Portland’s Trying to Prepare Brick Buildings for an Earthquake—But at What Cost?

Comments

1

“Now you’ve created genocide of a whole community. You’ve wiped them out.”

Oh fuck off with this hyperbole. You want a genocide of a whole community, you'll get one when that community's buildings collapse. Placard or no placard.

We should be fighting to deliver funds to those who need them to perform the upgrades. Not pretend that everything will be fine by doing nothing, and externalizing risk to the most vulnerable, which is precisely what those fighting this measure (rather than organizing around the equity issue) are doing.

2

"Sure, everyone in the building died, but at least we didn't have the appearance of being racist".

3

Thank you for the balanced article. This is a complex issue. There is a code that the City has not enforced. The liquefaction zones and fires are a far greater danger than a bunch of 1-2 story buildings. Education like at the Oregon Coast and Early Warning Systems should be what Portland invests in and the Schools!

4

Thank you The Mercury and Blair Stenvick.

5

"... a developer can’t reap tax benefits in an opportunity zone unless their project is either a new building on a vacant lot or if their investment “substantially improves” the property... "

Okay. So let's then say a seismic retrofit, DOES, in fact,
'substantially improve' the Property.

"... all of Portland’s city commissioners support a bill currently in the Oregon Legislature that would provide public funding to private building owners in order to seismically upgrade their URMs."

Excellent. And Kudos to Jo Ann for having an ear to her constituents. I think you guys got a good one there.

It's Time that'll tell.

6

Thanks for this article. Best shine a light on 'em, at least. This is how they do…

7

What a totally unbiased news article! In order to prove that this is, in fact, racism, shouldn't there be a breakdown of building ownership? Approximately 1,600 buildings would fall under this ordinance, and out of those 1,600, how many are black-owned? If it's not 801, then you cannot consider this a racist ordinance.

Do you see how the Mercury cherrypicks data to fit their biased narrative? The premise is that a liberal city government, filled with elected liberal officials that were elected by liberals, conspired to illegally evict African-Americans from their properties. Right? Isn't this the narrative?

Here's a map of unreinforced masonry buildings and I would love to find out how many are African-American owned:

http://pdx.maps.arcgis.com/apps/Viewer/index.html?appid=a920f2a1fd2746f1a7efad1262aa1312

Where are the numbers, Mercury??

8

"—many Portland URMs now serve as Black-owned businesses and churches, host independent music venues, and provide affordable housing units."

You mean they are buildings and do what buildings do?

9

"Hankins and her husband have long been looking forward to living off the property’s rental income when they retire. But now Hankins fears that plan is in jeopardy."

Funny, when landlords say the same thing about rent laws and restrictions, we are told to a) suck it up, b) that we shouldn't be in the business if we can't afford the consequences of the new laws so just sell our investments, and c) that expecting to earn income and retire off of our investments means we are greedy, profit-seeking leeches on the local community.

And the Venn diagram of the universe of folks telling us all those things overlaps almost entirely with the universe of folks complaining about this new law. Well, pick one. What's good for the goose, as they say...

And I already retrofitted my properties for earthquake resilience, to the tune of many thousands of dollars, because it was the right thing to do to protect my tenants even though it was not fun to have to spend that much money for something that was not, and still is not, legally required for residential housing.

10

I wonder if it might be possible to build, inside a building, a highly-earthquake-resistant space for peeps to get inside of, quaketime. As opposed to making (pretty) sure occupants can survive a quake thru heavily-beefed-up, Expensive structural retrofits....