Portland, Ore. -It’s been well over a decade since Portland has had a two-term Mayor. Ted Wheeler hopes to bring back that tradition. KXL’s Mike Turner was there for his big announcement.
Mayor Ted Wheeler posted this letter on his campaign website:
My fellow Portlanders,
Four years ago, I declared my candidacy for mayor with an intent to make real, sustainable progress for all the people of Portland. I’ve focused on the crisis of homelessness, engagement with our neighborhoods and small businesses, improving equity and affordability and making city government more transparent and accountable.
While we continue to face challenges, I’m so proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish. What makes it that much more rewarding is the fact that we did it together.
In my first term, we took major steps to address some of Portland’s most pressing priorities. I’ve heard from you, Portland, and I agree that the issue of houselessness and the care of those experiencing life on the streets remains our number one issue. Although it can sometimes feel slow, real progress is being made. Together, we:
● More than doubled Portland’s shelter capacity and focused on creating a robust system of transitional housing;
● Prevented over 7,000 high risk households from experiencing homelessness;
● Helped more than 6,000 people off the streets and into transitional housing services;
● Built over 800 units of affordable housing;
● Worked to pass both local and regional investments in affordable housing and shelter;
We’ve worked to make Portland an example for cities as we address climate pollution and livability:
● Resolved to transition our city to 100% renewable energy by the year 2050;
● Limited Portland’s reliance on single-use plastics;
● Joined the Bloomberg Philanthropies American Cities Climate Challenge to tackle transportation and energy-related emissions;
● Tackled livability issues alongside our business and nonprofit partners and created programs like Keep It Pretty, Rose City, aimed at bringing Portlanders together to keep our city clean;
Addressing equity and inclusion in City Hall and throughout Portland, we:
● Put strong, capable women in senior leadership positions, like Chief of Police Danielle Outlaw and Bureau of Planning and Sustainability Director Andrea Durbin;
● Addressed some of the biggest issues within the Portland Police Bureau, like de-escalation and bias training;
● Created the PS3 (Public Safety Support Specialist) program, freeing up armed officers from responding to non-emergency calls;
● Created PCCEP (Portland Committee on Community-Engaged Policing) to increase the accountability factor for the Police Bureau and the decisions we make in City Hall;
● Established programs like Portland Means Progress, that will enable local companies to create job and internship opportunities for underrepresented youth, increase purchasing from diverse businesses, and change their cultures to be more inclusive.
One of my proudest moments as Mayor is the unity we have shown as a city in the face of hatred. To hear the voices of Portland’s faith community, civil rights leaders, businesses and unions, our Timbers and Blazers all join together with a clear message of inclusion and support for targets of white supremacy is so gratifying and so important. This is the kind of strength we can show when we join together and stand up for our values.
Portland, I’m ready to keep going, listening to you, learning from our shared experiences, and building on our record of progressive leadership.
For the last four years, I’ve realized a dream of serving this wonderful community in the state and the city that has always been my home. My heart, my focus, the issues that are the most important to me–they’re all right here.
The work is not yet done, and I’m asking for your help in continuing to get us there. We’re strongest when we work together as one vibrant, powerful, engaged community. So I’m here, and I’m ready to keep going for these next four years.
I hope you’ll join me.