04 21 2015
  4:47 am  
40 Years of Service
Mayor Charlie Hales with New York Mayor Bill de Blasio

PHOTO: Portland Mayor Charlie Hales was one of the mayors standing with New York Mayor Bill de Blasio, Aug. 11, at the Cities of Opportunity task force press conference. 

The Cities of Opportunities Task Force, part of the US Conference of Mayors unveiled this commitment to urban Americans.  About 40 mayors from most of the nations major cities will sign the commitment. They held a press conference Aug. 11. at Gracie Mansion in New York City to announce the initiative. Check out the full statement below the video of the press conference. And read what Mayor Hales had to say in our story: Mayors Task Force Unveils Bold Agenda Against Inequality.


NEW YORK—The United States is a country that has long valued opportunity, fairness and equality. Yet, too many Americans, no matter how hard they work or try to find work, have stagnant or low incomes, dwindling wealth, and trouble affording life’s basic necessities, like housing, food and health care. As members of the Cities of Opportunity Task Force, we recognize that rising inequality and declining opportunity are threats to our fundamental values and to the nation’s economic growth.

We agree that bold action and a multifaceted approach are required to create more genuine opportunities for all residents and create more equitable cities. And today, we commit to work together to respond to this crisis and take action to leverage the power of municipal governments to advance local strategies and a national, common equality agenda.

We have agreed that the following principles will guide the work of the Cities of Opportunity Task Force:

  • Produce economic stability for city residents that allows residents to meet their basic needs;
  • Increase upward mobility of residents to create a vibrant and expanding middle class that reflects the ethnic and racial diversity of our nation;
  • Make cities affordable, accessible, livable, sustainable and inclusive places to live;
  • Maximize City infrastructure, investment, purchasing power, and other leveraging tools to expand opportunities and equality for residents; and,
  • Ensure that the federal and state governments recognize the importance of cities in producing national prosperity and equality and empower local governments.

We have agreed to support and advance this common agenda in our own cities, to the fullest extent possible and support other cities’ efforts to take similar actions. We will also build together a national urban agenda together. We have committed to begin by putting income inequality, early childhood education, and broadband at the center of the task force’s national equity agenda, and to grow it to include other critical issues, such as affordable housing and transportation.

We agree to advance at least one of the following strategies under each issue area:

Income Inequality

  • Local autonomy over wage laws: Work to obtain local authority to make changes to minimum wage and benefits laws affecting City residents, where it does not exist.
  • Better wages in our cities: Support better wages in our cities, such as increasing the minimum wage or getting businesses that receive substantial City subsidies to pay living wages or hire hard-to-employ workers.
  • Benefits to make wages work: Make work pay by improving supports to help workers and their families, such as paid sick leave, paid family leave, and other benefits for workers.
  • Financial empowerment and youth employment: Support efforts to enhance financial empowerment and promote employment opportunities for City youth.

Early Childhood Education

  • Create or expand pre-kindergarten and access to childcare: Work to provide or expand pre-kindergarten and other early childhood education and childcare programs that are accessible for all children, particularly children from low-income families.
  • Promote high-quality education: Address the inequality in school systems and close the early childhood education achievement gaps to create opportunities for every child and better prepare our 21st Century workforce.


  • Provide for 21st Century broadband and bridge the digital divide: Work to ensure that 21st century broadband services are provided to all residents—including lower income residents and start-up businesses. Work to provide education and training to low-income residents, people of color, and women to ensure technological efficacy, creating new opportunities.
  • Promote network neutrality through municipal franchise options: Create corporate guidelines that protect network neutrality, including but not limited to comprehensive non-discrimination of lawful content.

In support of the above efforts, we also agree to work together to achieve federal action on:

  • Nationwide minimum wage increase: Support increasing the federal minimum wage.
  • Funding commitments for early childhood education: Advocate for existing federal programs that support early childhood education.
  • Nationwide universal pre-kindergarten: Support expanded access to high-quality early childhood education for children across the nation.
  • Broadband advocacy and initiative: Advocate for federal programs and initiatives that bolster technological innovation, and accelerate and diversify the workforce pipeline in technology for low-income individuals and people of color.

The following mayors signed the Commitment to Action at Gracie Mansion today:

Mayor Bill de Blasio, New York, NY

Mayor Martin J. Walsh, Boston, MA

Mayor Kevin Johnson, Sacramento, CA

Mayor Stephen Benjamin, Columbia, SC

Mayor J. Christian Bollwage, Elizabeth, NJ

Mayor Byron Brown, Buffalo, NY

Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Chicago, IL

Mayor Bill Finch, Bridgeport, CT

Mayor Steven Fulop, Jersey City, NJ

Mayor Javier Gonzales, Santa Fe, NM

Mayor Vincent C. Gray, Washington, DC

Mayor Charlie Hales, Portland, OR

Mayor Toni Harp, New Haven, CT

Mayor Sylvester James, Kansas City, MO

Mayor Mitchell Landrieu, New Orleans, LA

Mayor Lee Leffingwell, Austin, TX

Mayor John Marks, Tallahassee, FL

Mayor Gary McCarthy, Schenectady, NY

Mayor Stephanie Miner, Syracuse, NY

Mayor Michael Nutter, Philadelphia, PA

Mayor Frank Ortis, Pembroke Pines, FL

Mayor Annise Parker, Houston, TX

Mayor Ed Pawlowski, Allentown, PA

Mayor Pedro Segarra, Hartford, CT

Mayor Kathy Sheehan, Albany, NY

Mayor Paul Soglin, Madison, WI

Mayor Marilyn Strickland, Tacoma, WA

Mayor Brian Wahler, Piscataway, NJ

Mayor Lovely Warren, Rochester, NY

Mayor Setti Warren, Newton, MA

Mayor Nan Whaley, Dayton, OH

Mayor Dennis P. Williams, Wilimgton, DE

Mayors Joy Cooper of Hallendale Beach, FL; Ed Murray of Seattle; Edwin Lee of San Francisco; and Michael Brennan of Portland, Maine were not present at the first meeting of the Cities of Opportunity Task Force, but have agreed to sign onto the Commitment 

Pacific NW Carpenters Union

Commenting Guidelines

  • Keep it clean: Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually oriented language
  • No personal attacks: We reserve the right to remove offensive comments
  • Be truthful: Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything
  • Be nice: No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person
  • Help us: If you see an abusive post, let us know at info@theskanner.com
  • Keep to topic: We will remove irrelevant posts and spam
  • Share with us: We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts; the history behind an article

Recently Published by The Skanner News

  • Default
  • Title
  • Date
  • Random
  • When should we use military to enforce US goals? NASHUA, N.H. (AP) — Rand Paul lashed out Saturday at military hawks in the Republican Party in a clash over foreign policy dividing the packed GOP presidential field. Paul, a first-term senator from Kentucky who favors a smaller U.S. footprint in the world, said that some of his Republican colleagues would do more harm in international affairs than would leading Democrat Hillary Rodham Clinton. "The other Republicans will criticize the president and Hillary Clinton for their foreign policy, but they would just have done the same thing — just 10 times over," Paul said on the closing day of a New Hampshire GOP conference that brought about 20 presidential prospects to the first-in-the-nation primary state. "There's a group of folks in our party who would have troops in six countries right now, maybe more," Paul said. Foreign policy looms large in the presidential race as the U.S. struggles to resolve diplomatic and military conflicts across the globe. The GOP presidential class regularly rails against President Barack Obama's leadership on the world stage, yet some would-be contenders have yet to articulate their own positions, while others offered sharply different visions. Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, whose brother, President George W. Bush, authorized the 2003 invasion of Iraq, declined to say whether he would have done anything different then. Yet Jeb Bush acknowledged a shift in his party against new military action abroad. "Our enemies need to fear us, a little bit, just enough for them to deter the actions that create insecurity," Bush said earlier in the conference. He said restoring alliances "that will create less likelihood of America's boots on the ground has to be the priority, the first priority of the next president." The GOP's hawks were well represented at the event, led by Florida Sen. Marco Rubio and Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, who has limited foreign policy experience but articulated a muscular vision during his Saturday keynote address. Walker said the threats posed by radical Islamic terrorism won't be handled simply with "a couple bombings." "We're not going to wait till they bring the fight to us," Walker said. "We're going to bring the fight to them and fight on their soil." South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham addressed the question of putting U.S. troops directly in the battle against the Islamic State group militants by saying there is only one way to defeat the militants: "You go over there and you fight them so they don't come here." Texas Sen. Ted Cruz suggested an aggressive approach as well. "The way to defeat ISIS is a simple and clear military objective," he said. "We will destroy them." Businesswoman Carly Fiorina offered a similar outlook. "The world is a more dangerous and more tragic place when America is not leading. And America has not led for quite some time," she said. Under Obama, a U.S.-led coalition of Western and Arab countries is conducting regular airstrikes against Islamic State targets in Iraq and Syria. The U.S. also has hundreds of military advisers in Iraq helping Iraqi security forces plan operations against the Islamic State, which occupies large chunks of northern and western Iraq. Paul didn't totally reject the use of military force, noting that he recently introduced a declaration of war against the Islamic State group. But in an interview with The Associated Press, he emphasized the importance of diplomacy. He singled out Russia and China, which have complicated relationships with the U.S., as countries that could contribute to U.S. foreign policy interests. "I think the Russians and the Chinese have great potential to help make the world a better place," he said. "I don't say that naively that they're going to, but they have the potential to." Paul suggested the Russians could help by getting Syrian President Bashar Assad to leave power. "Maybe he goes to Russia," Paul said. Despite tensions with the U.S., Russia and China negotiated alongside Washington in nuclear talks with Iran. Paul has said he is keeping an open mind about the nuclear negotiations. "The people who already are very skeptical, very doubtful, may not like the president for partisan reasons," he said, and "just may want war instead of negotiations."
    Read More
  • Some lawmakers, sensing a tipping point, are backing the parents and teachers who complain about 'high stakes' tests   
    Read More
  • Watch Rachel Maddow interview VA Secretary Robert McDonald  
    Read More
  • Some two thousand people pack halls to hear Trayvon Martin's mom speak   
    Read More
load morehold SHIFT key to load allload all
Carpentry Professionals



About Us

Breaking News

The Skanner TV

Turn the pages

Portland Opera Showboat 2
The Skanner Photo Archives