Mayor Sam Adams' nicely named "Illegal Drug Impact Areas"—newfangled "drug-free" zones in Old Town, downtown, and Lloyd where drug-crime convicts are (mostly) banned from showing up by judicial decree—have been in effect since June 1.
But despite a provision that calls for 90-day updates on exclusions (including key demographic data!) from the Multnomah County District Attorney's Office, here's when that first packet will be due, at the earliest: late December, in the middle of the holiday snooze.
That's because the official agreement between the city and the DA's office isn't up for a vote until this Wednesday. It's been tucked quietly onto the city council's consent agenda, a list of so-called non-controversial city business that usually passes all at once, without any discussion. Unless someone, including average concerned citizens like yourselves, shows up and flags a consent item for debate.
The mayor's office confirms that the clock for the DA's report didn't start ticking in April, when the concept for the agreement was approved, or in June, when exclusions began. No, the clock starts ticking only once the mayor's name is on the dotted line, maybe this week. What's more, the report from the DA, once it comes, won't be headed to all of council. It will head only to the mayor's office.
Not that some information isn't available. Street Roots this summer had a must-read story that included overall exclusion numbers over the program's first several weeks and also revealed the boundaries of the forbidden zones. But deeper data on race and ethnicity of those excluded wasn't available. (Although maybe the data will resemble the recent numbers for Adams' gun-free zones—predominantly affecting black Portlanders.)
Of course, given the constitutional woes that saw Portland officials end their last dance with drug zones, that's precisely the data we'll need to see, in case history is repeating.
So if you want to hear more about the zones, or if you've got a story to tell about seeing them in action—and if you've got time to spare on a weekeday morning—why not come down to city hall at 9:30
thisWEDNESDAY morning and exercise your democratic rights.