Mayor Wheeler is pleased to provide an update to an Action Plan set in January 2023, when City Council set a series of goals through a resolution to Establish focused transformation, alignment of services, and shared priorities for Portland City Government.
The intention was to provide clear leadership and direction as Council implements voter-approved changes to Portland’s election system and form of government – while continuing to address the city's most pressing challenges with urgency and innovation.
Mayor Wheeler's Progress Update
1) Advance homelessness council resolutions through key actions, including siting, permitting, and beginning construction of three new Temporary Alternative Shelter Sites (or TASS), hiring outreach staff, and selecting site operators.
|Form and launch a Director’s Cabinet to engage bureaus in the implementation of the resolutions.|
A Director's Cabinet was formed and is currently meeting twice a month to proactively address challenges to allow for the development of TASS sites alongside smaller task forces working on specific issues weekly.
|Approve sites for three Temporary Alternative Shelter Sites (TASS) and begin permitting and construction on those sites as directed by Resolution 37595.|
The first site has been leased, with permits submitted and an approved construction design plan. Letters of Intent (LOI's) have been approved for two additional sites, with three other sites being explored for environmental viability.
See announcement here.
Find TASS updates here.
|Contract with service providers for temporary alternative shelter sites.|
A contract with Urban Alchemy was approved by City Council, signed, and finalized. The contract is a 'not to exceed contract' that provides up to $50 million over a 5 year period.
|Community outreach to the residents, neighborhood associations, and business districts that are near the sites.|
We have ongoing outreach to residents, neighborhood associations, and business districts near TASS. We continue to fine tune our communications and engagement plans. We are establishing good neighbor agreements for each site in partnership with nearby communities.
|Begin recruitment for the City Outreach staff team.|
The Bureau of Human Resources has created positions for the team and we can now hire. A coordinator has been identified for the outreach leadership role.
|Continue to seek funding from Multnomah County, Metro, and the State of Oregon to provide services to the first three TASS.|
Funding, in the amount of $6.8 million, has been provided by Governor Kotek's Executive Order. This will fund 140 pods and 6 months of operations for the first TASS. Additionally, we are working with Multnomah County to provide behavioral health and housing navigation services at the sites. We are also working with Multnomah County and the Joint Office of Homeless Services to advocate for Supportive Housing Services to fund operations for these on an ongoing basis.
|Continue negotiations with Multnomah County regarding the Joint Office of Homeless Services’ (JOHS) Intergovernmental Agreement (passed by Multnomah County on June 8).|
The JOHS Intergovernmental Agreement (IGA) was approved by City Council and a revised version is coming back to the City Council on June 21. Additional negotiations over the future of the partnership are ongoing.
2) Advance public safety initiatives, including finalizing a long-term strategy to reduce gun violence.
|Finalize and approve a data driven long term gun violence reduction strategy.|
The Office of Violence Prevention (OVP) has contracted with National Institute for Criminal Justice Reform (NICJR) and California Partnerships as Subject Matter Experts (SME’s) to help design and implement a focused deterrence model strategy. We have hired a Program Manager for this program.
See announcement here.
|Review data and outcomes of the 2022 Safer Summer PDX (SSPDX) initiative to better improve program outcomes.|
The final report on 2022 SSPDX investments was published on March 1, 2023.
The City of Portland’s Community Safety Division (CSD) has also hired an analyst who is developing additional performance metrics for gun violence and other efforts.
See final SSPDX 2022 report here.
|Begin expansion of Street Level Outreach using the Cure Violence Global model.|
The Request for Proposal (RFP) process began in December. A contract for the North Portland region was awarded to the Portland Opportunities Industrialization Center (POIC).
Contracts are being finalized for the remaining two geographic regions (NE and SE).
CSD funded 7 additional SSPDX outreach partners to maintain momentum through summer 2023.
|Organize a spring auto theft and catalytic convertor program.|
We have a large public safety fair scheduled for June 24. It will be held at the East Portland Community Center from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm.
The event will have free theft deterrents such as catalytic converter stickers, bicycle theft recovery stickers, steering wheel clubs, and more.
See more details here.
Continue targeted missions on dangerous street takeovers and retail and property theft, and expand community outreach for proactive safety training, retail theft and stolen vehicle missions have continued to be very successful. City partnering with County to fund task force dedicated to both.
Retail theft and stolen vehicle missions have continued to be very successful.
The City has partnered with the County to fund a task force dedicated to both.
See announcement here.
|Expand place-based violence interventions in collaboration with communities through the Safe Blocks program and stakeholder partnerships.|
The Safe Blocks program is working on place-based interventions in Eliot and Hazelwood. CSD also received a $2M federal grant to expand their work and are developing their plans for expansion.
See Safe Blocks updates here.
|Continue Portland Police Bureau’s efforts to increase staffing and complete technical budget adjustments in anticipation of FY 2023-24 budget.|
Recruiting and hiring remains very strong at the Portland Police Bureau. PPB has hired over 200 new staff, including 100 sworn officers and 26 PS3s, between January 2022 and April 2023, and received over 1,800 police officer applications. The FY23-24 budget includes ongoing general fund resources for 43 new officer positions.
|Advocate with state partners to expand the state’s Department of Public Safety Standards and Training (DPSST) academies and create regional academies to clear the hiring bottleneck.|
Though a regional academy was ultimately determined not to be feasible, the Governor has agreed to add approx. $7M in funding for additional trainers and add an afternoon shift to DPSST to clear the backlog. However, this funding must be approved at the state level to move forward.
New leadership at DPSST has also demonstrated a forward-looking strategic vision for the agency.
3) Activate the city through community events, focused support to improve livability, and continued investment in addressing graffiti.
|Complete the citywide lighting program.|
The City’s Public Environment Management Office (PEMO) has made gains in lighting throughout Old Town, Downtown, CEIC, St. John’s, Montavilla, and more.
The next phase will focus on those areas near where TASS sites are constructed and Portland Parks (especially Dawson and near Albina).
See update here.
|Partner in launching the Winter Light Festival, to be held February 3–11.|
The Winter Light Festival was successfully held earlier this year with a total attendance of 208,000 people. The event featured 136 public art installations in 86 location venues with 44 performances and live events. Over 300 artists and performers were involved alongside 253 volunteers.
See event website here.
|Complete the Central Eastside Industrial Council (CEIC) 90-day Reset.|
The 90-Day Reset in the Central Eastside Industrial Council (CEIC) is complete. The working committee is transitioning to a problem solver model and that will be led by PEMO moving forward.
The reset resulted in extensive law enforcement action against numerous persons involved in criminal activity in the district, extensive graffiti abatement and broad expansion of the graffiti abatement waiver program.
The Impact Reduction Program focused their efforts for campsite removal in the district and reduced the overall number of camps and more importantly dismantled long-entrenched campsites throughout the district.
|Increase and deploy contracted graffiti abatement.|
We've increased proactive graffiti abatement in and around the Central City.
In September 2022, one of the City’s graffiti abatement contractors, Graffiti Removal Services (GRS), conducted an audit of downtown and identified 23,126 tags. After a focused Downtown cleaning of a couple of months, tags were recounted and found a 70% reduction (about 7,000 tags). The City is continuing to invest heavily in graffiti cleanup.