PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Oregon Gov. Tina Kotek is attempting to help downtown Portland combat its problems with homelessness and drug use.
The Central City Task Force is a large group, assembled by Kotek, of nearly 50 government and local business leaders who met for the second time on Tuesday to discuss these issues.
Even though the meetings feature government leaders, Oregon law allows them to meet privately since they’re not a government body.
But now, the group is asking the public what they think — putting up a website with a survey for the public that features questions like, “What do you think are the biggest issues?”
The Central City Task Force’s assignment from Gov. Kotek is to come up with a plan by December to get downtown Portland back on track. The group includes Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, Multnomah County Chair Jessica Vega Pederson, members of Congress, state lawmakers and local business owners. All members of the task force say they are well aware of the troubles in the city, from open drug use, campers, high vacancy rates, workers not returning to downtown offices, mental health crises, housing costs, etc.
But there are a lot of questions about how such a large group can figure how how to solve what’s wrong.
The task force has several more meetings in October.
Kotek says she has great concerns about what’s happening in Portland, which is why she started regular meetings with Wheeler as soon as she was elected.