Mayor Snyder says Portland is ‘working hard’ in first State of the City

Portland Mayor Kate Snyder delivered her first State of the City address Monday evening. In the speech, delivered remotely over Zoom, Snyder addressed a number of issues the city has faced during her first year as mayor. She opened the speech saying, “The city of Portland is working hard. The city of Portland is responding to unforeseen and unforeseeable challenges. We are working together. Your city government is working collaboratively. And I recognize we have work to do regarding public engagement that feels meaningful and inclusive for ​all ​ Portland citizens.”Snyder talked about goals she laid out after being elected last year and touted achievements reached despite the pandemic. Snyder spent considerable time talking about protests this summer, including Black Lives Matter demonstrations which saw thousands march in the street. “On May 26, our country witnessed the horrific killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Mr. Floyd’s death, on the heels of so very many senseless deaths of Black people in America before that, triggered Black Lives Matter protests across the country and here in Portland. Our country’s critical obligation to address systems that promote and advance racial inequities is on all of us,” Snyder said. Snyder pointed to her creation of the city’s racial equity committee in response to the demonstrations. Snyder also talked about the homeless encampment, saying this was an educational moment.“The sleep out demonstration brought to the fore so many issues of critical concern, and while the encampment dispersed after a couple of weeks, the issues and lessons are top of mind for the council and city staff as we continue our uninterrupted services to meet needs,” Snyder said. While some activists feel city leaders aren’t doing enough to address housing and homelessness, Snyder said a lot is being done. Snyder did address the city budget, noting that there’s no increase for taxpayers. This came after a $12 million shortfall and significant budget cuts including dozens of layoffs.

Portland Mayor Kate Snyder delivered her first State of the City address Monday evening.

In the speech, delivered remotely over Zoom, Snyder addressed a number of issues the city has faced during her first year as mayor.

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She opened the speech saying, “The city of Portland is working hard. The city of Portland is responding to unforeseen and unforeseeable challenges. We are working together. Your city government is working collaboratively. And I recognize we have work to do regarding public engagement that feels meaningful and inclusive for ​all ​ Portland citizens.”

Snyder talked about goals she laid out after being elected last year and touted achievements reached despite the pandemic.

Snyder spent considerable time talking about protests this summer, including Black Lives Matter demonstrations which saw thousands march in the street.

“On May 26, our country witnessed the horrific killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis. Mr. Floyd’s death, on the heels of so very many senseless deaths of Black people in America before that, triggered Black Lives Matter protests across the country and here in Portland. Our country’s critical obligation to address systems that promote and advance racial inequities is on all of us,” Snyder said.

Snyder pointed to her creation of the city’s racial equity committee in response to the demonstrations.

Snyder also talked about the homeless encampment, saying this was an educational moment.

“The sleep out demonstration brought to the fore so many issues of critical concern, and while the encampment dispersed after a couple of weeks, the issues and lessons are top of mind for the council and city staff as we continue our uninterrupted services to meet needs,” Snyder said.

While some activists feel city leaders aren’t doing enough to address housing and homelessness, Snyder said a lot is being done.

Snyder did address the city budget, noting that there’s no increase for taxpayers.

This came after a $12 million shortfall and significant budget cuts including dozens of layoffs.