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Category: Town Voices

Opinion: Reform Betrayed – Portland’s Strategy to Dodge LD2003 Will Prolong Our Housing Crisis

Has the city of Portland’s planning staff betrayed the statewide progressive movement to promote housing growth? Amy Oberlin and Todd Morse, of the Urbanist Coalition of Portland, argue that they have, and that in doing so they may have put the future of thousands of Portlanders at risk.


Town Voices ~ Amtrak May Return to Union Station, We Can’t Miss the Opportunities

Union Station was demolished 62 years ago, but the site where it once stood is now a top candidate for the new Downeaster stop. Jessamine Walker illustrates what opportunities the return of Amtrak to the city’s core presents, why Portland ought to support this relocation, and how we can make the most of the move.


Town Voices ~ What Do We Sacrifice for Free Parking?

When the City Council on Monday permanently designated twenty-two parking spaces in the Old Port for island residents to use free of charge, the costs weren’t deeply considered. What could these costs be? Amy Oberlin guides an exploration of the tradeoffs, consequences, and policy of free parking in Portland – and why it perhaps ought to be weighed more carefully.


Town Voices ~ Policy Machers

Town Voices – While elected officials in Portland and other municipal and state governments are generally thought of as the policy leaders. City Managers and other civil service heads exert inordinate influence on policy in the realms of area expertise, policy direction and implementation, administrative discretion, executive orders, internal policies, hiring of consultants, bureaucratic procedure, and police enforcement. As a result, those elected to public office can find themselves beholden to the person they appoint as the City Manager.