Final Platform


We support a democratic local government that:
1. Respects the dignity of all persons as foundational to human and civil rights.
2. Acknowledges and addresses systemic discrimination on the basis of race, ethnicity,
nationality, language, religion, gender, sexual orientation, age, disability, and legal and
economic status.
3. Promotes and enforces laws that guarantee equal opportunity in the pursuit of
employment, entrepreneurship, housing, food, water, energy, healthcare, education,
environmental protection, security, privacy, justice, arts, culture, and identity.
4. Recognizes that racial equality does not exist when life outcomes vary based solely on
skin color and ethnicity.
5. Promotes inclusive discussion and education of human and civil rights.
6. Condemns expressions of discrimination, marginalization, and disregard of persons.
7. Promotes rehabilitation as a preferable alternative to incarceration.
8. Welcomes newcomers and embraces diversity.
We advocate for these principles to be put into action through the following policies:
A. Funding police and municipal employee training on diversity, sensitivity, and implicit bias.
B. Ensuring that the Portland Police Department does not coordinate with Federal
Immigration enforcement as a matter of policy.
C. Requiring that developers demonstrate commitment to diversity in hiring practices.
D. Requiring gender neutral bathrooms in public spaces, including municipal properties and
businesses which serve the public such as restaurants and performance venues.
E. Establishing zero tolerance for violations of human and civil rights, restorative justice
procedures when violations do occur, and a public education program regarding these.
F. Establishing targets for increased diversity of representation on City boards and task
We support a democratic local government that:
1. Promotes policies that establish a living wage for all people.
2. Vigorously enforces laws against all forms of wage theft or the denial of wages or
benefits that are rightfully owed to an employee.
3. Strengthens laws, including equal pay for equal work , t hat protect employees from
intimidation, retribution, and discrimination.
4. Supports fair workplaces that guarantee the right of all workers to organize unions,
bargain collectively, and strike without replacement or reprisal.
5. Establishes policies and promotes programs that fight the root causes of poverty,
homelessness, and hunger.
6. Supports the aspirations of working families through the provision of employment
policies which provide supports for their economic security and well-being.
7. Protects the most vulnerable and provides an adequate safety net from poverty,
homelessness, and food deprivation.
8. Promotes and enforces laws that guarantee equal opportunity in the pursuit of
entrepreneurship and business ownership.
We advocate for these principles to be put into action through the following policies:
A. Promoting a livable minimum wage in Portland.
B. Requiring projects provided with TIFs (tax increment financing) to employ some
percentage of Portland residents and pay competitive wages.
C. Giving assistance to senior citizens and those on fixed incomes to stay in their homes
through property tax relief.
D. Requiring the provision of guaranteed benefits, including paid sick leave, vacation,
workers’ compensation, family leave and health care.
E. Instituting or supporting programs that assist parents or guardians with dependent
children by providing flexible work hours, affordable quality child care, and universal
F. Encouraging and providing incentives for the business community to implement an
earned sick day policy for workers in Portland.
G. Expanding jobs programs that address panhandling by offering work opportunities and
support services to this population.
H. Prioritizing Economic Development loans and grants to funding of worker-owned
cooperatives and businesses with other democratic ownership structures.
I. Ensuring “Fair Chance Hiring” practices for previously incarcerated individuals for City
employment and encouraging private business to do the same.
We support a democratic local government that:
1. Prioritizes locally owned businesses that contribute to Portland’s unique character and
provide good-paying jobs.
2. Invests in 21st century city infrastructure, including free or low-cost high-speed internet
access, high quality carbon-neutral public transportation, up-to-date learning
environments, and well managed and programmed public spaces to encourage equity of
opportunity unconstrained by income level.
3. Supports Portland’s trade and maritime industry, which is central to Portland’s unique
value as a port city, by ensuring that Portland’s working waterfront continues to be
supported and thrive.
4. Develops innovative programs that connects job seekers with job opportunities.
5. Builds a stronger partnership with Portland’s higher education and healthcare
6. Commits to Increased access and transparency of City services regarding economic
development, small business supports, and city planning with greater outreach to diverse
We advocate for these principles to be put into action through the following policies:
A. Investing in public transportation improvements to bus and ferry service.
B. Investing in city-wide free or very low-cost, affordable high-speed Internet access,
through fiber optic service, public WiFi, or a combination of these.
C. Modernizing zoning regulations so that development is in the interest of Portlanders as a
whole, ensuring the widespread distribution of accessibility to goods and services, and
the integration of various income levels and diverse groups throughout Portland.
D. Creating a small business startup guide and hosting information sessions to assist
entrepreneurs who wish to start their own businesses or cooperatives.
E. Working to assure a viable pier structure that supports local fisherman and a market for
their catch.
F. Expanding Portland Adult Education and other job training and apprenticeship programs.
G. Preferencing City purchases from, and contracts with, local businesses, and enacting
policies that encourage City partners (such as Portland Housing, Avesta, Metro) to do
the same.
H. Committing to greater public participation in City economic development decision
making, wider dissemination of RFP’s to new businesses and diverse communities, and
more public education regarding City requirements of, and supports to, new and
developing businesses.
We support a democratic local government that:
1. Welcomes and encourages increased civic engagement in city planning, policy creation,
budget setting, and decision making.
2. Is accessible, responsive, and fully transparent to all constituents at every level, from
elected representatives to citizen boards and City staff.
3. Solicits greater citizen input through more frequent neighborhood meetings, wider
dissemination of information, greater solicitation of input from neighborhood
organizations, and residents.
4. Encourages the full participation of all citizens and strives for representation of all
community members.
5. Assertively promotes civic awareness and voter education across media and digital
platforms and through the use of interactive technology.
6. Ensures barrier-free and increased access to voting for all citizens.
7. Maximizes decision-making and governance powers to those elected and accountable to
Portland voters.
We advocate for these principles to be put into action through the following policies:
A. Providing adequate public notice of meetings and agendas and timely public access to
meeting minutes.
B. Providing access to FOIA documents free of charge.
C. Incorporating a user-friendly, searchable, and fully informative improved 21st century
website with accessible minutes of all meetings, attendance and voting records, and fully
transparent accounting of campaign contributions to our representatives.
D. Improving government accessibility through contact information being widely and
prominently featured on the website, ensuring officials return phone calls and emails and
callers do not regularly encounter full voice mailboxes.
E. Annual polling of constituents so that they feel consulted about the policy decisions of
their elected representatives.
F. Ensuring city boards and panels reflect Portland’s diversity with a wider-reaching
recruitment effort.
G. Providing greater flexibility in public meeting times to accommodate working
people/parents, including access to meetings via Skype for public comments.
H. Improving access for people with disabilities to public meetings including the provision of
an ASL interpreter at council meetings and comments via Skype or related technology.
I. Providing rides to the polls on Election Day through a public-private partnership with
taxis, RTP, Uber and Lyft.
J. Providing an Election Day “holiday” to City employees and encouraging local businesses
to do the same;
K. Working with the schools to make Election Day a school holiday while promoting it as a
"day of service" for students so they can participate in the electoral process starting in
middle school.
L. Including youth on every committee and providing every youth leader with a mentor and
a service learning co-curricular guide.
M. Increasing voter education and outreach through a concerted media and digital
campaign regarding registration, voting times, places, and absentee ballot availability.
N. Creating weekend or Sunday early (in-person absentee) voting dates at City Hall.
O. Lobbying the State legislature for great ballot accessibility through changes to State law
-vote-by-mail (VBM) or automatic mail-out of absentee ballots to all registered
-automatic voter registration through DMV contacts and other means, and
-online voter registration
P. Providing the right to vote in municipal elections to non-citizen Portland residents who
are legal immigrants.
We support a democratic local government that:
1. Understands and respects the value of the unique character of the city of Portland and
the importance of maintaining it.
2. Takes concrete, immediate action to address what now is a housing, real estate, and
cultural crisis in the city, as evidenced by rapidly escalating rent increases unaffordable
to current (and recently former) tenants, an unprecedented rise in no-cause evictions, a
rise in homelessness, and a labor shortage due to displacement.
3. Acts to ensure that market conditions don’t price out long-time residents, working people,
and vulnerable populations.
4. Supports Portland’s cultural, ethnic, and economic diversity through ensuring an
adequate and affordable housing supply dispersed equitably throughout all
5. Ensures through targeted policies that a sufficient variety of affordable housing choices
are available such that no one should have to spend more than 30% of their income for
housing (as expressed as a goal in the 2002 Portland Comprehensive Plan).
6. Commits to providing sufficient clean, safe, and accessible shelter for 100% of the
homeless population in Portland, together with increased support for transitional housing
and accompanying support services.
7. Adopts a housing-first policy for residents dealing with homelessness.
8. Supports a progressive property tax.
9. Encourages year-round residences in existing and new housing on Portland’s islands,
while maintaining their unique character and environment.
10. Recognizes that housing is a human right.
We advocate for these principles to be put into action through the following policies:
A. Establishing a target of at least 20% of new housing units to be subsidized for
households earning average area income or below.
B. Significantly increasing the share of the City’s annual HUD funding used for affordable
housing, by supporting programs that assist with land acquisition, construction,
mortgages, infrastructure, and conversion of non-residential buildings to housing. *
C. Establishing an accessible means-adjusted system of legal representation for tenants
facing eviction, whether through the direct provision of an attorney or a legal fund.
D. Banning no-cause evictions.
E. Banning mass evictions.
F. Implementing rent stabilization until the market cools.
G. Adjusting the income level targeted in the Inclusionary Zoning rental rule to renter Area
Median Income (AMI), a substantial increase in the opt-out fee, and an increase in the
required number of units to be affordable to 20%.
H. Using neighborhood tax incentives to counter NIMBYism toward affordable housing
I. Requiring City property sales directly benefit affordable housing creation, through the
condition that either the property itself, or the proceeds of its sale, be used for this
J. Giving cooperatives and community land trusts preference for purchases of city owned
K. Implementing 21 st century changes to outdated residential zoning restrictions which
support the growth of housing supply, including reducing parking requirements along
major transit corridors, providing greater flexibility to height and density limits, and
creating a tiny house policy.
L. Supporting the creation of Single Room Occupancy (SRO) housing through zoning and
funding supports for vulnerable populations such as those who are homeless, recently
incarcerated or recovering from substance abuse.
M. Removing zoning barriers to rental housing and accessory units in single-family homes
and accessory units. *
N. Combining housing and economic development strategies to create high-density
housing and mixed-use developments in business zones. *
O. Banning non-resident owned short-term rentals (STR’s) such as Air BnB, and requiring
that upon receipt of an STR license, the property so licensed be immediately scheduled
for property tax assessment.
P. Requiring that landlords’ annual license forms be expanded to include data on rents so
that trends can be more accurately assessed.
Q. Improving the rental inspections program to make it more tenant centered, accountable
and transparent, including the provision of online, anonymous reporting, tracking of
tenant complaints, prohibition of landlord contact prior to inspection, whistle-blower
protection against landlord retaliation, and rigorous follow-up and oversight.
R. Providing property tax relief to limited income seniors to support Aging In Place, and
other limited income homeowners to slow displacement of long-time residents.
S. Lobbying for a change to state law to allow for the implementation of a progressive
property tax in Portland.
* from the 2002 Comp Plan
We support a democratic local government that:
1. Protects Casco Bay and Portland’s fisheries, beaches, estuaries, rivers, wetlands,
islands, and woodlands.
2. Improves public awareness of and involvement in preserving and protecting Portland’s
natural resources.
3. Actively prepares for the local effects of climate change by improving infrastructure in
anticipation of the rising sea level of Casco Bay, which has already begun at an
unprecedented rate and is already leading to flooding in some areas of the city.
4. Commits to moving to 100% clean energy and dramatically reducing our carbon footprint
with the establishment of benchmarks and timelines.
5. Recognizes the importance of Portland’s parks, scenic views, public gardens, and green
spaces to our quality of life, and preserves, protects, and expands them.
6. Develops local infrastructure that promotes walking, biking, and other modes of transport
not reliant on fossil fuels.
7. Ensures that all residents have safe, clean, and affordable public water.
8. Works to ensure that all residents have clean air to breathe.
9. Does not tolerate its residents’ exposure to known carcinogens and other toxic
10. Commits to reducing pollution of all types in Portland and to reduce, reuse, and recycle
whenever possible.
We advocate for these principles to be put into action through the following policies:
A. Providing tax incentives for energy efficiency improvements to homes and conversion to
alternative renewable energy sources.
B. Implementing policies and benchmarks toward meeting the standards set by the Paris
Climate Agreement.
C. Improving public transit in terms of geographical coverage, frequency, and accessibility,
including bus shelters at all stops.
D. Providing WiFi and charging outlets in public transit vehicles to make their use more
E. Creating a goal of a zero-emissions City fleet within 10 years, including including light
duty vehicles, Public Works, police, emergency and fire department vehicles, and all
public transit vehicles.
F. Integrating commuter parking lots on city periphery traffic corridors with shuttles into the
city center.
G. Creating more walkable areas throughout the city.
H. Improving and adding more bike lanes as well as bike racks throughout the city.
I. Implementing a City-sponsored bike share program.
J. Creating a municipally run city-wide compost program, including composting at the
K. Protecting pollinators, Casco Bay, our fisheries and public health by banning synthetic
herbicides, pesticides, and chemical fertilizers.
L. Implementing dark sky lighting to limit light pollution.
M. Improving building codes to improve air and water quality and mitigate negative
environmental impacts.
N. Fast-tracking substantial Improvements to the energy efficiency of city and school
O. Beginning the process of converting our schools and municipal buildings to solar energy
or other renewable energy sources.
P. Requiring that all new building subsidized by TIFs or other city programs (including on
city-property being sold for development) be built according to a higher level of Green
Building standards than current state law provides.
Q. Minimizing impacts to the City’s waterways by reducing combined sewer overflows and
implementing stormwater best management practices.
R. Creating city owned solar facilities.
We support a democratic local government that:
1. Recognizes what makes Portland unique, including our architecture, vibrant arts
community, strong local business presence, food and beverage industry, robust park
system, diverse population, and strong nonprofit sector.
2. Strives to protect and enhance those characteristics.
3. Recognizes that the arts spaces for which Portland has been acclaimed, including
galleries, studios, rehearsal spaces, theaters, and performing venues, are rapidly
disappearing under the pressure of rising rents, and works to reverse this trend.
4. Understands that Portland’s unique character is driving the development boom and
embraces a bold vision and inclusive open process for urban planning that demands
quality architecture, a variety of housing for all incomes, plentiful open space, and a
walkable, livable city.
5. Places a high value on our publicly owned assets and is thoughtful and thorough about
assuring maximum public benefit regarding their use before selling publicly owned
6. Understands that creative, local entrepreneurship and small business is a major driver of
the appeal of our City to both the tourist economy and the new people and companies
wanting to locate here, and creates policies that support this.
7. Appreciates the unique value of our coastal waterfront resources, and recognizes that
our proximity to the water is a public asset and that we all deserve access and views.
We advocate for these principles to be put into action through the following policies:
A. Protecting our working waterfront through continuation of strict use guidelines.
B. Preserving public recreational access to the waterfront as well as water views throughout
the city.
C. Providing tax breaks and other financial supports for the infrastructure required for a
thriving arts and cultural community.
D. Maintaining and extending the vibrancy and walkability of our neighborhoods by
prioritizing mixed-use (business/residential) and mixed income development through
zoning provisions.
E. Preserving and protecting our parks and other green spaces from development while
extending the walking trails system throughout.
F. Respecting and maintaining the integrity of existing neighborhoods and their residents
when permitting development.
G. Prioritizing the granting of TIF’s and other economic incentives to local, independently
owned businesses over large out-of-state corporations.
H. Incorporating creative design, public art, and placemaking wherever possible to enhance
aesthetic value.
We support a democratic local government that:
1. Guarantees an equitable, universal, quality public education system that spans early
childhood through adulthood, including college and graduate school, adult education,
and workforce training, and is inclusive of our diverse population and large population of
immigrant and refugee students.
2. Prioritizes educating the whole individual through academic rigor, social and emotional
skill development, athletic competition, artistic endeavor, and career and technical
3. Ensures that all students can choose from multiple educational pathways that meet
individual learning needs, and that they graduate from high school prepared for college,
career, and citizenship.
4. Supports education initiatives that can train a future workforce for high tech and high skill
jobs that will create a workforce for new employers to come to the city.
5. Adjusts its curriculum to address previously under-recognized diverse populations and
their contributions to Maine’s history and culture.
6. Ensures that everyone who works within the field of public education earns a living
wage, has the right to organize, and has access to mentoring and professional
development to improve instructional skills and expand cultural competence.
7. Guarantees safety and equity in school facilities, including school environments that
support learning for all students.
8. Ensures that the food that is served in our public schools is healthy, sustainable, and
ethically sourced.
We advocate for these principles to be put into action through the following policies:
A. Implementing City-wide public pre-K, linked with a public before and after-school
daycare program.
B. Increasing employee diversity in our school system.
C. Ensuring that the curriculum specifically addresses the integration of New Mainers.
D. Expanding the Deering Initiative to provide accommodations for Muslim students in
E. Creating a fiscally responsible comprehensive plan for the upkeep and maintenance of
school facilities, including guaranteeing a set percentage of annual CIP (Capital
Improvement Plan) funding be dedicated to renovation, repair, and improvements of
school facilities.
F. Ensuring that adult education teachers, who are doing crucial work to help the city's
economic development, are compensated fairly.
G. Developing a stronger link between the district’s adult education program, and
appropriate city agencies, and the private sector.
H. Increasing funding for vocational programs at the high school level.
I. Ensuring fully staffed schools, including librarians and art and music teachers.
J. Integrating more education into the curriculum about Maine’s unique cultural history with
greater attention to its indigenous history and culture, as well as Franco- Americans,
African Americans, and immigrants.
K. Requiring that teaching staff receive training on diversity issues annually, with an
emphasis on cultural competence and educating the “whole student.”
L. Prohibiting public funding of private schools and charter schools except as a partnership
with the public school system, with the public school administration receiving and
determining equitable distribution of commingled private and public funds to promote
equitable educational advancement for all children in the city.
M. Improving integration of city life with USM, possibly with a negotiated discounted tuition
for Portland graduates and a city aspirations loan/grant for Portland students.
N. Aligning the start times of our schools with the academic literature on adolescent sleep
and development.
We support a democratic local government that:
1. Understands that health care is a right, not a privilege, and supports public financing of
health care for all.
2. Recognizes that our health system should focus proactively on wellness, through a focus
on primary care, preventive medicine, disease prevention, and public health.
3. Believes health care includes all aspects of health, including mental health, substance
abuse treatment, vision, hearing, dental care, sexual health services, and end of life
care, and believes that all Portlanders should have access to quality and affordable care.
4. Supports reproductive rights and full access to sexual and reproductive health services.
5. Respects the dignity of all individuals impacted by mental illness and/or substance
abuse, which are public health issues, and believes that these individuals have the same
legal and societal rights as those who are not so impacted.
6. Supports health care and community benefits to help enable people with disabilities to
live independently and work productively.
7. Supports equal access to quality health care with protections from discrimination for
transgender and gender nonconforming individuals.
8. Supports access to quality and affordable elder care.
9. Works to provide a full range of services to combat the opioid crisis.
We advocate for these principles to be put into action through the following policies:
A. Providing better access to mental health services for vulnerable populations, including
treatment and caseworkers, through a coordinated effort by Elder Affairs, the Public
Health Division, School-Based Health Centers, and the Minority Health Program.
B. Aggressively seeking funding sources for the creation of medical detox beds.
C. Increasing access to medication-assisted treatment for opiate addiction.
D. Working with non-profit partners and self-help groups to increase the availability of
long-range treatment options and sober housing options for recovery from addiction.
E. Providing free distribution of nalaxone (Narcan) for overdose emergencies in partnership
with pharmacies.
F. Expanding dental care services in Portland's free clinic, and include providing those
services to those on SSDI and SSI.
G. Ensuring access to a full range of reproductive health care in the city for all people,
including unhindered access to no co-pay birth control and abortion, and safe and easy
access for Planned Parenthood patients.
H. Supporting and lobbying for statewide Medicaid expansion.
We support a democratic local government that:
1. Supports all people in accessing safe, healthy, and nutritious food.
2. Cultivates thriving food and fishing economies that include sustainable food-sector
businesses and jobs .
3. Uses its institutional purchasing power to support local food producers and sustainable
seafood providers.
4. Supports the elimination of food waste through the creation of policies that allow for safe
distribution to people or institutions in need.
5. Provides access to city-owned land for the growing and harvesting of edible plants.
6. Supports policies that allow for the safekeeping of small livestock on personal property.
7. Supports fair wages for people that work in the food economy and fair prices for food
producers and fishermen.
We advocate for these principles to be put into action through the following policies:
A. Planting fruit and nut trees on city property available to be harvested by residents or by
the city and donated to local food assistance programs.
B. Setting up more community garden space, equitably distributed through the city.
C. Establishing an accessible community garden of raised beds dedicated for the use of
people with disabilities.
D. Providing low interest loans to small businesses that are involved in the local food
economy via growing, production, or fisheries.
E. Supporting aquaculture farmers based in Portland both on the working waterfront and at
F. Creating a city-wide composting program.
G. Creating and improving opportunities for additional year-round public markets.
H. Ensuring that the food that is served in our public schools is healthy, sustainable, and
ethically sourced, with a goal of increasing the percentage of locally-sourced food to the
greatest extent possible.
I. Protecting our coastal waters, aquifers, groundwater and soil from contaminants through
a pesticide ban to ensure our local food sources are healthy and safe for consumption.
J. Requiring that City run or funded public health centers, including within the schools,
screen for food security and provide options for food access for people who are
identified as food insecure.
K. Increasing funding for Double-up-SNAP benefits that can be used at farmer’s markets.
L. Increasing promotion of Portland’s local food products, food producers and food