May 2024 ballot measure endorsements

 By Krystal Eldridge | 2-minute read

Oregon’s counties are already mailing ballots for this month’s election, and in addition to the primary election taking place, depending on where you live, you also may have an opportunity to vote on local ballot measures affecting land use. 

We look statewide when evaluating which ballot measures to endorse, but this year our endorsements for the May ballot happen to be in Portland and Multnomah County. This list isn’t a comprehensive yes/no tally of relevant measures throughout the state – just the ones we can thoroughly get behind. For this election, the measures we’re supporting are essential for the safety and livability of people in each jurisdiction. 

By the way, as a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, we cannot endorse or oppose candidates for elected offices. Refer to your local county elections office for information about registering to vote and last dates to make sure your vote counts.

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City of Portland

Measure 26-245 – Fixing Our Streets gas tax renewal

Vote YES

An ADA-accessible curb ramp is under construction
Photo courtesy Portland Bureau of Transportation

1000 Friends of Oregon endorsed the first two iterations of Portland’s Fixing Our Streets gas tax, and we’re endorsing its renewal. This measure would extend the City of Portland’s 10-cent-per-gallon gas tax for four additional years to pay for maintenance and safety projects throughout the city. 

Maintaining and improving current transportation infrastructure helps make streets safer for drivers and people walking and rolling, making communities more compact, connected,  and livable. It also decreases pressures on the Metro region urban growth boundary by enhancing the quality of life for people who currently or will in the future call Portland home. Ensuring local jurisdictions have complete streets is crucial in helping Oregon build housing within the 10,000+ vacant residential acres already within our state’s urban growth boundaries.

This fund begins to address a maintenance backlog created by many factors, the most significant being the decline in the state's local share of gas tax revenues. The tax is based on use, and users who put more wear on our roads will pay more. Projects funded with the resulting tax revenue would be reviewed by a community oversight committee and targeted through an equity lens, designed to partially remedy past injustices.


Multnomah County

Measure 26-243 – flood safety

Vote YES

A view of the Portland Airport from the Columbia River on a lightly cloudy day

Currently, the flood safety system along the Columbia River in Multnomah County is more than 100 years old. This puts the region at risk of major flooding – potentially costing lives and billions of dollars in damage to property and infrastructure, like the PDX airport. 

Measure 26-243 will provide the funding necessary to improve the county’s flood-safety system by raising levees; upgrading floodwalls, pumps, pipes, and drains; and increasing the resilience of natural flood protection. This infrastructure – a combination of green and gray – helps Multnomah County build up and in rather than out and down onto our farms, forests, and watersheds in the greater Portland area. 

The measure would prevent damage from a major flood and would cost the average homeowner $2.19 a month (or $26.27 a year). Meanwhile, a study found clean up costs after a major flood could amount to nearly $7 billion. Passing Measure 26-243 would also unlock $100 million in federal matching funds.