by Lisa Leithauser (SOS Oregon)
“Like Suzanne Bonamici, many of you live just far enough away to ignore…[that] customers of a business ask neighbors’ teenage daughters for lap dances, speed through neighborhoods, park illegally and have sex in illegally parked vehicles…”
SOS Oregon is comprised of neighbors from eastern Washington County and Beaverton who have formed a coalition to coordinate working with advocacy groups and neighborhood businesses to end the proliferation of adult entertainment businesses on SW Beaverton-Hillsdale Highway and Canyon Road.
Thank You to Rep. Tobias Read, Rep. Jeff Barker and Sen. Mark Hass
Thank you to State Representatives Tobias Read and Jeff Barker along with State Senator Mark Hass, for sponsoring SJR 28. In addition, they supported two other measures — HB 3161 (requiring owners of establishments providing “live entertainment” be the employers of performers if those performers are required to give up a share of their tips) and HB 3284 (requiring record-keeping for transactions in which rooms are rented for 24 hours or less).
No Thank You – Senate Judiciary Committee and Suzanne Bonamici
The Senate Judiciary Committee members, including local State Senator Suzanne Bonamici, sat on their hands and never moved SJR 28 out of committee. Many of our SOS Oregon members emailed the committee members. Most never received acknowledgment of their emails. Apparently, expression, while free, is not worth the time of many of our elected public officials. SOS Oregon understands why senators outside of a voter’s district may not respond, but, at the very least, expects a response from a local neighborhood politician.
SJR 28 was a well-written measure and deserved more than one hearing held deliberately during Spring Break to limit testimony and supporters’ freedom of speech. Committee member Suzanne Bonamici should have shown a little bit more political courage and, at the very least, joined in the debate on one side or the other, and responded to constituents’ emails.
Like Suzanne Bonamici, many of you live just far enough away to ignore or avoid the blight on Canyon. At what point, however, do we say, “Not my problem,” and ignore the very real harassment of neighbors close to these businesses and the exodus of neighboring businesses? At what point do we say it is okay for the customers of a business to ask neighbors’ teenage daughters for lap dances, speed through neighborhoods, park illegally and have sex in illegally parked vehicles, wander drunkenly into a neighbor’s house, urinate on neighboring property, leave garbage including drug paraphernalia and pornographic material on neighbors’ properties, harass neighbors on their way to the bus stop, harass other businesses’ customers and employees, etc. At what point? At the point where we can all stand, with hands covering our eyes, behind a freedom of expression flag raised high by these businesses to avoid regulation and good neighbor business practices that every other business follows?
Just because one can avoid Canyon does not mean one can ignore and turn one’s back on the plight of neighbors and businesses bordering the blight. Thanks to many who feel the same way and are willing to lend a voice and a hand, Canyon will again be a place businesses want to locate, and where neighborhood property is valued, not devalued.