Captioned YouTube video of Portland City Council vote
About the Law
Effective on December 18, 2015, all businesses within the Portland City limits that have televisions on for public viewing must have the captions displayed during business hours or risk a maximum fine of $500 per day. Such businesses may include but are not limited to bars, restaurants, gyms, waiting rooms, and other places where a television set is provided for customer convenience.

TURN IT ON - LEAVE IT ON

Captioned Video of City Council Discussion and Vote (8 mins)
Trasnscript below
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yO0T9XqzvFY
 
Text of Ordinance No. 187454
(Also below)
http://efiles.portlandoregon.gov/Record/8237464/
Caption Transcript of Video:
 
Portland City Council Remarks upon the passage of Ordinance requiring captions to be turned on in Portland businesses

[LNS Captioning Note: The following text is the byproduct of the captioning of this meeting. The text has not been proofread and should not be considered a final transcript.]

>> Hales: WE'LL WAIT, LET'S GO TO 1187. COMMISSIONER FRITZ.

>> Fritz: AS EVERYONE RECALLS WE HELD A PUBLIC HEARING ON THIS ISSUE IN JULY. COUNCIL ASKED US TO DO ADDITIONAL OUTREACH AND MORE DISCUSSIONS WITH, PARTICULARLY THE OREGON RESTAURANT AND LODGING ASSOCIATION. WE HAVE DONE THAT. WE ARE COMFORTABLE WITH THE ORDINANCE THAT'S ORIGINALLY PROPOSED, AND I WOULD LIKE TO PROCEED TO THE VOTE.

>> Fish: I HAVE JUST A QUESTION OF PROCEDURE. THE GENTLEMAN GRABBED ME WHEN I WAS OUTSIDE FOR A SECOND, SAYING THAT THEY HAVE BEEN HERE AT THE LAST HEARING AND DIDN'T HAVE AN OPPORTUNITY TO TESTIFY. I GUESS THE QUESTION IS, IS THERE ANY NEW ISSUE -- ARE THERE ANY GROUPS OF PEOPLE THAT HAVE NOT HAD A CHANCE TO TESTIFY ON THIS BASED ON THE PROCEDURE THAT WE'RE FOLLOWING?

>> Fritz: NO, THERE WAS NO TIME LIMITATION ON THE PREVIOUS HEARING. THERE WAS A LOT OF -- YOU WERE THE PERSON WHO RAISED THE QUESTION OF ADDITIONAL OUTREACH. SO SINCE JULY, MY STAFF AND I HAVE TALKED WITH THE PORTLAND BUSINESS ALLIANCE, CAROL STUDENMUND, ONE OF THE ADVOCATES HAS WORKED WITH STEVE McCOID, THE FORMER PRESIDENT AND CEO OF THE OREGON RESTAURANT AND LODGING ASSOCIATION, MY STAFF MET WITH HIM, AS WELL. I HELD A TOWN HALL ON SEPTEMBER 30th, AND MET WITH COMMUNITY MEMBERS AT PCC CASCADE, AND WE LOOKED AT VARIOUS OPTIONS AND CONCLUDED THIS IS THE ONE THAT WORKS THE BEST.

>> Fish: IS THE POLICY THAT WE WERE -- WE WOULD BE VOTING ON TODAY, IS THAT THE POLICY THAT THE FAA IS CURRENTLY IMPLEMENTING ACROSS THE COUNTRY?

>> Fritz: YES, WHICH IS THAT CAPTIONS HAVE TO BE TURNED ON.

>> Fish: THANK YOU.

>> Hales: OTHER QUESTIONS? SO, YEAH, I DON'T SEE ANY PARTICULAR REASON TO REOPEN THE HEARING. I KNOW WE MAY HAVE HEARD SOME CORRESPONDENCE ON THE SUBJECT, BUT THE ORDINANCE IN FRONT OF US IS THE SAME ONE WE HELD THE HEARING ON SO WE SHOULD PROCEED TO A VOTE.

>> Novick: I THINK THAT THIS IS AN IMPORTANT STEP IN CIVIL RIGHTS, AND THE CITY. I WANT TO NOTE THAT I DID CONSIDER OFFERING A COUPLE OF AMENDMENTS. THERE WAS A SUGGESTION THAT, WELL, SHOULDN'T THE CAPTIONS ONLY BE REQUIRED WHEN THE SOUND IS ON BECAUSE IF THE SOUND IS OFF, THEN EVERYBODY IS IN THE SAME BOAT. AND MY FRIEND, CAROL STUDENMUND, OBSERVED TO ME THAT WELL, HOW ARE PEOPLE WITHOUT HEARING GOING TO KNOW IF THE SOUND IS ON OR OFF IN ORDER TO KNOW WHEN THEY SHOULD COMPLAIN? I THOUGHT THAT WAS AN INSUPERABLE OBSTACLE TO THAT IDEA. AND THERE WAS THE SUGGESTION THAT WE COULD HAVE THAT REQUIREMENT OF SOUND ON, SOUND OFF ONLY FOR ATHLETIC EVENTS BECAUSE SOME SPORTS FANS ARE CONCERNED THAT THE CAPTIONS MIGHT OBSCURE SOME OF THE ACTION. 
 
AND ONE THING CAROL INFORMED ME THERE IS CAPTION TECHNOLOGY AVAILABLE THAT IS LESS, MUCH LESS OBSCURING THAN WE MIGHT HAVE SEEN IN THE PAST, AND ALSO, THE CITY ATTORNEY SAID THAT DISCRIMINATION WOULD BE ILLEGAL. SO, I PASSED ON THAT, AS WELL. SO, HAVING THOROUGHLY CONSIDERED VARIOUS POSSIBLE AMENDMENTS, I AM NOT PROPOSING ANY AND PLEASED TO VOTE AYE.

>> Fritz: THANKS VERY MUCH TO EVERYBODY WHO GATHERED HERE TODAY ON ALL SIDES. THANKS, PARTICULARLY, TO CAROL STUDENMUND, DAVID VIERS, STEVEN BROWN AND JIM HOUSE FOR YOUR WORK WITH MY STAFF TO GET THIS DONE. THANKS TO STEVE McCOID FOR MEETING WITH MY STAFF AND HIS EFFORTS TO WORK WITH US, AND THANK YOU TO THE COMMUNITY ORGANIZATIONS FOR YOUR SUPPORT, THE OREGON ASSOCIATION OF THE DEAF, HEARING LOSS ASSOCIATION OF AMERICA, OREGON STATE ASSOCIATION, OREGON COMMUNICATIONS ACCESS PROJECT, WHICH IS A LOCAL GRASSROOTS ADVOCACY GROUP THAT IS CREDITED WITH IMPLEMENTING CAPTIONING AT THE OREGON SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL, UNIVERSITY OF OREGON, OREGON STATE UNIVERSITY, PORTLAND TRAIL BLAZERS, AND MANY OTHERS. THANKS TO JASMINE WADSWORTH ON MY STAFF, WHO HAS DONE A GREAT JOB ON THIS ONE. 
 
I DO NEED TO NOTE, I HAVE A NOTE, WHAT DID I DO WITH MY NOTE? I HAVE LOST MY NOTES. I WILL HAVE TO DO IT FROM MEMORY. ALWAYS DANGEROUS. THAT THIS ORDINANCE APPLIES TO ALL PUBLIC PLACES, WHICH ARE DEFINED AS EVEN IF YOU HAVE TO PAY TO GET IN, THAT'S A PUBLIC MEMBERSHIP, THAT'S A PUBLIC PLACE. SO IT APPLIES TO GYMS AND OTHER FACILITIES, AS WELL AS TO RESTAURANTS, BARS, AND OTHER PLACES. IT DOESN'T APPLY TO FEDERAL AND STATE BUILDINGS, BUT THAT'S FEDERAL AND STATE LAW, SO WE DON'T NEED TO STATE THAT IN THE ORDINANCE. 
 
AND THIS ORDINANCE BENEFITS EVERYONE. IT PROMOTES ACCESS FOR EVERYONE. AND I AM NOT CONCERNED THAT IT'S GOING TO IMPACT BUSINESS IN PORTLAND'S PUBLIC PLACES. IN FACT, I THINK IT WILL RAPIDLY BECOME THE STANDARD FOR THE NATION THAT PEOPLE WILL FLOCK TO BE ABLE TO, LIKE I DO, MONITOR THE SPORTS GAME AT THE SAME TIME THAT I AM PRETENDING TO BE INTERESTED IN WHAT, IN THE PERSON I AM HAVING DINNER WITH MIGHT HAVE TO SAY. WELL, I USUALLY AM INTERESTED BUT I LIKE TO WATCH THE SPORTS AT THE SAME TIME. AS A RABID SPORTS FAN, I AM CONVINCED THIS IS NOT A PROBLEM FOR SPORTS FANS, AND SO, I AM REALLY PROUD TO BE SPONSORING THIS. I VERY MUCH APPRECIATE ALL THE WORK THAT WAS DONE. COMMISSIONER FISH, I DO APPRECIATE YOUR ASKING US TO TAKE MORE TIME AND TO GET MORE INPUT, THE MORE INPUT I GET, THE MORE I AM CONVINCED THIS IS THE RIGHT THING TO DO.

>> Fish: FIRST, FOR ANYONE WHO DOUBTS THAT COMMISSIONER FRITZ IS A RABID SPORTS FAN, I ENCOURAGE THEM TO SEND HER AN EMAIL AT 12:30 ON SATURDAY AND SEE IF YOU GET THE CUSTOMARY RESPONSE, BOOM. YOU WON'T, OF COURSE, BECAUSE SHE'LL BE AT AUTZEN STADIUM, CHEERING ON HER BELOVED DUCKS. 
 
COMMISSIONER FRITZ, THANK YOU FOR YOUR LEADERSHIP ON THIS ISSUE. I THINK THROUGH THIS PROCESS, THE COUNCIL HAS LEARNED A NUMBER OF VERY IMPORTANT THINGS. FOR ME, ONE OF THE MOST IMPORTANT THINGS WAS LEARNING THAT ONE IN FIVE AMERICANS HAVE SOME KIND OF HEARING LOSS OR IMPAIRMENT. THAT'S 20% OF THE PEOPLE IN THIS COUNTRY ARE IMMEDIATELY IMPACTED BY THE ACTION WE'RE PREPARED TO TAKE TODAY. I THINK COLLECTIVELY, THE PEOPLE IN THIS COUNCIL SHARE A CORE VALUE, WHICH IS THAT ONE OF GOVERNMENT'S PRIMARY RESPONSIBILITIES IS TO REMOVE BARRIERS THAT GET IN THE WAY OF PEOPLE EXERCISING THE FULL RIGHTS OF CITIZENSHIP. AND I THINK ACCESS TO INFORMATION IS, IN FACT, A BASIC, A BASIC CIVIL RIGHT. 
 
I APPRECIATE THE OUTREACH YOU HAVE DONE, AND I NOTE THAT PARTICULARLY, FROM THE PORTLAND BUSINESS ALLIANCE AND VENTURE PORTLAND, WE RECEIVED NO NEGATIVE COMMENTS. AND IN TERMS OF THE SPORTS BARS, AS SOMEONE WHO ALSO ENJOYS GOING OUT AND WATCHING SPORTS AND HAVING A BEER, I THINK THAT THIS IS SOMETHING THAT WE CAN ALL ADJUST TO, AND I HAVE A FEELING TECHNOLOGY WILL CATCH UP WITH THIS RESOLUTION, SO THAT WE'LL HAVE NO NEGATIVE IMPACT ON ANYONE, IN FACT, IT WILL SIMPLY MAKE IT EASIER FOR ALL TO ENJOY SPORTS IN PUBLIC VENUES, SO COMMISSIONER FRITZ, THANK YOU FOR YOUR LEADERSHIP ON THIS, AND TODAY I AM PROUD TO VOTE AYE.

>> Saltzman: THANK YOU, COMMISSIONER FRITZ. AYE.

>> Hales: GOOD WORK. AND I THINK THIS IS ANOTHER CASE WHERE PORTLAND HAS THOUGHTFULLY TRIED TO MAKE THIS A CITY THAT'S HOSPITABLE FOR EVERYBODY, SO I APPRECIATE YOUR WORK AND THE ADVOCATES, AS LONG AS THIS DOESN'T HAVE THE UNINTENDED SIDE EFFECT OF HAVING THE PORTLAND AIRPORT ACTUALLY INSTALL MORE TELEVISIONS, I WILL BE A HAPPY GUY, AS SOMEONE WHO TRAVELED FREQUENTLY, ONE OF THE THINGS I LOVE ABOUT THE PORTLAND AIRPORT IS THAT WE DON'T HAVE TELEVISIONS BLARING AT US AT EACH AND EVERY GATE, AND I HOPE THAT WE NEVER BECOME THAT AIRPORT, BUT I DIGRESS, AND THIS IS GOOD WORK, AND I AM PROUD TO SUPPORT IT. AYE. [GAVEL POUNDED] THANK YOU. THANK YOU VERY MUCH.

>> Fritz: I REMEMBERED THE OTHER POINT WRITTEN DOWN BY MY STAFF. AND THAT IS THAT THE CITY ATTORNEY'S OFFICE HAS BEEN ABSOLUTELY FANTASTIC. BEN WALTERS, UNFORTUNATELY, HAD TO LEAVE, WE VERY MUCH APPRECIATE HIM WORKING WITH US, AND THEY ARE OFFERING TO PROVIDE SUPPORT TO RESTAURANTS, TO ANY BUSINESS WHO WANTS TO KNOW WHAT THE REGULATIONS ARE AND HOW THEY CAN BEST IMPLEMENT THEM. THIS IS NOT AN EMERGENCY ORDINANCE. THIS IS A SECOND READING, SO IT WILL BE 30 DAYS BEFORE IT GOES INTO EFFECT. SO, FOLKS CAN CONTACT MY OFFICE OR THE CITY ATTORNEY'S OFFICE IF YOU WOULD LIKE ASSISTANCE ON IMPLEMENTATION. THANK YOU VERY MUCH FOR BEING HERE.

>> Hales: THANK YOU ALL.
ORDINANCE No. 187454

Require activation of closed captioning on televisions in public areas
(Ordinance; add Code Section 23.01.075)

The City of Portland ordains:

Section 1. The Council finds:
  1. Hearing loss is a significant problem in the United States. A study released in 2011 by researchers at Johns Hopkins estimated that approximately one in five Americans have some type of hearing loss in one or both ears that affect their ability to communicate and receive information.  http://www.hopkinsrnedicine.org/news/rncdia/releases/one_in_five_americans_has_hearing_loss (site visited Mav 6. 2015)
  2. In 1993, the Federal Communications Commission ("FCC") adopted regulations requiring all analog television receivers manufactured and sold in the United States with screens larger than 13 inches contain built-in decoder circuitry to display closed captioning.
  3. Closed captioning consists of a transcript of the audio portions of television programming displayed on the television receiver screen when the user activates the caption feature.
  4. In 1996, Congress amended the Communications Act to require that all video program distributors (including broadcasters, cable operators, etc.) add closed captioning to certain video programming and authorized the Federal Communications Commission (the FCC) to establish a transition schedule for complying with this requirement.
  5. Following Congress's legislative directive, the FCC adopted administrative rules to ensure that video programming be accessible by closed captioning to the maximum extent possible. 47 CFR Part 79 sets forth the FCC's standards for accessibility of video programming.
  6. In 2002, the FCC adopted closed captioning requirements for digital television receivers.
  7. Under the FCC' s rules, video program distributors are required to add closed captioning to all new English language programming. Starting in 2010, a similar requirement has applied to Spanish language programming. The FCC also requires video program distributors to add closed captioning to a certain percentage of previously broadcast programs. 
  8. In 2010, Congress enacted the Communications and Video Accessibility Act ("CV AA"), extending the scope of closed captioning requirements to all devices that can play back video. Since September 30, 2012, new TV programming shown online is required to have closed captioning rendered as well.
  9. Television receivers are increasingly used in facilities open to the general public, including hospital waiting rooms, bars and restaurants, health clubs, bus stations, airport lounges, and appliance stores. These and other public facilities represent the kinds of locations where the general public has access to television programming.
  10. Television receivers in these locations enable members of the general public to obtain the latest news reports in an emergency, watch local sports teams, or simply pass the time while waiting for an appointment or service to be completed. People with hearing disabilities should not be excluded from being able to meaningfully participate in these activities while in public areas.
  11. In order to avoid screening out those members of the general public who are deaf or hard of hearing in places of public accommodation, there should be a requirement closed captioning be activated so as to not exclude, deny service, segregate or otherwise treat those with hearing disabilities differently from being able to fully participate in or experience the full benefits of the television programming offered to the public in those settings.
  12. This ordinance requires that television receivers located in any part of a facility open to the general public have closed captioning activated at all times when the facility is open and the television receiver is in use.

NOW, THEREFORE, the Council directs:

a. Chapter 23.01 of the City Code is amended by adding a new section as follows:

23.01.075 Closed Caption Activation Requirement.

A. Definitions. As used in this Section 23.01.075, the following words and phrases shall be construed as defined in this subsection:
  1. "Closed Captioning" means a transcript or dialog of the audio portion of a television program that is displayed on the bottom portion of a television receiver screen when the user activates the feature.
  2. "Closed-Captioned Television Receiver" means a receiver of television programming that has the ability to display closed captioning, including but not limited to a television, digital set top box, and other technology capable of displaying closed captioning for television programming.
  3. "Public Area" means any part of a public facility that is open to the general public.
  4. "Public Facility" shall have the same meaning as place of public accommodation, as defined in ORS 659A.400 (2013).
  5. "Regular Hours" means the hours of any day in which a Public Facility is generally open to members of the general public.

B. Any person owning or managing a public facility must activate closed captioning on any closed captioned television receiver in use in any public area during regular hours.

C. A person owning or managing a public facility is not required to make a closed captioned television receiver available for viewing in a public area if:
  1. No receiver of television programming of any kind is available in a public area of the public facility; or,
  2. The only receiver of television programming available in a public area of the public facility is incapable of displaying close captioning.

D. Civil Penalties. A violation of this Section may result in the assessment of civil penalties, as provided below:
   1. If the City Attorney reasonably believes a violation has occurred, the City Attorney may issue a written determination addressing the following:
  • a. A reference to this Section, describing the violations that have occurred or are occurrmg;
  • b. The date and the time of the occurrence, and the street address or location of the public facility;
  • c. A concise statement of the matters asserted or charged; and,
  • d. A request that the addressee provide a written response to the City Attorney within 10 business days either disputing the occurrence of the violation or describing how the violation has been abated and how such violations will be prevented from reoccurring. The determination may be personally delivered to the person, or may be served by Registered or Certified Mail. For purposes of this Subsection, service by registered or certified mail is complete and effective when a correctly addressed notice is deposited with the postal service after being either certified or registered by the postal service.
   2. If the person fails to provide a written response, or the written response fails to reasonably satisfy the City Attorney regarding the identified violations, the City Attorney may file a complaint with the Code Hearings Officer, as provided under Section 22.03.020, for violations of this Section 23.01.075, asking the Code Hearings Officer to impose civil penalties not to exceed $500 for each day such violation is committed or permitted to continue as provided in this Section. Having made a determination to ask that the Code Hearings Officer to impose civil penalties as provided by this Section, the City Attorney shall give the person written notice of the determination by causing notice to be served upon the person at their business or residence address. Service of the notice shall be accomplished by mailing the notice by regular mail, or at the option of the City Attorney, by personal service in the same manner as a summons served in an action at law. Mailing of the notice by regular mail shall be priina facie evidence of receipt of the notice. Service of notice upon the person apparently in charge of a business during its hours of operation shall constitute prima facie evidence of notice to the business owner.
   3. In determining the amount of the civil penalty to be imposed for violations of the provisions of this Chapter, the Code Hearings Officer shall consider:
  • a. The extent and nature of the person's involvement in the violation;
  • b. The harms, whether economic, financial or otherwise, which occurred or were suffered as a result of the violation; ""
  • c. Whether the violations were isolated or temporary, or repeated or continuous;
  • d. The magnitude and seriousness of the violation;
  • e. The City's cost~ of investigating the violations and correcting or attempting to correct the violation; and,
  • f. Any other applicable facts bearing on the nature and seriousness of the violation.

Passed by the Council: NOV 18 2015 

Commissioner Amanda Fritz
Prepared by: Jasmine Wadsworth
Date Prepared: June 17, 2015

 
Mary Hull Caballero
Auditor of the City of Portland
 
By 
Deputy