Not content with taking on City Commissioner Dan Saltzman over a foie-gras purveying former firefighter, City Commissioner Randy Leonard appears to be setting the City of Portland up for nuclear war with China this morning.
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Leonard read a proclamation to celebrate Tibetan Awareness Day last Wednesday in city council. The Commissioner plans to fly Tibetan flags in his office on Wednesday, March 10, and a celebration of Tibetan culture is also planned.
But last week members of the local Chinese community, at the request of the Chinese Consulate in San Francisco, came and met with Commissioner Leonard and were expressing their "deep concerns for the city's recognition of Tibet awareness day," says Leonard's chief of staff, Ty Kovatch. "Including raising questions about whether Randy should travel as part of the city's sister-city delegation to China in June."
That was followed by a request from the Chinese Consulate General in San Francisco to meet with Leonard at 1pm this afternoon. And then this morning the Consulate called to request that the meeting be moved to the University Club, out of concern that the meeting could draw protests if it happened at City Hall.
"We're not going to the University Club for two reasons," says Kovatch. "Number one being that Randy has a busy schedule and they requested a meeting with us, not the other way around. And number two, Randy wears jeans, and is therefore not allowed in the University Club."
"It strikes me as interesting that the Chinese Government would be so invested in discussing this issue with the City of Portland," says Leonard's chief of staff, Ty Kovatch.