Candidate Spotlight: Walter Wesley

Candidate Spotlight: Walter Wesley

Running for Portland City Commissioner, Position No. 2

Thank you to Walter Wesley for attending our March 5th Candidate Conversation for Candidates for Portland City Commissioner.  Don’t miss candidates for Portland City Mayor on March 31st, 2020!

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Answers to Neighborhood Questions:

1. Homelessness is a crisis in all of Portland, but has disproportionately negative effects in SE and East Portland. Explain how you will address this situation in a compassionate and expedient manner, balancing the needs of both the housed and houseless.

Advocate for the doubling of Portland’s shelter capacity, And significantly increasing  the number of assisted people into transitional housing.

Set a goal for the construction of  units of the estimated 23,000 affordable housing units that it is estimated we need.

2. With the implementation of the Residential Infill Project, there will be a lot of new development in areas with larger lots like SE and East Portland. How will you create opportunities for and encourage the development of affordable and accessible housing, while also guarding against displacement and gentrification?

By focusing on reducing racial and economic segregation and raising household incomes and ending rampant speculation.

3. SE and East Portland have by far the greatest number of unimproved roads in all of Portland. Brentwood-Darlington alone has over 4 miles. How will you rectify this infrastructure imbalance without cost-burdening an already historically underserved area?

Roads in deteriorating condition cost exponentially more to repair and are much more to expensive replace them as it is to fix them. The “ Fixing Our Streets” 10 cent per gallon gas tax approved in 2016 was an excellent beginning to this important situation.  In May Portland will have the opportunity to vote on Renewing this initiative and I believe that it’s very important that we all do. As a candidate for Commissioner position 2, I will do everything I can do to promote the approval of the 10 cent per gallon gas tax.’

4. Portland Bureau of Transportation has been installing many traffic calming measures and lowering speed limits all over SE and East Portland. How will you provide the means to enforce these new measures, despite staffing level challenges?

By using extensive public input from neighborhood stakeholders, transportation justice advocates and business groups to define the most hazardous areas and development of plans and action to amend the problem area.

5. Garbage and graffiti are ongoing issues in SE and East Portland. What will you do to take the burden of neighborhood clean-up off the shoulders of volunteers?

Continuing and enhanced Partnering business and nonprofits to address city cleanliness issues.

6. In several areas of SE, illegal activity occurs on a daily basis, often for years at a time. Neighbors continuously report this activity, only to be told that the individual is, in short, not worth arresting. Many of these individuals have had multiple contacts with the police. How will you address the revolving door in Portland’s criminal justice system that allows these chronic conditions to continue?

I Support the Portland Street Response ( PSR) for non-emergency calls.  PSR will be a two-person trauma-informed team able to go directly to a person in crisis with a van that can provide immediate stabilization in case of urgent medical need or psychological crisis. The van will also carry food, water and blankets with intent of building trust between the person in crisis and the team. Commissioner Hardesty oversees this program, Lents neighborhood is where the pilot program will begin and Mayor Wheeler has allocated $500,000 for this project.

7. Much of the Public transportation in SE and East Portland is infrequent and does not serve large swaths of the area. This creates an imbalance in which our neighbors are forced to drive more and pay a larger portion of the associated costs and taxes. Even neighbors who prefer to take transit, can only do so in certain directions and often not on the weekend. How will you work to rectify the imbalance in transit access in our area?

The Division Transit Project is a large multi-million Dollar Project with a finish date of 2022.  The Biggest snag lies at the west end of division in our Hosford-Abernathy nieghborhood, I would work with TriMet and PBOT to change this particular situation.

Additional question(s) submitted by neighbors at the event on March 5th, 2020:

A water bureau question: Chloramine is added to PDX water. Will you remove this toxin?

Candidate Answers: Federal Laws Regulate the levels of Chlorine and Ammonia (which fixates the chlorine and forms Chloramines) and Hypochlorite addition to reduce the Acidity so metals leaching into the water. It’s a formula mandated by federal law.  The only way for citizens to protect themselves is by Point of Use filtration. This are obtained from the hardware store, I would promote the funding of these for lower income households and I would champion there use because the additive cause health problems.