Portland's future? Don't bother us, we're busy.

Do we even have news media in Portland any more? Yesterday the new police union contract was made public, and only the kids at the Merc had anything to say about it. (UPDATE, Wednesday afternoon: That is, that I could find. Apparently they did post something, here.)

That shows you how little the media here get it. That contract is potentially the most important document in the world right now for Portland. You can trace just about all of the city's current problems back to the wayward police department, and especially to their contract, which lets them get away with murder, literally. And so what the new agreement says, and does, and doesn't say, and doesn't do will likely have a major impact on the future of this troubled city.

You can read the Merc's summary, by Alex Zielinski, here. The whole contract (which is a marked-up, chopped-up mess, but it's the deal, apparently) is here.

I haven't had time to dig through it, but from what the Merc is saying, the crucial questions of police discipline are not resolved. There's nothing in there about body cams and who gets to see what footage when. Meanwhile, the union is still going to get to pursue its grievance against the new police discipline system that the voters passed in November 2020. And so the agreement, which I believe is being voted on by the cops today, leaves crucial questions unanswered. But that in itself is a big story. The media is missing it.

Not much good is going to happen in Portland until the current atrocious situation with the police force is straightened out. For better or worse, that contract is the key.


  1. Though I'm loath to defend the Oregonian, they did publish a story before the Mercury's. The Merc even linked to it in their afternoon news summary.


    1. Thanks. I couldn't find it anywhere on their website.


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