2022 News in Review

Portland Wrapped, 2022

A data-driven look back at the year's top news stories.

Portland Police News 2022

The Mercury's top police stories from the past year.

Portland Health News 2022

The Mercury's top health stories from the past year.

Top Stories of 2022

Mercury news stories published in 2022 that attracted the most views.

Portland Transportation News 2022

The Mercury's top transportation stories from the past year.

Portland Housing News 2022

The Mercury's top housing stories of the past year.

Portland Politics News 2022

The Mercury's top politics stories from the past year.

Looking Ahead 2022

Top stories to keep an eye on in 2023.

Portland Environment News 2022

The Mercury's top environment stories from the past year.

Portland Criminal Justice News 2022

The Mercury's top criminal justice stories from the past year.

A political group called People for Portland raised $450,000 to unsuccessfully advance a ballot measure that would funnel tax dollars meant for housing toward a strategy to criminalize unhoused people.

A dark money group called People for Portland attempted to push through a ballot measure to the November ballot that would have grabbed 75 percent of all tax dollars that currently go toward supportive housing in the tri-county region and put it toward shelters and plans to criminalize unhoused people. Their plan was thwarted when, in May, a judge axed the proposal, ruling that the missing context in the draft measure didn’t hold up to constitutional muster. 

People for Portland, which had gained significant donations from major property development companies, like Schnitzer Properties, Downtown Development Group, and Winkler Development Corporation, returned all $450,000 in contributions after the court ruling. 

Estimated discount City Council candidate Rene Gonzalez got on his downtown campaign headquarters office: 96.37% 

Amount Gonzalez had to pay city elections office for taking discount: $0 

In September, city council candidate Rene Gonzalez was hit with a $77,140 fine for violating the city’s small donor election laws—easily the largest fine in Portland’s Small Donor Elections program history. The fine was based on the fact that Gonzalez had been renting a campaign office in downtown Portland, owned by Portland businessman Jordan Schnitzer, that had been advertised online at $6,900 per month. Yet Gonzalez had been renting the office for $250 per month plus $540 in monthly utilities—a 96 percent discount.

Gonzalez’s campaign argued that they were, in fact, doing Schnitzer a favor by renting out a space that would have likely sat empty, due to the “dismal state” of downtown Portland. A judge sided with Gonzalez. In late October—days before Gonzalez beat out incumbent Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty in the council election—a state judge dismissed the fine, agreeing that Gonzalez had been charged fair market rate for the office space due to the undesirable nature of the ground-floor office building in downtown Portland.

58 percent of Portland voters approved a plan to expand the city council to 12 people and divide the city into 4 districts by 2024.

Portland voters approved a package of city charter amendments in the November election that will expand the size of city council, hire a city administrator, and alter the city’s voting system, launching a two year process of significantly overhauling Portland’s governance structure. The new system requires the city be divided into four quadrants (with still-to-be-determined boundaries) with three commissioners representing each, bringing the size of council up to 12. The plan also directs the city’s election office to prepare to transition to a new type of voting called ranked-choice. All of these new structural plans must be in place by the November general election in 2024.