Since 1994, the Hispanic Metropolitan Chamber (HMC) has provided a valuable forum for the Hispanic business community to share ideas, concerns and successes. Gale Castillo, Interim Executive Director of HMC was kind enough to take time from her busy schedule to explain the challenges facing the Latino community in Portland.
Gale shared her story of growing up in Oakland, California at a time when school counselors assumed Latinos wouldn’t go to college. I could relate to her story, as I grew up at a time when “my kind,” which was code for Native Americans were guided to trade schools. Gale emphasized that stereotyping Latinos is still prevalent in Portland, today.
HMC’s mission is to advance Latino economic and community vitality through business development, leadership education, scholarships for aspiring students and a savings program for education and business startup. HMC’s vision is that Latinos prosper and contribute as business owners and community leaders in an inclusive economy.
Gale emphasized that HMC has provided over $2,000,000 in university scholarships for Latino students. She believes that our city government should create more opportunities for all minority students. As an example, our city government could provide intern positions to develop our city’s future leaders.
What better way to build a stronger multicultural community than donating to the Hispanic Metropolitan Chamber scholarship fund? I know, I intend to donate.
On September 18, 2019, I was interviewed by Joan Esposito on her show Live, Local and Progressive on WCPT in Chicago, Illinois. The interview covered a wide range of energy issues and topics, including America’s Energy Revolution.
America, not just Portland is dealing with a homeless crisis. The reasons men, women and children are living on our streets are as diverse as the people themselves. The reality is no one aspires to live on the streets.
For fifty-years, Transition Projects has been working to help people in Portland move from the streets in into safe housing and jobs. George Devendorf, Executive Director of Transition Projects was kind enough to take time from his busy schedule to help me understand Portland’s homeless crisis.
Transition Projects began by serving 20 men per year in 1969. Many of these men were veterans returning from the Vietnam War. Today Transition Projects serves over 10,000 men, women and children per year.
Project Transition is consistently rated as one of Oregon’s best nonprofit organizations. George was quick to point out that he is always evaluating other organizations across the country to develop new and better approaches to solve the homeless crisis. In my opinion, Transition Projects is doing exceptional work addressing the homeless crisis in Portland.
The greatest challenge to successfully transitioning the homeless off the streets is finding affordable housing with access to transportation to their work. In my opinion, the City of Portland and Multnomah County should collaborate with the businesses, churches and synagogues to develop sustainable affordable housing solutions.
If fortunate to gain the support of the Portland voters in the 2020 campaign for City Council, it will be my goal to actively support Transition Projects.
Portland city government has all too often grossly underestimated major project costs for building renovations, water reservoir projects and new building construction.
On September 21, 2019, the Oregonian reported that a $500 million water filtration plant approved by the Portland City Council in 2017 will now cost $850 million. Why? The project estimate didn’t include the cost for any pipes to carry the water to or from the water treatment plant!
How will the City Council make up for this $350 million short fall? Will critical projects for the homeless, police, fire or transportation be cut? Perhaps, our City Council will develop a new tax to pay for this shortfall which will create undue hardship on low income residents.
As a candidate for Portland City Commissioner in 2020, I have extensive experience in the private sector at completing multi-million-dollar projects on time and on budget. In my opinion, we should expect our City Council to use our hard-earned tax dollars wisely.
On July 26, 2019, the City Club of Portland held a forum to discuss the Green New Deal.
On June 24, 2019, I was interviewed on KONG TV out of Seattle on climate change and the many faces of the Green New Deal.
The Zenith Oil Terminal is located on Front Avenue in Northwest Portland. The facility imports heavy oil and/or bitumen by train from Alberta, Canada. The petroleum is then is pumped into oil tankers and exported to overseas markets.
Transporting oil by railroad tank car is the riskiest method to transport petroleum. An oil spill while transporting the heavy oil and/or bitumen from Canada to Oregon could cause devastating environmental damage.
The Zenith Oil Terminal has oil storage capacity of approximately 1.5 million barrels. A major earthquake could cause the oil storage tanks to rupture which would cause devastating environmental damage to the Willamette River ecosystem.
I oppose the Zenith Oil Terminal operation.
Michael runs a cleaning service business on Division Street in Portland. He tries to employ the homeless to help them get off the street. He shared his experiences trying to help people get their lives together and off the streets. Michael is frustrated with the lack of help the city provides the homeless. In Michael’s opinion, the city government of Portland simply doesn’t care.