|Courtesy of The Hightower Lowdown|
These are confusing times, for sure. For instance, many people still believe the misinformation of RIP, that it will "limit" the size of new construction (not when the top and bottom floors are exempted from the allowance--gotta wade into the fine print for that). RIP was written, driven, and approved by the teardown lobby and has plenty of money push behind it. On this topic especially, all Portlanders are encouraged to read widely and well, sniff out the $ trail, and dig deep for truth.
Increasingly, this is a city that seems to think lip service can actually fix things. A Vision Zero campaign for traffic safety mostly shuns actual infrastructure improvements in favor of a bunch of orange Twenty Is Plenty signs, and guess what? Pedestrian and other deaths by traffic keep rising.
In the same way, the City Council's adoption of a "housing crisis" paved the way for RIP's all-out giveaway to teardown builders, with a wave of support engineered by paid lobbyists flush with Trumper money. And guess what?: the homeless population and loss of affordable housing keep increasing. (By the way, that Trumper behind Portland for Everyone/1000 Friends' support of RIP is a billionaire developer from Washington salivating over Portland sites to create another "trophy community," which probably would not include a diverse range of inhabitants representing all income levels.)
As on the world stage, operatives are at work, here undermining decades of careful land use planning and its success in creating "complete" neighborhoods full of open space, trees, old-growth housing, and a wide range of residents. The recent record-breaking years of demolitions already have taken a toll on neighborhood diversity, as noted by city staffer Paul Leistner, formerly of the Office of Neighborhood Involvement. RIP promises more Mississippi Avenue-style whitewashing.
The grassroots effort to keep affordable housing out of the landfill has no money, (clearly) not much influence, and no city bureaus or leaders at its beck and call. But you can't buy moral high ground, and as sincere, local, and unpaid defenders of an inclusive, sustainable city we hope you'll join us in the months ahead. Maybe we better change the signs above from "poor people please leave quietly" to "let's make a stand—and big noise." No one should sleep through RIP.