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Category: City Council Review

Rent Control Wrangling, Extending Shelter Emergency, and the Passage of H.O.P.E – City Council Review 2/5/2024

In a busy but efficiently-disposed agenda, the City Council on February 5th approved a slew of parks projects and appointed a new member to the Public Art Committee. A financial report from Clean Elections shed new light on how public funds were being spent, the city’s HSO defends itself against attacks from the Press Herald, and the limited state of emergency at the Homeless Services Center was extended until June. The city accepted money from the state to continue supporting asylum claimants, arranged for the replacement of a police robot, and the controversial H.O.P.E. program smashed through dissent and into law. All this and more in this edition of City Council Review.

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Three Absent Councilors Cause Snow Plowing Delay, Rent Board Report, and Rats – City Council Review 1/17/2024

With only six councilors in chambers on Wednesday, a hoped-for emergency measure to adopt Morningstar Road lacked sufficient votes for immediate adoption, leaving residents of the street with ten chilly days without services. A report from the Rent Board sheds light on as many as 471 non-compliant rental units, and concern for rats in Harborview Park brings out naturalists and pet enthusiasts alike.

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Portland, Gaza, and Other Minutiae – City Council Review 1/3/2024

The City Council meeting on January 3rd was shaping up to be a quiet one, but the inclusion of a resolution from Councilor Ali to take a stand on the Israel-Palestine conflict underway in Gaza brought out torrents of emotional comment, both from the public and from councilors. Before getting to this most sensitive of issues, however, the meeting started with a celebration of the bravery of Portland’s finest.

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State of the Schools, LD 2003, and a Surprise Resolution on Encampments – City Council Review 12/18/2023

In the inaugural meeting of the new city council, chaired by Mayor Dion and with Councilors Bullett and Sykes around the dais, a surprisingly lively City Council meeting took place on December 18th, 2023. The State of the Schools address was read, a cadre of unlikely bedfellows passed a surprisingly broad zoning law, and most controversially, the looming sweep scheduled to take place the following day led the council to adopt (wildcat fashion) a resolution against sweeps.

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Farewell Councilors, Ocean Ave Rezoning, and Six Hours of Order 68 – City Council Review 11/20/2023

After bidding Councilor Zarro and Mayor Snyder goodbye at the end of their terms, and congratulating Mayor-Elect Dion, the City Council took on two controversial issues: rezoning 900 Ocean Avenue to accommodate denser development, and Order 68. This latter issue resulted in 845 pages in written public comment, four hours of spoken comment, and a debate which stretched well past midnight and ended in physical disruption and arrests.

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A Portland Soccer Team and Shelter Expansion: Round 3 – City Council Review 11/13/2023

In the first City Council meeting since the election, Portland resolves in support of statewide gun control and gains a new sister city in Kenya. Creative Portland hosts their annual meeting, and more aid for asylum seekers is desperately requested. After two rounds of failure, enough votes are finally marshaled to enact a state of emergency at the mega-shelter, allowing for expansion of beds. And a wave of support from young soccer fans in the chamber precedes approval of a deal to bring a minor league soccer team to Portland.

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Shelter Beds Revisited, Marijuana Delivery, and Ocean Ave Outcry – City Council Review 10/16/2023

: After killing the plan to use a limited state of emergency at the Homeless Services Center at the last meeting, Councilor Phillips had a change of heart and asked the Council to reconsider the plan for adding capacity to the shelter at this Monday’s meeting. A parade of neighbors from the Ocean Ave area turned out to oppose new housing construction there, and updates to Portland’s rules around parking, crosswalks, and marijuana delivery were considered and passed.

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State of the City Address, Psilocybin Deprioritization, and Shelter Beds Rejected – City Council Review 10/02/2023

City Council meetings have reverted to in-person only as the norm, and still this meeting brought out heated debate. Following a State of the City address, a years-in-the-making impact study on the effects of Historic Preservation was presented to the Council, with unexpected results. A controversial but non-binding resolution on the “deprioritization” of psychedelic drugs inspired debate, and after a long grappling with the subject, the Council rejects adding more capacity to the Homelessness Services Center. Ashley Keenan fills in for Erica Snyder-Drummond on this week’s City Council Review.

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Racist Brigaders, and What is a Tourism District Anyway? – City Council Review 09/18/2023

Only one item of note concerned the City Council’s attention this past Monday, the establishment of a Tourism Development District, but a tsunami of slur-spewing Zoom trolls derailed the meeting. The Council spent an hour in executive session before returning to chambers, guillotining any further comments, and coming to an agonized conclusion on the future of tourism in Portland. Read all about it in Erica Snyder-Drummond’s City Council Review.

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