I am proud to support authorizing the funding for Portland Street Response (PSR) that the Council appropriated last June. It was a smart investment then, and only grows more necessary as we continue to see our public safety system fail to meet the justified needs of a frustrated community.
Last June, the Council correctly saw the need to act with urgency. Every day we leave our public safety system unequipped, we leave our community less safe. Worse, we leave the door open to those who would deny the urgent need for fundamental transformation of that system.
Three of my colleagues have stated they intend to delay fully implementing these changes. Like my colleagues, I want to continue to learn more and act responsively. But legitimate questions do not necessitate that we further delay PSR’s – and the City’s – promise.
Portlanders have resoundingly told Council that they need us to work together to meet Portland’s challenges. And where we fall short or lack paths forward to meet an urgent need, it is our job to create them. We need to open our minds to bold, meaningful measures to answer the calls for responsive changes that make a difference in the lives of people.
I’m disappointed that, at this moment, we are unable to find a path together on this urgent need. However, I remain committed to working with my colleagues to move meaningful community safety transformation more quickly—including growing PSR as soon as possible. I’m not giving up on that.