Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Portlandia Mayor frames economic development with a community-based focus

Wouldn't it be refreshing to even hear this once in a while in a growth and budget strategy outside of election year politics?

The Neighborhood Economic Development (NED) Strategy—developed by the Portland Development Commission and the community partners on the project advisory committee—outlines how community partners, business leadership and public partners can use focused neighborhood-level actions to collectively foster economic opportunity and neighborhood vitality throughout Portland. The strategy adds significant depth and direction to the Neighborhood Business Vitality component of the City of Portland’s Five-Year Economic Development Strategy.
“This strategy is about prosperous, complete, healthy and equitable neighborhoods—key components of the Portland Plan,” Mayor Sam Adams said. “Now it is time for implementation. We’re going to get it done. We’re determined, and it’s within our potential to achieve this strategy’s goals” ....

In addition to existing resources to support Neighborhood Main Streets and the Alliance of Portland Neighborhood Business Associations, council also allocated more than $1,000,000 in the FY 2011-2012 budget to begin implementation of the NED Strategy. This funding includes $600,000 for small business technical assistance, $240,000 in seed grants and focus area programs to build capacity for neighborhood economic development, and $200,000 in small business working capital.

Overall success at the end of the five year plan will be evaluated by progress toward measurable outcomes, including:
  • Creation of 1500 new jobs within neighborhoods, with 40 percent held by people of color;
  • Profitability of businesses in priority neighborhoods grows by four percent;
  • Real median family income for communities of color increases by three percent; and
  • Annual one percent net job growth in priority neighborhoods.

Given NashVegas, where the Courthouse growth priorities are focused more on titanic capital projects for large-scale business interests, on liquidated public land for corporate campuses, and on deficit-driving breaks for the big boys via their fat cat political party patrons, Portland's community-to-region model sounds like sanity.


  1. Deanlandia is about 20 years behind the times. That's why Dean went to Japanlandia when the shit hit the fan.

    Maybe next, Dean will go to Disneylandia to find some inspiration for the future of our city.

    When one considers that he is the Mickey Mouse Mayor, it may do him well.

    Maybe he'll take Megan "Minnie" Barry with him.

    (Oh Mickey, what big ears you have!)

  2. Just now getting around to reading this. Really great info, Mike. Thanks!! Love to see more discussion about adopting some of these ideas in Nashville.