Friends of Portland NET
Friends of Portland NET aims to garner awareness of current issues that could impact the future of the Portland Bureau of Emergency Management and the Neighborhood Emergency Team (NET) program. We work to mobilize NET members, NET program applicants, and other supporters to urge our elected and appointed officials to support volunteer emergency responders.
As a NET member or concerned member of the community, you may have heard there are current issues that could impact the future of the Portland Bureau of Emergency Management (PBEM) Neighborhood Emergency Team (NET) program. A few of us have decided to create an advocacy group, Friends of Portland NET, to raise our collective voice for the NET program. Together we can make a significant impression, mobilizing NET members, NET program applicants, and other supporters to urge our elected and appointed officials to support volunteer emergency responders. The organizing committee is assembling, consulting with experienced advisers, and working on a plan about how best to garner awareness of, and support for, the NET program.
- There will be significant turnover in PF&R and Portland Police Bureau leadership in the coming year. We need to make it known that NETs have relied on the excellent working relationship we have enjoyed in the past, and replacements should have knowledge of, and experience with, the NET program.
- State programs, such as the funding policies of the Oregon State Office of Emergency Management (OEM) State Homeland Security Grant (SHSG) Program and the US Department of Homeland Security’s Urban Area Security Initiative (UASI) directly affect what resources are available to PBEM and to NET members. More than half of PBEM’s budget revenue stems from such grants. We have specific concerns about the equity and sustainability of those sources.
- We have witnessed the value of NET turnout when the City reviews of priorities and support for its bureaus.
The case for ongoing vigilance and organized action is clear. We need to establish ways to scan for and identify emerging issues that could impact the welfare of the NET program.
We plan to send an email to all 1100+ registered NETs asking them to participate in FPN. We have
already contacted NET Team Leaders to request they support and guide FPN efforts. Anyone with questions about or have interest in FPN involvement, please contact us directly.
Thanks for all you do to prepare your neighborhoods, and each other!
Note: This effort is being coordinated by NET members on an independent, volunteer basis. It is not endorsed, directed,
or supported by PBEM. This is your organization.
Michael Schilmoeller (NET Radio Training Liaison and coordinator for the amateur radio NET Net and NET Simplex Net, Michael@FriendsOfPortland.NET)
Debbie Otenburg (Sellwood-Eastmoreland-Brooklyn NET)
Kathy Reese (Argay Terrace-Parkrose NET TL)
Rachel Bristol (Sellwood-Eastmoreland-Brooklyn NET)
Current Activities and Issues
Update: Thursday, May 17, 2018
FY2018-2019 Budget Cycle
On May 16, City Council approved the City Budget for the 2018-19 fiscal year. (See the official announcement and page 71 of the final budget.) In June, City Council will formally adopt the budget. The City Commissioners deserve our thanks for approving the addition of PBEM staff and funding. While the new staff position is not part of the NET program team, it will likely relieve the NET program from potential distractions – as well as providing urgently needed support for the City’s Continuity of Operations plans. Increased funding last year for PBEM enabled the addition of new positions. Currently we do not anticipate a need for further advocacy until next year.
A Friends of Portland NET member has been invited to participate again as a citizen member of the Bureau’s Budget Advisory Committee. Work will begin in late November.
Friends of Portland NET is in the process of evaluating ways it can be of greater service to the NET Program. While advocacy remains important, the organization is interested in the possibility of assisting NETs with fund-raising and other basic services. We are currently going through a strategic planning process, and we expect to release a NET survey before the end of June. The purpose of the survey would be to inquire about possible future activities for Friends of Portland NET. We are excited about the prospect of doing new things and being of even greater service to the program.
Friends of Portland NET (FPN) has been busy!
- In 2016, 2017, and 2018 FPN attended budget workshops and public hearings held by the City Council on PBEM’s budget. FPN provided written and oral testimony in all of these processes in support of the NET program
- During those same years, FPN met directly with Commissions and the Mayor’s staff to explain the NET program, its needs, and the its reliance on the wonderful support it receives from PBEM
- During those same years, FPN contacted all NET members and invitee them to the City Council budget hearings. FPN developed and provided talking points to others NET members who wished to submit testimony or speak in favor of the budget.
- In 2016 and 2017, FPN served on the PF&R BAC
- In 2017, A member served on the group that advised Commissioner Saltzman on the selection of Fire Chief Erin Janssens’ replacement, Fire Chief Mike Myers
- In 2018, FPN served on the PBEM Budget Advisory Committee
Thanks for all you do to prepare your neighborhoods, and each other!!