Ed Garren 
Member since Oct 9, 2008

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Psychotherapist (Social Justice IS Mental Health), Long time Civil Rights activist, passion for social, economic and environmental justice, all kinds of music, food, vehicles of… More »



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Living in "The People of Our Lady, Queen of the Angels"

Updated on June 6, 2012 at 11:18 PM

Recent Comments

Re: “"Terribly Wrong": Police Union Boss Posts Explosive Takedown of Frashour Firing

I wish I had read all this before I moved to Portland, spent $200,000 trying to establish a business and a life in such a backward "one horse" town.

I know you guys all love the status quo, so did "Bull Conner" and "Lester Maddox", not to mention a whole region of white Southerners who did not want to end segregation.

You guys don't want to give up on the idea of Portland as a white man's paradise either, which is why you can't see the murder of Aaron Campbell for what it was, "target practice" by a police union gone Storm Troopers, with all the inherent racism and xenophobia that goes with the Nordic dream.

But I did move there, I did lose the money, but at least I got Dan Saltzmann to call in the FBI and investigate the shooting, and they found that Frashour (and by default the department) violated the civil rights of Aaron Campbell.

So my passing was not in vain.

I have no doubt that Mr. Frashour, as well as the majority of his fellow Portlanders, are "good" and "decent" people who are just doing what they've been told is the "good" and "right" thing to do. So were all the "good Germans" who joined the Nazi's and the rest is history.

My deepest regret about Portland is that it appears to be a region which is incapable of grasping and developing the rigorous honesty to look at it's own terrible dark side, brimming over with fears, incest, racism, and inhospitality for anyone who is "not like us." Even Mississippi has more hospitality for "outsiders."

Now I'm back in LA, 20 years after the Rodney King Rebellion, in a city that does a better job of dealing with all of it's realities, particularly the messy ones. In the meantime, my prayer for Portland is that the white people who run the place will start taking a more honest look at just how ugly Portland is for far too many people.

Edward Garren, MFT
Portland resident from 06>11

Posted by Ed Garren on 06/06/2012 at 11:15 PM

Re: “BBQ & Booze: The Ed Garren Party

"Softball team in San Francisco" ??? I never lived in San Francisco. It's okay, must have been the booze and the barbecue sauce.

My congratulations to Dan Saltzman for his re-election.

Running for office is a great opportunity to get to know the other candidates, and interact with a diverse group of people, learn their issues, and have dialogue.

I ran with a large, diverse and talented group of people, 8 total, and I applaud every one of them because we all want to make Portland the best city that it can be.

As for "perennial candidate", I doubt if I'll run again unless someone offers to raise some serious $$ for me to run.

This race was a free for all, 8 people, an incumbent's dream come true, split the vote by confusing the voters (too many choices, too many perspectives), and most folks will choose the "devil they know" no matter what.

I was NOT surprised by Mary Volm's performance in this race. Mary is smart, funny, focused, and knows the city, and is well known by the city's voters. I encourage her to stay in the game as well.

In addition to working with military mental health issues, I am working on an offender rehabilitation program that may launch this year. Rehabilitation is always less expensive than incarceration.

Lastly, I hope to return to my first passion, writing. Anyone know a good literary agent?

Thanks for your fun take on my race Steven. If you like Boomer' BBQ, check out my web site for some really good recipes, including two for barbecue sauce. http://edgarren.us/blog/eds-recipe-page/

And if you're serious about your pig cooking, check out this story I wrote for the LA Times about roasting a whole pig, Cuban Style:

Regards, Edward "Ed" Garren, MA, LMFT

Posted by Ed Garren on 05/19/2010 at 12:56 AM

Re: “Money and Mental Health

Hi Steve: Some of your suggestions are very good, and I've made the same suggestions.

But, as usual, I'm the guy who's actually worked at "ground zero" with these issues for most of my life, which is why I keep running for office, being really fed up with these decisions being made by lawyers, not people who actually have to do the work (no offense to lawyers, but would you ask a "shrink" to file a lawsuit?).

People without housing have mental health issues. I once worked in a federally funded national mental health system, right here in the United States. It was one of the first things Reagan erased in 1981, and no one even noticed. All of our clients/patients who got an SSI check (which paid for their housing/food) got cut off. The money for their weekly anti-psychotic injection also got cut off, and suddenly we got homeless people.

Now Nick Fish (who is a friend) is touting a "mental health levy". We need housing, and the current way of providing it is not working fast enough, so logic suggests we need to find different ways to create it, but so far the status quo seems stuck with building glittering palaces in the sky that cost about $125,000 each to build. There's going to be a riot over this stuff because between the police and the ongoing broken promises over housing, a growing group of people have lost hope and are tired of waiting.

Next, actual mental health treatment, is not treatment because of "Evidence Based Practice", and experiment passed by the state about a decade ago.

I've done mental health and addictions treatment work for almost 30 years. The principle factor in treatment success is the relationship between the treatment professional and the clients. That relationship is now eviscerated because the counselor is forced to follow a script that meets the state/county requirements of "Evidence Based Practice."

In other words, we pay a lot of money for someone to sit with a group of people and review a workbook or a sheet of questions/topics, instead of actually work with the core issues of their illness.

At one large treatment agency, which gets millions from the state to serve alcohol & drug offenders, the concept of abstinence while in treatment is not even enforced. It's called "Harm Reduction" and the goal is to get the addict to "just use less" which is contrary to every principle of addiction treatment for the last 60+ years.

But we are paying for this, to the tune of about $50 per "group" per client.

I'd love to work with you, or anyone else on this issue. We don't have tax dollars to waste on this anymore.

And lastly, I have a Masters, two clinical licenses (the from CA had a higher first time failure rate than the Bar exam), and 30 years professional experience (9 in management). So please, show some respect, it's appreciated.

Regards, Ed Garren, MA, LMFT

Posted by Ed Garren on 04/28/2010 at 11:48 AM

Re: “Saltzman vs. Cornett

As one of the other candidates in the race, who actually asked Dan to call in the FBI in a public forum at the Red Cross (regarding the Aaron Campbell shooting), and has also offered a lot of leadership in our current messes (unemployment, out of control Police officers, Environmental Justice, etc.), I agree with Dan that grandstanding over these individual shootings is in poor taste.

We have plenty of evidence and incidents with some rogue officers (Officer Nyse for example) that continue to demonstrate a lack of restraint among some officers, even off duty.

What I know is, many residents in the city are deeply concerned about how their hard earned tax dollars are spent, about a Police Department which many no longer trust to "protect and serve", and our staggering unemployment.

All of the candidates in this race offer good ideas. I am running because in addition to a few good ideas, I also have years of experience in management, providing services to homeless, mentally ill, alcoholics, addicts, also was a consultant to the Los Angeles and Long Beach Police department dealing with community relations issues surrounding use of lethal and excessive force, diversity, and loss of faith among members of the community in those departments.

More importantly, in my professional work, and personal style, I don't avoid conflict or controversial issues. I work with individuals and families who are dealing with tough personal issues, incest, infidelity, addictions, adolescents who are challenging. I don't believe in beating around the bush or dancing around issues. Until meaningful dialogue starts happening, not much changes. Read what my supporters have to say about those skills: http://www.edforpdx.com/cms/?q=node/16

We have some genuine issues in our region involving transparency and accountability in government. I have been leading my community's challenges with the Columbia River Crossing project for over three years, helping to organize over 500 home owners on Hayden Island (Jantzen Beach) to make sure that our livability is not destroyed by this multi-billion dollar project. You may have noticed us at the Project Sponsors Council meeting last December. Along with Coalition for a Livable Future and others. The CRC actually tried to limit testimony and exclude the press ( http://www.edforpdx.com/cms/?q=node/7 ).

So while Jesse got the money, and Mary knows where all the bodies are buried, and Dan prefers to work in the background, there are other choices in this race, and I hope that an informed electorate will consider all of them.

Edward "Ed" Garren, MA, LMFT

Posted by Ed Garren on 04/10/2010 at 8:38 AM

Re: “Riding the Gravy Train

I certainly agree about the "marketing" aspect of the project. They have decided to completely gut the Hayden Island Plan in order to cost cut, which includes removing the only grocery store and pharmacy on an island filled with seniors, many of whom can't drive. I have been opposing the lack of transparency and deal making on this bridge for a while. Read this post on my web site:

and other comments in general about issues in the city/region: www.edforpdx.com

I agree with "revphil", it has gone beyond bizzare.

Regards, Edward "Ed" Garren
candidate for Portland City Commission, seat #3
Co-Chair of Hayden Island Plan Steering Committee

Posted by Ed Garren on 03/11/2010 at 2:46 PM

Re: “Jackson On Campbell Cop: "If He Comes Back To Work At 8 Tomorrow, You Go Protest At High Noon."

As usual, a vigorous dialogue here, I love Portland.

I was there, it was a great rally. I would also add that I went to at least four GLBTQ Rights events, two in Washington DC and two in Sacramento CA, and Jesse and Cesar were always there to talk about dignity, discrimination, and how injustice to anyone is a threat to justice for everyone.

I'm writing a blog piece for my web site, www.EdForPDX.com because at 60, I'm just tired of white cops (and people) beating and killing black men (and women) and getting away with it.

The speeches are always the same, outrage, demonstrations, promises to do better, and not much changes.

I agree about one thing, when something like this happens "back home" in the south, no one tries to pretend that race, or racism, are not front burner factors.

We southerners understand that race and class are ALWAYS factors in ALL human interactions, and we make no apologies about it. We put it on the front burner, we talk about it, and we try to do everything we can to make sure that people are conscious of how race and racism affect human interactions.

Portlanders have yet to accept that reality, and I think that is part of the problem, a big part.

Lastly, Jesse Jackson is from Greenville South Carolina, which is about 40 miles from where my mother was born. She always acknowledges Jesse as a kindred spirit, a fellow Southerner, and deeply respected his intelligence and ambition, both of which were necessary to improve his life and become someone.

I always agree with Jesse, he's no more of an "opportunist" than anyone else is who had dedicated their life to speaking truth, certainly no more than Martin Luther King Jr. was, yet many said he was an opportunist when he was alive. They said the same thing about Gandhi.

Like Rick Nelson said in "Garden Party", "You can't please everyone, so you got to please yourself."

Ed Garren
candidate for City Commission, seat #3
(I guess I'm an "opportunist" too. I want to see a better world before I die. If that's being an opportunist, then sign me up)

Posted by Ed Garren on 02/16/2010 at 11:45 PM

Re: “Garren: Other Candidates Are "Bunch Of Clowns"

Wow, such hypersensitivity to the word "clowns."

I specifically requested they NOT use my name or the photo which had me in it until I had run the whole thing past my steering committee. I made it very clear that I am accountable to the people who are putting their time and energy into my campaign and could not commit without their input.

Instead of honoring that request, or at least telling me "we're publishing it anyway", I had to find out about the photo and article from a friend.

Don't take my word for it. This is what Jason Renaud wrote me the next morning:
"Sorry Ed. You were clear with the group about your need for an
internal decision. I did ask you + Debra on Monday and you were still
undecided. So I posted the picture of the foursome (not as good!) and
no commentary."

Given the level of betrayal and disregard for my specific intentions, I think "clowns" was more than generous. And since I was at the table, and felt the "vibe" at it, I think I am entitled to an opinion about what transpired. The feel among some of these folks was that they are taking this money from Dan Saltzman, not the taxpayers. I don't think that's right, and I stand by that decision.

There will be plenty of opportunities to listen to candidates, including Friday night at Dough Nation. I just don't want to be there, and neither do any of my campaign volunteers.

Regards, Ed Garren

Posted by Ed Garren on 01/07/2010 at 12:12 AM

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