Sign up to give public testimony

City Council is hosting a series of Community Listening Session for the FY 2024‐25 Budget. Can we count on you to show up for PSR when they need your support most? Sign up to provide public testimony at one of the 3 upcoming virtual budget listening sessions.

By clicking the following button you can let us know which listening session you plan to testify at, so that we can follow up to provide you with more information to help you provide effective testimony.

Continue reading “Sign up to give public testimony”

Sign the Petition to Save Portland Street Response!

We love our city and care about everyone who lives here. As community members who support effective community safety interventions that prioritize healing and accountability, highly skilled unarmed first responders like Portland Street Response (PSR) are exactly what we need more of. In spite of PSR’s success, recent Council action has demonstrated a lack of support for the popular program that makes Portland safer for all.

We are asking the Portland City Council to stick to their promise that they would champion and expand Portland Street Response by taking the following action:

Last year, Portland Street Response was funded for 24/7 citywide coverage by a unanimous City Council vote, with an expectation that PSR would operate 24/7 by early 2023. This year, Council has reduced its budget and imposed a hiring freeze, preventing PSR from hiring to full capacity. This additionally jeopardizes their chance at receiving federal or state funding.

Portland Street Response employees de-escalate 911 calls involving people in crisis and save lives using supplies like naloxone, water bottles, and clothing. They are now facing restrictions on the purchase and distribution of the supplies they need to do their job.

The Portland Police Association has been blocking Portland Street Response from being dispatched to 911 calls that involve responding inside a residence or to a potential suicide. The United States Department of Justice recommended PSR be allowed to respond to these call types to help bring the City of Portland into compliance with an ongoing 2014 settlement agreement due to a pattern of unconstitutional use of force by Portland police against people with mental illness. The City of Portland remains out of compliance.

In order to establish trust with the clients Portland Street Response serves, experts, survey results and independent evaluations have strongly recommended Portland Street Response not be involved in enforcement activities. In spite of this, PSR was recently directed to be involved in the enforcement of laws pertaining to those living without shelter - a community that includes many of PSR’s clients.

Recent media has exposed a hostile and unsupportive work environment for Portland Street Response workers. A recent Portland State University evaluation of PSR included a recommendation to consider transferring PSR from Portland Fire & Rescue to the Community Safety Division (CSD) or to create a new bureau of alternative response programs.

Save Portland Street Response!

Number of signatures: 12059

Background

Portland Street Response is a police-alternative, unarmed 911 response option that assists people experiencing mental and behavioral health crises. 

This first major update to our 911 response system in over a century began as a community call to ensure we send the right first responder to each 911 call. The Portland Police Bureau continues to remain out of compliance with a 2014 Department of Justice settlement due to a pattern of unconstitutional use of force against individuals with mental illness. Additionally, the Oregonian reported that more than half of all arrests made by PPB were of people experiencing homelessness – creating an expensive, ineffective cycle of incarceration for low level offenses while adding additional barriers to housing and services. 

Continue reading “Sign the Petition to Save Portland Street Response!”
City Council Candidates: sign our Candidate Pledge!