Mayor Ted Wheeler appoints final four recommended members to the inaugural Portland Clean Energy Community Benefits Fund Committee
Now the nine-member PCEF Committee can begin reviewing proposals, selecting grant recipients and distributing the first $7 million of clean energy funds.
Tim Becker, Mayor Ted Wheeler's Office
Eden Dabbs, City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability
Damon Motz-Storey, PCEF Community Coalition
One day after the anniversary of Portland voters passing the Portland Clean Energy Initiative (Nov. 6, 2018), Mayor Ted Wheeler appointed the final four members of the Portland Clean Energy Community Benefits Fund (PCEF) Committee at a City Council meeting at Portland Community College’s SE campus. The final four committee appointees were recommended by the initial five committee members who were nominated — one each — by the five City Council members.
“A year ago, community members and organizations took a stand for a green future by passing the Portland Clean Energy Initiative, a nationally acclaimed model for climate action,” said Mayor Wheeler. “I’m excited to announce the final appointments to the talented inaugural committee. It signals progress towards implementing a vision where all Portlanders, especially working families, have access to a green future with clean energy, living wage jobs.”
The PCEF grants will create green jobs in the clean energy sector, fund improvements to homes through renewable energy and energy efficiency investments and support local businesses. It will also fund workforce training programs to create a pipeline to family wage jobs for under-served Portlanders.
As stated in the voter-approved ballot initiative, the nine-person committee is charged with reviewing proposals, selecting grant recipients, and recommending to City Council changes to the law to better achieve the goals of the fund.
“We are thrilled to welcome the final members to the PCEF Committee,” said PCEF Program Manager, Sam Baraso. “They are critical to delivering projects that matter to the community. And with the committee in place, we can begin building a program that is consistent with the vision of the voters. Our goal is to get the first $7 million in grants out the door late by Summer 2020.”
“It is so rewarding to celebrate this milestone exactly one year after our measure won 65% of the vote in the 2018 election,” said Jenny Lee, Advocacy Director at the Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (APANO) and a leader in the PCEF Coalition. “We applaud and thank these extraordinary appointees as they move forward into the work of ensuring that Portland’s communities on the frontlines of climate change receive long-overdue investments in job training, home improvements, and so much more. PCEF’s community benefits will build resilience for people of color and low-income Portlanders while helping meet our city’s climate action goals.”
About the appointees
The PCEF ballot measure passed by Portland voters in 2018 required the initial five PCEF Committee members (appointed by City Council on Sept. 25, 2019) to recommend a slate of four final members for approval. They are:
- Faith Graham is the director of the Network for Energy, Water, and Health in Affordable Buildings, a national social impact and learning network at the intersection of affordable housing and energy efficiency. Faith was the managing director of MPower Oregon from 2012-17 and brings decades of experience in sustainable and affordable housing work. As a lawyer, Faith brings valuable legal perspective as well as experience in contract negotiations and complex real estate transactions and financing arrangements.
- Andrea Hamberg is an environmental public health professional with both personal and professional experience in public agencies, nonprofits and small businesses committed to environmental justice. Andrea has worked within the environmental justice framework in her current position supervising the Healthy Homes and Communities Team at the Multnomah Co. Health Department as well as at the Oregon Health Authority, where she led the Oregon Climate and Health Program and coordinated the Oregon Health Impact Assessment Program.
- Jeffrey Moreland Jr. is a contractor with professional experience in a range of contract types for local, state and federal government as well as private clients. Jeffrey’s direct experience navigating complex contracting systems in multiple government and private systems brings critical insight and invaluable knowledge to designing PCEF to achieve its intended outcomes. Jeffrey also brings strong relationships within the contracting community and a deep understanding of the construction industry to the effort.
- Ranfis Villatoro is the Oregon State Coordinator for the Bluegreen Alliance where he works with labor and environmental organizations to advance climate solutions and create quality jobs. Ranfis has also worked as a community organizer for the Latino/immigrant community, including with Causa Oregon, Salem/Keizer Coalition for Equality, CAPACES Leadership Institute and Voz Workers’ Rights Education Project. Ranfis has valuable experience in grantmaking, fundraising, organizing, and advocating for workforce and contract equity through community benefit frameworks and agreements.
These four appointments will run for two years, ending on Nov. 7, 2021. Now that they have been confirmed, the fully-seated, nine-person PCEF Committee will begin informing the development of the PCEF program, including grant criteria, with the aim of releasing a solicitation in Spring 2020 and awarding the first set of grant funds in late Summer 2020.
About the Clean Energy Fund
The Portland Clean Energy Community Benefits initiative was passed by 65% of voters in November 2018. It will provide a consistent, long-term funding source and oversight structure to ensure that the City of Portland’s Climate Action Plan is implemented in a manner that supports social, economic and environmental benefits for all Portlanders, particularly communities of color and low-income residents. The initiative was supported by a broad coalition of groups and individuals and represents the first environmental initiative in Oregon led by communities of color.
PCEF is anticipated to bring $54 – $71 million annually in new revenue for living wage jobs, sustainable agriculture, green infrastructure, and residential/commercial renewable and efficiency projects in the Portland area, including the development of a diverse and well-trained workforce and contractor pool in the field of clean energy. Bringing together a diverse grant committee is the first of several milestones involving community members to prepare for PCEF’s first grant cycle anticipated to begin in Spring 2020.