RENT TO OWN
RE: “Dibs!” [Hall Monitor, Sept 27], in which News Editor Dirk VanderHart reported on Commissioner Chloe Eudaly’s forthcoming proposal that would require owners selling their rental properties to give tenants and the Portland Housing Bureau (PHB) 90 days’ notice and the first chance to buy those properties at market rate. Eudaly’s office suggests the change could help Portland increase home ownership, combat its persistent housing emergency, and put a dent in the city’s promise to create or preserve 1,300 affordable units in the city.
Great! So all the people who have been priced out over the last 15-20 years are gonna get the same assistance, right?
Oh! Only people lucky enough to still be living in inner Portland neighborhoods? The majority of them being newcomers who never cared about Portland until they moved here?
I hate New Portland, and I resent that many newcomers do not take responsibility for the ways they have impacted the lives of locals who have lived here for 20 or 30 years. But hey, if you can suckle on the teat of Portland’s market and still afford it, then you, as a newcomer, will have more protections than all the people of the last 20 years put together.
I’m so happy for you, as a queer local who was priced out of Portland and back to my old stomping grounds of Vancouver, Washington.
The more of these ideas that pop up at City Hall, the more likely it is that landlords of single-family units will sell. How much more can they do to dissuade people from investing in rental property? Relocation fines, right of first refusal, the revocation of no-cause evictions. If I were in that boat, the second the lease was up, the tenants would be out and the house would be on the market. I’d take my profits and walk away from it all. Too much hassle.
NEVER GIVE UP, NEVER SURRENDER
RE: “Jeff Sessions Delivers a Drawling, Hysterical, Fear-Mongering Message to Portland [Blogtown Sept 19], and last week’s letters, in which “The Beans” wrote, “These old men are worried that they’re going away,” adding, “we’re going to win simply by virtue of not being old, sad, angry, and stupid. We’re going to win because decency and ethics win in the long term over anger, hate, graft, and gullibility. Fuck off, Jeff Sessions. You’re going to die soon.”
Reading the letter by The Beans, I empathize, and so want that to be true. It could have been written by me 50 years ago—though instead referring to LBJ, Nixon, and Kissinger. We were so convinced that generational change would bring about the state of affairs we desired.
Instead, we got Reagan, the Bushes, Afghanistan, Iraq, Trump, Bannon, and Sessions.
Maybe this time it’ll be true, Beans, but don’t hold your breath or expect it to be inevitable. The power structure, especially in our hyper-capitalist culture, has consummate shape-shifting skills, and the ability to morph new faces and “hip” appearances while maintaining and reinforcing the status quo.
Take it from a boomer who saw his revolution commodified and sold back to us: Don’t get fooled, work tirelessly, and maybe you’ll pull off what my generation couldn’t. However, thinking that “we’re going to win simply by virtue of not being old, sad, angry, and stupid,” while cathartic and feel-good, is tragically naive and a recipe for failure.
Thank you, Ed, for your important reminder that just because America’s current crop of assholes will die off doesn’t mean we won’t be faced with new, sneakier assholes. Stay on your guard, everybody, and keep fighting! (Except you, Ed—you win the Mercury’s letter of the week, and thus get to relax with two passes to the Laurelhurst Theater.)
DEPT. OF CORRECTIONS
A story in last week’s issue [“Daring to Dream,” News, Sept 27] misidentified a co-founder of the Oregon DACA Coalition. He is Leo Reyes, not Leo Peyes. The Mercury regrets the error.