of Transportation], alongside [the] community, had previously advocated for substantial safety improvements to be made by ODOT, including a bike lane. ODOT opted for a different option and this intersection remains far too dangerous for pedestrians and bike riders.”
"Working with Portland Fire & Rescue, an independent staffing study was recently completed and presented to council during a public work session.
The Citygate study made it clear we need more firefighters to provide Portlanders the safety and services they deserve. The process of hiring and training new firefighters takes time, so we are requesting authorization of 13 new full-time firefighter positions in this Fall BMP so we can begin recruitment.
A budget note included by Mayor Wheeler during the last fiscal year would reduce funding in Portland Fire & Rescue by over $3 million by cutting 4 Rapid Response Vehicles and 23.5 firefighter positions from their current budget.
If Council follows this budget note, it will cause significant disruption and undercut the gains we are making in right sizing Fire & Rescue to meet service demands. Eliminating this program will degrade our service significantly, worsen our already critical staffing issues, and cause us to lose the recently approved federal SAFER Grant that will fund an additional 6 new firefighters and allow us to fully reopen Station 23 in Southeast Portland for the first time in decades. We are asking Mayor Wheeler to rescind this budget note in the Fall BMP"
"On Monday, Portland City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty showed her support for the tenants at Prescott Apartments. “No matter how much you make, no one can absorb rent increases of 50% or more,” Hardesty said."
“You can see the smiles of the community and what they will always remember is that they were heard and we tried to help,” Hardesty said. “And had it not worked, we would have tried something different. That’s what we have to be unafraid of—trying things that we don’t know will work.”
Following the success of the Arleta Triangle to address traffic safety and gun violence while simultaneously creating a new outdoor community gathering space, the city is looking to expand the effort into other areas of Portland.
...Hardesty expects three additional public plazas to be created over the next three years using the dedicated funding."
“Our firefighters step up in every way they are asked to serve Portlanders, so I am incredibly excited that we will be bringing in over $2 million in federal funds to Portland Fire & Rescue,” said Portland Fire & Rescue Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty. “Senator Merkley and Senator Wyden have once again delivered for our city and have my thanks for securing dollars that will allow us to fully reopen Station 23 in Southeast Portland, as well as hire six new firefighters to bolster our ranks.”
"The three city commissioners who said unequivocally that Paulson should sell are Carmen Rubio, Jo Ann Hardesty and Dan Ryan.
Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty: “I am outraged and saddened at the toxic culture and damaging behaviors exhibited by the Portland Timbers and Portland Thorns front office further revealed in this week’s investigative report. How long will it take for women in sports to be treated fairly? I stand with the Rose City Riveters and all Portlanders who are calling for Merritt Paulson to sell the team and for executives Mike Golub and Gavin Wilkinson to step down.”
Commissioner Mingus Mapps: Did not respond."
"After being hired, Lateral recruits receive accelerated training and then shadow a Field Training Officer (FTO) in a station for 3 months. Today Portland Fire & Rescue Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty brought forward an ordinance unanimously approved by Council that will allow Portland Fire & Rescue to compensate Field Training Officers with a premium of 6% for the additional workload.
There are cost savings for Portland taxpayers realized by shortening the training time for Lateral Recruits, as they can fill shifts earlier than new entry level firefighter recruits, which avoids the need to fill shifts through overtime.
“I can’t overstate my appreciation for our firefighters, who have stepped up in every way they have been asked to serve with incredible bravery over a difficult last few years – whether putting out fires locally, helping combat wildfires statewide, or vaccinating our community during a global pandemic," said Commissioner Hardesty.
"The city of Portland is requesting proposals from outside groups to oversee a long-awaited truth and reconciliation commission addressing the Portland Police Bureau’s historic mistreatment of communities of color.
The request for proposals comes more than a year after Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler endorsed a plan put together by the Portland Committee for Community Engaged Policing."
"Portland City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty’s office took up the task of hashing out the project details. Hardesty’s Community Justice Organizer Andre Miller used programs in several other cities and countries, including Greensboro, North Carolina, Ferguson, Missouri, Boston, Philadelphia, Peru and Rwanda as models in drafting the outline of Portland’s proposed plan."
"The seemingly unbridgeable trust chasm between Portland residents and their police goes back decades. In 1936, Portland police officers arrested anti-fascists who were protesting against a swastika-clad visiting German warship. Two officers were fired after they dumped dead opossums on the steps of a Black-owned business in 1981 and police bureau Capt. Mark Kruger was suspended in 2010 after it was discovered he had built a memorial to Nazi soldiers in Rocky Butte Park. All three officers had their discipline overturned and returned to work. Kruger stayed with the bureau until he retired in March 2020."
"One thing Willoughby values about the van is the privacy it provides. “Our new vehicles provide an opportunity if a client just needs to get some AC or talk privately, we can come back here and do so,” she said while standing in the back of the van. It also offers a place to do wound care and take vitals. Mental health responders travel to crisis calls with an EMT.
Willoughby said sometimes a conversation that starts with handing out a granola bar can end with someone getting housing. “I think the whole goal is to create that positive interaction with people, so that they feel safe and trusted,” she said."
"...yesterday was the first chance for folks to officially ring in the opening of the Congressman Earl Blumenauer Bicycle and Pedestrian Bridge, and though it was a searing hot day Sunday, hundreds of people gathered at a celebration to mark the debut of this long-awaited piece of infrastructure.
"During the opening ceremony speeches, Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty, who leads the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT), asked the hundreds of attendees to up their transportation advocacy and help make Portland the bike and pedestrian haven it has the potential to be.
“I know we need [better bike and pedestrian infrastructure], but I’ve got some colleagues that may need convincing,” Hardesty said. “I will be depending on you, because we need you. I can’t do it without you.”
After a very fond introduction, Hardesty welcomed Blumenauer to the podium with a kiss on the cheek."
"Stacey was part of a generation of advocates and community leaders who united private and public sector organizations to implement the urban growth boundary with public transit and biking innovations. As an advocate, he went to court and worked on campaigns to defend Oregon's land use planning rules.
Commissioner Hardesty knew Stacey for more than 20 years, as both pushed for change as advocates and, eventually, as elected officials.
“Bob Stacey has been an institution since the day I arrived in Oregon,” said Transportation Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty. “We first met when I was a State Representative, and he was the Director of 1000 Friends of Oregon. I got to know him even better when we served together on the board of the Coalition for a Livable Future. I don’t know anyone who could better connect the dots between growth, development, and how those laws impact people’s ability to thrive in their communities. We also bonded over a shared passion for growing Portland with sustainable transportation options. Bob was widely known as a fierce public advocate, but what set him apart was his ability to also be effective inside the system as a city planner, a lawyer, and an elected official. Bob’s legacy will always remain with us, and I am honored to have considered him a friend and mentor.”
"While the Portland City Council’s trust in ODOT has not been fully restored, the city is leveraging its essential participation in the project to add restorative justice values to the freeway design, which originally displaced Portland’s Black community.
“The Black community bore the burdens of this highway and the city’s failed urban renewal efforts in this area,” Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty said during a city council meeting Wednesday. “If ODOT breaks their promises again, this agreement makes it clear that the city will walk away.”
"Supporters welcomed the changes to the city zoning code, and said they couldn’t come at a better time for prospective homeowners who face many challenges in Portland. City officials expect Portland’s population to grow by 100,000 households in the next 13 years."
"Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty said the updated code will add desperately needed housing units and advance the city’s environmental and racial justice goals."
"At the Saturday, May 14, Portland rally, protesters listened to speeches for 90 minutes before marching from Chapman Square as far Powell's Books on West Burnside Street and back. The protest was at times loud but always peaceful, a grim pageant dotted with mordant signs and coat hangers recalling the pre-Roe v. Wade days of back-alley abortions.
The Bans Off Our Bodies rally was organized by Planned Parenthood of Oregon, after the leak of the draft opinion. A reversal of Roe would allow states such as Mississippi to set their own restrictions on the procedure, and could result in "health care refugees" coming to the Pacific Coast states of Oregon, Washington and California, which have codified reproductive rights into state law.
The Portland crowd chanted "Abortion is our right, we won't give up the fight," and "What is abortion? Health care! And what is health care? A human right!"
Portland City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty pledged that Oregon would not go back to the days when light-skinned people had a better chance of getting an underground abortion than Black people."
"A linchpin in Portland’s efforts to decarbonize its transportation system officially opened today as city leaders cut the ribbon on Better Naito...PBOT Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty, said this project is about much more than concrete and curbs: “As we continue to build and grow our city’s network of safe and friendly places to walk and bike — not just downtown, but in every part of our city — I will think about moments like today, where we all came together, no matter how we move, and enjoy this space as one Portland. Because that’s really what Portland is about. We want to open up our streets, our communities and our hearts to everyone. Because we know we are better when we do. It’s what we need to help us heal from these traumatic last few years… Today’s a celebration of what community can accomplish when we come together.”
"The transfer will take effect June 1 and will be accompanied by $185 million in funding to kick-start upgrades, including $80 million in American Rescue Plan Act funds, $70 million from ODOT and $35 million from the city. “This is a victory for the communities living around 82nd Avenue, the geographic center of Portland,” said Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty, the city’s transportation commissioner. “East Portlanders have fought for this for decades.”
"Portland city leaders said they’re disappointed with an independent review into racial and political biases within the Portland Police Bureau and that investigators didn’t answer important questions. The City Council commissioned the review in the spring of 2021, sparked in part by an incident in which a PPB officer falsely identified commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty as a suspect in a hit-and-run last March.
Hardesty herself said she was greatly frustrated with the results of the review and concerned that city leaders had lost additional credibility waiting a year for this report. "I am profoundly disappointed, this is not what I asked for, and it does not give us a road map moving forward," Hardesty said. "I find your report very problematic because it didn’t answer the questions and didn’t engage the community."
"In January, negotiators for the city and the Portland Police Association — the union representing the rank and file officers — punted the policy question for a later date so the two sides could finalize a union contract after more than a year of negotiations. The city and DOJ want to limit when officers can view their body camera footage after use of force incidents. The police union wants officers to be able to view the footage before writing their reports, a practice known as pre-review."
"The popular carfree open streets events celebrate their 15th anniversary this year and were last held in real life in 2019. Due to health concerns and the Covid-19 pandemic, PBOT held only self-guided, interactive sticker hunts for the past two years.
The 2022 events will take place on Sunday June 26th in the northeast Cully area and on Sunday August 21st in east Portland."
"A recent gun violence prevention effort in the area around Mt. Scott Park could prove to be a model for other parts of Portland. The effort, spearheaded by Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty’s office, included traffic control devices, better lighting in the park, plus additional park rangers and Portland police officers patrolling the area.
Hardesty and police said the neighborhood saw fewer shootings in the three months during the pilot program than the three months prior.
“Every bureau has a role in reducing violence in our community, and we should not expect only first responder bureaus to be those that are thinking about how we could use our limited resources more collectively,” Hardesty said."
“The programs “Healthy Businesses” and “Portland Public Street Plaza” were created to provide crucial outdoor space to businesses during the pandemic. Now, Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty and Portland Bureau of Transportation want those programs to be permanent staples of the city.
Hardesty gathered alongside PBOT officials Monday at Pride Plaza off SW Harvey Milk to discuss making both programs permanent. Currently permits for the Healthy Business program are free. However, Hardesty says to make them permanent, city council needs to meet PBOT’s budget request…”
“Standing in the middle of carfree Pride Plaza on SW Harvey Milk Street in downtown Portland this morning as bike riders streamed through a live press conference, Transportation Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty took a look around at the colorful pavement, benches and tables and said, “If we all work together we can keep this going. And I have to say, this is one of the most beautiful plazas, carfree areas and meeting spaces in the city!”
“Every neighborhood should have a welcoming place where community members can get together and enjoy each other,” Hardesty continued. “I am directing PBOT to extend these two programs and work to make them permanent, so that we can use our streets for people, not just for automobiles.”
“PBOT is also improving the safety and accessibility of the ad hoc covered seating. While the city already has some design guidance for street seating, like maintaining at least six feet of sidewalk space and height restrictions, PBOT will release additional design guidance in April and visit all permit sites starting late Spring to ensure all of the outdoor structures are design and ADA compliant.”
"Eighteen traffic barrels, increased patrol from Portland police, better lighting and more park rangers at Mt. Scott Park - all part of a pilot program that Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty said takes a holistic approach at addressing gun violence.
“It’s the community feeling safe to walk in their neighborhood and be able to convene in their public space. It’s a combination of everything. Everyone has a role in reducing gun violence,” said Hardesty.
Hardesty said Mt. Scott-Arleta community members had a lot to do with seeing the pilot program come to fruition."
"Deputy [PPB] Chief Mike Frome said in a statement provided by Hardesty’s office that the Police Bureau was “happy to partner” with Portland Parks & Recreation rangers to patrol the area.
“Efforts like this demonstrate how the City of Portland can address problems like gun violence in a holistic manner, rather than treating it as a purely police issue,” Frome’s statement said."
"The leader of the Mt. Scott-Arleta Neighborhood Association, Matchu Williams, says he and many other residents were “desperate” for help after a spate of shootings rattled their community last fall. They called many City of Portland bureaus, leaders, and city hall offices for help and only two of them responded: the Office of Violence Prevention and a staffer from Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty’s office."
"The people on the ground who are actually involved in talking about what we can do are just honestly grateful and impressed by her and her staff’s interactions with the neighborhood. I think the tangible results really exemplify what a public city government should and can be and we hope that this kind of action can be brought to other neighborhoods throughout the city, to create spaces for people to gather safely and feel confident in their neighborhood.”
“I couldn’t be prouder to bring this investment in Portland’s Black youth forward,” Hardesty said during a February news conference. “These investments will provide hope and opportunities for our Black community that has always been left behind in Portland.”
Hardesty proposed creating the program for Black youth in response to 2020 protests calling for racial justice and police accountability."
"The leadership program aims to close racial wealth and inequality gaps in Portland that stem from racist practices like residential segregation and a lack of financial investment in historically Black neighborhoods and communities."
"In a ground-breaking move that could become a model for cities across the country, the Portland City Council has earmarked $950,000 to improve the lives of Black youth while giving the young people of color themselves the ability to decide where the money goes.
Financial support for the program can be traced to months of Black Lives Matter protests in Portland following the 2020 death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police, when Portland City Council Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty vowed to find funding to uplift and empower Black youth in Portland and help them heal from the trauma of racism.
“It is rare sitting on this seat on the council that you have an opportunity to get to see a dream come to life,” Hardesty said, describing the effort and outreach led by long time social justice activist Dr. S. Renee Mitchell."
"In a presentation last week, Fire Chief Sara Boone said fireworks greatly increase the risk of a major disaster, particularly as climate change increases periods of extreme heat and drought becomes more common. In 2017, she said, a single firework scorched over 48,000 acres of forest and the Columbia River Gorge; the Eagle Creek Fire was the largest wildfire in Multnomah County’s history. On July 4, 2020, fireworks caused 18 fires in Portland, according to the ordinance.
That number dropped dramatically in 2021 after the mayor signed an emergency declaration temporarily banning the sale of fireworks due to a severe drought.
“Even on a temporary basis, the results were dramatic. We saw a reduction by 66% of fire calls related to fireworks,” Fire Marshal Kari Schimel told City Council members last week. “This is the lowest number of fire calls related to fireworks that we have seen in the last 20 years.”
Commissioners said Wednesday they believed the climate crisis meant the risk of a devastating fire would not be diminishing over the coming decades.
“There is no question that this ban will save lives,” said Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty, who oversees the fire bureau and introduced the ordinance. “We know that we are in a climate disaster, and we know that these severe weather temperatures, wildfires are not going to end anytime soon. As a community committed to climate mitigation, we must change behavior.”
"We are grateful to the Legislature for giving us more flexibility to expand our speed safety cameras program and save lives on Portland streets. These cameras are an important tool for safety, and they are needed now more than ever. I will continue to advocate for investments in safe street design, slow speeds, and appropriate enforcement to reduce traffic violence in our community and work towards a future where there are zero traffic deaths in Portland," said City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty.
The bill, which still needs to be signed by the governor, will also swap duties from who reviews and issues the citations.
In the past, only sworn police officers could review the photos and issue citations. Under this new legislation, designated city officials will be allowed to review and issues tickets."
“These well-trained officers are reviewing photos—they’re not on the streets, they’re simply sitting behind a computer and being paid overtime to just check for accuracy [of the photos],” said Representative Jeff Reardon, a co-sponsor of the bill, in a legislative hearing. “This is a cost effective program that saves lives. We should look to keep costs low, put our officers to work doing more good for the community, and let the city save on cost and training by having city staff carry out this work.”
Portland’s existing 18 red light and speed cameras have proven effective in reducing crashes and speeding in the surrounding areas. According to PBOT data, intersections with red light cameras saw a 50 percent decrease in vehicle crashes. Roads with speed cameras triggered a 71 percent decrease in speeding overall and a 94 percent decrease in drivers exceeding the speed limit by more than 10 miles per hour.
According to PBOT’s traffic safety manager Dana Dickman, the bill will allow the city to add an estimated 22 speed cameras on Portland’s most dangerous roads. The cameras will be placed throughout the city’s high-crash network—busy traffic corridors that make up about 8 percent of Portland’s roads but account for 57 percent of the city’s fatal crashes."
"PBOT Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty, joined by her council colleagues, made changing the law to allow a trained civilian, rather than a police officer, to review speed camera tickets a priority in the short session that began in February and ended last week."
"A Portland Bureau of Transportation-owned property that will be used as a “safe park village” for people experiencing homelesseness who live in their cars"
"Jo Ann Hardesty - City of Portland
Title: City Commissioner
Favorite Black-owned restaurant: Amalfi’s Restaurant & Mercado. "This restaurant has been in the same family for three generations and is currently owned by a born and raised Portlander."
Favorite Black author: "The one and only Maya Angelou."
Black-owned business you should know: "If you want to know where some of my fashion inspiration comes from, I recommend checking out the African clothing store N’Kossi Boutique at Pioneer Place downtown. This is where I purchased my election night outfits!"
"After a year of negotiation and eight months after deadline, the city of Portland and the union representing the city’s police officers have tentatively agreed on a contract.
Amid ongoing community outcry for police transparency and accountability, the updated contract with the Portland Police Association (PPA) includes employee recruitment and retention bonuses, incentives for continued education, expansion of the Portland Street Response program, and the creation of a voter-approved independent oversight board-– one that may have more clout due to the inclusion of the Portland Police Bureau’s discipline guide within the contract itself.
“Over the last three years, we took in significant community input, provided as much transparency as labor law allowed, hired outside legal counsel with expertise in police union contracts, and now we have real change," Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty said in a statement. "This includes the ability to continue our expansion of Portland Street Response citywide and creating a clear, fair discipline guide to provide accountability for police misconduct. While no single contract negotiation will bring about all the changes I personally would like to see, I’m proud that my office’s deep engagement led to a better process and outcomes.”
"Construction is underway on the Outer Division Safety Project, a $7.5 million slate of infrastructure improvements along what has long been one of the most dangerous transportation corridors in the city. The project builds upon a 20-year relationship between the City of Portland and Raimore Construction – a locally owned firm that has committed to granting 100 percent of required project subcontracts to Business Inclusion and Diversity-certified firms."
""Increasing diversity within who receives contracts from the City of Portland is a goal I’ve championed for decades, which is why I am so honored to be the Transportation Commissioner overseeing PBOT’s role in the Outer Division Safety Project that contracted with the Black owned Raimore Construction,” said Portland City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty. “I know Raimore will utilize their expertise to ensure this investment creates a safer East Portland for all modes of transportation while creating living wage jobs for our community.”
"Next week marks the one-year anniversary of Portland Street Response’s pilot program. And next month will see what is perhaps an even bigger milestone: The program is slated to expand citywide.
That means Portland Street Response’s team of paramedics and licensed mental health clinicians are no longer restricted to the greater Lents area they were bound to for the duration of the trial run.
“Portland Street Response is an exciting change to our community safety system, and I am proud to have championed its development. After a yearlong pilot, we are gearing up for expansion,” Hardesty tells WW. “This March, PSR will be going citywide and we’re currently interviewing people to fill those positions. My office just submitted our budget request for next year, and if my colleagues vote to approve it, by this summer Portland Street Response will be coming to every corner of the city 24/7."
Portland City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty joined picketers at the Hawthorne Fred Meyer on Friday night.
“And you deserve a fair wage, a living wage,” she said to cheers."
"We spent over an hour in her City Hall office on Thursday (12/2) discussing a wide range of issues. We talked about everything from automated enforcement cameras (she supports them but said PBOT might have to fire the current vendor for delays), to the decline of biking in Portland (which she attributes to driving being way too cheap), her position on ODOT’s freeway expansion projects in Portland, the role of police in transportation safety (she is “appalled” at their press conference last week), her feelings about a new “civilian traffic force”, what she considers an ideal street design, and much more."
"Prominent African American leaders in Portland are seeking to disband the Portland Police Bureau's Gun Violence Reduction Team, saying it disproportionately targets black people.
City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty suggested May 2 that the city could disband the team, formerly the Gang Enforcement Team, in favor of sending 28 officers back to patrol duty.
Her proposal already has some community support.
"I think it's past time for it to happen," Urban League of Portland president Nkenge Harmon Johnson told Oregon Public Broadcasting on May 3. "[The gang enforcement team] was neither making us safer nor was it taking many guns off the street. What it served to do is harass African Americans."
"I know my budget suggestions took people off guard. I was told that normally the budget process is a very “Kumbaya” moment. I think there’s a perception that I should stick inside the electoral box that was here before I got here. But that’s not what I ran on. That’s not what voters elected me to do. I told voters I was going to break it open, I was going to be transparent, I was going to hear concerns."
"We’re all just so accustomed to the idea of “Portland polite.” That means we never, ever, ever say what we mean, we just talk around it for two hours, and then leave and compare notes and try to figure out, “What was it that we were trying to say?”
I don’t have time for that. I’m old. I came here with a mission to represent people who didn’t feel like they were being represented. I came here to make sure that the decisions being made I could defend."
"Her boldest idea: getting rid of the Portland Police Bureau’s Gun Violence Reduction Team. It used to be known as the Gang Enforcement Team. A recent report from the city auditor concluded the group had a record of disproportionately stopping African Americans.
Hardesty has proposed moving the team's officers to patrol, where the bureau has a number of vacancies, a move she says could help free up millions of dollars in the city’s budget.
"Our police force is stretched thin; I don't think it's appropriate to continue funding a team that has been shown to racially profile and produce no evidence their tactics were effective in alleviating gang activity," she said.
Hardesty says she’d like to see more funding for staffing at Portland Fire and Rescue, an agency she oversees, and for anti-displacement policies in East Portland, among other priorities.
She also said she'd like to increase one-time funding for Portland Parks and Recreation, a bureau overseen by her colleague, Commissioner Nick Fish. After several years of deepening fiscal problems, the parks department is trying to balance a $6.3 million annual shortfall in its operating budget by cutting staff and scaling back its community center program."
"The Multnomah Neighborhood Association, which hosted Hardesty on Wednesday, March 12, has been a consistent and persistent critic of RIP. Hardesty has been a supporter.
This was her first appearance at any neighborhood association meeting since being sworn in on Jan. 2. There are 95 such associations in Portland.
Hardesty spent most of the nearly two-hour session with the association defending RIP. More than once she said, "I respectfully disagree," and, "We'll have to agree to disagree."
"Let's talk about the elephant in the room. Our population grew by 45,000 last year and by 45,000 the year before that and it's going to grow by 45,000 this year," she said. "We will have to change. Every single neighborhood will change. More infrastructure will be built and that's good. More people will be living closer together and some people think that's bad . . . People will continue to move here, so how does the city change? It changes so people at every income level can live wherever they want to."
"Hardesty’s governing style might feel unconventional for those familiar with city hall’s mechanics. But none of this should come as a surprise—Hardesty is doing exactly what 165,220 voters elected her to do: shake up the status quo.
Hardesty, a longtime activist and former state legislator, campaigned on the promise to represent the underrepresented in city hall—a forum that adheres to rules made by middle-class white people—as the first Black woman on city council. It’s no wonder she’s forging her own path to navigate that arena. Coming across as obedient to those within City Hall’s walls is mostly likely the last item on her to-do list. Instead, Hardesty is giving space to the underrepresented voices in council chambers by hosting public forums and meeting with groups who’ve historically distrusted the city’s government."