The latest news coverage of Amanda's work for you in City Hall

October News

I am the only candidate running for Portland City Council who is also working full time -- and I'm working full time as a member of the Portland City Council. I work extra to campaign, not instead of performing the job taxpayers are paying me to do. Some of the projects I've been working on for you:

Southeast Precint re-opens at East Burnside/47th: Creating a Community Safety Center, with Water Bureau and Neighborhood Involvement staff as well as police, was my idea, initiated and implemented in under a year.

I continue to work to support New Portlanders, including the Lao communities.

A proposal to allow all employees in Portland to earn and use limited days of sick time is under discussion.

Jobs is still a top priority for City Council and for me. See this commentary.

After four years of assessing how the City budget process works, and doesn't, I'm proposing a City Budget Office to provide objective, accountable information to all members of Council and everyone in the community. Details, update, and comments on my City blog.

I'm moving forward with a 3-1-1 system. This would provide one-call service for all non-emergency needs and questions. Completing it is a goal of my second term.

Although the Oregon Sustainability Center would be nice, we can't afford to invest public money in it right now. It seems likely private interests may move ahead without a public subsidy.

Looking at all this work getting done and accomplishing results, you can see why Willamette Week reversed their endorsement since the primary. Their recommendation is also based on my position on the Frashour appeal, and my unique experience and understanding as a retired psychiatric nurse, needed to carry out the Department of Justice ruling on remedies for unconstitutional use of force by the police against people experiencing mental illnesses.

End of Summer Update

Wow! My supporters and I were so busy in the community for the last two months, they've flown by. I hope you had a good summer, too. It's glorious that our good weather continues into September. I am fired up and ready to work non-stop through November 6, so we are cheering when the results are announced. Will you do your part too, please?

Please see my Facebook page for frequent updates on events and happenings. You don't have to "be on Facebook" to view the page. If you are a Facebook member, please "Like" my page, and post whenever you want to.

While many of my supporters already know this, my News drafter, Bill, feels it merits mention at the top of the News that I have raised the limits on campaign contributions from $50 to $250 per person. I need to raise five times more money in the runoff as I did in the primary, to be able to fund a robust grassroots outreach progam this month, and a winning media campaign in October and November. Fundraising has been going very well, and so has friend-raising. Please visit the Contribute page if you haven't already donated, and the Volunteer page to sign up for knocking on doors, making phone calls, or holding a house party. We now have less than two months for the final push to win on November 6.

I am accepting donations only from individual, living, breathing, adult human beings -- no cash from corporations, political action committees, labor unions, or any entity that is not an adult person. I feel beholden to all the people of Portland, and to principled people everywhere who believe in good governance free from special interest influence. I have been delighted with the enthusiastic response from people who value my service to the city and my constituents. Bill wrote this in an email: "It is a delight to call people for you because people I speak with are so pleased to be able to help you, to give you as much money as they can afford, to do what they can to have you re-elected. Go us!"

Now that you know about the new and (relatively) huge limits, please give what you can. This web site is now set up to receive monthly donations, thanks to amazing fairy webmother Lynn Siprelle. This means you can do what Bill did: contribute $10 per month for the remaining months of the campaign. Give as much as $250 or as little as $5 dollars, to keep "your voice in City Hall" working for you.

On July 19, the 2012-13 Work Plan for the Office of Equity and Human Rights was unanimously accepted by Council. The Equity Office is set up to address jobs, contracts, and services in the City government, revising processes so that everyone has access to these benefits. Read the Work Plan (PDF) on the City of Portland site.

Another move for a better Portland and a cleaner Northwest region is a Resolution opposing coal trains traveling through Portland that I am sponsoring. It is planned for a September 19th at 2 p.m. Time Certain City Council meeting in City Hall. I am working on this Resolution with the Friends of the Columbia River Gorge, the Sierra Club, and many concerned Neighorhood Associations. We are also seeing action from Senator Jeff Merkley and Governor John Kitzhaber. This is an important public health issue.

Back in July, I participated in negotiations that resulted in ending Cameron Whitten's hunger strike. Through discussions mediated by Reverend Kate Lore of the First Unitarian Church of Portland, Cameron, Amy Ruiz in the Mayor's office, and me, an agreement was reached with Cameron . I am very happy with this outcome. I was impressed with the insightful article written by Alex Blum in the Portland Tribune, linked above, and I encourage you to read it if you didn't at the time. As a result, Ecumenical Ministries of Oregon and the City of Portland will convene a Regional Housing Summit in November, to discuss housing in the broader context of state and federal services and funding.

The first debate of the General Election was held in August. My opponent and I spoke with the Columbia Corridor Association, a business group. We were asked what our ideal bureaus would be. In addition to my current portfolio -- the Office of Neighborhood Involvement, the Bureau of Emergency Communications, the Office of Healthy Working Rivers, and the Office of Equity and Human Rights -- I want to manage the Water Bureau, to continue to find ways to reduce rates. In my comments to CCA, I ended by reinforcing my primary mission. From the newspaper article: "You don't have to wonder what I'll do if elected again," she said. "I'll keep doing what I've been doing. I'll continue to spend taxpayers' money as wisely as possible."

Now that Portlanders are turning attention to political campaigns, Bill and I will resume posting these updates more often. Still, check Facebook to get almost-daily updates, and email Laura to be added to our weekly e-newsletter list. And please come into the office at SE 49th and Hawthorne to help!

July 4th-ish update

It's been a few weeks since News Editor Bill and I posted an update. Bill has been making phone calls to campaign supporters, and I've been working to respond to the 900+ emails from constituents that piled up in my work inbox during the primary. Please be patient if you're still waiting to hear from me.... and please call or email the campaign if you can help Bill and the rest of Sunshine's team with calls to volunteers.

I'm delighted to start this update with an Op-Ed by Tobi Rates, the Executive Director of the Autism Society of Oregon. Headlined "Portland does the right thing for health care by covering autism treatment," the commentary notes, "At the insistence of Commissioners Amanda Fritz and Dan Saltzman, those covered by the city of Portland's health insurance plans will now be able to receive timely and effective medical treatment for autism." Please read the article for all the important details. I will continue partnering with advocates for children experiencing autism, by pursuing similar changes at the State Legslature in 2013. Autism coverage is another issue on which the Legislature has failed to act, and the City of Portland got the job done with my actions on the Council.

For something completely different, but no less serious, a news story in the Oregonian express concerns of West Hayden Island residents and environmental advocates about the Port of Portland's plans for developing 300 acres on the island.

The June 15th article noted that Bob Sallinger, Conservation Director for the Audubon Society of Portland, "resigned from the process because the process is a sham." He noted that the documents for the project were released too late for members to make intelligent critiques. Also, he asserts the City should have more control than the Port, but, as some of the documents note (PDF):

"West Hayden Island is currently outside of the city limits and is subject to Multnomah County Zoning, although this zoning is implemented by the city. In order to bring this land within the city limits, the city’s Comprehensive Plan Map must be amended and several Comprehensive Plan policies need to be amended. Due to the relationship between the Comprehensive Plan and the Transportation System Plan overseen by the Portland Bureau of Transportation (PBOT), amendments to the Comprehensive Plan can also trigger amendments to the PBOTs Transportation System Plan (TSP)."

Steve Duin's latest column on the issue describes a community meeting five days later filled with unhappy West Hayden Island residents, Audobon's Bob Sallinger, Jonna Papaefthimiou, the Mayor's planning and sustainability policy advisor, Ron Schmidt, chairman of the Hayden Island Neighborhood Network, and Tom Bizeau, my Chief of Staff, among others. As each of the studies I called for in the Resolution setting expectations for this process are published, it becomes ever more clear to me that we should be giving more weight to regional planning including all the ports along the Columbia - Vancouver, Longview, and others. It doesn't make sense for jobs and prices, to set up a new Port facility on Hayden Island in competition with Vancouver -- where there are up to 750 acres of developable industrial land.

As we moved into summer (yay for warm weather, at last!), the Oregonian reported that Corporate Knights Magazine, a Canadian publication, ranked Portland, Seattle and San Francisco as the three greenest cities in the United States. We were featured for our best practices in transportation, highlighting, Tri-Met's MAX and WES, the tram between OHSU and the South Waterfront, the streetcar and our pedestrian bridges and bike lanes.

Some of the report was made out of date by Tri-Met's new budget, however: the Free Rail Zone, which will be going the way of Fareless Square. Mayor Adams asserts he agreed to the loss of the Free Rail Zone in return for TriMet continuing to fund the YouthPass program providing free passes for Portland Public School high school students. Negotiations on this issue have now resumed, following the Mayor's power play threatening to increase the City's charges to TriMet. I've heard the Mayor put the ordinance assessing new charges on the Consent Agenda (no discussion) because he was confident I would have pulled the item for review if TriMet hadn't. Everyone in City Hall knows my staff and I review every item on every week's City Council Agenda with keen eyes on details. When I first took office in 2009, this approach caused some alarm -- "Why are you questioning our work?", we heard. Now, my staff and I often hear from staff outside my bureaus that they truly appreciate our interest in their products, and our careful attention to every line.

The big news story the weekend before July 4 was the Oregon Liquor Control Commission announcing that the office of Attorney General John Kroger reversed a 1994 AG opinion that OLCC has used to encourage the City to apply for an Alcohol Impact Area downtown. The AIA would have restricted sales of high alcohol, high volume alcoholic beverages downtown. It was intended to be a component of a comprensive approach to addressing downtown's ongoing challenges caring for intoxicated people on downtown streets and sidewalks. Portland's taxpayers spent more than $1 million last year just in the cost of transport and care at the Hooper Detox sobering facility. That doesn't count the cost of police officers and Office of Neighborhood Involvement staff, in the Liquor Licensing section and our Crime Prevention specialists, who spend countless hours addressing the problems caused by irresponsible use of alcohol downtown. As reported in the Portland Tribune, after the City spent $55,000 to show the need for an AIA, the Oregon Liquor Control Commission informed me that it had no control over this because AG Kroger overturned the opinion made in 1994. I have asked for both the 1994 and 2012 opinions.

As KGW noted, "after 1,200 hours of work on the Portland streets by police and staff over the last two years, it all came to a halt" when the decision was handed down June 28th. This is despite work in Washington state showing that an AIA controlling sales of high alcohol drinks reduces public intoxication.

I am considering next steps, in partnership with City staff and State legislators.

Mid-June News Update

May ended with a somewhat curious PolitiFact entry in the Oregonian, in which my opponent's criticism that I manage less than 5 percent of city operations is found to be true. Not a big surprise - I never disputed the claim.

Since City bureaus are assigned by the Mayor, it's unclear why this fact or appraisal has any particular meaning.

As I am quoted in the article, "the amount of work is not related to the number of employees or the budget of the bureau." The article also notes, "She also pointed out that she previously oversaw the city’s Cable Communications and Franchise Office, which was the second highest revenue generator for the city during the recession [and had the highest ever revenue brought into the City's General Fund under my leadership - AF]. The article also notes, "What’s more, Fritz has been in charge of creating two new offices (Equity and Healthy Working Rivers)--something that she said is particularly time intensive. 'Establishing a new bureau is a lot more difficult than taking over a bureau,' she said. Finally, she noted that the office of Neighborhood Involvement may have just 39 budgeted positions, but it works with a network of thousands of volunteers."

I believe helping volunteers become empowered in our system is in many ways more difficult than making sure City staff to do their jobs. I've done both well, and I'm proud of both our volunteers and the City staff who work so hard in my bureaus.

At the June 6th City Council meeting, the Commissioners authorized security cameras to be mounted on buildings in Old Town.

I voted against the decision, as I wanted an annual report on how the cameras have been used, their costs and their effectiveness. Inexplicably, I did not get any other Commissioner seconding my amendment, despite having had a discussion about reporting and accountability at the first hearing. Sometimes the Portland City Council is not as progressive as we like to think. The surveillance is opposed by "the American Civil Liberties Union of Oregon and Portland Copwatch, among others. They argue that cameras are ineffective at reducing crime and violate the privacy of citizens who are not breaking the law."

Continuing the 2009-12 Council's focus on education and college support, I was delighted to promote, along with Mayor Adams, PSU President Wim Wievel and PCC President Preston Pulliams, an agreement to expand the Future Connect program, which provides college scholarships for more than 200 low-income, Metro-area high school graduates. As Sam told the audience at PSU, “Every time we increase degree attainment by just 1 percent, that translates to an additional $1.6 billion for our local economy."

Meanwhile, behaviors progress and change with the new curbside food composting program. According to that Oregonian article, "Portland is sending far less waste to landfills, and the switch to every-other-week garbage pickup seems to have encouraged residents to recycle more, too." This is great news. I also recognize that many Portlanders want to return to weekly garbage pickup. There is much more in the article, which is presented in a Q&A format. It should make clear what's behind the changes, what costs and savings are, and much more. Last fall there were about 6500 calls to the composting hotline. In May, there were only 1500 and almost half of those were not directly related to composting.

The City Council is considered ways of enforcing the rules of the program. Fines were suggested by the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability, but Randy Leonard and I oppose that approach.

Stay tuned to the news here and on my City Web site.

And, it's Parade Season! Dan Saltzman and I were at the Junior Parade over in Northeast Portland and I will be going to many neighborhood events all summer. Parades are fun! Please call Sunshine if you would like to walk with me in one or more over the next two months.

Recent mayoral candidate and Occupy Portland participant Cameron Whitten is outside City Hall staging a hunger strike to bring attention to homelessness and poverty in Portland. I have responded to some of his emails and had a good conversation with him on 6/11. I noted in an interview with The Oregonian that the City Council works to care for Portlanders experiencing homelessness, including potentially eventually waiving fines against the Right 2 Dream, Too camp at the corner of West Burnside and NW 4th Avenue. For the record, I did not refer to people experiencing homelessness as "those people" as quoted in the Oregonian. People experiencing homelessness are not "those people". They are my friends and neighbors, people I care about and work hard to support. I am encouraging Cameron and other activists to seek change by working within the system, as I did as a community organizer before being elected to be a City Commissioner.

End of May Update

The final count on the primary election isn't yet available, however current tallies report that I received over 54,000 votes, and over 45% of all votes. My opponent in the General received over 52,000 votes, or about 44% of the votes. Please work with me before November, and help me gain another term as Your Voice in City Hall. Thanks to everyone who supported me!

As The Skanner noted, the primary had "historic low turnout". How the City is governed is important to all its residents, and I urge everyone to take part in the runoff for my seat (vote Amanda, please!) and the Mayoral position. Please sign up to help over the summer, on my Volunteer page.

One highlight of the primary was the overwhelming support for the Multnomah County Library Bond Levy: almost 84% of voters said Yes! Portland reads! Another was that David Douglas High School’s bond measure passed by an almost two to one margin. Congratulations to Annette Mattson on the DD School Board and Anne Downing, teacher at DDHS, both staunch Amanda supporters.

I also congratulate Steve Novick for his victory for Position 4 on City Council. I look forward to working with him after you all return me to office in November. Portland needs a majority on the Council committed to collaborative relationships with good communications between the five on the Council. I have proven I work well with people inside and outside City Hall, while pushing for greater transparency and accountability.

In post-primary news, the City has sued the OLCC. I am leading this challenge. I am concerned that the Oregon Liquor Control Commission has made an arbitratry ruling regarding outdoor sales and consumption without food-cart-specific rules to protect neighborhoods. Portland residents and businesses should be able to help set the rules. As KATU quotes me saying in their article, "We think there should be a public process for everybody to be able to weigh in on what are the rules that would say when outdoor sales of alcohol would be a good thing for a neighborhood." I want no more approvals for permanent outdoor licenses until there is a clear policy set in place from OLCC.

The City voted--over my lone dissent--to create a new Urban Renewal Area around Portland State University. I disagreed for two reasons. First, the University District is not blighted. It does not need scarce, precious tax dollars.

Second, because PSU is part of the higher education system of Oregon. It is the state's responsibility to help PSU expand. See my comments on my City site here.

As The League of Women Voters testified in a letter to the Council dated April 30, 2012, "$180 million in property taxes were diverted from city, county and school services in 2011 alone." I urge you to read their letter.

The death of 28-year-old bicyclist, Kathryn Rickson brought me out near City Hall at an event for her memorial.

I was the single dissenter last week's vote on raised garbage and sewer rates. I believe the rates should be lower. I will continue to work on this crucial issue that affects every Portlander.

Primary election is over on Tuesday!

The Portland City Council last week considered supporting the Responsible Banking ordinance, which directs staff to look into allocating City money to local banks and credit unions, keeping taxpayers' money in our community. I support this initiative.

The Council heard testimony on a proposed new Urban Renewal Area. While I strongly support Portland State University, I can't agree to allocate City resources to new buildings for PSU when we have so many urgent infrastructure needs in neighborhoods outside of downtown. Plus, I don't see the wisdom of investing in capitol improvements for PSU when we can't pay faculty, or provide student loans, at adequate levels.

I attended a rally against coal exports traveling through our region, at Pioneer Courthouse Square. Robert F. Kennedy Jr. made another inspirational speech, similar in tone and passion to the one he delivered at the River Rally convention the weekend before, which I also attended. RFK said, "Portland is the best city in the country". I agree.

Commissioner Saltzman and I participated in the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Asian Family Center on NE Sandy/81st. I hope I get to continue supporting multicultural actions in Portland.

The election deadline is Tuesday. So, if you haven't mailed in your ballot, please take it to an Oregon public drop box. Remember that all the Multnomah County Public Libraries are authorized sites, as well as many other places around the county and the city. Postmarks don't count - your ballot must be received in a County elections box by 8 p.m. on Tuesday.

The Oregonian reminded you of the strong endorsement I received from their Editorial Board, reiterated last Thursday and over the final weekend of the primary: "Fritz, who ran as a neighborhood activist, is a trustworthy voice on the City Council and a consistent voice for fiscal prudence and common sense. She is also more of a representative than a politician, which is intended as a compliment. It shows in her independence on issues and her responsiveness to constituents. Voters looking for someone who listens, and who is more beholden to the public in general than to specific interest groups, should re-elect Fritz."

I am counting on you, my neighbors, my fellow Portlanders, my friends and constituents, to re-elect me to another term on the City Council. I will continue to be Your Voice in City Hall, if you choose to re-elect this Registered Nurse, public schools Mom, and progressive community activist to the Portland City Council. Please get your ballot into the County system by Tuesday at 8 p.m. Then join me at Ecotrust, 729 NW 9th, from 7 - 9 to celebrate all our hard work and view the inital returns.

News beginning of May

May started with the Oregonian Editorial Board calling out my opponent on questionable advertising claims, saying her "ad is quite misleading." And noting that I am "a principled commissioner and a consistent watchdog of taxpayer resources."

I am proud to stand on my record.

The Willamette Week quoted my campaign consultant Hiram Sachs making clear why I have been contributing to my own re-election: "Since Amanda limits her contributions to $50 and doesn't take special interest money, she's always planned to use her savings during the campaign." It's a different (and personally costly) way to fund a political campaign, but I want people to know if I'm re-elected that my first commitment is to the voters and citizens of Portland, not special interests and people who have financial interests in City Council transactions.

This means that I'm counting on my supporters to give as much as you can up to that $50 limit, which you can deduct from your state taxes. Please visit my Supporters page now, and donate $5 to $50 if you haven't already this calendar year. We are getting close to receiving donations from 1,000 people, which was one of my goals for this primary. Please help lift our donor list over the top!

May 1 was also the first day of The Great Cafeteria Takeover, a campaign to install salad bars and drinking fountains in schools across the country. I enjoyed being at James John Elementary in St. John's for the event, along with a couple hundred third, fourth and fifth-graders. I was amazed how well-behaved they were. And delighted with the young girl who squealed in delight when my name was announced at the assembly. Being a role model to young girls is one of the key reasons I chose to run for re-election. I want young women to know they can pursue careers (even "traditional" female careers like nursing) and then be valued leaders in politics and/or other spheres.

If you have HBO, you can see Weight of the Nation, a four-part series starting Monday, May 14th at 8 p.m. Also, click though to the Oregonian article for more important information about eating and obesity.

PolitiFact analyzed a claim by my opponent that they found Half True. I originally listed NARAL Pro-Choice Oregon as an endorser when they had "green-lighted" me, meaning they determined that I supported their issues. I corrected that, and I hope you'll read the article to get a complete sense of the issue. To be totally clear: I have been pro-choice all my life. I support NARAL and Planned Parenthood with my personal donations as well as by attending as many of their events as I can, in my role of City Commissioner. I received the Green Light of NARAL ProChoice Oregon ProChoice Action Team. I received NARAL's Green Light in 2008, also. It is not possible for anyone to be MORE supportive of every woman's right to choose her own health care options -- I am 100% supportive of that principle.

During a joint interview with my well-funded opponent, Willamette Week asked me how I differed from her. I mentioned that I limit my fund raising to individuals -- not organizations-- and to a $50 per person donation amount. I do this so that there could never be even a suspicion that my votes are based on anything but my best judgment. My opponent felt that this meant I was insinuating something about her. See for yourself.

Unmitigated positive news: the Portland Mercury endorsed me! Thank you, Portland Mercury!

The Mercury also invalidated a charge by my "Ms. Negative Ads" opponent that I "improperly shaped the final draft of a report that wound up grading, somewhat positively, the rollout of Portland's new 911 dispatch system." Not so.

I made time to attend the Power Past Coal rally, featuring Robert F. Kennedy Jr. at Pioneer Courthouse Square last Monday. The concerns RFK expressed were two-fold: pollution from coal dust along the train routes to Oregon ports, and the overall pollution/community degradation from mining and/or burning coal. Bobby also said, "Coal will undermine everything that you love. I've seen what it's done to small Appalachian towns. It's ruined democracy, corrupted politicians and literally drove people out of town. Do not let it corrupt this community. You are at the front lines of this battle."

Governor John Kitzhaber made a request for an environmental impact review of coal ports. I talked with Mayor Adams about this issue after the rally, and I believe the City of Portland will oppose coal exports transported through our region.

Two polls have shown my race essentially even. A KATU poll shows Mary ahead by 3%, with 21% undecided.

On the other hand, an Oregonian/KGW poll shows me up by 5%, with 28% undecided.

That means two things to me: one, the race is yours and mine to win or lose, and two, talk to your friends and spread the word about the good things you've seen from me in my time in office.

I'm looking forward to the Immigrant and Refugee Community Organization's open house this Friday. I'll tell you all about it in my final post for the campaign.

Please help out however you can with the campaign these last few days. Email and/or call your friends independently, or contact Ellen or Sunshine to find out how you can join with others to Get Out The Vote. We have some fun, non-stressful ways you can help that will make a huge difference. I want our News Update on May 16 to be titled... "We Won!"

End of April News Update

From The Skanner came a report that Portland Public Schools intends "to close the Harriet Tubman Young Women’s Leadership Academy despite impassioned pleas from the school’s community and local elected leaders."

I am one of those "elected leaders," along with State Senator Chip Shields and State Representative Lew Frederick. We offered help with fundraising, as well as PR and marketing to prevent Tubman from being closed. I felt this was especially urgent because Tubman is an all-girls school with a focus on math and science, something I relate to as a nurse. Some Tubman students were at a reception for my new Office of Equity and Human Rights Director, Dante James, earlier this month. One of them, Ansallah Pulla said, "In the beginning I never thought about going into engineering, but then after going to the school and taking some engineering classes I found out that I really like engineering and I want to be an engineer.” She will be going to PSU with a scholarship this fall.

Alas, our advocacy went unheeded, and the Portland Public Schools District 1J Board voted to close the Young Women's Leadership Acadamy at Tubman..

On a more up note (depending on how you feel about my singing), I participated in Candidates Gone Wild, where I joined the amazing Storm Large and primo guitarist Scott Weddle in a duet. A lifetime thrill, singing with Storm and Scott.

Another up note, as reported in the Portland Business Journal is the 3-0 vote (by Sam, Randy and me) to follow neighbors' priorities when instituting street improvements in East Portland. There will be sidewalks and more bike routes, as well as paved and upgraded roads. This is something neighborhood residents beyond East 82nd Avenue have been wanting for years. With federal money, the $20 million budget will be within reach.

Last week, I was happy to put out my first campaign ad, which can be seen here. It ran in prime time during the first round of the NFL draft - yay! And the second one is now playing, here. Note that all the co-stars in both of my ads are real supporters in their community roles, not actors.

Also on TV, this interview for Your Voice, Your Vote on KATU. Please comment on line if you wish.

Mid-April Update

My office released a report by Cit Com Inc.(PDF), a consulting firm hired by the City to evaluate the new 911 Computer Assisted Dispatch system. I recommend that you go directly to the report and see first-hand what it has to say. It is a report to Commissioner Leonard and the Public Safety System Revitalization Project (PSSRP) Steering Committee, rather than a summary requested by the Bureau of Emergency Communications and/or me. In the consultant's independent Quality Assurance - Executive Summary - of the new Computer Aided Dispatch system at the 9-1-1 center, instituted April 2011:

"Was CAD Next a Success? Yes. The City’s Versadex CAD implementation was on time, within budget, and fulfilled the stated business and technical requirements."

On Council Agenda items, the City Council voted 3-1 (Dan Saltzman was the No vote and Sam Adams was absent) to establish a contract with private parties to market the Portland Loo, the City's freestanding public toilet prototype. We made a profit with the one we sold to Victoria, BC. The contract for marketing is without compensation up front, rather it's based on commission on sales completed. General Fund money was used for development of the Loo, since the City needed a safer, more cost-effective way to provide bathroom services in streets and parks.

See the Loo stories at KOIN, KATU and Earthtechling(PDF), among others. Plus, see more links at the Loo's own page.

Budget worksessions continued in the first half of April. I am urging the Council not to pursue monthly billing at the Water Bureau at this time, since doing so would increase rates by 2%. In the Police bureau presentation, the Oregonian reports, Dan Saltzman and I challenged cuts to the family services division because it investigates domestic violence, as well as child and elder abuse.

Among the many highlights of being on City Council is meeting people who will make, or have made, a big difference in the world, from people like the Multnomah Youth Commission to Nobel Peace Prize winners, as I was privileged to do at the Wholisitic Peace Institute's Nobel Peace laureate fund raising dinner. Former South African president F.W. de Klerk, who worked with Nelson Mandela to end apartheid and bring majority rule to his country was the keynote speaker.

Last weekend, Oregonian columnist Steve Duin discussed West Hayden Island, saying it was "held hostage" by the Port of Portland's proposed development zone. Duin says that the Port "plans to park a new marine terminal at the west end of an island" with global benefits, but local costs. One of those seeing the costs is the Audubon Society of Portland's conservation director, Bob Sallinger. Duin says Bob, "points to the eagle, the osprey, the salmon and the foolishness of building 'expensive, publicly subsidized facilities that will sit half empty and hemorrhage red ink.'"

I believe we must look regionally at this challenge, considering potential partnerships and/or division of work between the Port of Vancouver and the Port of Portland. We also have to look at the cost-benefits locally." The report authors, ECONorthwest, when considering wildlife and environmental concerns, point to 750 vacant acres in Vancouver that could be "a logical place to site new marine terminals." I was a little disconcerted after the article was printed, when a constituent called my office asking why I am supporting development on West Hayden Island. I thought Steve Duin's article stated clearly that I am still assessing the pros and cons, and whether expanding the Port of Vancouver might make more sense for the regional economy. But don't take my word for it, here's what Pam Ferguson, Hayden Island neighborhood leader, says in supporting me:

Thank goodness for Amanda Fritz! A sane voice at City Council who is watching out for the Hayden Island community and advocating for consideration of expansion of the Port Of Vancouver instead of the development of West Hayden Island. Amanda has been a staunch supporter of our island community, environment, and livability!

Pam Ferguson, Resident, Hayden Island Manufactured Home Community

Did you see my first campaign TV ad?

And the video of my duet with Storm Large at Candidates Gone Wild? I actually had fun this time, thanks to Storm and amazing guitarist Scott Weddle.

Stay tuned as things move forward. And stay tuned as Bill and I keep you up-to-date on City and campaign news. Remember, see daily updates on Facebook. You don't have to join Facebook to view the page, but if you do you can sign up for notification of new posts, and for the ability to comment on and share posts.

Update for week ending April 8

The big, wonderful news this past week was my endorsement by the Oregonian, here. I am delighted not only with the Editorial Board's support, but also with the content of the endorsement editorial. Please read it for yourself, and if you like, comment below on the piece(s) you agree with most.

An article at OPB, adds some clarification from the City Club debate, in which I was accused of wasting nine months of funding for the Office of Equity. Of course I haven't wasted taxpayers' money. I haven't spent money before being sure what results will be achieved. Almost all the new money allocated for fiscal year 2011-12 goes back into the General Fund at the end of June, because it hasn't been spent. I don't invest money on issues without a careful plan with measurable outcome expectations. Office of Equity Director Dante James has been in office for three weeks. We are both careful about spending taxpayers money wisely, on funding projects and programs that produce results. We will establish a work plan for the Office of Equity within three months, with specific outcomes expected by the end of the calendar year.

Bike Walk Vote has endorsed my opponent for my position on City Council. Apparently "bike" wins out over "walk". I am and will continue to be the Council's strongest pedestrian and transit advocate, and also the Council's most outspoken challenger on bike projects that aren't priorities, such as the downtown bike rental program. I advocated for funding crucial bike safety projects instead, with the $2 million in federal funding being passed through Metro now allocated to the Bike rental pilot.

The "vote" that matters is in five weeks. Please help me win re-election that evening, so I can continue speaking out and acting on behalf of all Portlanders -- no matter how you get around Portland. Call Sunshine at 503-875-3202 to find out how you can help.


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