PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — In a surprise, the proposed budget for the City of Portland was not approved Thursday when Commissioner Chloe Eudaly and Mayor Ted Wheeler voted no.
This vote came about an hour after the Portland City Council unanimously voted to defund the Gun Violence Reduction Team and school resource officers after lengthy budget meetings Thursday.
The council voted to eliminate those police units and the Transit Police because they believe they target the Black community, especially youth.
Eudaly said she voted no on the overall budget because she doesn’t believe the cuts to PPB funding go far enough.
Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty also wanted the SERT unit gone, redirecting $16 million into community programs such as Street Response Teams that would respond with mental health professionals instead of armed officers in non-violent situations.
Hardesty made it clear she does not support getting rid of all police officers — but it is no longer business as usual.
Wheeler’s “No” vote was procedural. That means the City Council will revote on the proposed budget next week.
Hardesty’s post-vote statement
In a lengthy statement released after the vote, Hardesty took a swipe at Eudaly’s vote on Thursday:
“While my colleague can take a principled “no” stance on passing this budget, I as a Black woman cannot. I have spent countless hours moving my colleagues to support what I’ve proposed. Last year I proposed only half of what was brought to the table this year, and did not receive one single vote in support, including hers. This included my proposal to defund the Gun Violence Reduction Team and reallocate those funds to save 50+ Parks jobs and support community centers, which was also a demand from the community. My cannabis amendment for this year’s budget, which she also did not support, would have cut an additional 23 positions in the bureau. That’s why we are only seeing 84 positions rather than 107 positions cut. We keep hearing the need to be bold, yet that boldness did not manifest in this moment, nor did it manifest last year.
“I do not want to let this detract from the very real steps taken, but it is an important reminder on what performative allyship looks like. While we are making strides in realigning our budget with our values, this “no” vote does nothing to materially support our BIPOC communities. All this does is delay the much-needed relief for our communities and continues to allow these units to exist for that much longer.
“Given that, I am ultimately proud of what we have been able to do with this budget.
“Because there is some confusion on what this means, I want to offer a process clarification: Because the budget vote was an “emergency item”, it required all four votes to pass. Due to one “no” vote, Council will meet next week on Wednesday to vote and adopt the final budget.”