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The City of Portland, Oregon

Jo Ann Hardesty

Official Website for Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty

Email: JoAnn@portlandoregon.gov

PHONE: 503-823-4151

FAX: 503-823-3036

1221 SW 4th Ave Ste 230, Portland, OR 97204

Commissioner Hardesty Statement on May 8th Teacher Walkout

We support those taking to the streets as our teachers and students demand that their education be prioritized. Teachers and students have been paying the price for the state’s disinvestment in schools for far too long. Year after year the state continues to cut resources critical for educators to do their work and students to thrive in schools, and we’re way past the time to say no more cuts.

We have the resources to support our schools – we just need policymakers to do the right thing. I’ve said it before and I’ll continue repeating it: the budget is a moral document that reflects our values and priorities. What does it say about our state’s values when we as a community continually take resources from schools rather than giving them what they need to prepare our students for a successful future?

Austerity does not work. All it does is leave our education system further behind than it already is. If I didn’t have council session I would join the teachers and students in this rally and march to show my support. I am sending staff to the rally to show solidarity in calling for more investments in schools – not less. Join me in supporting our teachers and students today and everyday by calling for investments in our schools.

Commissioner Hardesty Hosted People's Budget Event

People's Budget Meeting

Community members gathered at Ventura Park Elementary School this past Saturday for the first People’s Budget planning event hosted by City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty. This event kicks off a series of events aimed at bringing City Council to the people, a promise Hardesty offered to the public during her campaign.

“Budgets are moral documents that reflect the values of a city. Community member input in planning, not just responding, is an important building block,” says Commissioner Hardesty.

The event’s main activity had attendees engaged in an interactive exercise to directly suggest areas for increased or decreased spending for city bureaus. By using sticky notes, participants were able to “vote” for their budget priorities, as well as include a written rationale for their vote.

Feedback on budget priorities from attendees included a desire for greater houseless services, housing affordability solutions, and alternatives to policing. Some also reflect more recent concerns, like increasing parks funding.

Other responses called for more pedestrian and public transit infrastructure, moving funds from policing into social services, and more equitable access to resources and services.

Mayor Ted Wheeler’s city budget proposal is expected to come out May 1st. Commissioner Hardesty shared her top budget priorities with attendees, including:

  • Creating a Portland Street Response program to better serve those in mental health crises.
  • Restoring a rapid response vehicle at Fire & Rescue to help address low acuity calls.
  • Emphasizing resiliency planning at the city to help ensure resident safety during major events.

For Hardesty, this is just the beginning when it comes to being thoughtful and smart regarding the city budget. “We want to hear your thoughts, we want to hear your priorities, and most importantly we want to empower you to be the best advocates you can be on the issues you care about,” says Commissioner Hardesty. “Normally community members respond to a proposed budget, but what if we flip that process around and start with what the community wants? This event is just the start.”