Despite what you may have read in the Multnomah County voter pamphlet, Eva Liu supports the Portland Clean Energy Initiative.
Liu, who owns Kings Omelets on Northeast Halsey and 107th, said she unintentionally submitted a quote that opposed the ballot initiative—and never wanted her name or business associated with Keep Portland Affordable, the group working to block the proposed initiative. That quote is printed in the voter guide and has been used in a sponsored editorial published by the Oregonian.
“If you make it more expensive for people to live here, they’re going to have less money to enjoy our food scene,” reads Liu's quote. “Besides, I’m small so I mainly shop at the same places everybody else does. It’s going to cost me more to run my business too.”
In an email to the Mercury, Liu said she thought she was penning a statement in opposition to grocery and beverage taxes.
The Clean Energy Initiative—Measure 26-201—will tax Portland retailers with annual revenues of at least $1 billion, and use that money to fund clean energy projects and train Portlanders for green jobs. Liu said she supports the initiative and was surprised to see her photo and quote on Keep Portland Affordable's website. At Liu's request, Keep Portland Affordable has removed those items from their campaign website (although it still appears on their "blog" landing page).
Liu did sign two county documents (obtained by the Mercury from Keep Portland Affordable), affirming that she opposed the initiative.
Carol Chan, a close friend of Liu's, says she believes Liu was "tricked into opposing" the measure. Proponents of the ballot measure agree.
“Immigrants who don’t speak English as their first language are particularly vulnerable to being manipulated,” says Khanh Pham, a spokesperson for the Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (APANO). “It’s upsetting to see a political campaign mislead an immigrant small business owner, who is also a voter, in this way. They clearly did not explain what she was signing.”