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Mayor Ted Wheeler looks back on 2019, forward to 2020

Press release

Bureau directors join Mayor Wheeler to highlight the City of Portland’s actions to improve livability


Tim Becker (503) 823-6784


With 2019 coming to an end and the beginning of a new decade upon us, today Mayor Ted Wheeler was joined by Kimberly Branam, Executive Director of Prosper Portland; Shannon Callahan, Director of the Portland Housing Bureau; Jami Resch, Deputy Chief of the Portland Police Bureau; and Marc Jolin, Director of Joint Office of Homeless Services as they looked back at the work done by the City of Portland to improve livability and address community needs during the past 12 months.

As the Mayor of Portland, I am proud of what we accomplished in 2019,” said Mayor Wheeler. “We did not shy away from the difficult work at hand, nor did we back down from those who threatened to stir up fear and violence in our community. Instead, we came together in an incredible show of unity, rolled up our sleeves and worked tirelessly to make Portland the most livable, vibrant, progressive city in the country. All our accomplishments wouldn’t have been possible without the collaboration of my bureaus,the community, and the support and leadership of Commissioners Eudaly, Fish, Fritz and Hardesty.” 

Below is a list of collaborative actions in 2019


  • Voted to restrict the expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure to help reduce the number of oil trains moving through our region and protect our environment for future generations.
  • Appointed an advisory committee for the Portland Clean Energy Fund—the first of its kind in the country—that will infuse social equity into our commitment to reduce carbon and move the city closer to meeting our 100% renewable energy goals by 2050.
  • Launched the Rose Lane Project as part of the Bureau of Transportation’s Central City in Motion program, to move buses and streetcars through traffic more efficiently and improve the reliability of transit.

Economic Development

  • Supported entrepreneurial women and people of color through the Inclusive Business Resource Network, increasing the success of small businesses led by underrepresented entrepreneurs.
  • Launched Portland Means Progress to drive the hiring of local young people of color, and to promote intentional purchasing from small businesses owned by people of color, and to create more inclusive, equitable company cultures.
  • Reached a milestone when the Board of Commissioners endorsed a development concept for the Broadway Corridor project which will create new economic, business, social and community development opportunities.


  • Invested a record 34.1 million dollars in the Joint Office of Homeless Services for homelessness prevention, shelter, services and housing.
  • Completed an Intergovernmental Agreement with METRO and the County on the Visitor’s Fund, which will eventually give five million dollars to homeless services in Supportive Housing.
  • Funded prevention services for more than 6,000 people who started receiving prevention services last fiscal year—almost 2,000 more than the year before.
  • Increased the number of people in housing—not experiencing homelessness—to more than 12,000, double what it was four years before.
  • Opened more than 400 beds of shelter capacity in new, high-quality, purpose-designed spaces.
  • Advanced the development of the Portland Street Response Team by allocating $500,000 to the initiative.

Affordable Housing

  • Opened a record-breaking 878 new affordable housing units, and preserved another 176 in 2019, which has allowed close to 3,300 Portlanders to live in affordable rental housing, and more than 1,450 people in 2019 alone.
  • Announced nine new Bond projects this year, bringing the total to 12 projects now funded under Portland’s Housing Bond.


  • Prioritized the cleaning of problematic camping with the help of Clean Start, which collected more than 32,000 bags of trash totaling 375 tons of trash and 22,000 needles.
  • Increased the City’s capacity to post and clean problematic camping. We are now able to address 40-60 camps a week compared to under 10 previously.
  • Increased trash collection for Portland’s Downtown Clean & Safe district from three days a week to seven days a week.

Our City, Our Home

  • Organized an incredible show of unity when we gathered an unprecedented community coalition at Pioneer Courthouse Square to collectively condemn hate and violence.
  • Portland Police Bureau convened one of the largest law enforcement coordination efforts the city has seen in years.
  • Prevented the worst-case scenario when white supremacists threated to stir up hate and violence in Our City, Our Home.

In the new year and new decade that lies ahead, Mayor Wheeler looks forward to building on the accomplishments and the foundations the City laid in 2019.

“As we look ahead to next year, there is much more we still have to do as a City,“ said Mayor Wheeler. “Together, we will make our city an even stronger champion of inclusion, livability, hope and shared prosperity for future generations.”