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When legislative decisions are made on the basis of networks of services working together to achieve a goal, council needs to ensure that all partners are supported, connected, and working in collaboration to achieve shared and individual outcomes. Only once all of the gears have been connected can the momentum of one propel the next.

With over ten years of operational and programmatic non-profit experience I am far too familiar with investing in fixing small pieces of a larger, broken system.

We need to stop looking at the face of a problem, but dig deeper into the true cause. The problem isn't that people are sleeping on the side walks, it's that they have nowhere to live. The problem is not that people are using on the streets, it's that our support systems are underfunded and treatment isn't accessible. The problem isn't shoplifting, it's that too many people can't afford to get their basic needs met.

Once we make the decision to fix the underlying, systemic issues, we can actually improve the way all Portlanders experience our beautiful city.

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