Meet Mark Wells!

In November 2021, we officially welcomed Mark Wells as the new Executive Director for Downtown Portland Clean & Safe, and Vice President of Downtown Services for the Portland Business Alliance.

Mark has spent most of his career in public service in a variety of federal, state, and local law enforcement and crime prevention positions. He joined the Downtown Portland Clean & Safe team in February 2021 as Director of Operations.

“Mark is an incredible leader whose voice is helping inform our strategy for Clean & Safe as we all work to bring vitality back to downtown Portland.”

Cindy Laurila
Executive Director of World Trade Center – Portland
Board Chair, Downtown Portland Clean & Safe


A Message from Mark Wells

Executive Director Mark Wells
Mark Wells, Downtown Portland Clean & Safe Executive Director

A large and warm Happy New Year to our downtown Portland community! Welcome to the refreshed Downtown Portland Clean & Safe monthly newsletter, and thank you for taking the time to read and learn about some new and exciting changes and updates to our programs and services. I’m excited about the work ahead of us.

I wanted to start by introducing myself and sharing my goals and vision for what we are calling “Clean & Safe 2.0.” My name is Mark Wells, and I was promoted to the role of Executive Director at Downtown Portland Clean & Safe in November of 2021 after serving as the Director of Operations since February. Prior to joining Clean & Safe, I spent over a decade with the City of Portland’s Crime Prevention Program after working in both federal and municipal law enforcement. I have worked with and for the downtown business and residential community for years, and I feel fortunate and optimistic to lead a small but highly dedicated team of professionals supporting Portland’s oldest and largest Enhanced Service District. I am both excited and eager to share our program planning for 2022 and beyond.

As many of you know, we commenced another ten-year contract renewal with the City of Portland in December of 2021, and we are proud to play an integral partner role in helping our downtown core reopen for business, support our residential community, and welcome back thousands of employees and visitors.

The last two years have been extremely challenging and emotionally taxing on everyone downtown, and as I have gotten to know scores of small and large business owners and leaders, I want to genuinely acknowledge your struggles and also your desire and commitment to downtown Portland.

Thank you for your resilience.

My number one goal this year for Clean & Safe is to support your return or decision to remain in downtown Portland.

I would like to highlight the following vision and goals for this new year and share our programming updates, modernizations, and changes to provide our downtown community with better service:

  • Focus on customer service
    Significant increases in customer service from implementing a new, digital mobile data management system allowing us to track and document all security and janitorial service calls. Ensuring we are responding to your calls for service promptly and professionally and clearly explaining our roles and services with referrals to issues and needs outside our scope of work.
  • Provide recurring community safety trainings and resources
    Personal Safety and De-Escalation Training, Community Safety Presentations from the Police Bureau’s Behavior Health Unit, and access and referrals to free and comprehensive physical security assessments to help deter and prevent burglaries and property damage.
  • Reshape safety program
    Reshaping our security services to a more comprehensive “Safety Program” retaining our ability to provide highly-trained and certified security professionals to address lower-level disorder and safety issues while implementing enhanced de-escalation and mental health awareness and response options for our security vendor.
  • Proactive mental health outreach
    Working with City, County, and local non-profit social service providers to stand up a “Community Health Outreach Worker” or CHOW Program. While we have just started this program development, our goal is to provide dedicated programming to proactive mental health outreach to the many individuals experiencing mental health issues and challenges and living on our downtown streets.
  • Uplift the Old Town community
    Working closely with the Old Town Community Association and city, county, and state officials to develop and implement a clear plan to address the mental health and livability crisis on the streets of Old Town. While a significant percentage of Clean & Safe resources are currently dedicated to the Old Town area, we are eager to partner with local government and existing social service agencies to increase both the safety and livability to Old Town residents and businesses.
  • Increase participation in Clean Start program
    Continuing to grow outreach and capacity in our janitorial vendor’s “Clean Start” program. Working with our long-time vendor, Central City Concern, our goal is to increase the number of participants in their six-month job and mentoring program for individuals in recovery or re-entering the work force.
  • Enhance retail support
    Continuing and enhancing our many retail support programs such as the “Downtown Retail Council” and the “Downtown Marketing Initiative” through staff dedicated to your business success and vitality in the core downtown space.
  • Commitment to transparency and outreach
    Designing and implementing a robust and recurring public outreach campaign. Ideally done in concert with our city public safety bureau partners, we hope to ensure our business and residential community understand our roles, services, programming, and limitations for a much larger understanding of how Clean & Safe provides direct service and support to all who call downtown Portland a place to live, work, visit and be entertained.

I would like to thank our dedicated and long-serving vendors who perform difficult and challenging work every single day, our City of Portland partner bureaus, and the Clean & Safe Board of Directors who dedicate hundreds of volunteer hours a year to support our work and success. While many areas of the Clean & Safe district are seeing substantial gains in cleanliness, business success and safety, I want to openly acknowledge there is still much work to be done to return downtown Portland to the once vibrant commercial hub of our city.

I’m hopeful 2022 will see renewed and tangible action by our government to address the region’s long-standing and urgent challenges, such as homelessness and greater access to mental health and addiction services. Clean & Safe is here to partner and assist in this vital effort at every opportunity possible.

I feel both fortunate and proud to lead your Clean & Safe team as we continue to improve and develop new programs and services for our downtown Portland community. Please stay up to date on our program development and service updates through this newsletter and our website, and I look forward to being of continued service to our downtown Portland community.


Mark Wells
Executive Director, Downtown Portland Clean & Safe