Sources: Portlanders feel they hold little sway over city issues
Although city residents are split over the reforms to the civic engagement process headed to the City Council, there is little doubt the public participation process needs to be improved.
A recently released survey found that a majority of Portlanders — 61% — feel they do not have the power to influence city decisions about issues important to them.
A series of questions about civic participation were included in the survey that was conducted and released last week by the City Budget Office. It found that responses were consistent regardless of gender, educational attainment, household income and geography.
Responses were more negative among African American, Hispanic and white respondents compared to Asians. Those aged 45 to 74 and those who have lived longer in Portland were more likely to respond negatively as well.
The Office of Community & Civic Life is proposing to eliminate all references to neighborhood and business associations from the public engagement provisions of the City Code to open up the process to a wider range of Portlanders.
The council is scheduled to consider the proposal on Nov. 14, although that could be delayed because of pushback from neighborhood supporters.
You can find the survey here.
You can read a previous Portland Tribune story on the survey here.
Iannarone leads fundraising, for now
Portland mayoral candidate Sarah Iannarone has raised the most money of anyone in the 2020 race so far this year — $109,232.
According to Iannarone's campaign filings, she has raised $26,978 in contributions of $250 or less, which should qualify her to receive $82,254 in matching funds from the city's Open & Accountable Elections public campaign funding program. If the program confirms that Iannarone has followed the rules, she should receive the city funds on or after Sept. 12, the first day that candidates can formally file for city offices.
In contrast, Mayor Ted Wheeler has only reported raising $5,585 so far this year, although he currently has $66,825 in the bank.
Ozzie Gonzalez reports raising $13,790, Teressa Raiford reports raising $2,870, and Michael Burleson reports raising $1,285. All three are running for mayor.
5G controversy goes national
Portland isn't the only city whose elected leaders are concerned about the possible impacts of 5G wireless technology.
Although the Federal Communications Commission requires cities to accommodate the technology, the City Council passed a resolution calling for more studies about the potential harm caused by the proliferation of transmission facilities.
Now the Wall Street Journal is reporting this is becoming a national issue, just as the industry is gearing up to provide what is promised to be superior online access.
"City leaders say their power to zone and regulate infrastructure is being abridged. More than 90 cities and counties have joined together in a lawsuit, currently before the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, arguing that the FCC has overstepped its authority. A decision could happen as early as in the spring, but it could also take much longer," the Journal reported Aug. 25.
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.