Van Wilde: Hey, Tribune, there's no real 'mystery' about mayor's recall effort
I was one of hundreds of individuals who called out the rank hypocrisy of the actions taken by the Portland Tribune editorial board in the June 30 editorial "Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler recall effort cloaked in mystery."
That editorial was written the day before a recall could legally be filed, and not even identified as an editorial until the next day and hours after it was posted to social media. It was full of badly made guesses, such as it being a ploy by Sarah Iannarone to get into City Hall (a claim which she later said you never even contacted her to verify), and that this was just a rehash of the November 2020 election.
The fact of the matter is, yes, Ted Wheeler did win with only 46% of the vote. Another instance of the popular vote telling the person who won that we really didn't want him. We had seen myriad reasons why he wasn't a trustworthy option to be mayor for another four years, we just didn't have an alternative who got more votes.
Talk of a recall campaign had already been happening due to questions of Commissioner Dan Ryan's fitness to serve, and since his term started Sept. 9, the basic research and groundwork had been laid down long before Mayor Wheeler's re-election. Those who supported the recall had no reason to believe that he would suddenly shape up and become a mayor Portlanders can be proud of.
And we were right. His refusal to do anything to actually hold the Portland Police Bureau, of which he is commissioner, accountable is reason enough to see him recalled. The fact that he disappeared all weekend during an unprecedented heat wave killed dozens of Portlanders instead of leading the city reinforces the idea that when this city needs leadership, Ted Wheeler is nowhere to be found.
Meanwhile, when a broad coalition of justice minded organizations and individuals signed onto a letter to City Hall pointing out how police bureau public information officers have engaged in wholesale "false and misleading" statements to drive a narrative instead of giving truthful statements (which media outlets tend to run as fact with no verification), and letters are provided to media, no one bothers to report on it.
These are just some of the reasons fewer and fewer people trust in our law enforcement, in our mayor, and even in the impartiality of our local journalists.
Your readers deserve better. Portland deserves better.
And finally, in the interest of full disclosure, while I am one of the thousands who has publicly supported the recall, I am in no way associated with the actual recall efforts myself. Just another citizen who wants to see our city truly thrive.
Heather Van Wilde is lead researcher for the Portland-area website Raindrop Works.
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