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Mayor Wheeler Calls on Central City Employers to Bring Employees Back to Work

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On November 30, 2023, Mayor Wheeler wrote an open letter to Central City Employers. You can read a copy of the letter below.


Dear Portland Central City Employers,

Thank you for your resilience, contributions, and commitment to our central city during challenging times. Your role in our central city’s recovery and revitalization is critical.

As you know, increasing central city foot traffic from residents, workers, and visitors is critical to the recovery and revitalization of our urban core. Foot traffic brings positive social pressure, spending at small businesses, support for our culinary and hospitality industries and our arts and cultural institutions, and the activation of public spaces.

Earlier this month, the City announced 6-8 additional Portland Police Bureau (PPB) officers will conduct foot patrols downtown over the upcoming months. The Oregon State Police is detailing additional personnel to augment the work of PPB in drug and other missions. The City continues to scale up access to behavioral health services and shelters for those in need. Each of these steps is being taken to ensure that our downtown core is a safe and welcoming place for all people to live, work, and visit. More information about these efforts can be found within my Administration’s Central City Recovery Plan. Many of the exciting upcoming holiday events and activities that make the central city a desirable destination to enjoy can be found here and here.

To support a safe, clean, and welcoming environment, the City’s public servants are responsible for interacting with constituents, collaborating with peers, and delivering programs to build greater vibrancy in our central city. As many of you know, over half of all City workers are frontline staff, like Police and Fire Bureau employees, and were never remote or hybrid during the Pandemic. As of April 1st, 2023, City employees whose roles allow for hybrid work returned to in-person work for 20 hours per week at a minimum. The staff in the Mayor’s Office generally work in-person in our office, or in the community, at least four to five days per week.

I again call on all other levels of government, all private sector employers, academic institutions, not-for-profits and community-based organizations to follow the City’s lead of at least 20 hours of in-person work per week by January 1st, 2024, for remote/hybrid staff.

We offer our deepest appreciation for all of those organizations and individuals who have already stepped up and exceeded this standard.

Thank you for what you do for our beloved city,

Sincerely,

Mayor Ted Wheeler