The bad newsUnfortunately, our City Council resisted progressive change in 2020 at the greatest rate since this scorecard was first published:
- Mayor Snyder and Councilor Mavodones earned our worst scores in history and the lifetime average of the entire Council is now at its lowest point ever at 53%.
- A majority of the Council came out against all of the People First Portland ballot initiatives and BLM’s call to eliminate the City Manager.
- The Council gave away millions in corporate welfare, continued the march to closing our downtown shelter, and refused to eliminate egregious fees on tenants.
The good newsDespite a lot of resistance from our City Council, 2020 will go down as one of the most consequential, and progressive, years in Portland’s history:
- People First Portland (PFP) led a coalition to a resounding victory on four groundbreaking ballot initiatives to increase wages and protect workers, the environment, privacy, and tenants.
- Black POWER (formerly BLM Portland) called for Portlanders to “abolish the City Manager,” and 72% of us voted to reopen our Charter, creating an opportunity to do just that.
- Public pressure moved the Council to provide public restrooms for our homeless, put $500,000 into our Housing Trust, and protect ballot/voting accessibility.
We must stay vigilant
We were proud to have played a part in passing all the initiatives in 2020 by producing and mailing an election scorecard and by pushing out our allies’ messages. We hope these overwhelming victories at the ballot box will finally convince the Council what we have been saying for years. This city is more progressive than the policies this Council enacts.
Vote Key: = supported progressive vote = opposed progressive vote = absent = not on committee
|Vote||Pious Ali 81%||Belinda Ray 57%||Justin Costa 52%||Spencer Thibodeau 48%||Jill Duson 48%||Tae Chong 48%||Kim Cook 41%||Kate Snyder 36%||Nick Mavodones 32%||.|
|RAISE THE MINIMUM WAGE/HAZARD PAY Councilors opposed the People First Portland referendum to raise the minimum wage to $15 by 2024 with hazard pay during declared states of emergency. The people passed it 63%-37%.|
|BAN FACIAL SURVEILLANCE Councilors opposed the People First Portland referendum to ban facial surveillance. The people passed it 66%-34%.|
|ENACT THE GREEN NEW DEAL Councilors opposed the People First Portland referendum to build affordable housing, increase wages, and improve environmental building standards. The people passed it 59%-41%.|
|PASS RENT CONTROL Councilors opposed the People First Portland referendum to implement rent control. The people passed it 58%-42%.|
|RESTRICT SHORT-TERM RENTALS Councilors opposed the People First Portland referendum to restrict short-term rentals. It was defeated 50.3%-49.7%.|
|PROTECT PUBLIC COMMENT The Council voted 8-0 to reject the rules committee recommendation limiting general public comment to once a month and at the end of the meeting. (2/19/20: Order 130)|
|PROHIBIT SHORT-TERM RENTALS DURING THE PANDEMIC The Council voted 9-0 to ban short-term rentals while the emergency pandemic order was in place. (3/30/20: Order 153 Amendment #3)|
|INCENTIVIZE SHORT-TERM RENTALS TO BECOME AFFORDABLE HOUSING The Council voted 9-0 to incentivize short-term rental owners to convert their units into long-term affordable housing. (4/27/20: Order 167 Amendment)|
|SUPPORT STATE ERA The Council voted 9-0 to call on the legislature to pass a constitutional amendment ensuring no one can be discriminated against based on sex. (4/27/20: Resolve 11)|
|KEEP ALL POLLING PLACES OPEN The Council voted 9-0 to reject a plan proposed by our City Clerk to consolidate voting districts from 11-3. (6/22/20: Order 190A)|
|SIMPLIFY BALLOT LANGUAGE The Council voted 7-0 to include summary language on the citizen initiatives, as opposed to the full ordinance. (8/31/20: Order 37)|
|FUND PUBLIC RESTROOMS The Council voted 8-1 to require the City Manager to create public restroom options for the homeless. (9/21/20: Order 80 Amendment)|
|FUND SUSTAINABILITY POSITION The Council voted 5-4 to reject the City Manager’s proposed elimination of a city position focused on climate change. (9/21/20: Order 80 Amendment)|
|PROVIDE STIPENDS FOR RACIAL EQUITY MEMBERS The Council voted 5-4 to ensure that stipends are paid to members of the Racial Equity Committee. (9/21/20: Order 80 Amendment)|
|ALLOCATE $500,000 FOR THE HOUSING TRUST FUND The Council voted 8-1 to allocate half a million dollars for the Housing Trust Fund to ensure more affordable housing. (10/19/20: Order 89)|
|RESTRICT PUBLIC COMMENT The Council’s Rules Committee voted 3-0 to recommend a limit on public comment to once a month and to the end of a Council meeting. (1/27/20: Item 3a)|
|CLOSE DOWNTOWN SHELTER The Council voted 6-2 to enact a single mega-shelter policy which continued the march to closing our downtown shelter and moving it to the edge of town. (2/3/20: Resolve 7)|
|DESIGNATE GUN SHOPS AS ESSENTIAL The Council voted 7-2 to allow gun shops to stay open in Portland during the pandemic. (4/27/20: Order 167 Amendment)|
|DEVELOPER TAX BREAK The Council voted 6-3 to give a $2.8 million tax break for a development by Port Property Management owner Tom Watson for a small number of affordable housing units. (7/13/20: Order 204)|
|GUT ENFORCEMENT OF FACIAL SURVEILLANCE BAN The Council voted 7-2 to gut the enforcement mechanisms of Councilor Ali’s proposed Facial Surveillance Ban. (8/3/20: Order 72 Amendment)|
|STOP LANDLORDS FROM CHARGING EXCESSIVE FEES The Council voted 5-3 to reject a proposal to ban landlords from charging egregious fees and extra deposits to apply for and/or rent an apartment. (8/3/20: Order 206 Amendment)|
|CLOSED-DOOR SESSION TO BLOCK HAZARD PAY The Council voted 9-0 to go into executive session where they decided, with no public input, to push enforcement of hazard pay until after the pandemic. (11/16/20)|
Other Key Votes (These votes did not affect Progressive Portland scores, but may be of interest
|Vote||Pious Ali||Belinda Ray||Justin Costa||Spencer Thibodeau||Jill Duson||Tae Chong||Kim Cook||Kate Snyder||Nick Mavodones||.|
|MAKE BAXTER BLVD PEDESTRIAN ONLY SAT/SUN (3/30/20: Order 153 Amendment #3)|
|REQUIRE MASKS FOR WORKERS IN ESSENTIAL BUSINESSES (4/27/20: Order 167 Amendment)|
|STRIKE ADVANTAGE FOR A MAINE OWNED MARIJUANA BUSINESS (5/18/20: Order 166 Amendment)|
|RAISE PARKING FEE BY 25¢ AN HOUR (9/21/20: Order 80 Amendment)|
|SELL REICHE PARKING LOTS FOR HOUSING (10/19/20: Resolve 3)|
|EXTEND JON JENNINGS CONTRACT (11/9/20: Order 118)|