David Plouffe Tells Mayor Charlie Hales: Uber Will Help East Portland


Five months after cutting a deal that brought ride-hailing app Uber to Portland, company vice president David Plouffe and Mayor Charlie Hales faced off at a TechFestNW forum last night. Their conversation traveled to a surprising destination: East Portland.Plouffe pledged to Hales that Uber would provide city regulators with "anonymized, aggregated data" that would prove the San Francisco company was ...   More
Friday, May 1, 2015 AARON MESH

Portland City Hall: See What Mayor Charlie Hales Pays His Staff


Mayor Charlie Hales made a big show of hiring fewer mayoral staffers than his predecessor, Sam Adams. When Hales took office in 2013, he had just 14 people in his shop, compared to 25 that Adams had on his staff through much of his term. Critics questioned Hales’ move, saying he eventually would be forced to add more people. No way could Hales run a city with just over a dozen aides. Two ...   More
Friday, April 24, 2015 ANTHONY MACUK

Portland City Council Legalizes Uber and Lyft


Uber is legal in Portland. Five months after the San Francisco ride-hailing company started running cars in defiance of City Hall, Portland's elected officials legalized Uber and its top competitor, Lyft. Tonight's vote will allow the companies to begin operations as soon as this week.Over the jeers and boos of taxi drivers, the City Council voted 3-2 to launch a four-month test program that green-lights ...   More
Tuesday, April 21, 2015 AARON MESH

Ride or Die: Six Things You Need to Know About Tuesday's Pivotal Vote on Uber


Uber is back, baby. Lyft is almost legal. Portland's cab companies are wild with rage.And everything hinges on a City Council vote Tuesday night.Mayor Charlie Hales and Commissioner Steve Novick ended three months of waffling with a bold play announced Friday afternoon. Their new plan is the first breakthrough on ride-hailing apps in PDX since Hales shooed Uber out of town last December. It could let ...   More
Monday, April 20, 2015 AARON MESH

City of Portland Mulling a $1,500 Weed Business Permit


Portland City Hall still doesn't know whether the Oregon Legislature will allow it to levy a 10-percent sales tax on marijuana. But city officials are already considering another way to pay for local marijuana regulation: a $1,500 permit to operate a pot business in Portland.A city budget document shows officials in the Office of Neighborhood Involvement still aren't sure if such a permit is allowed ...   More
Friday, March 13, 2015 by Aaron Mesh

Mayor Charlie Hales Keeps Flashing Money Amid Whispers of Ted Wheeler Running Against Him


Portland Mayor Charlie Hales continues to flex his fundraising muscles, even as whispers increase that his path to reelection in 2016 could include a serious opponent. On Wednesday, Hales disclosed $5,750 in campaign contributions, bringing his total fundraising in the past two months to more than $35,000. It's the third time in less than a month that Hales has disclosed donations long before campaign ...   More
Friday, March 6, 2015 Nigel Jaquiss and Aaron Mesh

Portland Mayor Charlie Hales Plans to Spend $440,000 on a Weed Permitting Program


The city of Portland's weed bureaucracy is starting to take shape—and the dope bills are piling up.When Oregon voters legalized recreational marijuana last November, Portland officials spent $65,800 to hire the city's first government weed regulator to set rules about where and when pot shops can operate.Mayor Charlie Hales is asking the city to spend far more—$440,000 to create a city "Marijuana ...   More
Thursday, February 26, 2015 AARON MESH

Did Portland Forge a Kinder, Gentler Uber?


For years, transportation app Uber forged a reputation for its unwillingness to compromise as it stormed with its ride-sharing program into various cities in defiance of local taxi rules. In December, however, Uber negotiated a truce with the city of Portland after trying to bring its services here. Now the company can't seem to stop pacifying the government regulators it once jeered. Mayor Charlie ...   More
Monday, February 2, 2015 AARON MESH

Portland Says Deadline for Airbnb Hosts to Get City Permits is Feb. 20


The next big test of Portland City Hall's ability to compel "sharing economy" companies to share data is less than a month away.Portland officials say Airbnb and other short-term rental companies have until Feb. 20 to begin posting the addresses and city permit numbers of their hosts—most of whom have not yet undergone the city's safety inspection.Portland revenue division director Thomas Lannom ...   More
Tuesday, January 27, 2015 AARON MESH

City Club Hosts Lents Forum Tonight at the New Copper Penny


The last time Portland city officials sat down with the owners of the New Copper Penny Bar & Grill, their meeting didn't go well. Last summer's negotiations between the Portland Development Commission and representatives of the Lents nightclub resulted in name-calling, threats and a public rift that threatens to undermine $103 million of urban-renewal efforts in this East Portland neighborhood.Tonight, ...   More
Tuesday, January 13, 2015 AARON MESH


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