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Portland Children's Levy

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The Portland Children's Levy Allocation Committee - From left to right, Jessica Vega Pederson, Traci Rossi, Dan Ryan, Felicia Tripp Folsom and Mitch Hornecker

Commissioner Ryan possesses a deep commitment to educational equity and ensuring the success of the Portland Children’s Levy—a $20 million taxpayer-funded citywide initiative that strives to remove gaps in Portland's education system and eliminate racial and ethnic disparities in educational outcomes by supporting community-based programs that help prepare children for school and support them to be successful in and out of school.

Historical policies and practices have a direct relationship with disparities in outcomes for children navigating poverty and children of color. The Portland Children's Levy strives to change this trajectory 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 children’s outcomes.

The Portland Children's Levy funds 91 programs in six focus areas that support positive early development, school engagement and academic achievement, high school graduation, and family safety and stability.  Community partners provide a range of services including high-quality preschool, enriching after-school programs, caring adult mentors, therapeutic support in times of trauma and crisis, and daily access to nutritious food. Programs receive funding through a competitive application process.

The Portland Children’s Levy is overseen by a five-member Allocation Committee that operates under a set of bylaws and meets publicly to make funding decisions. It is composed of one Multnomah County Commissioner (Jessica Vega Pederson), one Portland City Commissioner (Dan Ryan), and three citizen members (Felicia Tripp Folsom, Traci Rossi, and Mitch Horneker).

Portland Children's Levy 2021 Accomplishments: 

PCL
  • Funded 52 community-based organizations and 92 service programs working to prepare children for school, support children’s success inside and outside of school and eliminate racial and ethnic disparities in children’s well-being and school success.
  • Worked with programs to flexibly meet emerging community needs during the ongoing pandemic.  Program staff worked exceptionally hard to connect people to needed resources, engage parents and children virtually and support them socially and emotionally during this emergency.
  • Supported hunger relief programs that collectively served more than 20,000 children and their families in the last fiscal year.

2022 Work In Progress: 

  • Creating a community council to provide ongoing community input on Levy policy, process and future funding decisions.