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St.Johns Bridge in Portland

 PRIORITIES 

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We have a lot of work to do to save lives, prevent violence, and help Portlanders feel more safe. It starts with improving trust between Portlanders and First Responders. Marnie will remain independent from the police union and their associations by choosing not to seek or accept their donations or independent expenditure campaigns. 

Portland Street Response should be funded to operate 24-7, 365 days a year, and become a co-equal part of Portland’s first responder network.

Currently, it operates inside Portland Fire and Rescue. Portland Street Response should use life-saving supplies (like naloxone, water bottles, and clothing), respond to more 911 call types, and be excluded from law enforcement activities. 

COMMUNITY SAFETY

Women sitting on a bench waiting for the train

To save lives, we must reduce 911 wait times. The average wait time to talk to a 911 dispatcher was 50 seconds in November 2023. In 2018, the average time was 10 seconds. The national standard is 20 seconds. There are 25 vacant positions in Portland’s Bureau of Emergency Communications. These need to be filled to keep our community safe and provide much needed support to our call-takers and dispatchers.

Marnie will pressure Multnomah County to reduce ambulance wait times which are longer than the national average. The situation was so dire on December 31, 2023, Portland Firefighters had to transport a patient to the hospital on a TriMet bus. On May 5, 2024, a stabbing victim was taken to the hospital by Portland Fire and Rescue in a police car.

Let’s use our existing officers and public safety support specialists better until we can fill vacant officer positions. We should strengthen our recruitment, training, hiring, and management practices to build trust between officers and Portlanders. We need a culture shift to community policing and need to start talking honestly about unconscious bias. By addressing unconscious bias, we can end the actions, abuse, and violence that sometimes follow.

Gun violence affects everyone in Portland. In 2023, there were 1,023 shooting incidents in Portland. We all want to keep our families safe. No one law can stop all tragedies, but there are policy decisions we can make to save lives. Marnie supports common sense laws that encourage gun safety and responsible gun ownership. Our city has the power to protect Portlanders from gun violence and support effective violence prevention programs. 


We need more a robust approach to our road-fatality crisis. Marnie supports the goal of Portland's Vision Zero, which aims to eliminate traffic deaths, but it's not working. Traffic deaths are increasing. We need to make real progress. Road fatalities are not unfortunate accidents. Those who die in road traffic die violently and needlessly. 
 

Marnie supports Portland’s official goal of achieving 25% of trips by bike by 2030. We need more diverters on Neighborhood Greenways and more physically protected bike lanes. She will also make sure we prioritize pedestrian and cycling safety when the City rebuilds important streets like Sandy Boulevard.

Marnie is working with District 2 residents and older Portlanders to develop a safe sidewalk campaign. As a person with a disability, Marnie knows first hand how hard it can be to navigate sidewalks that are broken up by tree roots and neglect. This is an important issue for people with disabilities and aging Portlanders.

reflection of sun, skies and trees in water on the street

MorE shelters and affordable housing

Marnie understands the problems we face are terrible. There are more than 5,000 people experiencing homelessness in Portland. Thousands more experience housing instability. Many are students and people with disabilities. 315 people died on the streets of Portland in 2022.

 

Every present and future Portlander should be able to find and keep a safe, stable home they can afford. We need to improve every step of the path people must take from getting off the streets, to alternative shelters to transitional housing, and into affordable permanent housing. 

We must create more day and night shelters. The most recent data available from the Joint Office on Homeless Services shows 93.7% of all shelters were utilized in November 2023. We need shelters for homeless people with mental health and drug treatment services, alternative shelters, and shelters for people during weather emergencies. And we need more family services for the 800 unhoused families with children in Portland.

 

We must work effectively with our partners to strengthen Portland’s safety net. That means more culturally-specific treatment programs, a Sobering Center, more beds at Hooper Detoxification Center in District 2, and a new behavioral health residential recovery center where people can get short-term assistance until they are housed. We have to expand in-patient care facilities for the significantly mentally ill and accelerate our work to prevent suicides.


As we all know, it's going to take a lot of time and money for the private sector to build enough housing for everyone in Portland. Let's make it easier for all types of housing to be built in all of Portland's neighborhoods. We must find ways to streamline Portland's permitting system. We also need to reexamine our zoning laws so we can build more multi-family buildings in more places across Portland. And we should provide wrap-around services at transitional and permanent housing sites wherever feasible.

government accountability

We need to raise the bar for accountability and transparency in City Hall to begin the long process of restoring trust between Portlanders and city leaders. Marnie will work to bring sunlight to our local government.
 

The late US Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis said, “Publicity is justly commended as a remedy for social and industrial diseases. Sunlight is said to be the best of disinfectants; electric light the most efficient policeman.”
 

To start, we have to make sure that fees, taxes, and program costs deliver good value for taxpayers. And we’ve got to keep close watch on rising costs. Portland Water Bureau’s Bull Run water treatment plant’s budget is $1.8 billion. It’s Portland’s largest ever capital construction project. When the project was approved by the city council in 2017, the budget was $500 million. Moving forward, we need to build to budget.

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We must maintain and repair city assets instead of kicking the can down the road over and over again. This requires courageous leadership and a responsible, clear plan. Portland Bureau of Transportation has a $3.5 billion maintenance obligation. Portland Parks and Recreation has a $615 million backlog of deferred maintenance and repairs.  City employees at the 102-year-old Kerby Garage in City Council District 2 repair 2,400 of the city's vehicles. According to a recent Willamette Week article, "Renovation of the current Kerby would cost $43 million, but seismic upgrades and temporary relocation while work is done would tack on tens of millions more."

The new community police oversight board should have immediate, automatic access to unedited Body Worn Camera footage, and direct access to all bureau information and records in accordance with state and federal law.
 

Marnie will lead with the truth when fossil fuel corporations, like Zenith Energy, try to convince us that the dangers of oil trains and storing fuel on seismically unstable land on the Willamette River are not a big deal.  The situation is gravely serious. We need to require corporations to reduce the risks. The City of Portland and Multnomah County need to plan for emergencies including ferry service to evacuate Portlanders in case of human-caused or earthquake generated disasters at the CEI Hub. Marnie will work with people living near the river and within the blast zone of Zenith's oil trains to protect their safety and health.
 

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