After years of community organizations asking for oversight and accountability of our Enhanced Services Districts, the City of Portland’s response to the award-winning audit from Alexandra Fercak has commenced!
Enhanced Services Districts are Portland’s local Business Improvement District model. They are public-private partnerships that primarily serve private business interests even though they operate in public spaces. The money gathered by ratepayers in the district are supposed to be used to operate their programs, but there has been zero oversight of their budget allocations – and there is evidence, in Clean and Safe’s case, that the money was used to line the pockets of Portland Business Alliance executives. One of their primary programs is their Public Safety programs that disproportionately harass and criminalize unhoused people.
We find the primary methods they are using to gather community input (their survey and listening sessions) to be highly inaccessible. The survey is long, only in available in english, requires internet access, and contains so much jargon it can be easily overwhelming to those that haven’t devoted countless hours to research the topic. That being said, your participation is crucial to balance the overwhelmingly powerful narratives from Portland’s wealthiest property owners. Below you will find tools we have curated to support your participation!
Make your voice heard during this public process by:
- Completing the survey! We created a toolkit, attached below, to help you understand the context and offer our recommendations on how to respond.
- Attending a Listening Session! Links for the specific listening sessions are available in our toolkit as well as on the official OMF ESD Audit ResponseWebsite.
- Submitting a comment through their anonymous feedback form!
- Emailing the Project Manager, Shawn Campbell, at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sharing this email and response toolkit with your networks!
- Sharing our social media posts from @stopsweepspdx on Instagram and Twitter!
We would greatly appreciate any amount of feedback you can offer. If any of these processes or methods feel inaccessible to you, we highly encourage you to share your experience! As stated above you can do so through the anonymous feedback form, on the final question of the survey, or directly to the Project Manager!
Thank you for your support!
The End ESD’s Campaign
You can find a formal response written by Western Regional Advocacy Project HERE.
Check out the campaign website for more information: https://www.endcleanandsafe.org