Public Resource

Portland Clean Energy Fund Executive Summary: A Breakthrough for Climate and Justice

Portland Clean Energy Fund (PCEF)
09-21-2020

In November 2018, residents of Portland, Oregon, made history by passing The Portland Clean Energy Fund (PCEF), a breakthrough initiative that will raise an estimated $44-$61 million annually to support local clean energy and economic justice initiatives. The fund passed with 65 percent of the vote and support from a long list of local businesses and community organizations, including faith leaders, labor unions, and more.

This Executive Summary captures toplines of the campaign's success; for a detailed case study on the campaign, please see A Template for Change: The Portland Clean Energy Fund as a Local Model for a Green New Deal and the webinar the Lab hosted with members of the PCEF Steering Committee, Winning by a Landslide: How we won the Portland Clean Energy Fund.

Toplines include:

  • Building a comprehensive coalition that elevated the leadership of communities of color
  • Relationship-building and mutual trust were foundational pillars of PCEF's success
  • Voter outreach targeted ethnically-diverse neighborhoods with historically low voter turnout
  • Partnering with other campaigns to build movement solidarity
  • Balancing donated staff time with hired staff
  • Accepting that integrating social equity into the campaign was a journey, not a destination