Three weeks ago, I called off my field campaign due to our public health crisis and have been working around the clock ever since in my capacity as your City Commissioner. It's been hard to ask people to volunteer or donate when so many of us are in crisis and facing uncertainty with our jobs, housing, and health. It's been hard to focus on campaigning when the future is unknown, and there's so much work to do right in front of us. But I care about the incredible work we've done hand in hand with community to make Portland a more just, equitable, and inclusive city and I don't want to lose ground on that. Our work together is far from over-- we're not done!
Over the past four weeks, my focus has been on keeping people safe and housed. We now have a statewide eviction moratorium, which was a vital stop-gap measure but is not enough to stave off a tide of evictions, foreclosures, and bankruptcies in the coming months. I'm lobbying our state and federal leaders for rent forgiveness, mortgage forbearance, and a host of other solutions to our crisis within a crisis. I'm advocating for assistance for our hardest-hit industries, which aren't adequately helped by current relief packages, such as restaurants, bars, music venues, performing arts presenters, and others that depend on large gatherings. I've also been advocating for workers who historically could not access unemployment benefits. We got a big win with Senator Wyden's unemployment reforms for independent contractors, gig workers, and the self-employed. Still, millions of undocumented workers remain without access to relief; I'm committed to helping these vital and vulnerable workers who contribute so much to our communities and economy. And I'm working closely with my bureaus to maintain essential services, minimize impacts to employees, implement cost-saving strategies, and creatively redeploy staff when possible.
These are extraordinary times. The old rules no longer apply. And we need to find creative ways to run a successful and meaningful campaign. To that end, we're changing our ask: contributions to my campaign are already capped at $250, but we're encouraging a voluntary cap of $50 and suggesting donors give anything additional they would have donated to organizations providing vital services and supports to the most vulnerable members of our community during this crisis. We highly recommend the following organizations: Street Roots, R2D2, Community Alliance of Tenants, Sisters of the Road, p:ear, Street Books, Voz, and Free Geek.
This crisis has shone a light on our shortcomings and our strengths. We can only get through it by working together, supporting each other, and sharing our resources.
Be safe and take care,