Tag Archives: Amanda Fritz

Candidates talk on housing and human services

Mayoral and City Council candidates Charlie Hales, Jefferson Smith, Amanda Fritz and Mary Nolan answer questions earlier this month at a housing and homelessness forum put on by Oregon On, Street Roots, 211info, JOIN and the Community Alliance of Tenants. The forum co-sponsored by Portland Community College drew around 150 people.

Below are three questions the organizations asked the candidates prior to the forum. Continue reading

Your call: Mayoral and City Council candidates question on their opponent

Mayoral and City Council candidates Charlie Hales, Jefferson Smith, Amanda Fritz and Mary Nolan take a shot at Street Roots’ questions for the future of Portland.

4. What do you fear most for the city if your opponent is elected? Continue reading

Your call: Mayoral and City Council candidates question panhandling, sidewalks

Mayoral and City Council candidates Charlie Hales, Jefferson Smith, Amanda Fritz and Mary Nolan take a shot at Street Roots’ questions for the future of Portland.

3. Many issues of livability can become sticking points on the streets of Portland. Please state your position on the following topics: Support for the current Sidewalk Management Plan, panhandling and the future of Right 2 Dream Too. Continue reading

Your call: Mayoral and City Council candidates question on JTTF

Mayoral and City Council candidates Charlie Hales, Jefferson Smith, Amanda Fritz and Mary Nolan take a shot at Street Roots’ questions for the future of Portland.

2. The issue of local law enforcement interfacing directly with federal agencies such as the CIA and FBI is highly controversial — from cooperating with the surveillance-oriented fusion centers in Salem and Portland, to the city police participating in the Joint Terrorism Task Force. The FBI also have been involved in questionable investigations, such as the Christmas tree bomber case and raiding the homes of so-called anarchists. Where do you stand on our participation in the JTTF, and how far should our police cooperate with these federal agencies? Continue reading

Your call: Mayoral and City Council candidates question on police, mental health

Mayoral and City Council candidates Charlie Hales, Jefferson Smith, Amanda Fritz and Mary Nolan take a shot at Street Roots’ questions for the future of Portland.

1. The Department of Justice investigation into the Portland Police Bureau revealed, among other things, two serious problems. One being that our police use excessive force on people perceived to have a mental illness, due to deficiencies in policy, training and supervision. The other serious problem is failings in our mental health support network, from triage sites to engagement with health providers. What will you do to correct these problems? Continue reading

Extra! Extra!

The ballots are coming! The ballots are coming! Soon it will all be over but the counting. Until then, stay on the ball with the latest edition of Street Roots, packed with information about the upcoming election, and much, much more. Here’s what’s rolling on the press:

Your call: Mayoral and City Council candidates Charlie Hales, Jefferson Smith, Amanda Fritz and Mary Nolan take a shot at Street Roots’ questions for the future of Portland.

Measuring up: Street Roots weighs in on the important state and local measures up for consideration.

Survivors’ stories: Three women reflect on what it means to escape the grip of domestic violence.

Ninety-nine percent solution: Professor Joseph Stiglitz, author and Nobel Prize winner in economics, is pleased to see that his latest book ‘The Price of Inequality’ is already grabbing the attention of world leaders.

Plus, the second in a series of reports by Dr. Samuel Metz, health care professional and activist, on what Obamacare really means for Oregonians. And the Partnership for Safety and Justice checks in on the ongoing issue of federal policy and local police enforcement mingling over immigration. And of course, we’re packed with powerful poetry from the streets. Pick up your copy first thing Friday morning and your weekend will be off to a great start! Thank you!

Candidates on housing and homelessness: Fritz, Nolan

City Council: Position 1

With the primary election happening, Street Roots asked the leading mayoral and city council candidates one question: If elected what three things will you do to improve the state of homelessness and affordable housing in Portland?

Amanda Fritz

Check my record — what I have done in my first three years serving on the Portland City Council is what housing advocates and people concerned about houselessness can continue to depend on from me in my second term.

I have supported significant General Fund allocations for affordable housing, the safety net, and services for people experiencing homelessness, and I will continue to do so. I have prioritized requests for housing funding, particularly short term rental assistance and emergency assistance. I set up a process giving citizens real input into the city’s state and federal priorities, and I supported prioritizing requesting increased federal housing assistance on our national legislative lobbying agenda. When we climb out of the recession and homeowners are no longer upside-down on mortgage equity, I will support changes statewide generating more resources for affordable housing, such as the proposed real estate transfer tax.

I will continue to support quality affordable accessible rental housing. I received the Low Income Housing Champion award from the Community Alliance of Tenants in 2009. I supported funding for additional housing inspectors in BDS, and for measures holding banks more accountable for maintenance of foreclosed properties.

As a public official and private citizen, I will continue to support community partners, giving my time and my personal family income to nonprofits supporting housing, including JOIN, Proud Ground, Oregon ON, Human Solutions, Rose Haven, Bradley Angle, Portland Women’s Crisis Line, Volunteers of America, YWCA, REACH, Rose CDC, Habitat for Humanity, New Avenues for Youth, Janus Youth Programs, Central City Concern, Outside In, p:ear, The Salvation Army, Street Roots, Sisters of the Road, faith-based organizations, and more.  I want to continue to partner with Portlanders who care about housing.

Read an in-depth interview with Amanda Fritz with Street Roots.

Mary Nolan

Meeting the challenges faced by our houseless fellow Portlanders and those struggling under the cost of housing will take big efforts by the city, county, Home Forward, non-profit housing partners and conscientious private developers of housing.

As city commissioner, I will focus most immediately on:

Predictability of city policies on housing funding, regulatory framework and permit issuance (both turn-around and cost). Specifically, city goals emphasize affordable housing within affordable commutes of jobs, but the agencies too often impose onerous conditions or costs on people trying to develop work-force housing in close-in neighborhoods. I will work to remove those inconsistencies. Continue reading

Amanda Fritz, Mary Nolan and money: The dollars and cents behind the race

Left to right: Amanda Fritz, Mary Nolan

By Janice Thompson, Contributing  Columnist

Incumbent City Commissioner Amanda Fritz is being challenged by Representative Mary Nolan who has represented southwest Portland in the Oregon House since 2001. In other words, two current elected officials are facing off in the Position 1 race for Portland City Council. A third candidate, Teresa Raiford, has filed to run in this election but has only received one $102 contribution.

So far, Mary Nolan has raised $212,248 for this contest and has $171,503 on hand while Amanda Fritz has raised $75,831 and has $41,065 available now for continued campaign spending. (These figures are based on data downloaded from the state’s campaign finance system, ORESTAR, on Feb. 12., Oregon’s campaign must report each contribution within 30 days after it is received and within seven days of receipt during the six weeks prior to an election. This continuous reporting means that these figures will have been updated by the time this article is published.)

Fritz started her fundraising from zero because she won her City Council position using the Voter-Owned Elections reform program. An under-reported element of that reform program was that if a participating candidate was elected, he or she retained no war chest and was barred from fundraising between campaigns. Retention of the reform system was defeated in November 2010 by a narrow 49.6 percent margin. Continue reading

City Council candidates weigh in on housing, homeless issues

Candidates for City Commissioner (left to right) incumbent Amanda Fritz, State Rep. Mary Nolan, Teressa Raiford, Jeri Sundvall-Williams and Steve Novick. Photo by Israel Bayer.

By Joanne Zuhl
Staff writer

New and familiar faces among the candidates for City Council addressed an invested audience on issues of affordable housing and homelessness this afternoon.

The City Commissioner Candidates’ Forum on Housing brought together the leading contenders for the two council seats on the ballot next Spring. Candidates Amanda Fritz, Mary Nolan and Teressa Raiford are contending for the Commissioner 1 position, currently held by Fritz. And candidates Jeri Sundvall-Williams and Steve Novick were there for the Commissioner 4 position, which is being vacated by Randy Leonard.

The panel fielded questions prepared by the event sponsors on issues of gentrification, job creation, funding for affordable housing, civil rights for the poor and streamlining bureaucracy. Oregon Opportunity Network, JOIN, 211info and Street Roots sponsored the event, which was held at the First Unitarian Church in Downtown Portland.

One underlying theme through several of the queries had to deal with preserving what we have, and finding new resources for what we need.

Continue reading

Candidate interview: Amanda Fritz

Amanda Fritz sets new goals in run for second term

By Jake Thomas, Staff Writer

In 2008, Amanda Fritz, a psychiatric nurse and neighborhood activist, became the first ever non-incumbent to win a seat on Portland City Council through Portland’s Voter-Owned Elections, which provided public campaign financing to qualifying candidates. Since then, she’s carefully scrutinized how the city spends its money, sometimes to the chagrin of other city commissioners, and hasn’t shied away from being the lone dissenting vote on the council. With Portland’s public campaign financing dismantled, Fritz now has to raise private funds to keep her seat, which is also being sought by State Rep. Mary Nolan and Teressa Raiford.

Jake Thomas: You’ve run as a publicly funded candidate in the past. Now you’re running with private funds. There’s a perception out there, true or not, that if you run with private funds you’re beholden to private interests. As someone who’s done both, what do you make of that perception? How much influence does private money have?

Amanda Fritz: I remember when someone gives me $5, and I would certainly remember if someone gave me $5,000. I’m actually continuing to run with public campaign financing. Even though we don’t have the system in Portland, we still have the $50 tax credit, which you can take straight off your taxes each year. So that’s the limit I’m taking. I’m not taking money from corporations or other groups. It’s been really meaningful. It’s been really important to me to be the publicly funded commissioner who has to consider every one of our taxpayers and ratepayers as constituents, and it’s not that my colleagues don’t do that. It’s just that I don’t want to have a situation where one of my big campaign donors wants special access. So all of my big campaign donors are the citizens of Portland and everyone gets access to me in this office. Continue reading

Walking the talk for an Office of Equity and Human Rights

By Commissioner Amanda Fritz and Mayor Sam Adams

Portland has the reputation of being a progressive and innovative city, however, not all Portlanders have access to opportunities or feel welcome. People of color and people with disabilities experience higher rates of poverty and unemployment, and have shorter lifes compared with other Portlanders.

Despite past and current equity-related efforts of various bureaus in the Portland City government, significant disparities persist.  The median income for black-headed households is $30,000, while the median income for white-headed households is $46,800 (State of Black Oregon, 2009).  Although 26.3 percent of the people living in Multnomah County are of color, nearly 30 percent of people who are unhoused are of color (Communities of Color in Multnomah County: An Unsettling Profile, 2010).  The unemployment rate for persons with disabilities living outside of institutions in Oregon is 74 percent (U.S. Dept of Labor).  These numbers do not reflect who we want to be as Portlanders.

What city government has done in the past hasn’t resulted in the desired outcome of everyone sharing in the riches of our city. Disparities persist in city hiring, promotions and contracting, and services in neighborhoods. To achieve different outcomes, we need a different approach. Continue reading

City elections an opportunity for renewed push on housing

SR editorial from the August 5th edition.

Announcements and rumors about the up and coming Portland election in 2012 have the city buzzing.

With the announcement that Mayor Sam Adams, an established housing advocate, and Randy Leonard, a rabble rouser on tough issues, will not seek re-election, the city now has two open seats. Incumbent and housing advocate Amanda Fritz is seeking re-election, but there is discord from her base in the far left that expected much more from her to counterpunch the downtown business machine. She faces long-time Oregon State Rep. Mary Nolan, who so far seems to be outraising Fritz and gaining broad support.

Lots of personalities have entered the race, or are rumored for a run: Charlie Hales, Eileen Brady, Steve Novick, Jefferson Smith, Tom Chamberlain and others. Regardless who wins, housing and homelessness has to be at the top of the priority list for those who would helm our government. Continue reading

Sidewalk use and musicians part of the larger code of courtesy

by Amanda Fritz, Contributing Writer

Bucket drums, violins, trumpets, and keyboards: the sounds of a typical, vibrant day on the streets of Downtown Portland.  Beautiful. Yet imagine you are a worker in a nearby store or office, or a retired resident on the lower floors of an apartment building, listening to the same performer playing the same sets over and over, all day every day. Not so much fun, perhaps. Back in 1994, musicians, community members, business leaders and government agencies sat down together and created the Street Musician Agreement, seeking to maintain Downtown’s unique musical culture while respecting that Downtown is home to residents, businesses and office jobs. It achieved a workable understanding between street musicians and other Downtown interests, so each would have their needs met. Continue reading

All the world’s a stage — street musicians

by Amanda Waldroupe, Staff Writier

Walk just about anywhere in downtown Portland and odds are you will be serenaded by a stranger. But don’t take it personally. This is business.

For 16 years, street musicians, businesses and the city have operated under an agreement that allows performers their place in the sun. But now, City Commissioner Amanda Fritz’s office will dust off the agreement, starting with a public forum for all those involved.

The forum is scheduled for Feb. 10, and Sara Hussein, Fritz’s policy assistant, says that Fritz is hoping attendance will include a large number of street musicians, business owners, representatives from law enforcement, Paul van Orden, the city’s noise control officer, and the city’s ombudsman.

Hussein says the forum was prompted by a number of concerns Fritz’s office has received from street musicians and business owners about the Street Musician Partnership, which was created in 1994. Street musicians, the Portland Business Alliance (PBA) and the City of Portland are members of the partnership, which sets down rules and regulations for musicians playing on Portland’s streets.

The rules include mandating that a street musician can only play in a particular location for 60 minutes, then either take a 60-minute break and resume playing, or move to another location. Musicians are not allowed to play more than twice on a corner or given location in the course of a day. Street musicians are asked to understand the city’s noise ordinance, and to be spaced at least one block apart. Amplification is allowed, but if the music can be heard more than 50 feet away, then it’s in violation of the agreement. Continue reading

City considers new guidelines for Sidewalk Management Ordinance

by Joanne Zuhl

In the current edition of Street Roots we revisit Portland’s Sidewalk Management Ordinance, which, given it’s political ancestry, has charted a smooth course over the past seven months it’s been enforced.

But concerns were raised at yesterday’s meeting of the Portland Sharing Public Sidewalks Advisory Committee over a plan to label sidewalks, including some areas that would now ban sitting or lying altogether. The committee was convened by City Commissioner Amanda Fritz as a sounding board for the ordinance’s performance.

As part of the ordinance, the Portland Bureau of Transportation was charged with developing a plan to label downtown sidewalks according to the pedestrian use zones carved out in the city’s sidewalk management ordinance. The labeling process — a $90,000 project with ongoing monitoring — has been one of the lagging issues on the ordinance, which prohibits people from sitting or lying down in the pedestrian right-of-way, between 7 a.m. and 9 p.m. It does, however, make allowances for sitting or lying in a two-foot zone on the curb edge of the sidewalk.

Under the proposal from PBOT, some sections of sidewalk would be declared totally off-limits to sitting or lying, primarily along those sidewalks with Max train stops. That includes stops along Yamhill and Morrison streets, and under the Burnside Bridge. PBOT says that at high volume transit stops, the pedestrian zone applies to 50-feet in each direction of the stop, or the entire block. On a typical sidewalk the zone is between six and eight feet, depending on the width of the sidewalk.

Here’s the map, with the yellow areas indicating places where sitting on the sidewalk is entirely prohibited.

Also marked as pedestrian only is a section of West Burnside from Park Avenue out to the I-405 ramp. PBOT is also proposing that the pedestrian use zone – in which people cannot sit or lie down – would encompass the entire sidewalk in “any areas of sidewalk that do not meet the preferred sidewalk pedestrian sidewalk width corridors and the sidewalks do not have a buffer from vehicle traffic lanes.

“That creates a not very safe position for people to be sitting in that zone,” said Rich Eisenhauer, program manager with PBOT.

The criteria for prohibiting sitting, and lying, altogether, also includes all other sidewalks wherever “police data indicate a high level (to be defined) of conflicts, and if the sidewalk has a high level (to be defined) pedestrian flow during peak hours. While this is an initial proposal from PBOT, it is coupled with months of reports from the Portland Police Bureau that show a concentration of warnings and citations happening around Pioneer Courthouse Square, and two services for people on the streets: Portland Rescue Mission and Transition Projects Inc.

Under the proposed guidelines, PBOT would have the authority to change the sidewalk designations for sitting and lying down without going before council.

Of the $90,000 price tag, approximately $22,000 is for signage and the rest for monitoring. The signs drew their own line of fire.

“This is one of the most boneheaded signs when you talk about enforcement of an ordinance that was framed from beginning to end to be respectful of people with disabilities.” Tricia Knoll, a representative from the Human Rights Commission at the meeting.

Arwen Bird, also on the Human Rights Commission, uses a wheelchair, and was equally critical of the signage, saying that it was “emotionally painful to me to have read these signs.” Bird offered to work with PBOT to help develop more suitable language.

“Put the money toward places to sit and be dry,” said Knoll.

There was no consensus, much less approval, of the proposed guidelines or signage. It will be the focus of the next committee meeting.

Commissioner Fritz acknowledged the lack of support from the committee, and said that the money, which was allocated in the previous budget cycle, didn’t have to be spent. “We could put the money back, in essence,” Fritz said.

This is an initial proposal from PBOT, and Eisenhauer said that his bureau will wait until the committee comes back with a decision on the proposal before moving forward.

Bird has said repeatedly that the biggest obstacle for her isn’t people on sidewalks, but A-boards, signs and café settings – summertime’s “restaurant creep.”  In the past, enforcement by PBOT has been almost nonexistent because of a lack of resources. Eisenhauer said two years ago the bureau put in place a much higher-priced permit and fine system – $250 for citations — equal to a sidewalk ordinance violation, with the intention of applying that money toward enforcement. After going through a lengthy notification process, the bureau began issuing warnings last summer, however, there have been no citations given to businesses under the new ordinance, Eisenhauer said.