Since its inception in the late 1800s, Portland’s drinking water system has been a public resource owned by the City’s citizens. And yet recent Water Bureau malfeasance and City Council mismanagement put that public ownership in danger.
Today, Portland’s two utilities are deeply in debt to Wall Street bond holders. Other American cities deeply in debt are under increasing pressure to sell assets, especially revenue-producing assets like utilities.
The Portland Public Water District initiative will ensure that Portland’s storied Bull Run water system will never be sold out from under us. The initiative amends the City charter to specifically prohibit privatization, ensuring that Portland’s water system will remain Portland’s.