A strange holiday night in Portland

By Jason Williams
By Taxpayers Association of Oregon

Portland is at war with itself — liberal utopia versus reality.

Last week I attended a popular holiday event in downtown Portland to hear Oregon’s local living music celebrity Pink Martini (Thomas Lauderdale).

On one hand, the City was full of beautiful Christmas lights in the parks — the most I’ve ever seen in 50 years.  There was heavy private security on many different blocks to make you feel safe.  Yet, there were still open air drug use, lots of homeless and lots of wandering vagrants that made you feel unsafe .   As I was plugging my parking meter, three men walked by chanting and screaming about their cocaine dealer.

Here is where Portland is at war with reality.   You can add all the fancy Christmas lights and private security, but Portland is unable to remove the lawbreakers and trespassers.   Liberal politicians are trying to dump as much tax cash on the Portland problem as humanly possible without enforcing law-and-order.  It doesn’t work.

Even more weird, at the Pink Martini holiday concert inside the Schnitzer concert hall (photo above), there was a moment when the lead singer, Thomas Lauderdale, complained about the living conditions in downtown Portland.   The audience laughed.   Thomas Lauderale is a famous Mr. Portland symbol of the City.  He is also very progressive.  To have “Mr. Portland” joke about how bad downtown Portland (in the middle of a concert) is like having Mr. Las Vegas, Elvis, slam his host-city in the middle of his show.

Additionally, across the street from where I was parked was this art billboard saying “Portland is what we make it”.  This is part of a large private campaign to fill Portland with inspirational art billboards to repair it’s image.

To rebuild Portland it will take law-and-order and low-taxes, not more tax cash and art projects.

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