Peace has reigned? Did you go to the budget hearings? The ones on April 11 and May 16 were standing room only, with people waiting for hours just to sign up to speak. The budget process was very contentious this year and as the realities play out, the controversies will continue. Some examples:
Around 170 City jobs are still being cut, the compromises saved only a few. More than half are union positions. While some were vacancies, many are not. Even cutting vacant positions is a down-sizing of city services, as our population continues to grow. City workers testified about huge backlogs of work orders. Not maintaining our city parks and infrastructure is bad fiscal and civic policy. He should be hiring MORE people to maintain our city, not cutting their jobs.
Hales did NOT spare the safety net. Housing will suffer deep cuts because the Federal sequester means $1.2 million less to Portland Housing Bureau. The city funded housing at the same level as last year. They should have increased the City funding, knowing that the Feds are severely reducing theirs. This is far from preserving the safety net and Hales and Council know that. Yet they continue to congratulate themselves for "fully funding" housing.
As for other programs, while the services for sex trafficking victims was not totally eliminated, nor was it totally restored. Several positions will still be eliminated there. Some programs like VOZ and East Portland Action Plan were moved to one time only funds, in effect given notice that they will be cut in a year.
Hales is proving to be a spinmaster. His tactic of asking for 10% cuts and then "restoring" it back to a 6% cut level was disorienting. What he never talked about was getting revenue from those who can afford it the most--big corporations and very wealthy individuals.
21.1 million in cuts. Last year's were under 15 million. Huge increase. And not ONE mention of revenue. They could use General Services Funds to cover the shortfall. They could STOP GIVING TAX BREAKS to every corporation that even says the words "job creation". And his thinly veiled message about allying with PBA to address homelessness and panhandling downtown? It didn't sound like concern about affordable housing to me.
I work with Solidarity Against Austerity Coalition. We want City Council to discuss ways we can avoid cuts and provide local stimulus by raising revenue from those who can afford it and from big corporations and banks, instead of discussing ways to best cut city programs that affect working and low income people.
We should not be pitted against each other. Tell the City Council to search for revenue-raising solutions. They can look at tax breaks instead fo telling us to fight over crumbs.
Bravo to Hart Noecker for taking on Jules Bailey's doubletalk. Salem's shameful collaboration with the CRC lobbyists reaffirms that it will be up to us, the people, not "experts" and politicians to take the lead in fighting climate change.
Thanks for this article.
Humphreys and Nice were also part of these incidents:
Humphreys knocks a woman down for alleged fare jumping on the MAX. The ticket machine was broken.
Kyle Nice is involved in a road rage incident where he pulled out his weapon.
Also lets not forget the I am Chris Humphreys Rally:
Concordia University has a Homeland Security degree? Would love to see you do a story on that: http://www.cu-portland.edu/coe/undergradua…
Like Right 2 Dream Too, Dignity Village was started by houseless people and supported by allies. The Bud Clark center mainly lined the pockets of developers and construction companies. I applaud the courageous, visionary action of people who see how broken the system is and do something about it, the people who started Right 2 Dream Too and Dignity Village.
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