Council votes to continue Portland Street Response pilot program
The City Council voted to continue the Portland Street Response pilot program for at least another six months before expanding it citywide on Thursday, May 13.
The 3-to-2 vote happened during the hearing on Mayor Ted Wheeler's proposed budget for the fiscal year that starts on July 1. The pilot program of the non-police response to 911 calls started in Lents in February.
Wheeler had proposed around $1 million to fully fund the pilot program and additional funds to contract with Portland State University to evaluate it. His proposal was supported by commissioners Mingus Mapps and Dan Ryan.
Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty introduced an amendment to fund the program citywide for more than $3 million more. She was supported by Commissioner Carmen Rubio.
The split was the most contentious disagreement over Wheeler's proposed $5.7 billion budget. Wheeler, Mapps and Ryan explained their positions in an opinion piece posted on the Portland Tribune website Tuesday, May 11. Hardesty responded with a piece posted on Wednesday, May 12. They can be found here.
The vote means Street Response won't expand citywide, at least not as soon as commissioners Hardesty and Rubio had hoped.
This is a developing story and will be updated when more information is available.
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