A.D.A. angle gets action in Portland tent camping disaster

The lawyer who's been suing the City of Portland in federal court to get the junkies' tents off the sidewalks and out of the way of people with mobility disabilities says he's scored a victory, as he and city attorneys have reached a settlement. The agreement is here. Next it's up the City Council to decide whether to ratify it.

Here's the gist of the plaintiffs' lawyer's side of what's happened:

[T]he City has agreed to:

    • Prioritize removal of campsites that obstruct “sidewalks” that are defined as the portion of sidewalks that are intended for pedestrian travel, normally 6 to 8 feet in width or, for a sidewalk less than 6-8 feet in width, the entire sidewalk, as referenced in the PBOT Pedestrian Design Guide 2022.  This also includes access to bus stops and MAX trains.
    • Ensure that for a full five-year period, 40% of all annual campsite removals within the City limits are devoted to keeping sidewalks clear.
    • Establish 24 hour reporting hotlines (telephone and online) to ensure that all residents, including those with mobility disabilities, can effectively report sidewalk obstructions efficiently and in real time.  Permit reporters to upload pictures onto the hotline.
    • Create a process on line or telephonically for those with mobility disabilities to request ADA accommodations to prioritize these removals.
    • Require a city staffer or contractor to assess reported campsites within 5 business days of the report. 
    • Consolidate all data so obtained in a publicly accessible, single tracking system and database of reported campsites and actions taken in response to reports.
    • Ensure that employees and contractors of the City who engage in campsite removals instruct those who are displaced that they cannot relocate on sidewalks.
    • Post “no camping” signs in frequently obstructed areas.
    • Extend the ban on City employees and contractors handing out tents and tarps with limited exceptions (including where doing so helps relocate those displaced or during sub-freezing weather with safeguards to prevent relocation onto sidewalks).
    • Acknowledge the City’s intent to adequately fund its obligations under the agreement including an assurance that even in the event of budget restrictions, the City must devote a bare minimum of $8 million for fiscal year 2023/24 and a bare minimum of $3 million per year for the following four fiscal years to campsite removals and associated functions.
    • Promise to engage in at least 500 campsite removals each year as a bare minimum (unless there are no longer encampments to remove) notwithstanding that the City intends to remove more if necessary.
    • Require the City to provide quarterly written reports as to its compliance with the agreement and share the reports with the public.
    • Allow the Federal Court to enforce the terms of the agreement for a period of five years from the date it is entered into and provide for a process to mediate and confer prior to taking enforcement action.

Will the City Council agree to all this? I would think that Wheeler, Mapps, and Gonzalez will vote yes. Rubio will be a no because "equity" or whatever, and wishy-washy Ryan is a tossup (although I think he's more of a toss-out next year).

Meanwhile, the plantiffs' lawyer, John DiLorenzo Jr., must be doing quite the superior dance around the office these days. He's the one who forced the city water and sewer bureaucrats to stop spending ratepayer money illegally, and now he's going to get a federal judge to make sure the city clears the streets.

Of course, getting a federal judge involved is probably just the beginning of a long process. We've been down that road for many years with police brutality. The city signs lot of agreements. Getting it to live up to them is like pulling teeth. The bureaucrats and their lawyers are, well, weasels.


  1. Great suggestions. Didn’t see any provision about “heads will roll” if it doesn’t happen.

  2. It's Portland. It will be too easy to provide a token adjustment and fake improvement.
    The momentum for the status quo is an insurmountable perpetual motion.
    AKA Doomsville.

    1. I don't know about that. DiLorenzo can be kind of a pit bull, and so far, I believe he's got the city paying his fees.

  3. Many, many, many moons ago John DiLorenzo was a frequent visitor to an inner SE stationary store I managed. He was always on foot and always seemed to have more time to spend than most anyone else. Though it seemed to me like he was in a semi-dream state gathering wool, it has become obvious over the years that he was actually boots on the ground for the real Portland we now are so much grieving for and that he had a grand plan to keep Portland alive. Thanks God for him, and why did we not elect him Mayor when he punched that ticket?

    1. If he’s really what he appears to be. I’m on board.


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