Thrive to Take a Stand on PCEF Funding

Jars of quarters with plants growing out of them and the words "SAVE PCEF!" over top.

UPDATE: On March 21, 2024, the PCEF committee adopted a framework for solicitation from companies and nonprofits for clean energy projects and job training.  The process and framework proposal for allocating additional PCEF funds will add $158m in funding this Spring in a new round of community grants. Thrive continues to follow the PCEF committee actions that are essential for the support of community generated development in our neighborhoods.

Thrive East PDX protests the proposed action by the current City Commissioners to weaken the city code further to make up for budget shortfalls. We demand that all proposals for funding from PCEF from City programs and private entities go through the same review process and meet the same values and priority groups and topics stated for the current program. Community-initiated grant requests are held to exacting standards. Do not dilute those standards when city programs make use of PCEF funds. We stand with the decisions of the PCEF Committee, which was created to uphold the original intentions of PCEF to be an initiative by and for frontline communities.

PCEF is vital to the future of East Portland. We are experiencing regular climate related disruptions of basic services, as the recent ice storm demonstrated. PCEF funding can help residents of East Portland prepare for and live through these disruptions. PCEF funded projects are focused on practical, real solutions developed by the community for action in the City. The City Commissioners are disrespecting the residents of Portland who voted overwhelmingly to establish the values and program priorities for the PCEF funds. The current actions proposed by the City Commissioners to use PCEF funds to backfill the budget gaps in City Bureaus are wrong. These actions disrespect the people of Portland and the intention behind the PCEF initiative. We must resist and protest the actions of the current City Commissioners. Thrive East PDX agrees with and supports the coalition of organizations that worked to establish the PCEF fund.

PCEF must be preserved and protected, not treated like a bank account to cover other politicians’ priorities, as has been debated in the press by sitting city commissioners. It is not a slush fund that city commissioners running for office can raid to fill their own budget gaps, even for important programs, if those programs don’t address climate action.  The city’s own 2023 study estimates nearly $49 billion is needed to complete all the climate projects for the city. PCEF does not have dollars to spare.

Portland voters made their priorities very clear when they approved PCEF in 2018, as they did when they approved city charter reform in 2022. Tell Portland City Council to put the people before their own political campaigns and faithfully implement the will of the people to ensure Portland Clean Energy Community Benefits Funding goes to climate action and communities that need it the most.

Thrive East PDX encourages our organizations and members to speak out against this raid by City Commissioners on PCEF funds. 

Robin Ye for Portland 2024 petition to save PCEF

Sign the petition to safeguard PCEF