We started off the day with a visit to Portland City Hall and Mayor Sam Adams. Mayor Adams answered our questions very thoughtfully and thoroughly, and demonstrated a good command over the issues the City of Portland is facing. Mayor Adams also described his political career and some of his thoughts regarding safety and gang violence. After our meeting with Mayor Adams, we attended a Portland City Council Meeting. We got to hear individual citizens petition some of their supposed grievances, many of them seemed slightly ridiculous, such as better enforcing jay walking laws. We also heard more legitimate topics of discussion, such as a proposed ordinance from the Arlington Heights Neighborhood Association banning longboarding racing in their streets. The problem seemed to be very serious, and neighborhood association member Erik Nagel presented their argument very convincingly. We left before the issue was resolved, although City Commissioner Randy Leonard proposed delaying continued hearings until September.
After that, we hopped on the MAX to SERA, a green building architectural firm. Lisa Petterson lead us around parts of their facility, which is LED gold and LED platinum certified. Then, her and architect Dennis Wilde showed us a very interesting presentation about the planned Oregon Sustainability Center. We were interested in how much less energy and water will be required by the building, and the Living Building Challenge’s strict standard that the architects were closely adhering to. Today we learned about two very different aspects of how the city works, the governmental system and process, and new sustainable building concepts.