Featured Stories

Other Pamplin Media Group sites

Local Weather

Fair

62°F

Portland

Fair

Humidity: 84%

Wind: 7 mph

  • 30 Jul 2014

    Mostly Sunny 89°F 59°F

  • 31 Jul 2014

    Sunny 90°F 60°F


Portland voters reject water fluoridation

There weren’t too many smiles Tuesday night at the Curious Comedy Theater, site of the election-night party of the pro-fluoride campaign whose main slogan was “Help PDX Smile.”

Measure 26-151 lost by a resounding 3-2 margin, the fourth time in five tries that Portland voters have turned down the idea of fluoridating the city's water supply.

"At a very fundamental level, people understand that we don't want more chemicals in our water," said Kim Kaminsky, leader of Clean Water Portland, at a campaign party for fluoride opponents at the On Deck sports bar.

The nonprofit Upstream Public Health brought the idea of fluoridating Portland’s water to city councilors last year, quietly building majority support on the council before the public really caught wind the fluoride issue was back on track in Portland.

The council unanimously approved fluoridating Portland’s water last September, but the stealth campaign by supporters may have backfired.

Fluoridation opponents, with little money or professional political help, quickly gathered enough signatures to force a public referendum on Tuesday. "In 30 days, we put together an operation to gather 43,000 signatures," said Rick North, a member of Clean Water Portland's steering committee.

Portland is the last major city in the U.S. without fluoridated water, and, now that voters have spoken, will remain so.