Call template for City Council moral budget

May 10, 2019

Councilor ____________,

My name is _______________ and I’m calling to urge you to take a stand

  • for a moral City budget
  • for an Inclusive city

As the Council moves forward on deciding a budget for the upcoming fiscal year, I am connecting with Councilors to tell them that:

[Use any (or all) of these points in your message to City Councilors]

  • The budget should be determined based on a policy vision the councilors and our community lay out, not the other way around. As it currently stands, the City Manager has established budget priorities which determine policy priorities. As a result, our supposed resource constraints are determining how we make and keep our commitments to our neighbors.
  • Limiting overflow at the Oxford Street Shelter will mean reneging on a 30 year commitment Portland has made to provide emergency shelter to its most vulnerable citizens. Turning our backs on this commitment is unacceptable.
  • Phasing out the Community Support Fund without any alternative means making Portland less inclusive, not more. In practical terms, reducing the Community Support Fund means reducing assistance to asylum seekers for basic necessities such as food, shelter, and prescription drugs.

I believe that no person should be left unsheltered in Portland. Our city cannot be a livable city without being inclusive. I believe that using a budget to legislate is undemocratic and I urge the city not to use the budget to limit the policy work it needs to do. I believe we need a moral budget, and cutting social services is immoral and ineffective. Finally, I believe that we can’t address homelessness without addressing gentrification.

Thank you for your time, Councilor ___________.