Monday, November 16, 2009

From Mayor Sam Adams

Who gives a rip what you think?

We do!

ImagePortland area civic leaders and I gathered this morning at the East Portland Community Center to kick off the first round of community workshops for the Portland Plan. The first workshop will be held tomorrow evening at Beaumont Middle School at 6:30 p.m.

The Portland Plan will be a strategic roadmap to ensure the city is thriving, prosperous and sustainable for all residents. Through the development of the plan, Portlanders will help to define priorities, guide investment of public dollars and set the course for Portland for the next 25 years. The Portland Plan is part of a state-mandated comprehensive plan update and will touch every neighborhood, district and resident as the city grows.

Portland is a great city, but it’s not great for everyone. We have some real challenges ahead of us. Through the Portland Plan, we have an opportunity to make more informed decisions and improve collaboration among regional partners to achieve common goals.

The last time the City developed a comprehensive plan was 1980; about 50 percent of Portlanders today were not here at that time. Because of the impact the plan will ultimately have on each resident of Portland, we are asking for maximum community input over the next 15 months. You can weigh in at community workshops, complete a survey (online or included in December’s Curbsider publication), and participate in the conversation through social media.

The goals of the first round of workshops are to get grounded in the facts facing Portland now, create a healthy dialogue around how to solve some of our major challenges, and set a course with short and long term goals and actions to shape the next quarter century of change.

Focus areas for public engagement

Public involvement in the Portland Plan is essential. Many of the issues the city is facing may be surprising to Portlanders. Some of these challenges are:

-63% of Portland’s students don’t graduate on time.

-Portland’s unemployment rate tops 11%.

-70% of the city’s electricity use comes from fossil fuels.

-It will take $136 million more per year just to maintain the city’s aging infrastructure of bridges, signals, reservoirs, natural areas and civic buildings and maintain regulatory standards.

The 1980 comprehensive plan addressed many of the physical elements of Portland such as transportation infrastructure and creating a vibrant central city. The Portland Plan will build off that work while focusing heavily on the human elements in order to benefit the people living here over the next 25 years.

In 2007, the City of Portland conducted visionPDX, which gathered information from more than 17,000 Portlanders about their vision for the city. Out of this process came a set of values that helped establish goals for the community. Now the Portland Plan is picking up the dialogue about how those goals can be realized.

Workshops for public engagement
The first round of community workshops start tomorrow, November 17, and run through December 15, in locations throughout Portland. The City and its partners are asking all Portlanders to weigh in on issues ranging from education, community health, arts and transportation to healthy food, job growth and protecting the environment. The workshop dates, times and locations are as follows:

Tuesday, November 17 Saturday, December 5
6:30-9 p.m. 10 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
Beaumont Middle School Mt. Scott Community Center
4043 NE Fremont Street 5530 SE 72nd Avenue

Thursday, November 19 Monday, December 7
6:30-9 p.m. 6:30-9 p.m.
David Douglas High School Wilson High School
1001 SE 135th Avenue 1151 SW Vermont Street

Tuesday, December 1 Tuesday, December 15
6:30-9 p.m. 6:30-9 p.m.
St. Johns Community Center University of Oregon, Old Town
8427 N Central Street 70 NW Couch Street

Thursday, December 3
8-9:30 a.m.
World Trade Center
121 SW Salmon Street

Public partners of the Portland Plan

Because the City cannot address these issues alone, public partners working with the City of Portland on the Portland Plan include Metro, Multnomah County, Portland State University, Portland Public Schools, Parkrose School District, Centennial School District, David Douglas School District, Reynolds School District, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland Community College, TriMet, Portland Development Commission, Housing Authority of Portland, East Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District, West Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District, Multnomah County Drainage District and Worksystems Inc.

What the partners are saying about the Portland Plan

“Portland and all cities in the region will see significant population growth in the next 25 years,” said Metro Council President David Bragdon. “It’s important that residents become involved in the City’s planning process to help us reach goals shared by the families and businesses that make up our communities.”
- David Bragdon, President, Metro

“Our planning needs to embrace big ideas, like how equity concerns should shape land-use choices, as well as concrete dilemmas, like how our central city accommodates and pays for adequate courtrooms to keep our public safety system running.”
- Ted Wheeler, Multnomah County Chair

“Thoughtful, long-range planning is the only way to prepare the region for the quickly changing economy. And it will take every sector of the region working and planning together. That’s why Portland Community College is excited to be part of the Portland Plan.”
- Dr. Preston Pulliams, president, Portland Community College

"I am very glad to be a part of the development of the new Portland Plan. As a Multnomah County, City of Portland school district Superintendent, I will be very intentional about reminding everyone how important the health of our local schools is for the eventual economic development and livability of successful families in our city. This is a great opportunity for collaboration and partnership. Let’s make the most of this opportunity by working together to build a solid and viable Plan to make Portland the greatest city in America".
- Karen Gray, Superintendent, Parkrose School District

“Portland is uniquely qualified to drive the global green economy in the years to come. At PDC we are focusing our efforts on targeted industries and working to grow and sustain the businesses, both large and small, that have helped shape the diverse, vibrant city we have today.”
- Bruce Warner, Executive Director, Portland Development Commission

“Vibrant, mixed-use neighborhoods with safe routes to transit are fundamental to the success of healthy and economically strong communities. The Plan’s 20-minute neighborhood concept sets us up for expanded success with our transit investments and for building sustainable communities. TriMet is a committed partner of the renewed Portland Plan.”
- Fred Hansen, TriMet General Manager

"The Housing Authority of Portland is pleased to be a sponsor of the Portland Plan. It's important for all Portlanders, no matter what their income, or whether they're homeowners or renters, to be heard and share their hopes and vision for the community's future."
- Steve Rudman, Housing Authority of Portland

“The long-term strategic planning process at the heart of the Portland Plan has the potential to improve our community across the board. I am particularly interested in the collaborative effort that will take place to improve education which will, in turn, improve the economic viability of Portland and the quality of life of our citizens.”
- Robert McKean, Centennial School District

"I appreciate the inclusive approach of the Mayor and the City leadership on the Portland Plan. Portland Public Schools will be an active partner. We see this as a great opportunity to ensure students and schools are a vital part of the future of Portland we build together."
- Carole Smith, Superintendent, Portland Public Schools

“None of us works in a vacuum; we work in partnership. Why? Because we are simply more effective that way. It makes sense to plan in partnership as well. If we do this right we can significantly improve our collective impact on the issues we all work to address. The East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District has always valued our partnership with the City of Portland and we look forward to strengthening the relationship through this collaborative planning effort.”
-Jean Fike, Executive Director, East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District

A video of this morning's event will be posted later this afternoon. To watch the video and find more information about the Portland Plan, visit, follow us on Twitter, @PDXPlan & #pdxplan or become a fan on Facebook,


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