Measure 26-213, the proposed Portland Parks & Recreation levy, is a critical step toward a more stable parks bureau that will better serve all Portlanders. The levy will:
The levy will restore recreation programs, including fitness classes, arts, senior programs, youth programs, and environmental education.
The levy would keep the doors open at Multnomah Arts Center, Community Music Center, and Interstate Firehouse Cultural Center, and fund the operations of a North Portland pool to name a few.
The levy will make sure our popular culturally specific and most popular programs, such as Stand with Refugees and Immigrants, Portland World Soccer Tournament, and Summer Free For All continue.
The levy will help protect the 8,000 acres of natural areas and 1.2 million trees surrounding Portland’s rivers, creeks and streams., which are vital to preventing pollution and ensuring clean water.
Levy funds will also fund planting of more trees in park lands to help to ensure clean water in local rivers and streams.
Even as parks services have become more popular, funding has not kept up. PP&R’s maintenance crews have been cut by 11 percent over the last decade, resulting in reduced service levels, and large maintenance backlogs
The levy will keep parks and restrooms cleaner and safer, improving service in existing parks while also ensuring new parks get their necessary care to keep parks well-maintained and welcoming to all Portlanders.
The levy will reduce Parks’ reliance on fees to deliver programming, and make equity and affordability the primary goals—expanding recreation opportunities for children and seniors, communities of color, refugees and immigrants, and families experiencing poverty.
Reducing reliance on fees will also expand access to programs for children experiencing poverty, including a summer playground lunch program, life-saving swim lessons, outdoor camps, and recreation scholarships.
Prevent Job Cuts
The levy will prevent further job cuts for the frontline parks workers who care for our parks and provide recreation services.
PP&R has the City of Portland’s largest—and one of the most diverse—workforces, and the bureau is the city’s largest summer employer of youth. But as a result of the COVID-related closures, 1,700 recreation program employees were either laid off or not hired for the summer.
The proposed levy rate of .80 per $1,000 will raise an estimated average $48 million per year over five years. For a home with an assessed value of $200,000, the cost is about about $13 a month.