PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Every fall Portland city commissioners analyze the city’s budget and vote whether to make changes in what is called the BMP, the Budget Monitoring Process.
This year is the first time 3 of the commissioners will have a chance to vote on the BMP. On Friday, two of them — Carmen Rubio and Mingus Mapps — sat with KOIN 6 News for wide ranging interviews that included what the budget should be.
Rubio is passionate about working to make sure everyone has a home they can afford. She said the Portland City Council will prioritize safety and housing.
“You’re going to be seeing probably a big focus on our housing crisis,” she told KOIN 6 News. “We need to make sure there’s adequate housing for all income levels.”
Mapps praised Commissioner Dan Ryan — the other first-time BMP voter — for his effort behind the Safe Rest Village initiative. But Mapps also said the City Council has not moved fast enough when it comes to combating crime and homelessness.
“The Fall BMP is our opportunity to turn this around and speed things up,” he told KOIN 6 News.
During the Fall BMP work session scheduled for October 21, Mapps said he’ll press for a proposal that would double the city’s capacity to pick up trash.
“I want to see that proposal pass and one of the things I want to see is us to focus in on hitting the litter and needles and human excrement picked up from the streets of downtown,” he said.
He’ll also advocate to expand PPB’s Behavioral Health Unit as well as urging PPB to step up downtown patrols.
“I know some of our cultural institutions in the downtown area are really reeling beneath the weight of tents and mental illness and violence and trash and shouldn’t have to wait another budget cycle to get that fixed,” he said.
That’s one thing that’s holding back a Portland recovery right now, he said.
“Our downtown is literally wounded and won’t be able to heal until we help heal the people on the streets and get the litter picked up and help replace some of these broken windows and get back to the Portland that we all know and love,” Mapps said.
The Portland City Council is scheduled to vote on the budget changes on Wednesday, October 27.
KOIN 6 News will continue to follow this story.