Portland city commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty appeared at the Concordia Neighborhood Association March 2 general meeting. She reported on a variety of topics, predominantly the three below:
Re: Portland Street Response
- Expansion to citywide coverage by street response teams is planned for March.
- Portlanders should call 9-11-1 to request a street response team. The commissioner said 9-1-1 is prepared to dispatch street response teams for mental health emergencies as well dispatching police for reports of crime and the fire department for fires.
- However, she would like to “untrain” members of the public from calling 9-1-1 when they observe people putting up tents. “I can tell you today 50% of the calls today are for unwanted people,”
Re: Office of Community & Civic Life
- “I’m excited about the stability of where we are at the moment.” The commissioner reported the bureau is starting a strategic planning process now and creating a job description for a new director.
- Asked if neighborhood associations have a voice in city government other than writing letters, she recommended appearing at city council meetings. Each Wednesday opens with 15 minutes reserved for five people each to make three-minute public comments.
Re: Portland Bureau of Transportation
- “The horrible numbers of pedestrians being killed is something that keeps me up at night.” She reported $4.5 million is being invested to improve safety.
- The commissioner has directed the bureau to prioritize the instances of RV camping it addresses by the amount of human waste and discarded needles evident. “I’ve been really clear with the mayor I will not allow him to redirect PBOT staff on making the city look pretty.” Her priorities on abandoned vehicles and others that provide shelter is on preventing deaths.
– Nancy Varekamp
– March 6, 2022