Details on the forum plus two more, May 7 and May 20, are here. If you can't make it to one of the events, be sure to let City Council know you support the proposal and funding to help new construction fit in better with its surroundings.
United Neighborhoods for Reform gathered an SRO crowd on April 9 for Summit IV, the first
|At Eighth and Failing, a developer digs in.|
At last hazmat control has drawn serious attention from serious people, with state leaders acting on it in Salem. They're (and we're) not waiting for Portland to realize its voluntary program is meaningless and does nothing to protect neighbors, proven as recently as this week when Peter Kusyk's crew started demolishing the church at Northeast Eighth Avenue and Failing Street without so much as a lead-abating hose in sight.
The charge for justice
|City Council gets an earful about|
the unfairness of appeal fees at its
April 22 session.
The auditor and ombudsman's lineup of strong, compelling supporters gave testimony that gave Council pause (turns out it was the easier day of the week, considering what happened Thursday). Some highlights from the appeal-fee hearing:
The League of Women Voters representative said a sound appeals system helps with "greater awareness of shortcomings in city policies and decision making."
Former Metro Councilor Rex Burkholder, in reciting his story of wrong done, referred to a city bureaucracy that was "arrogant and fearful."
The National Lawyers Guild representative said that the chance to be heard was a valuable tool in reinforcing people's faith in the system.
|Rex Burkholder (left) and Dante James leave|
City Hall on Wednesday after
testifying in support of reduced appeal fees.
Gregory Frank, Portland's own code hearings officer, described his job and, when it came to the question of what was a fair charge for an appeal, mostly answered by quoting another Northwesterner, the longest-serving Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas:
"The liberties of none are safe unless the liberties of all are protected."
A nominal fee or, as Denver does, charging nothing for an appeal helps ensure what James called important elements of a fair and functioning government: transparency, accessibility ("for everybody—for residents of this city"), and accountability. Without these elements, it's hands behind a curtain, little trust in leadership and staff, and fertile ground for corruption—and revolution. Speaking of, isn't it time we saw some candidates inspired to serve the interests of Portland and Portlanders?
Now for some decent exposure
Come on out 6:30 to 9 p.m. Wednesday, April 29, for a film festival shining a light on Portland's evolution. The movie King resident Fred Lifton made for the antidemolition cause will be screened, with a Q&A following, at McMenamins Kennedy School gym, 5736 NE 33rd Ave.
|The latest installment of The City Lights focusing on|
antidemolition issues included (from left) Fred Leeson,
Sara Long, Bob McCullough, Jack Bookwalter, and Carol McCarthy.
Finally, protecting local heritage and affordable housing makes a real fashion statement.