By Josh Alpert, Rep. Jules Bailey, Scott Fogarty, Scott Pratt and Zari Santner. Josh is the former director of Oregonians for Water, Parks and Wildlife. Jules is a Democrat that represents inner Southeast and Northeast Portland. Scott Fogarty is the executive director at Friends of Trees. Scott Pratt is an attorney and environmental activist. Zari is the former director of parks and recreation at the City of Portland.
Broad-based, coordinated efforts to protect our natural environment have helped make Portland the city we love today. Our next Mayor must continue this legacy, and expand the work to maintain our natural areas and green spaces. Our Mayor must aggressively protect and improve natural habitat, waterways, green infrastructure, the park system, and the funding needed to support these programs. We believe Charlie Hales would be the strongest Portland Mayor for the environment.
As Mayor, we know Charlie would prioritize:
- Investments in green infrastructure, permeable surfaces, open space, wetlands, and forests – to protect our river and waterways from run-off and temperature increases;
- Restoring our healthy Willamette River by initiating and leading the superfund clean-up;
- Protecting our natural habitats, like Hayden Island, and restoring our at-risk habitats – most importantly, Forest Park;
- Funding for parks and upkeep of existing parks, especially in those neighborhoods that don’t have their fair share;
- Increasing our tree canopy and green roofs, improving solar access for buildings and homes, and protecting our precious drinking water supply;
- Improving our air quality, protecting it from coal trains, and reducing air and noise pollution;
- Providing alternatives to auto transportation by maintaining and improving our system of public transportation and investing in bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure;
- Preserving our region’s farm and forestland, a vital underpinning of our quality of life and our economy.
Serving as a Mayor requires thoughtful action and bold leadership at every opportunity, every day. It means leading the City Council and the city’s residents towards specific environmental goals. It is more than legislating, and more than voting yes when the opportunity arises.
That’s the difference with Charlie. Charlie has delivered on behalf of the environment in our City– over and over. He led the efforts to expand public transportation, getting more cars off the road and lowering gasoline emissions. Charlie made the case for, and led passage of, the City’s first major parks measure in 50 years. Charlie fixed existing parks, built new ones in underserved areas, and constructed and restored neighborhood community centers for family recreation. Charlie raised private money for neighborhood parks and has planted hundreds of trees as part of Friends of Trees. He has made environmental protection a centerpiece of his campaign for Mayor.
Charlie believes it’s time for the city to begin cleaning up the Willamette River superfund site. He knows our use of coal is short-sighted, and he will push federal agencies to prohibit coal trains in the Portland area. Charlie supports local laws that protect natural areas from development and that put new business and industry into existing areas of need rather than fringe areas that may harm farm and forestland. He will guide more efforts to connect parks and natural areas through a trail system that provides public access and protects wildlife.
Charlie knows how to work with people to get things done and he knows that the Mayor is first among equals on the City Council. He knows that he must lead other Commissioners to accomplish common goals. We are confident that, with Charlie in charge, our unique environment will always be at the forefront of city priorities.