Mayor Wheeler signs Emergency Declaration to Expedite Post-Pandemic Recovery By Coordinating Efforts to Clean Public Spaces

News Article

“This is just common sense. It puts one centralized command structure over 20 city programs and eight bureaus, that are currently managed by five different city council members,” Mayor Wheeler, May 6 2022. 

Mayor Ted Wheeler signed his next Emergency Declaration which works to improve the cleanup of the city, unrelated to homelessness. This is the fourth in a series of Emergency Declarations aimed at helping to address homelessness and livability issues in Portland. This Emergency Declaration was announced last Friday during his 2022 State of the City address, and will go into effect this upcoming Wednesday, May 11th, 2022. The three previously issued Emergency Declarations by Mayor Wheeler will also be renewed on May 11th.

This Emergency Declaration will improve the cleanup of the city, unrelated to homelessness. This will streamline the work and accountability for cleaning up, dealing with trash, graffiti, illegal dumping, abandoned cars, and more. It focuses on cleanup work apart from—and outside of—occupied outdoor homeless camps. It will work to activate a new center, the Public Environment Management Office (PEMO) to manage operations.

Christine Leon, who currently manages the Development Permitting and Transit Group for Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT) will serve as the Director for this new initiative.  

"We are honored to have Christine chosen for this important role," said Portland Bureau of Transportation Director Chris Warner. "Her 20-plus years of service to PBOT and the City of Portland, particularly her expertise in right-of-way management, make her an excellent fit for leading the Public Environment Management Office."