and social justice are of top concern
In this section, Portlanders share their
views on social issues ranging from poverty
and hunger to structural forms of oppression.
Portlanders view the social problems herein
as threatening to the entire community’s
quality of life. One of the most often
mentioned desires in the community surveys
was wanting the issue of homelessness
solved, a complex problem viewed as overlapping
with many others. Community members are
also concerned with low-income individuals
and families. They understand that people
who are already struggling to make ends
meet are directly impacted when funding
for schools is cut, jobs are limited,
affordable housing options are slim and
it is too difficult to start or maintain
a business in one’s own neighborhood.
In addition, respondents want
to see more understanding and acceptance
of people from marginalized groups.
Many respondents voice their hopes for
overcoming racism, classism and other
forms of oppression as a way to ensure
equal access to essentials like housing,
food and education. In turn, all
Portlanders should be aware of their rights
and well informed about local resources
Portlanders express their appreciation
for opportunities that involve the community
in decision-making. They desire more diversity
in political leadership, elected officials
that better represent community interests
and values-based public policies rooted
in the common good. They envision
a future where integrated, well-served
neighborhoods and communities learn from
each other and work together with leaders
that are attuned to their interests.
Major social issues are linked with
basic needs and rights not being met
Overcoming inequities is important to
- Social issues
affect individuals and communities differently,
requiring specific approaches to change.
social issues are linked with
basic needs and rights not being
met for everyone.
- Respondents define social
issues in a couple of different
- Some view Portland’s social
issues as systemic problems
that prevent equity and
quality of life for everyone.
Examples include forms of
discrimination and oppression
such as racism, classism,
sexism and segregation.
- Others speak of social
issues in terms of that
which undermines individual
and community health and
- Many Portlanders are concerned
with social issues ranging from
homelessness and poverty to
gentrification, gang activity
and police treatment.
- Lack of lack of access to
basic needs, services and opportunities
can create or perpetuate broad
- Basic needs are not being
met for some Portlanders
in the areas of living-wage
jobs, quality education,
safety, food and housing.
- Portlanders believe social
issues should be addressed and
that prevention of certain social
issues requires complex solutions.
2030] All homeless people
are in transitional programs
or have transitioned out
of them into affordable
housing close-in, in safe
neighborhoods where they
are a part of a community
that supports their transition
and continued self-reliance.”
inequities is important to Portlanders.
- Many respondents appreciate
the public’s general awareness
of and interest in social issues.
- Some people believe Portland
is already a safe, accepting
and open-minded city for people
from diverse backgrounds.
- Many believe that Portland
has not yet come to terms with
how to include and make welcome
diverse newcomers or existing
residents of color.
- Respondents value making social
equity visible and the many
opportunities for action on
social justice issues.
- Some people view Portlanders'
"progressive" or "liberal" tendency
as contributing to social justice.
- Ways of addressing social
issues should include not only
social services, but also political
activism, advocacy, leadership
development and community organizing.
value] the community of
people dedicated to social
opportunity in the City
of Portland is critical...”
is clear that Portland values
its people and that its
people value Portland.”
issues affect individuals and
communities differently, requiring
- Many respondents believe that
social problems affect Portlanders
and their identified communities
in very different ways.
- Particular attention should
be granted to all minority groups,
not only racial or ethnic groups,
that are most often up against
a number of social issues and
- Approaches to addressing social
issues should include culturally-specific
means of engagement for service
providers, schools, employers
the way police target poor
people and people of color.
Stop treating us so bad.”