When I saw this headline in the paper, I knew I’d have some explaining to do:
If you're wondering why on earth five councilors would vote to violate our own ordinance, you're not alone. Here's the explanation.
Over the last two-and-a-half years we've been discussing homelessness in Portland front and center and in great detail at the HHS & PS Committee. We've had many difficult conversations to date, and I expect we have many more ahead.
That's why as we near a decision on the site selection for the new Homeless Services Center, I want to take a moment to celebrate some of the wonderful partnerships that have grown out of this process. Shining a light on the challenges of our current system has inspired multiple new community collaborations. These partnerships will help us, as a community, reach the goals set by the Council back in 2011 when it created a task force to develop a strategic plan to prevent and end homelessness in Portland, Maine. I'm pleased and proud that this process has helped move us closer to that aim.
On two separate occasions (July 2018 and April 2019), I created two separate timelines to illustrate the shelter process that has taken place since I joined the HHS & PS Committee in 2016. It's important to note that discussions about the current shelter system in the city and the need for improvements pre-date my election to the council, so these timelines don't represent the full shelter planning process in Portland. They do, however, give a good overview of what's happened at the committee and council level over the last three-and-a-half years.
After our most recent HHS & PS committee meeting on March 26th, I spoke with a resident who wanted to know how we’d gotten from a list of nearly 700 parcels to the 3 sites we are currently considering as potential locations for the city’s new Homeless Services Center. In response to her question, I decided to create a “Part Two” to my Micro-Timeline of the Oxford Street Shelter replacement process.
For Micro-Timeline: Part Deux, see below. Micro-Timeline: Part One exists here, and you can see both of them together, in one place, here. Happy reading.
Translation: Beware false labels
Let's Start with the Good
A local politico who I have great respect for (Joey Brunelle) has been publishing blog posts titled "Who Funded Your Candidate?" which I think are a fantastic idea.
I agree that it's important for people to know who's funding local campaigns. That's why in 2018 I introduced a charter amendment to add an additional campaign finance reporting period for municipal candidates in Portland.
But back to those "Who Funded Your Candidate?" posts. Like I said, I think they're a great idea, and for the most part, they're very well done. But I do have a small problem with them...which is actually kind of a big problem.
In August of 2018 I introduced a charter amendment to add an additional campaign finance reporting requirement for municipal candidates in Portland. Here's why I did it and what it does.
As you are likely aware, the HHS & PS Committee is currently working through a list of potential sites for the city's new Homeless Services Center. This facility will replace the city's current facility for single adults experiencing homelessness, the Oxford Street Shelter, and it will likely have something in the neighborhood of 150 beds.
We're working hard to vet all of the potential locations in the city for this establishment and to choose the best possible location. To find out where we are in our process and how it is likely to proceed from here, read on.
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