Wheeler emergency declaration creates public environment command center

Published: May. 11, 2022 at 5:33 PM PDT
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PORTLAND Ore. (KPTV) - Mayor Wheeler signed this latest emergency declaration to help streamline the work of cleaning up the city in ways that are unrelated to homelessness.

The cleanup effort is something Mayor Wheeler spoke about in his state of the city address. On Wednesday, he announced exactly what the effort will do.

The emergency order creates a new command center called the Public Environment Management office.

The center will identify, plan and manage cleanup efforts including illegal dumping, graffiti, abandoned cars and structures, or anything else deemed unsafe and unsanitary. It will also coordinate with community partners including SOLVE in trash pickup.

The office will be led by Christine Leon who currently is a manager with the Portland Bureau of Transportation. The office will also be allowed to reprioritize efforts carried out by agencies such as PBOT, Parks and Recreation and the Water Bureau.

This is Mayor Wheeler’s fourth emergency declaration since February.

The first banned camping along high-speed corridors.

The second gave commissioner Dan Ryan emergency powers to help establish safe rest villages, giving those experiencing homelessness a temporary place to stay and access to resources.

The third emergency declaration established a coordination center to help get houseless people to shelters.

As this newest order took effect Wednesday, the other three were renewed, and they will remain in effect for at least another two weeks.