So Is Last Thursday Worth $11,000 a Month?

Comments

1
I believe they closed the street for five months last summer, so that's $50k to $60k for the city. Yeesh.

I'm down with trying to limit it the full-scale shit-show to 3 months (July through Sept). How to keep the event under control the other months is the question. Everyone will just show up anyway.

Glad to hear about measures such as telling people when it's over at 10pm. Garbage clean-up has been spotty and not timely in my experience.
2
So I’ve lived in the hood for a while now and… what’s that? No cares? Good. Moving along… The labor cost argument is specious. How much does policing Old Town cost? We have cops; we pay cops. If the City can’t find a responsible way to do that, I don’t think the forces behind Last Thursday (whatever they are) should feel bad. And I don’t think the vendors should have to pay a dime—the majority of money is made, like in Old Town, by bars serving cheap booze. People drive in from Beaverton to people watch people driving in from Gresham. Everyone stands around saying “this used to be so much COOLER”. Hippies play jug music. Well, since I can drink at home and don’t like jug music, I don’t get a lot out of Last Thursday. But it obviously makes other people happy and it’s okay for others to do things that I don’t like to do.
3
"...the forces behind Last Thursday (whatever they are)...

I think that's precisely the problem, there isn't any organization behind Last Thursday. I think the city is concerned to find out that it's falling on them.
4
bars and restaurants benefit the most, they should step up and help with funding. Glad to hear Binks has taken the lead on this.
5
Yeah. When I lived in Madison they had a similar issue with Halloween. People showed up and got drunk, no one was in charge, and the city footed the bill at the end of the day.

Their solution was to charge a few bucks admission after a certain hour. I think that sort of thing might work for Last Thursday, but people would whine so hard about it I wonder if it'd be even worth trying.
6
Jesus Christ the city is a fucking waste machine. Solution: I'll put up roadblocks for a scant $500, and the cops who do nothing more than leering at teen girls and forcing liquor into paper cups can just take the night off.
7
Can they break down the bill? If it $10,000 in police, and $1000 in roadblocks, given that the police don't seem to be doing much*, (as far as I can tell the volunteers do most of the real enforcement anyways,) I say that maybe they should try doing it with less officers.

*A few years ago they told a guy to put some pants on, then all but got a city ordinance overturned in court because it conflicted with the Oregon constitution. Talk about a waste of money.
8
I'll put up roadblocks for $495. Hear that Portland? Bidding war's on!
9
A lot of the cost info was pretty much words that didn't actually add up. The port of potties are included in the total of how much the events, even though they are paid for by Binks and company, not the city. Which is to say "This costs the city $11,000, except they only pay $8,000" oh, and the costs are for the months some people consider to be "real" last Thursday, which depending on weather, is Mayish to Septemberish.

In January, there was a Last Thursday, and if you went into any of the galleries or businesses that showed art, there were many more people than normal, snacks, new art...and there were a few bands on the street. Clearly a Last Thursday Art Walk on Alberta, but no crowds, cops, etc.
10
The 11-12k cost that Amanda Fritz threw out there last night, along with stating that the health bureau spend $3,000 a month on last thursday is inflated and outright wrong. It's only 5 months a year, so saying that they spend 12k a month makes it seem like it costs the year over 140k a year. Then strip out those expenses that they would have to pay anyway. Then remove the increased property tax payments. Then go question why the health bureau gets 3k a month to work 5 nights a year for 4 hours?!?!?!? How do I become a health inspector? Frigging sweet job. Those costs are covered by the licenses that people pay, and would have to paid no matter what. How about all the jobs that exist only because of what Last Thursday has brought? I believe they also said that Trimet has costs, but how many bus fares are paid just to come to this, that they wouldn't receive anyway? AMANDA FRITZ - Don't use incorrect or falsified numbers to justify shutting down this event. In the long run, you will cost the city 10s if not 100s of thousands each year. If the issues are with booze - fix the booze situation. If the issues are with people being drunk, get rid of the drunks. Leave 99.99% of responsible people that come alone. If you pick on us, you will have 10k angry people that wouldn't mind seeing you out of office.
11
I attended the meeting last night and it seems like there is some confusion about the relationship between gentrification and Last Thursday. This event is more of symptom or result of gentrification and urban renewal that has happened in N/NE Portland.

N/NE Portland was systematically blighted by City planning as well as discriminatory banking and real estate practices (like redlining and disinvestment). Then Urban Renewal came in and the City began to invest money in N/NE Portland through the Oregon Convention Center and Interstate Urban Renewal Areas. Its great that money is being invested in Alberta and other places in N/NE Portland and that there is more development happening which means that more jobs are being created etc. An issue that looms is about equity - who is benefiting from this recent investment and development?

And in considering this question, I'm not trying to say that the people that are benefiting don't deserve it, because I know that they work hard for what they have. The point is that this is an event where our elected officials know that there are obvious problems (people have been telling them about the problems for 4 years now). If this event were attended by a majority of people of color, would Commissioner Adams (he was Commissioner when he did this) have taken it on as a "special case study", or would it have been shut down?

I'm not sure what needs to come of Last Thursday, but it definately reveals inequity in this liberal city of Portland, and this is an opportunity to learn about how we can bring this changing community together. When artists, vendors and others say that they make Alberta what it is today, it's true. The way Last Thursday is currently, reveals how money has been historically invested in neighborhoods with certain demographics, while its been disinvested from others. And the people who faced disinvestment due to discriminatory banking and real estate practices are still facing systematic economic disinvestment - that's why they don't live in N/NE Portland anymore.

From my personal experience in neighborhoods throughout N/NE Portland I've seen older residents take offense when newer residents make statements about how the neighborhood is better, cleaner and safer because they now live in the neighborhood. The older residents worked hard to build their neighborhood along with their families and neighbors, they just had less political and economic power than the newer residents currently do. And they did a lot of amazing work. (like the Portland Organizing Project, EJAG, etc.)

So, if we really want to be inclusive and welcome everyone in, we just need to be mindful about how we talk to each other about this event and the neighborhoods we currently live. I know that it may seem like a small detail to some, but its a big detail to others because its rooted in a history of discrimination that many of the old and current residents didn't create.