Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler and City Commissioner Amanda Fritz will host a town hall Tuesday evening on the city’s 2019 Legislative Agenda. Attendees will have the chance to give their input on issues facing their communities, and what the city should prioritize when advocating at the Oregon State Legislature.
The 2019 Oregon Legislative Session starts in less than two months, on Jan 22. The legislature is most productive in odd-numbered years, when sessions last 160 days, rather than 35 days in even-numbered years.
Each year, the Portland City Council puts together both a state legislative agenda, identifying issues and legislation that the city will support and lobby for in Salem.
The city council will adopt the 2019 agenda on Dec 19. A recent draft of the state agenda lists the city’s priorities on affordable housing, mental health and addiction, the environment, police and public safety, and disaster preparedness, among other topics.
On the affordable housing front, the city hopes the state will establish a “just-cause” eviction standard, meaning landlords would need a reason to evict tenants. The city also plans to advocate for rent control, a tax exemption for developers who include affordable units in their projects, and funding for social services for newly housed people.
Funding for mental health treatment and opioid addiction services are also on the agenda draft—though there is no mention of Portland’s growing meth epidemic.
Other priorities including supporting legislation to cap carbon emissions in Oregon; measures that would “provide clear and consistent expectations about [police] officer conduct and contribute to public trust in of the Portland Police Bureau;” and funds to make Portland’s public buildings more likely to survive the looming Cascadia earthquake.
The document also lays out the city’s policy positions on economic development, public health, infrastructure, taxes, and transportation. You can read the full drafted agenda here.
Tuesday’s town hall is from 6:30 to 8:30 pm at Portland Community College Southeast Campus’ Community Hall Annex. It is the only town hall the city has planned on this topic.