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In Memory of Commissioner Nick Fish

Commissioner Nick Fish delivers a speech to a crowd of constituents
Commissioner Nick Fish delivers a speech to a crowd of enthusiastic supporters. 
On January 2 we lost a great civil servant and friend. In the eleven years that Nick Fish served as commissioner, he fiercely advocated for the City of Portland to have affordable housing, a healthy environment, and transparent democracy. He delighted in his work and truly loved the opportunity to meet with Portlanders to hear their perspectives on important topics. For those of you that have not had an opportunity to  read the letter Commissioner Fish wrote to Portland , please do; it is touching and humbling. Our hearts go out to everyone that knew Commissioner Fish. 

This week, the City will release more information about the reassignment of bureaus in Commissioner Fish's portfolio and a special election to fill the Commissioner of Public Works position on City Council. We will continue to keep you up to date on the progress of this news. 

Code Change Update

Two facilitators lead a room of engaged community members in a discussion around civic engagement
Two facilitators stand in front of a room filled with community members and lead a discussion around Code Change's potential impact on civic engagement. Photo by Justin Katigbak for Civic Life.
On November 14, City Council hosted a special council meeting at Self Enhancement, Inc. focused on Civic Life’s year-long process to update City Code Chapter 3.96. Community interest and engagement was extraordinary but Council was only able to hear from roughly half of those who signed up to deliver public testimony due to time constraints.

On January 9, at 2:00pm, City Council will hear from the 35 people who signed up to testify but did not have an opportunity to do so at the November 14 meeting. At this hearing there will be no vote, no new information will be presented, and only those already on the sign-up sheet will be allowed to testify. The record remains open and Portlanders are welcome to continue submitting written testimony.

Homelessness Discussion with Mayor Wheeler

Mayor Ted Wheeler discusses homelessness during a community conversation in November
Mayor Ted Wheeler listens as a Portlander provides input about homelessness in Portland.
In February and March, Mayor Ted Wheeler is convening a series of meetings across the City of Portland to present his homelessness policy agenda and listen to your ideas and priorities for bettering our continued efforts in addressing homelessness. Join neighbors and local businesses in a community conversation about what we can do to help solve the homelessness crisis. You can find a complete list of meeting dates, RSVP, and submit discussion topic ideas here>>

Can We Count On You?

Every 10 years the United States conducts a coordinated count of each resident living in the United States. The census is our most comprehensive effort as a country to collect information about our country's demographics and helps determine federal funding as well as the number of congressional seats and Electoral College votes each state receives. In 2010, the overall census response rate for Portland ranged between 80-83%. That is, one in five Portlanders were not counted. We can and will do better this year!

What to expect: In March, every household will receive a mailing from the U.S. Census Bureau with detailed instructions on how to fill out the 2020 Census online. Completing the census early is the best way to avoid having a census counter visit your home.

Who counts? Every person, including children, residing in a household needs to be included on your census form. 

What if you don't have a physical home, will you be counted? Yes. "Group Enumeration" is a campaign conducted by the U.S. Census Bureau and it will take place over 3 days between March 30 and April 1. For houseless people this means that they will be counted in group settings (shelters, day centers, service locations) or in their outside living locations (camp sites, parking lots, RV Parks, cooperative shelter spaces). The 2020 Census is also launching its first online option for the houseless. This will allow for any houseless individual or family to complete the census form online with the check box "I do not have an address". 

Staff Updates

Christina Wienholz, Information & Referral Specialist
Through her professional endeavors, Christina has facilitated dialogues between the St. Francis Dining Hall and the Portland Police Bureau in the Buckman Neighborhood Association. She has also worked as part of the inaugural cohort of the Disability Leadership Academy with City of Portland through Civic Life. In Christina’s current volunteer work with Resolutions Northwest, she has helped to facilitate Race Talks at Kennedy School and serves on two committees with City of Portland.

Christina is married, a mother of two children, and most recently worked as a paraeducator at Woodlawn Elementary. Her first day was December 30. 
Mare Josee Kangabe (Josee), Community Development Coordinator 
Josee is passionate and committed to public service. She holds a master’s degree from Portland State University in Public Administration specializing in Local Government. Prior to joining Civic Life, Josee served in US Army for 4 years.

Josee was born and raised in East Africa, Rwanda. She came to the United Sates in 2008 and moved to Portland in 2012. In her free time, Josee enjoys watching football (soccer), hiking, dancing, and spending time with her friends.

Online Events Calendar

Visit our online calendar to find out information regarding community and neighborhood events.

If you have an event you would like to be considered for the calendar or if you have an image you would like to share from a recent event, please contact us at civiclife@portlandoregon.gov.

Visit Civic Life online events calendar here>>
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