Tag Archives: Dan Saltzman

Right 2 Dream Too files suit against city

A rendering of Right 2 Dream Too created by a local architecture firm

A rendering of Right 2 Dream Too created by a local architecture firm

Right 2 Dream Too, which has operated a weigh station for the homeless for more than a year, filed a suit against the city of Portland today. The filing came as R2DToo members rallied with supporters outside City Hall.

The lawsuit, which also names Commissioner Dan Saltzman and Bureau of Development Services Director Paul Scarlett, disputes the city’s assessment of Right 2 Dreams Too’s operation at Fourth Avenue and Burnside and the validity of subsequent fines. Saltzman’s office oversees the Bureau of Development Services, which ruled on Right 2 Dream Too’s status last year.

“It is our hope that the lawsuit is a motivator to get responsible people to sit down and negotiate,” says Mark Kramer, the attorney representing R2DToo. Kramer is donating his work as a member of the National Lawyers Guild.

Read the complete R2DToo lawsuit.

The city claims the nonprofit is operating a “recreational park” campground on the lot, and as such is subject to city ordinance requirements. Right 2 Dream Too, however, says the site is not a campground at all, but rather a transitional housing accommodation for people experiencing homelessness, as allowed under state statute. Oregon law allows for two such sites, the first being Dignity Village in Northeast Portland.

The lawsuit also seeks relief from the $5,349 in fees, along with the interest and penalties that have mounted since  the BDS began assessing them early this year.

Kramer said he and his clients sat down twice with Saltzman and Commissioner Nick Fish, who oversees the cities housing and homeless programs, to find a solution to the impasse.

“It was cordial and friendly, but they were unbending and ultimately unresponsive,” Kramer says. Kramer added that the members of R2DToo have been looking for another site, but they need the city’s help to negotiate something appropriate, and they have not received any. “It’s like assigning to David a Goliath task.”

Kramer said the process of the lawsuit could take several months, during which time R2DToo will likely remain on site, despite efforts by one local developer to rev up the complaint process and have the camp removed to appease investors.

You can read about the rally today on Street Roots Twitter.

Breaking: Developer pushes for change at Right 2 Dream Too


By Staff Reports

A Portland developer is saying the homeless rest area at Fourth and Burnside is jeopardizing the financial stability of the long-awaited renovation of the Grove Hotel.

In a strongly worded letter to the Old Town Chinatown Neighborhood Association, Grove Hostel developer David Gold is urging the community to take advantage of the “complaint driven” process and urge the city to resolve the siting concerns of Right 2 Dream Too. The camp, which shelters between 60 and 80 homeless people each night, has been sited at Fourth Avenue and Burnside Street for more than a year. Continue reading

A conversation with City Commissioner Dan Saltzman

By Israel Bayer, Staff Writer

Dan Saltzman is a veteran Portland city commissioner who has been around the block. During his 12-year stint on city council, he has, at various times, taken heat on both sides of the political spectrum for a variety of issues.

People closest to Saltzman say he’s a hard-working, detail-oriented individual that isn’t afraid to buck the system to create change. During his tenure as city commissioner, he has taken on the fire and police disability retirement system and led a successful and on-going children’s levy, to name a few.

Street Roots recently sat down with Saltzman to talk about city politics and the future of Portland.

Israel Bayer: You have been one of the most quiet, yet productive, commissioners over the past 12 years. What have been some of your most challenging times as a commissioner, and some of your proudest moments?

Dan Saltzman: I probably would say that this upcoming budget year and soft economy and how that impacts city governance is probably going to be one of the most challenging. The years I have been on the City Council, it’s not to say we haven’t gone through cuts in the past, but if everything holds up this could be the most dire.

Some of the best times are getting council to support things — working through two efforts to get voters to reform the Charter successively. One was to revamp the fire and police disability and retirement system, which was largely the fox guarding the hen-house, before all the trustees were either fire or police related. Now it’s a five-person board with two union representatives and three citizen representatives. I’m also very proud of being able to be a part of the Children’s Levy and all that has accomplished. Continue reading

Extra! Extra!

The weekend is almost here, and when it arrives, be ready for the new edition of Street Roots, rolling on the presses right now. It’s still only $1, and delivered by the finest vendors in town. Here’s what’s headed your way:

An end to the madness? A discussion with Sen. Chip Shields on his efforts to get foreclosure reform measures passed in Salem. It’s an uphill battle, but the difference could help Oregonians threatened by foreclosures today.

‘Unemployed need not apply’ ads targeted by state lawmakers: A bill in Salem would prohibit companies from advertising jobs that don’t allow the jobless to apply.

‘We’ll have to come together and do our best’: A discussion with City Commissioner Dan Saltzman about his work in office and the challenges ahead.

Amanda Fritz, Mary Nolan and $: The latest rundown on campaign fundraising by Janice Thompson with Common Cause.

All this, plus commentary by the Western Regional Advocacy Project, Planned Parenthood, OPAL and economist Robin Hahnel. And much more, including news, poetry and notes from readers who wrote in about their experiences with vendors. A fun read! So don’t forget to tuck a buck before you head out tomorrow and say hello to your friendly neighborhood Street Roots vendor! Thank you!

April Fools: Nick Fish spearheads acquisition of new furniture

chair22From the April 1 edition of Street Roots. (The April Fools edition was one of the most popular Street Roots ever published. We sold out of the newspaper in a week and ordered more. It’s on the streets for two more days – get your copy while it’s hot!)

Portland City Council officials were forced to postpone several pressing agenda items this week after their habitual praising of their own accomplishments ran even longer than usual.

When their April 1 meeting convened, council members unveiled their new set of swivel chairs, which they will sit in to deliberate city policy and hear testimony from the public. Commissioner Nick Fish spearheaded the acquisition of new furniture after a wheel broke loose from his previous chair, leaving it with a lean and prompting concern about the safety of all the council seats.

The commissioners often take time to acknowledge the work of their colleagues when a policy passes or a project kicks off, but they seemed especially pleased about this project.

“This morning has literally been hours – or even days – in the making,” Fish said as he sank into his plush new seat. “But I think I can speak for the rest of council when I say that it’s been a real labor of love. Before we continue, I want to make sure we recognize the people who spent significant amounts of time and energy making this happen.

“First,” Fish went on, “I want to recognize Roger Stillman of the Office Depot furniture department, without whom this really would not have been possible. It has truly been an honor to work with Roger, who was kind enough to walk me through the office chair aisle and offer his opinions and support.

“I’d also like to thank, from the bottom of my heart, chief of maintenance Edgar Delgado, who had to unpackage the chairs and screw all of the pieces together. And boy, you practically need a whole new committee to read those instructions,” Fish added with a chuckle. (The Furniture Assembly and Regulation Team appointed by former Mayor Tom Potter was cut in 2007 for lack of funding.)

Fish then presented Stillman and Delgado, who were in the audience, with the city’s first-ever “Spirit of Furniture” awards.

“I’d like to pause for a moment,” declared Commissioner Randy Leonard, swiveling his chair toward Fish and steepling his fingers under his chin, “to recognize what a great orator Commissioner Fish has become. It has truly been a pleasure to watch.” Continue reading