Portland City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty and Reverend William Barber of the Poor People’s Campaign call budgets moral statements that must reflect the values of the public. Yet, while the Portland metro region is booming with wealth, we are told time and again there is no money to fund community needs.
- Why is our money going to the police but not parks? The majority of the General Fund is slated for “public safety” while community centers that provide affordable childcare, green spaces, physical activity and vital social connections are shut down.
- Why is our money grabbed by private business to fuel gentrification and criminalize our houseless neighbors while lining the pockets of the 1%?
- Why is our money going to vanity projects that entertain the few but not to public services like municipal broadband and banking that serve the needs of many?
The budget cycle begins this fall. Now is the time to start our campaign to change the budget in 2020. On September 19, 2019, the PMPC and First Unitarian Church Economic Justice Action Group hosted a Budget Lab.
- Budget 101 - We learned how the current budget process works with Kristin Johnson, Financial Policy Advisor in the Office of Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty, and Tom Collett, LiUNA Local 483
- Big Money Flows - Michael Hanna, Municipal Broadband PDX, illustrated how we can keep hundreds of millions of dollars in our city with public utilities
- Portland Police Bureau budget - We did an in-depth investigation into how the majority of the General Fund is spent on policing
- A People's Budget - We participated in designing our own budget, led by Tyler Wilkins of Participatory Budgeting Oregon, that truly reflects our community priorities, values and vision.