Cities that cut police budgets should lose state funding
A few weeks ago, I watched in horror as rioters hurled paint onto two elderly ladies who tried to douse dumpster fires a lawless crowd had set outside a police building in their own neighborhood. Rioters stole a fire extinguisher from one of the women and wrapped her in caution tape.
Another rioter in a gas mask accosted one of the ladies when she demanded the anarchists stop vandalizing her neighborhood. Then last week a man was beaten within inches of his life in downtown Portland. Enough is enough. It left me asking, "Where are the adults?"
I'm a third-generation Oregonian from the suburban outskirts of Portland. My parents still live in the same home where I grew up in the bedroom community of West Linn, just 10 miles from our besieged federal courthouse in downtown Portland.
Too many of us have kept quiet in the past few months out of fear of being called racist, insensitive and ignorant. Meanwhile, while our primarily white, liberal local political leaders have enabled our largest city to become a smoldering punching bag for rioters and looters. Many of these same politicians cheered from the sidelines as our local law enforcement officers were injured, exhausted, hamstrung and scapegoated.
Then two elderly neighborhood women were assaulted, and that was the last straw for me.
Assaulting two elderly ladies in Portland did nothing to support an agenda to create greater understanding and justice for people who have been historically marginalized. Assaulting two elderly ladies in Portland did not teach President Trump a lesson.
The only thing assaulting two elderly ladies did was unmask the indifference, cowardice and incompetence of the leadership of the city of Portland and the state of Oregon to allow violence to continue after three months. Our elected leaders must cease indulging the violence and destruction in Portland. Our government leaders should put their foot down, but they have instead chosen to pull up a chair and watch from the sidelines.
I cannot keep my head down any longer. Demanding a hard stop to the rioting, destruction and assaults is not a partisan issue. Opposing efforts to defund or even abolish our local police is not racist, insensitive or ignorant. Portland must clean up its own mess and we must get back to debating substantive policy changes respectfully.
I originally entered this political race to bring real representation of our suburban West Linn and Tualatin communities to state government. We must unwind the unchecked abuse of power exhibited by the radical politicians in power. The events in Portland impact our communities. Many of us who live here work in Portland.
I'm the chief petitioner of defundisdangerous.com and we're working to gather 100,000 signatures to tell reckless political leaders like Gov. Kate Brown and our current representative, Rep. Rachel Prusak, that rioting and violence must stop and defunding our police is dangerous for our families.
When I am elected to the Oregon State Legislature in November, I will introduce "Defund Portlandia" legislation during the 2021 Legislative Session. This package will include suspending state grants and lottery-funded special projects to cities that choose to defund their local police, enable rioting and diminish public safety.
Portland politicians made a choice to defund many parts of their own police department. The reality is that policy in Portland has a ripple effect on all Oregonians. The state of Oregon should have the option to defund Portland's pet projects when they rely on tax dollars from those of us who don't live in Portland.
The state should levy financial penalties against cities that enable rioting and destruction for more than one week. Portland business owners whose livelihoods and storefronts were damaged by rioting and looting should have their moving expenses reimbursed to open in safer neighborhoods like West Linn and Tualatin.
We can tell radical, reckless politicians that if they're going to let the anarchists take over, then do not ask the rest of us for help. Clean up your own dumpster fire.
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