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.
The City's Homeless Encampment Plan:
In 2023, City Council’s plan to build mass outdoor tent encampments for homeless Portlanders is expected to kick off. According to the mayor’s office, a contractor will be selected to oversee one or more camps in January (and the city already has its eye on one controversial contractor in particular). However, actual construction may be delayed by the city’s struggles to land any outside funding for the costly project. Multnomah County has so far rejected the city’s request to financially support the project, and the city is still waiting to hear if the state legislature might punt a few dollars its way in the 2023 session.
The actual timeline on when these camps will be up and running—let alone when the city will set up a plan to enforce a ban on street camping—will hopefully come into focus in the new year.
Work Begins on City Charter Reforms:
Portlanders made history this November when they voted to overhaul the city’s government system by expanding the city council and changing the voting system for city elections. City leaders and citizen volunteers tasked with implementing the new form of government have a lot to do before the new system goes live in 2025.
During the next year, three advisory committees—an Independent District Commission to draw four geographic districts in Portland, a Salary Commission to set elected officials salaries, and a Charter Transition Advisory Commission to advise staff and city council on the entire process—will be created and begin their work. The first major deadline for the government transition is September 1, 2023, when the district drawing commission must finalize Portland’s new district maps and salaries for the new slate of elected officials must be announced.
Zenith Energy’s Future in Portland:
The future of Zenith Energy’s operations in Northwest Portland will become more clear in 2023 as the oil transporter seeks a new air permit from the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality. Zenith's application for a new air permit is currently being reviewed by the Oregon DEQ. The review process will include a public comment period as part of its evaluation of whether or not the air permit should be granted. Environmental advocates who oppose Zenith’s operations see the public comment period as a key opportunity to potentially block the company from continuing to operate in Portland.
TriMet Considering a Fare Hike:
Facing a looming budget deficit, TriMet may raise their standard adult fare for the first time in 10 years in 2024—pending board approval in the upcoming year. The agency’s board of directors is currently evaluating a proposal to raise the two-and-a-half-hour adult fare by 30 cents, from $2.50 to $2.80, in 2024. Under the proposal, an all-day pass would rise to $5.60 while a monthly pass would stay the same at $100.
TriMet is seeking input from riders on the proposal throughout January and February, and the board of directors will vote on the possible fare increase in May.
Normandale Park Shooter Goes to Trial:
In February, a man named Ben Smith approached a group of people volunteering their time to support a Black Lives Matter march taking place in Northeast Portland’s Normandale Park, and began shooting. Smith, who had a history of animosity towards liberals and racial justice activists, injured five people and fatally shot one woman named June Knightly. Smith was arrested on nine charges—including murder, attempted murder, and assault—and has been held in the Multnomah County Jail since March. Smith’s trial on these charges is scheduled to kick off in April 2023.