Portland has a lot to be proud of. We've been ahead of the curve on so many progressive movements and innovations, from urban planning to public transit to bicycle infrastructure to combating climate change. And we didn't earn the nickname "Little Beirut" for being complacent or bowing to authority. Yet time and time again, we have fallen short on our best-laid plans. Blame our form of City government--which can lead to inconsistent leadership and lack of collaboration--or human nature. It's a lot easier to assert an opinion or devise a grand plan than it is to do the hard work of making real change.
A little over three years ago, I took my seat on City Council. That day, I inherited decades of gifts and challenges, triumphs and shortcomings, handed down to me by my predecessors. Since the beginning, I've prioritized the least well-served and most vulnerable members of our community, including people experiencing homelessness, cost-burdened renters, BIPOC communities, and people with disabilities. I've tackled tough challenges from strengthening tenants' rights and fighting displacement to defending our immigrant communities to expanding our civic engagement network to addressing climate change through improving our transit system. And I've ruffled some feathers--change is hard--but every decision I've made has been in service to building a more just, equitable, and inclusive city. Because when we understand and address the needs of the least well-represented and well-served among us, we create a better future for all of us.
I believe progressive Portlanders share my vision for the future of our city. A city where everyone has a safe, stable, affordable roof over their head. A city where all residents, regardless of their zip code, enjoy healthy, safe, and vibrant neighborhoods. A city that raises the bar on environmental standards for the rest of the country from combating climate change to building a green economy. A city that learns from its mistakes, and doesn't just acknowledge historical wrongs, but acts to remedy them. Our city is what we make of it, and together we can make it work for everyone!
AFFORDABLE HOUSING & TENANT PROTECTIONS
Housing is a basic need and a fundamental human right. Our failure to treat it as such has directly led to our ongoing housing crisis, which was decades in the making. There's no single solution that can make up for past failures while addressing the current housing unaffordability crisis across our region. And we will not solve it without the support of our Regional, State, and Federal partners. This is why I'm continuing to focus on local policy solutions while working with colleagues across the state and throughout the country to develop comprehensive affordable housing policies.
Stabilizing renters, preventing displacement, reducing barriers to housing, incentivizing affordable development in the private market, and increasing investment in permanently affordable housing are my top housing priorities. We've made a lot of progress since 2017, including:
✓ Developed and passed The Mandatory Rental Relocation Ordinance (or "Relo"), which helped stabilize thousands of renters in their homes by requiring landlords who were no-cause or economically evicting tenants to share in the burden of their moving expenses
✓ Developed and passed The Fair Access in Renting (or "FAIR") Ordinance, which lowers multiple barriers to housing and reduces housing discrimination
✓Developed and funded a directive to develop anti-displacement strategies in the City’s 2019 budget
✓Endorsed and championed the Metro Regional Housing Bond, which will create 3900 permanently affordable homes throughout the region
✓Worked closely with the Kenton neighborhood and community advocates to site the Kenton Women's Village, an alternative shelter site which is home to 20 women transitioning out of homelessness
✓Deprioritized enforcement on RVs and tiny homes parked in private driveways to allow homeowners to provide safe sites for people living in them
✓Made major improvements to BDS permitting process (including online applications and plans submitting)
✓Created a small business concierge service to help small developers and community organizations navigate the permitting process
But we're not done! With your support, we can advance a housing justice agenda that affirms housing as a human right, essential to equality and dignity, and indispensable to inclusive and vibrant communities including:
Passing a Tenants' Bill of Rights
Establishing a Citywide Anti-Displacement Task Force
Funding for Universal Eviction Defense
Establishing a Tenant Opportunity to Purchase program
Rolling back decades of discriminatory and exclusionary zoning laws to allow all types of housing--ADUs, duplexes, multi-family--in all neighborhoods.
Creating an Accessory Dwelling Unit (ADU) financing tool which will allow average Portland homeowners to contribute to our housing inventory
Developing incentives for affordability and accessibility for ADUs
Supporting development of affordable housing co-ops and Community Land Trusts
Full funding for the Rental Services Office
Passing the HereTogether ballot measure to fund homeless services
CLIMATE CHANGE & ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTIONS
Second only to housing, is my focus on climate change and environmental protections. I made the Portland Harbor Superfund Site part of my 2016 campaign. We produced a video about he harbor in English and Spanish, and helped drive record-breaking public comment to the EPA site, which ultimately led to a stronger clean-up plan for Portland.
In a city that's considered one of the greenest in the country it's unacceptable that we have the worst air pollution in the state and that carbon emissions from transportation on are on the rise. It's also unsustainable. According to the IPCC we have less than a decade to course correct in order to avoid climate catastrophe. And we can only do this by taking a holistic approach. As you will see, I've been involved in a variety of efforts to fight climate change and improve air quality in our city.
✓ In 2016, before being elected to Council, I testified in support of the passage of Portland's deconstruction ordinance, which requires some projects to be fully deconstructed as opposed to mechanically demolished, keeping waste out of landfills and pollutants out of our air. Building on the success of the initial ordinance, Portland City Council adopted an amendment in 2019, raising the year-built threshold from 1916 to 1940.
✓ In 2017, I co-sponsored and helped craft one of the most ambitious renewables resolutions in the country, establishing the goal of meeting 100% of community-wide energy needs with renewable energy by 2050. Given the current best science, I believe it's time to revisit and double-down on that timeline.
✓ In 2018, my office, in partnership with environmental advocates, crafted the strongest green roof requirements in the country for the Central City 2035 Plan.
✓ In 2018, I was the only member of the Council that endorsed and supported the Portland Clean Energy Fund (PCEF). I devoted staff resources to its development before it became a measure, and I helped fundraise and canvass for the measure. PCEF will help ensure a just and equitable transition to a green economy.
✓ In 2018, four months after the Oregon Legislature passed SB871: Addressing Lead Paint in Residential Demolitions, my office created and passed city regulations for lead and asbestos abatement in residential demolitions. When we discovered that the rules weren't being enforced as we intended by BDS (which is no longer my bureau), we pursued clarification through admin rules and code changes.
✓ In 2018, I supported the City of Portland Clean and Efficient Fleet Practices, which requires the use of biodiesel and set higher standards for fleet replacement.
✓ In 2019, I stood with the rest of my colleagues in opposition to Zenith Energy. We have denied permit applications for adding underground pipes at its oil terminal and explored multiple avenues for legally defensible approaches to fighting it.
✓ Over the past 18 months, I have stood with environmental advocates, Albina Vision, the school district, and other local elected representatives on the Rose Quarter I-5 project. I successfully negotiated for a community forum with ODOT, an extended comment period, I've repeatedly called for a full Environmental Impact Statement (EIS), and am still pushing for the establishment of both executive and community advisory bodies
✓ In 2019, I supported Commissioner Fish's initiative to get rid of the city's gas-powered leaf blowers, and have committed to pursuing the expansion of that ban to private use.
✓Developed the Rose Lanes Project which aims to increase public transit ridership by making buses and streetcars faster and more frequent by re-allocating right-of-way to buses and streetcars with transit priority treatments.
But we’re not done! We are continuing to decrease carbon emissions in transportation and aligning all Housing Bureau and Transportation Bureau endeavors with a climate and racial equity lens.
We need a real climate emergency declaration that focuses on equity, transportation, housing, and jobs and is bold enough to address irreversible disruption to our environment.
We must reduce carbon emissions by dramatically improving our public transit system and supporting and incentivizing alternative modes of transportation
Ensure that the Portland Clean Energy Fund successfully launches next year
Continue to fight against all new fossil fuel infrastructure.
Deeply invest in electric vehicle infrastructure in order to make EVs a viable alernative for more Portlanders and support the continued conversion of the City fleet, as well as TriMet.
I've been the Commissioner-In-Charge of the Portland Bureau of Transportation since September 2018. It's a huge and challenging bureau, but it's quickly become one of my strongest areas of interest. Solving our transportation challenges is deeply entwined with solving our housing challenges. It's critical to safety, equity, and sustainability. As PBOT considers every major project or policy development, we ask ourselves two questions: How will this advance our climate change goals, and how will this advance our racial equity goals?
After decades of neglect and underinvestment, PBOT has a daunting $1B backlog in deferred maintenance. We've made real headway in the past three years since the passage of the Fix Our Streets Gas Tax.
✓Developed the Rose Lanes Project which aims to increase the reliability and efficiency of public transit by re-allocating right-of-way to buses and streetcars with transit priority treatments.
✓ Aligned bureau programs with an equity lens to work towards affordable and equitable access to transit.
✓ Reformed the abandoned auto program to be more responsive during our housing crisis to people using their vehicles as shelter. Our staff work with people to access resources and more sustainable shelter options and minimize interventions that are disruptive or take away their property.
✓ Started the Pricing Options for Equitable Mobility Task Force to dig deep into how transportation causes inequitable outcomes and make recommendations around pricing that reflects more progressive and innovative models. Nothing like this exists in the country and many cities are looking forward to their recommendations.
✓ Fought against the I-5 Rose Quarter Project without real reparations attached that will allow the Albina Vision to be realized and deliver real benef
But, we're not done! We have so many exciting projects and plans ahead of us, all aimed at reducing emissions, making our roadways safer for all users, and creating an equitable transit system for all Portlanders, including:
The Greenways Project is the next transportation project that will focus on improving pedestrian and cycling opportunities within neighborhoods while decreasing car traffic volumes and speeds on residential streets
Develop innovative transportation demand management measures hand-in-hand with community to keep us moving toward our carbon emissions goals while ensuring equitable outcomes
Consider alternatives to sidewalk and street tree management, which is currently the responsibility of adjacent property owner and leads to inequities in our pedestrian infrastructure and urban canopy.
Continue working toward Vision Zero safety goals through improved and safer infrastructure
Aligning our transportation equity goals with our housing goals so that we’re not displacing vulnerable populations from the central city into areas with inadequate public transit and active transportation infrastructure.
Pass the Fix Our Streets Gas Tax
I'm deeply committed to civic engagement and participatory democracy. I come from a background of grassroots activism, and I have been a conduit for community voices at City Hall. You can seen this throughout all of my work--from tenant protections to transportation--we work hand-in-hand with community to develop equitable policies that will benefit the least well-served members of our community and avoid unintended consequences and disparate outcomes.
Portland has a wonderful tradition of civic engagement and neighborhood involvement. Neighborhood associations serve an important role from improving their immediate community to advocating at City Hall. But Portland has another, not so wonderful tradition, and that is one of segregation, exclusion, and inequity. If we truly value civic engagement and community input, then we must be committed to ensuring that ALL community members are informed and engaged, and have a voice at the table. In order to do that we need to do a much better job at getting information out to the community, recognizing the ways that people choose to organize, whether it's geographic, identity, or issue based, and provide multiple avenues for engagement and input. Our city will only better for it.
These efforts have all been launched and are ongoing:
For an excellent overview of our work on Civic Life code change, aimed at addressing the 2016 audit of the Office of Neighborhood Involvement (now Civic Life) and the 30+ year conversation about the lack of diversity in our neighborhood network, click here.
I championed the City's 311 initiative which is now in development as a collaborative project between Civic Life and OMF. The City is weak on customer service, we struggle to get information out to the public, and we don't have adequate avenues for engagement and input.
Voting is one of of our most fundamental constitutional rights. In 2017 my office and Civic Life lead a non-partisan, content neutral, bilingual GOTV effort in some of Portland's lowest voter turnout precincts. While difficult to measure the impact, we saw higher increase in turnout in the precincts that were canvassed than those that weren't. I believe that the City and County has a responsibility to provide basic information and support language access for communities that face barriers to participating in our democratic process.
I was an enthusiastic supporter of the Open & Accountable Elections Program and am now participating in it. I support limiting campaign contributions and getting corporate dollars out of all campaigns.
I'm a big believer in local power. Especially in a state like Oregon, with wildly divergent regions and a part-time citizen's legislature, municipalities need to be able to advance regulation that serve the needs of their communities. I've successfully fought back against preemption on regulating the TNC industry and years of effort on the part of housing advocates, myself included, has led to some loosening of state preemptions and stronger tenant protections for all Oregon renters.
Government has an obligation to provide reasonable accommodations to people with disabilities and people who need language supports. Every year I've fought for increased funding for accommodations, which is currently left up to individual bureaus, making accommodations inconsistent and hard to access. We need these services to be adequately funded and overseen by a single bureau to ensure consistency across all bureaus.
DEFENDING IMMIGRANT & REFUGEE COMMUNITIES
Immigrants and refugees have faced consistent attacks by the Trump administration. Both through a concerted effort to end our immigration system as we know it and the detainment and deportation of hundreds of thousands of immigrants. Chloe is committed to continuing to limiting law enforcement and government collaboration with ICE, increasing access to universal representation, and promoting criminal justice reform to keep people out of the deportation pipeline. She also supports the DREAM Act and defunding the targeting and deportation of immigrants at the federal level.
✓ Commissioner Eudaly's office established and led the Sanctuary City Task Force to determine the community's next step priorities after City Council passed the Welcoming, Inclusive, Sanctuary City Resolution.
✓Successfully fought for funding for the Universal Representation Project to provide immigrants facing deportation proceedings with legal representation. This seed funding from the City of Portland helped establish the Equity Corps of Oregon, who were able to leverage that initial investment from the city to secure resources from other jurisdictions, law firms, software engineers and others to build one of the most effective responses to deportation proceedings in the country.
✓ Joined with Commissioner Hardesty to withdraw from the Joint Terrorism Task Force.
✓ Fought hard for full census funding to make sure our neighbors are counted so we get the resources and representation we deserve from the federal government.
✓ Supported the creation of and funding for Portland United Against Hate which provides community-based support to Portlanders targeted by hate speech and crimes.
Chloe's current and ongoing efforts include:
Continuing to fund Universal Defense. The vast majority of individuals facing deportation have meritorious cases, but without legal representation, the vast majority of them will be deported.
I'm currently fighting for economic relief for undocumented workers during the COVID-19 crisis. These workers pay into our system but cannot access supports like unemployment. It's unconscionable that we would leave these workers, who perform vital work and greatly contribute to our economy, without support.
With a growing immigrant population and many underserved communities, it's critical that the City ensures language access for limited English proficiency community members. This vital accommodation needs to be fully funded and very accessible.
Organized labor and community advocates have led successful campaigns in Oregon to raise the minimum wage, guarantee paid sick days, and provide predictable scheduling to workers. These efforts have collectively improved the lives of millions of Oregonians. Chloe is working to continue this progress on the local level, by supporting worker organizing, raising standards across industries, and strengthening union power. She is committed to advancing a vision of equitable investment and development that ensures opportunity for those left out of our city's prosperity.
✓ Successfully advocated for the Cannabis Social Equity Grant to finance restorative justice and community reinvestment grant programs.
✓ Created the first workers board for ride-share drivers to give a voice to non-unionized drivers
✓ Initiated and then worked with Commissioner Hardesty’s office to insert a Labor Peace Agreement process into the City's sustainable procurement policy.
✓ Passed The Mandatory Rental Relocation Ordinance (or "Relo"), which requires landlords who are no-cause or economically evicting tenants through no fault of their own to share in the burden they are creating for their tenants by paying a relocation fee.
✓ Passed The Fair Access in Renting (or "FAIR") Ordinance, which protects prospective tenants with barriers to housing (such as criminal backgrounds, poor credit, low-income or lack of standard identification methods) from being unjustly denied tenancy and predatory security deposit practices
But we’re not done! Here’s what we’re working on…
Protections for gig economy workers against abuse and misclassification
Requiring businesses that serve an essential need (shelter, food, mobility, health, and hygiene) to always provide a cash option
Exploring additional options for investment in historically under-served communities
Developing anti-displacement initiatives that will add stability for local small businesses
Reform the Arts Tax by setting the exemption to 300% of federal poverty level and making the tax progressive for households earning above 120% medial family income