PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – Portland Central City Task Force co-chairs Gov. Tina Kotek and The Standard CEO Dan McMillan announced a new partnership with Union Pacific to prevent graffiti and trash, as part of the group’s effort to revitalize downtown Portland.
Based on recommendations from the task force’s Livable Neighborhoods committee, the governor’s office is partnering with Union Pacific to identify priority clean up areas and to invest in ways to prevent trash and graffiti along UP rights of way.
“We need everyone to keep stepping up with good ideas and real commitments. That’s how we will get things done and start to see meaningful progress,” Kotek said. “Our task force and committee members are working hard to refine and prioritize their recommendations, which I expect to include action items for the City, County, State and business community to carry forward.”
“Since convening in August, we have put together in the same room a diverse group of leaders – over 120 people in fact – many of whom have never met or worked together, and who frankly don’t always agree,” Co-Chair McMillan added. “We’re leaving these conversations with broad agreement and a sense of urgency to invest in the things we love about this city and the things we need to fix.”
The Portland Central City Task Force, which was announced in August, aims to revamp downtown Portland amid the city’s post-pandemic recovery, homelessness, drug addiction, and office vacancies.
With nearly 50 members, the task force includes elected leaders such as Sen. Ron Wyden; Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler; Multnomah County District Attorney Mike Schmidt; and Multnomah County Chair Jessica Vega Pederson. Business leaders from Mother’s Bistro, the Portland Trail Blazers, Portland State University and Legacy Health are also on the task force.
Kotek said additional leaders will be invited to join committees within the task force for regular meetings that will focus on community safety, neighborhood livability, housing and homelessness, and taxes for services.
The task force is split into five committees including Vision & Value, Clean Streets, Crime & Vandalism, Unsheltered Homelessness and Tax Competitiveness.
During Monday’s press conference, Kotek said the task force is on track to present its official recommendations at a Dec. 11 Leadership Summit. The task force is also set to publish a public report highlighting their work and recommendations in coordination with the summit, the governor’s office said.