Elected to Portland City Council in August of 2020 and sworn in on September 10th, Commissioner Ryan oversees the Portland Housing Bureau, the Joint Office of Homeless Services, the Bureau of Development Services, and the Portland Children's Levy. In partnership with Portlanders, Commissioner Ryan is building bridges and developing innovative solutions to the complex issues that face our community.
In early 2021, Commissioner Ryan pushed Portland City Council to identify and agree to shared priorities—this led to Council elevating three priorities to guide our budget and policy decisions: compassionately address houselessness, develop a trustworthy new model for community safety, and stimulate economic recovery. Commissioner Ryan has advanced these priorities while overseeing his bureaus, co-chairing the Permit Improvement Task Force, and building Safe Rest Villages.
Commissioner Ryan secured $16.02M in federal funds to build six Safe Rest Villages across Portland for neighbors experiencing houselessness, negotiated an unprecedented $38M joint City/County investment in houselessness, and manages the City's relationship with the Joint Office of Homeless Services.
Commissioner Ryan championed investment in impacted community organizations to combat gun violence, supported the targeted increase of the Portland Police Bureau's Focused Intervention Team and unarmed officer program, voted to expand Portland Street Response, and advocates for comprehensive statewide mental and behavioral healthcare.
Commissioner Ryan identified Portland's permitting process as an immediate obstacle to economic recovery and created the Permit Improvement Task Force with Commissioner Mingus Mapps, which is working quickly to modernize permitting, reduce permit times, and center customer experience.
Commissioner Ryan established the City's first World AIDS Day Proclamation, voted to expand abortion rights, and proudly serves as Portland's first openly HIV-positive elected official. Commissioner Ryan works to expand arts access, empower culturally-specific organizations, and lift up queer voices.
Commissioner Ryan's priorities as Portland's Housing Commissioner are responding to the housing and COVID-19 crises by stabilizing renters and preventing displacement, facilitating safe and sustainable affordable housing development, and creating new pathways to first-time homeownership in our City. Commissioner Ryan believes that housing is a human right and that the pathway from streets to stability is a continuum—we need to meet people where they are, from Safe Rest Villages to Permanent Supportive Housing to homeownership.
Commissioner Ryan secured funding to institutionalize digital tools and best practices for City employees, championed a challenge to Zenith Energy's fossil fuel expansion in Portland, and focuses BDS' work on facilitating economic recovery. Commissioner Ryan is leading BDS into a nimble, technologically-friendly future that will better serve Portlanders' needs.
Commissioner Ryan oversees the Portland Children's Levy. The Portland Children’s Levy is a taxpayer-funded citywide initiative that strives to remove gaps in education by supporting community-based programs that help prepare children for school, support them to be successful in and out of school, and eliminate racial and ethnic disparities in educational outcomes.
Commissioner Ryan's office prioritizes public communication and constituent relations; we release monthly newsletters, regularly update the Safe Rest Villages website, communicate via social media, serve on the City's Unified Communications Steering Committee, help Portlanders navigate bureaucracy, and track and respond to constituent concerns. We do our best to share information with and respond to everyone who lives, works, worships, or plays in Portland.