Portland Audubon strongly endorses the Portlanders for Parks Ballot Measure 26-213 which will appear on the November 2020 Ballot for City of Portland voters. A YES vote will help ensure that Portland continues to create an amazing system of parks and natural areas that provide equitable access and programming for the community and protect and restore our natural environment. The COVID-19 crisis has highlighted just how important access to parks and natural areas is to our physical and mental health. At the same time it has also put unprecedented strain on funding for parks.
The Portlanders for Parks Ballot Measure will create an operating levy that will raise an average of $48 million per year for five years to support critically important programs at Portland Parks and Recreation (PP&R). PP&R has been hit hard by COVID-19, as critical sources of revenue such as program fees have disappeared. This levy will restore investments in parks and natural areas, and will dramatically increase access to programming for underserved communities including communities of color, refugees and immigrants, and families experiencing poverty.
The proposed levy would:
- Enhance and preserve parks, rivers, wetlands, trees, and other important natural features in urban areas for the benefit of all Portlanders and wildlife;
- Provide park and recreation services to diverse populations including communities of color, seniors, teens, households experiencing poverty, immigrants and refugees, and people living with disabilities;
- Increase opportunities for communities of color and children experiencing poverty to connect to nature,
- Prevent cuts to recreation programs and closures of community centers and pools; and
- Enhance park maintenance to keep parks clean and safe, including litter and hazardous waste removal, restroom cleaning, and playground safety.
The levy would cost 80 cents per $1,000 of assessed home value. A home with an assessed value of $200,000 would pay approximately $13 per month. This levy is urgently needed to ensure that PP&R can continue to provide and expand essential services, provide equitable access, and improve the ecological health of our neighborhoods at a time when those services are both desperately needed and at real risk.