Policy Agenda

Central City

Building a better downtown Portland

Downtown Portland is the economic engine of our region—and the entire state of Oregon. Ensuring a vibrant, clean, safe, and livable downtown is one the Chamber’s highest priorities.

Urgent actions are needed in returning our urban core to its previous status as one of the nation’s safest and most attractive downtowns for living, working, and playing. Downtown will not recover unless employees feel safe going to work, and retailers are able to operate thriving, successful businesses. We urge elected leaders to invest in basic services, housing development, and livability initiatives in building a more resilient economy for Portlanders.

Central City Policy Priorities

1. Restore a clean, safe, and vibrant Central City for employees, residents and visitors.

  • Urgent action is needed to enforce rules and laws that maintain clean sidewalks and increase safety for employees and visitors.
  • Maintain consistent garbage collection service.
  • Support police-led initiatives including Entertainment District street closures.
  • Increase the number and availability of safe needle disposal stations in the Central City.
  • Support collaboration between Multnomah County and neighboring downtown businesses in planning the downtown Behavioral Health Resource Center.
  • Develop a plan for meeting the public-space goal in the City of Portland’s Central City Plan.

2. Invest in public safety services and accelerate culture change.

  • Make significant investments in public safety services appropriate for the size and needs of 21st century Portland.
  • Accelerate culture change for eliminating racial bias in our social justice system.
  • Increase funding for Portland Police Bureau staffing, including increased walking-beat assignments in Downtown Portland.
  • Restore past cuts and increase funding to community corrections, jails, and the Multnomah County District Attorney Office.
  • In restoring public safety, support investments in technology for the most efficient and effective deployment of Portland police officers and law enforcement resources.

3. Adopt policies that help retain businesses and allow them to thrive.

  • Fulfill and meet the city’s historic financial commitment to support and retain businesses and encourage commerce.
  • Advocate for the highest and best use of retail tenancy in key areas throughout Downtown Portland.
  • Support key partners in their commitment to the vibrancy of Downtown Portland, while encouraging visitors and supporting employees and residents.
  • Encourage local governments to support all modes of transportation while taking steps to reduce congestion during commute times. Allow for the efficient movement of goods.

4. Advocate to shelter houseless Portlanders and fund wrap-around services.

  • Continue to adopt policies and allocate funds necessary to rapidly shelter the houseless and end unsanctioned camping.
  • Invest in mental health funding, housing placement, outreach, and addiction services.

5. Support changing Portland’s form of government.

  • Transition Portland’s antiquated form of government to a modern structure that meets the needs of a growing, more diverse population.

Central City Standing Committee

Open to all Chamber members, this committee considers public policy proposals related to downtown vibrancy, economic development and livability.

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