Housing is a basic human need.
We can create more affordable housing by utilizing a combination of 99-year ground leases, land swaps, and by developing currently underutilized city-owned land. Removing the cost of land will spur development and put the property back on the tax rolls, allowing the city to direct this revenue into a range of housing options at affordable prices. If there is any chance of creating more affordable housing in Portland, we need to start making City owned property available for housing, while at the same time retaining ownership of the land as a long-term public asset.
Homelessness: Balancing our compassion with common sense.
The best way to resolve homelessness is to look at best practices. Portland effectively ended youth homelessness by revamping the youth continuum in the late 1990s. Let's use the same model to revamp Portland's adult homelessness continuum.
We should also look to San Antonio’s successful campus model, Haven of Hope, which serves as a single place to access all services an individual may need, as well as providing temporary housing and a camping site. A campus model provides a complete safety net for people experiencing homelessness; this is very similar to what had been suggested for Wapato.
We should apply the youth continuum and campus models in Portland on a piece of City-owned land, which would centralize all services, end replication of services, fill in the existing service gaps, and make it easier for people to receive the assistance that they need.
The best way to survive an earthquake is to prepare for it.
Here are five actions we need to take immediately:
(1) Install an earthquake early warning system attached to both civil defense sirens and smart devices;
(2) Train additional Neighborhood Emergency Team Members (NETs) throughout our City and making sure we have NET teams in every single Portland neighborhood and high density apartment building;
(3) Develop Emergency Operations Plans for all of our K-12 schools;
(4) Make sure every family has Personal Action Plan;
(5) Test the early warning system and Personal Actions Plans annually.
I have a special interest in emergency preparedness that stems from my work in Command and Control while serving in the U.S. Air Force. I know what it’s like to directly coordinate high level responses to fires, gas leaks, plane crashes, tornadoes, and mass casualty events. When a disaster strikes, it will be critical to have calm, experienced leadership guiding our response, and this is exactly what I will do for Portland.
Everyone has a right to feel safe in Portland.
Public safety is essential. If you need to call 911, you want to talk to a dispatcher immediately and you want calm, professional safety officers to respond quickly. Our emergency dispatch and police staffing numbers have reached critical levels and it is affecting how quickly people receive emergency services when they need it most.
No one wants to wait on hold when they call 911 or have an exhausted cop at the end of a sixty-hour work week showing up in a moment of crisis. The police staffing shortages also mean that we no longer have community policing foot patrols, or enough officers working in the Behavioral Health Units and Enhanced Crisis Intervention Teams to respond to people experiencing mental health crises.
This is unsustainable and it puts every Portlander at risk.