Commissioner Novick (and members of City Council):
We were quite disturbed to receive information from your aide Bryan Hockaday that final decisions had been made about adding more exceptions to the "Sidewalk Management Ordinance" without broad public input, and particularly without apparent outreach to actual homeless persons who might be affected by the decision.
Portland Copwatch contacted you on January 26th after learning that the Portland Business Alliance was asking for a large number of new "homeless-free zones." (That email is attached, below.) In that letter we recommended that decisions about adding exclusions should be considered publicly, perhaps by the oversight committee that was required when the SMO was adopted but which was disbanded in 2012. Yet now we've read in the Portland Mercury that outreach was done to a small number of homeless advocacy organizations and the decision was made behind closed doors.