Portland, OR

Thursday in Portland: Mayor releases $6.7B budget proposal focusing on homelessness, public safety

Emily Scarvie

(Nathan Howard/Getty Images)

By Emily Scarvie

(PORTLAND, Ore.) Hello Portlanders! It's Thursday, May 5 - Here's your daily round up of all the news happening in the City of Roses.

1. Mayor Wheeler releases $6.7B budget proposal focused on homelessness, public safety

On Wednesday, Mayor Ted Wheeler released his $6.7 billion budget proposal for 2022-2023, aimed at addressing “the root causes of the challenges” the city is facing, particularly homelessness, public safety, livability and economic recovery following the COVID-19 pandemic.

The proposed budget would invest more than $85 million into homeless services, including $36.2 million that would be set aside to fund six Safe Rest Villages and two other communities. It also includes $13 million for gun violence prevention projects and $11.5 million to go toward Portland Street Response’s citywide expansion.

Wheeler said the budget would also invest millions into economic recovery for small businesses across Portland. It would also address livability issues, including setting aside $2.2 million for continued graffiti cleaning, $1.25 million for citywide trash cleanups and $4.7 million to repave Southeast Division Street.

2. Volunteers host I-5 cleanup to send message to local transportation agencies

In an effort to send a message to local transportation agencies that they need to step up the cleanup of roadways, a group of senior women picked up trash next to Interstate 5 on Wednesday. Despite the dangers, several people volunteered for the trash cleanup, saying they wanted to send a message to the Oregon Department of Transportation and the Portland Bureau of Transportation, the agencies responsible for the cleanup.

ODOT told KATU, “It’s inherently dangerous for anyone unauthorized to work along the highway right of way without proper authorization, equipment and training. The result is often serious injury or worse. Our primary concern at ODOT is for the safety of all highway users and the highway right of way can be extremely unsafe.”

Despite this, many of the women who volunteered argued that ODOT only does cleanups once in a while, which isn’t enough. Betsy Wright, one of the volunteers, told KATU she hopes the cleanup will help move the conversation of regular cleanups along highways forward.

3. Boys & Girls Club Be Great Ball returns Thursday night

The Be Great Ball, the annual gala for the Boys & Girls Club of Portland Metropolitan Area, will take place Thursday night. All donations will go toward continued efforts to serve children in the local community.

There will be a cocktail hour starting at 5:30 p.m. and dinner will begin at 7 p.m. An online auction for the event is currently underway. Those interested can bid on items here, or make donations to the Boys & Girls Club here.

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