Looking back at this year we are feeling proud and inspired by all we have accomplished together and looking forward to building on our successes. In this blog we’re excited to review 2018 and then let you know what’s coming up in 2019!
Highlights and Accomplishments of 2018:
>We held our third annual Spring Thing. Participants gathered signatures to help qualify Honest Elections and the Portland Clean Energy Fund. Both of which not only qualified for the ballot but were successfully passed by Portland voters! We learned from some of the movers and shakers from 1970’s Portland, had a robust conversation about Portland’s Commission form of government and at large elections, and started a conversation about what a truly visionary transportation system could look like in our region.
>Portland Clean Energy Fund and Honest Elections Won BIG at the ballot box! This November Portland voters passed Honest Elections by a whopping 87.5% and the Clean Energy Fund by 65.5%. These big wins show that people are truly more powerful that we think. It also ensures that we will get big money out of politics in Portland and together create a justice-based transition to green energy.
>Hiring our temporary director Julia DeGraw! DeGraw ran for Portland City Council on a platform of system change and led the 10 year fight to keep a Nestle water bottling plant out of the Gorge and won! We appreciate her vision of creating a more representative and equitable form of government and voting system for all Portlanders. We are excited to have her on board to help build Portland Forward into and even stronger organization moving forward.
Looking to 2019:
>Honest Elections: With momentum on our side we are excited to see what we can get done at the state legislature to get big money out of politics, supporting other county efforts to pass similar measures, and starting to gather the signatures for a statewide ballot measure in 2020.
>Public Bank: With a new city commissioner, Jo Ann Hardesty, joining the council this January we are looking forward to working with the City to create a public bank. A public bank would enable the city to stop doing business with Wells Fargo entirely. With a public bank all the profits of the bank would stay local and would be reinvested into our communities, while also providing much lower interest loans for major municipal projects. While a public bank may be owned by the City, it would be run by professionals and guided by an independent board with a set of values prioritizing the public interest, equity and justice, and the environment.
>The 2020 Ballot: Yes, actually, it’s not too soon to have this conversation!
With the regional planning commission, Metro, preparing for a massive transportation bond measure for 2020, now is the perfect time to start shaping what that bond should look like. Nearly half of our carbon emissions in the Portland Metro area come from transportation–our goal of a post-carbon future will require a truly visionary and transformative transportation bond measure (not more freeway expansion).
We are also keeping our ears to the ground to decide what other game-changing visionary ballot measures we may be able to help pass to ensure we’re enacting policies today that will build the Portland we want in 2050 and beyond.
>Our new Monthly Meet-ups: Lastly, in addition to our annual Spring Thing (scheduled for April 13th 2019), we will be starting monthly events to get more Portlanders engaged in local politics. We will be educating attendees about locals issues and urging them to take action, get more involved, and give us input on how to develop smart strategic policies and to help make them a reality.
Our first monthly event on January 29th will be about the State Of Honest Elections in Oregon and what’s next to get big money out of politics regionally and state-wide.
For now, mark your calendars for:
Portland Forward’s Monthly Meet-Ups:
The State of Honest Elections and What’s Next?! On January 29th at 6 PM at the Lucky Lab on Hawthorne.
Is the Way we Vote and the City Council Structure Serving Portland? On February 28th, Location TBA
What Should be in Metro’s 2020 Transportation Bond? On March 29th, Location TBA
Spring Thing! On April 13th from 11 AM to 4 PM at the Wayfinding Academy.
We will be updating our Blog more regularly and we encourage you to keep visiting our website and Facebook to see what’s up, to sign up for our emails, and to make a donation to Portland Forward. We will need funds to host events, hire staff, and to be able to invest in creating a bold vision for our region.
We can’t wait to see what we will accomplish together in 2019!