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An Act to Implement a Green New Deal for Portland

Question C: “An Act to Implement a Green New Deal for Portland requires that all building projects receiving $50,000 or more in public funds through grants by the City, Community Development Block Grant loans, HOME loans, Neighborhood Stabilization loans, tax increment financing, or other gifts, resources, property or things of value from the City, are built using up-to-date environmental standards, with solar-ready or living roofs, and that workers on these projects receive additional worker pay and training. It requires that 25% of the units in new building developments of 10 units or more be affordable to people making 80% of the area median income, and increases the fee developers must pay to opt out of this requirement from $100,000 to $150,000 per unit. It also requires the City to annually publish and present a report detailing the city’s use of and reliance on fossil fuels including the following information: 1) a survey of all new building built in Portland without fossil fuel based infrastructure; 2) a survey of green building technologies that have been implemented as alternatives to fossil fuels; 3) an assessment of the benefits of adopting this policy; 4) a survey of relevant legislation enacted at the state and local level; and 5) proposals for further changes to the City Code to reduce the use of fossil fuels.”What does this Question Mean? This ballot question promotes sustainable development and sustainable communities while providing fair contracting, wages, and training for workers who build those projects. If passed, any new developments in Portland receiving tax money must be built to the highest environmental standards, be solar-ready, and comply with increased affordability, worker training, and safety requirements. Portland’s minimum sustainable building requirements (LEED) have not been updated since before 2009. They are so outdated that there is no longer any way to achieve its stipulated certifications, so buildings built today aren’t required to meet even the most basic, industry standard sustainability goals. If passed, this referendum would not only update the LEED requirements, but also add new optional certification pathways including through the Living Building Challenge and Passive House, which are more stringent. The ordinance adds an evergreen clause to keep these certification requirements current. It also requires the city to quantify fossil fuel infrastructure towards future compliance with the city's stated emissions targets.

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  • Yes - For the Measure

  • No - Against the Measure

* Implements policies toward​​ meeting ​​the​​ standards​​ set ​​by​​ the ​​Paris Climate​ ​Agreement.

* Updates outdated (2009) environmental building requirements

* Makes a transition to solar energy easier now and down the road

* Supports​ ​fair​ ​workplaces​ and responsible contracting

* Trains workers in the construction trades on green building techniques

* Helps us to measure building emissions, which is the first step towards reducing emissions

* Strengthens inclusionary zoning by increasing the number of affordable units built in developments of 10 units or more, and increases the affordability of those units

* Closes the “poor door” loophole by requiring that affordable units be integrated, display no outward signage, and use a common entrance with market-rate units.

* Protects​ ​the​ ​most​ ​vulnerable​ ​by keeping cost of heating/cooling affordable units low through improved efficiencies

* Reduces commuting emissions by keeping working class housing
* Costs associated with the ordinance will make it harder for housing developers to compete for the tax credits needed to build affordable housing, since the scoring criteria prioritize projects that cost less.

* The Portland City Council has previously considered and rejected proposals to increase requirements for work-force housing and for an apprenticeship program