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A 101-year old discussion on the topics that affect Portlanders and Oregonians.

A 101-year old discussion on the topics that affect Portlanders and Oregonians.
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A 101-year old discussion on the topics that affect Portlanders and Oregonians.




Bob Joondeph: 30 Years in the Fight for Disability Rights

For more than 30 years, Bob Joondeph has served as the Executive Director of Disability Rights Oregon (DRO). He recently announced his pending retirement, which provides an opportunity to reflect on the history and current state of disability rights in Oregon, and on disability rights as civil rights. About Bob Joondeph Mr. Joondeph came to Oregon as a VISTA volunteer attorney in 1976. Throughout his career, Mr. Joondeph has represented individuals with disabilities in state and federal...


Does Portland’s System of Government Work?

The ingenuity and can-do spirit of Portland residents is why our city's slogan is "the city that works." But does our governmental structure hinder our best work, especially when addressing complex issues such as race, policing, and housing? For more than a year, a City Club committee researched Portland's commission form of government and other forms of government and voting systems. On February 12, we'll highlight the research findings and consider whether Portland's form of government...


Between the Cracks: Will essential health and human services survive "The Big One?"

Local nonprofits provide essential services including health care, housing, and mental health support for our most vulnerable residents. How well will these services hold up in Oregon after a major earthquake? Will people get the help they need when they need it most? In 2018, a survey of local nonprofits found that only about a third of nonprofits have a plan for continuing their operations after an emergency. How can we work with the nonprofit sector to ensure that a plan is in place for...


They Say it Can't Be Done: Universal Health Care in Oregon

Many Oregonians can’t depend on receiving timely, affordable health care. The Oregon Legislature’s House Health Care Committee just released a report from legislators, industry representatives, physicians, and a few critics, all attempting to find a way toward accessible, affordable healthcare for everyone in Oregon. Can we achieve universal care? Do we want universal care? State representative Andrea Salinas (D) and former state representative Rich Vial (R) join Oregon Nursing Association...


2019 Legislative Preview: Should We Fear or Cheer the Supermajority?

Democrats rode a blue wave to a supermajority in the Legislature and Governor Brown has ambitious policy goals, including finding $2 billion for education. How much of the Democrats' agenda will make it to the Governor's desk this summer? Will Republicans look for opportunities to compromise or are they forming their own "resistance" in the hopes that a red wave will carry them in 2020? Join us as we discuss the politics and policy goals of 2019 with Oregon House and Senate leaders from...


2018 Year in Review

Immigration, #metoo, the economy, protests, wildfires, the election—what were the issues that you followed this year and what needs another look now that it's almost 2019? Let's reflect on the events that shaped 2018 and think about what might be ahead in the coming year. Panelists Rukaiyah Adams is the Chief Investment Officer at Meyer Memorial Trust. She is responsible for leading all investment activities to ensure the long-term financial strength of the organization. Before joining...


Exit Interviews: Metro President Tom Hughes

Tom Hughes's second and final term as Metro President will end in January. After 8 years leading Metro, what has he learned about our region? What are his personal highlights from his time working for Metro and what would he have done differently knowing then what he knows now? Join us as we ask these and other questions at Friday Forum! About Tom Tom Hughes is President of the Metro Council, the elected leadership of the Metro regional government. He was elected in November of 2010, and...


How Oregon Is Failing Black Students and What We Can Do About it

In Portland, two-thirds of Black students are failing according to state testing standards. A report by EcoNorthwest and commissioned by KairosPDX and Chalkboard Project shows that this gap has been persistent over the last decade. In a city that is becoming increasingly diverse and prides itself on equity and sustainability, these trends are troubling. The good news is innovation and community-based solutions promise new opportunities for Black children. If these strategies are effective,...


Exit Interviews: City Commissioner Dan Saltzman

In January, Dan Saltzman will leave the Portland City Council, a job he's held for two decades. At Friday Forum, we'll ask him to reflect on his time in office. What has he learned over the last twenty years that he thinks a new commissioner ought to know? What were the biggest challenges during his tenure? What would he have done differently if he had the chance to go back in time? And does the commission form of government work? Join us for an insightful look into how Portland's...


Recount: Reflecting on the 2018 Election

What were the big surprises in Oregon and across the country? What do these results mean for the Oregon Legislature in 2019? And what can we expect in 2020? Join us as we look back at the political races and ballot measures that will shape the coming year in Oregon and beyond. Panelists Ana del Rocío is the state director of Color PAC Action, a nonprofit that uplifts leaders of color to enter public office and govern effectively. Ana is a first-generation Chicana/Peruana, and has...


If the Democrats Take Back the House, What Will They Do With It?

The pollsters and prognosticators believe there's a good chance Democrats will win a majority in the U.S House of Representatives this year. But if they did, what would they DO with it? On November 2, we will pose that question to our own U.S. House representatives—Suzanne Bonamici and Earl Blumenauer. What will their top priorities be? Will they try to repeal the Trump tax cuts? Require that all Federal uniforms be made of hemp? Cut military spending and use the money to fight climate...

Measure 106: Injecting Inequality into Reproductive Health

In November, Oregonians face Measure 106, which would prohibit using state funds to pay for abortion. The City Club of Portland believes this measure introduces gross inequalities in our health care system because it would prevent many women of color, low-income women, and women employed by government from getting the reproductive care they need. City Club published its first report advocating against a similar proposal in 1978, and another in 2014. Our stand today remains the same. Join...

Up for Debate: The Portland Clean Energy Initiative

Measure 26-201 would impose a 1% gross receipts tax on certain large retailers to fund renewable energy and energy conservation projects, job training for economically disadvantaged and traditionally under-employed workers, and local agriculture. It's a pretty big deal, and this is your chance to hear from both sides. Is this tax progressive or regressive? Is it fair to large companies? Is this the best way to fight climate disruption and help low-income people? Even if it's not, is it worth...


Up for Debate: Supermajority Votes for Revenue

The Oregon Constitution already requires a 3/5 vote of each state legislative chamber for lawmakers to raise revenue. Measure 104 would further define revenue to include the repeal of tax exemptions, credits, and deductions that result in increased revenue. At Friday Forum, we'll debate the pros and cons of this ballot measure and how it will affect Oregon taxpayers and state government if it is passed. Yes on 104 Panel Paul Cosgrove was born in Seattle, but raised in Klamath Falls and...


Up for Debate: Hardesty vs. Smith for City Council

Who will be Portland's first African-American Councilwoman? Join City Club and AARP-Oregon for a debate between Jo Ann Hardesty and Loretta Smith as they make their case for why they are the best person to serve the city. About the Candidates Jo Ann Hardesty is most known for her 1995-2001 term as Oregon state representative (formerly Jo Ann Bowman), her weekly Thursday morning radio segment on KBOO, and her former role as NAACP Portland President. Hardesty is a community leader and...

Groceries and the Oregon Constitution

Friday Forum—live at the Sentinel Hotel! The grocery industry has put Measure 103 on the ballot to preempt the taxation of groceries. But are apples and bread being targeted for new taxes? And do we really need a grocery specific tax protection in the Oregon Constitution? We'll discuss these and other questions at Friday Forum. Join us as we hear from those who disagree with Measure 103 and why they—and City Club members—think voters should vote "No" in November. Panel Barbara Smith...

Up for Debate: Metro's Affordable Housing Bond Measure

Metro's role has evolved from transportation and land-use planning to the oversight and coordination of many of the region's most important institutions—including the Oregon Zoo, the Oregon Convention Center, and Portland's Centers for the Arts. With this $652.8 million bond measure, Metro dives deep into the affordable housing crisis facing our region. Is Metro up for the challenge? Can it equitably help all three counties—Multnomah, Washington, and Clackamas—provide more safe, affordable,...


U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley Discusses the 2018 Elections

Join us for a conversation with U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley as City Club launches its midterm election coverage. On September 7, Senator Merkley will share his perspective on the national mood leading up to the elections. We'll ask him about whether Democrats can build a coalition to gain a majority in the U.S. House of Representatives and what's being done at the national level to protect election integrity, including Oregon's vote-by-mail system. This Friday Forum promises to be a...


NIMBYs, YIMBYs and the Future of Portland's Neighborhoods

Everyone knows that Portland is in the midst of a housing affordability crisis. But as a recent report from the National Low Income Housing Coalition found, affordability is an issue throughout the state, with the average Oregon renter no longer able to afford a one-bedroom apartment. Some blame the NIMBY ("Not in my Backyard") mindset, saying that zoning restrictions and neighborhood backlash often cause housing development projects to scale back or retreat. In response to the NIMBYs, a...