FONT & AUDIO
Letters: Portland needs new form of government
Regarding the KGW survey discussed in your Oct. 19 edition ("Poll shows Portlanders dissatisfied," Sources Say): Is anyone surprised by the public's negative reactions to the city of Portland's inability to resolve problems?
As long as Portland has a commissioner form of government and continues to address problems in a piecemeal fashion, problems with homelessness, lack of affordable housing, and traffic congestion (to mention a few problems) will never get completely resolved.
The current commissioner form of government tends to create a them-versus-us attitude between commissioners and bureaus over budget resources when they really should be working together for the purpose of the public good.
Likewise, you can't resolve homelessness only with shelters while at the same time still promoting gentrification with its residential displacement and increased rental costs. Homelessness (and affordable housing and transportation, etc.) requires a regional effort to combat it, not a piecemeal approach.
As a retired planner I am amazed that the implementation of Portland's Comprehensive Plan is not happening via a holistic and coordinated process. No wonder Portland's problems are growing and the public (myself included) is not happy.
Pot taxes could help the homeless
Concerning the article "Pot taxes puff up PPS coffers" in the Oct. 19 issue: Can't the city and county use their share of the pot tax for homeless shelters or initiate their own pot tax for the homeless?
The cruelty of cutting housing funds
Regarding the Royal Palm Hotel's loss of federal Housing and Urban Development funding, it is indeed fortunate that the 50 individuals living there have all found housing (Portland Tribune, Oct. 17). Still its closure is a tragedy. It's beyond belief that President Trump and his minions are taking housing (as well as health care) away from the lowest-income people in the country.
Trump and his administration have their cruel eyes on HUD to cut more funding. I wonder if there is any way to stop this man and his cronies from harming still more people.
I am extremely fearful for the well-being of many people dear to me, since the apartments they live in rely on HUD funding.
Newspapers give citizens a voice
The importance of local papers can't be overemphasized. ("Local papers vital for sharing real news" by the editorial board, Portland Tribune, Oct. 3). The local newspapers are where we express our opinions and join the conversation. This is part of the reason our health care was not turned into a tax break for the rich. It is the way we can protect the safety-net programs like SNAP (formerly food stamps) from being cut to, surprise, once again fund a tax break for the rich.
Thanks to the Portland Tribune for printing the opinions of ordinary citizens. We can use our voices to make sure Congress works for the people. So speak up, call your representatives in Congress and remind them they work for us. Ask them to fully fund our safety-net programs that keep millions above the poverty line, giving each of them a hand up to reach their dreams.