Look at all the money we're throwing

I see the Multnomah County chair, Jessica Chevy Vega, gave a speech the other day. She's "so optimistic" about the county's being able to make s dent in Portland's tent squatter crisis. Any day now, it's going to get better:

She promises to root this work in partnerships, starting with a one-year, $32 million plan to unify local and state efforts to reduce homelessness — starting in Portland’s Central City.

“This combined investment will rehouse 545 households and create 140 shelter beds by the end of this year,” Vega Pederson said....

“Overall, we’re investing $128 million for housing placements, rent assistance and support services to meet those experiencing homelessness on the streets, in vehicles, in shelter beds –- and assist them to move into permanent housing and help them stay there,” she said.

The county is also putting $87 million toward alternative shelters, like motels and outreach workers.

I'm always amused when the politicians here get up and brag about how much money they're burning through. To them, that's the be-all and end-all. Cut the checks to the bloated nonprofits and declare victory. Results are never part of the equation.

Meanwhile, the apparent shoo-in for the vacant seat on the county commission, Julia Brimming-Over, is out there making noises about how the county has no real plan to get anything done about homelessness, and how, of course, electing her is the answer.

“I’m from east Portland, I grew up here, I went to public schools, and I see that we have really big challenges related to homelessness, access to mental health services, drug treatment and also our neighborhoods are less safe,” Brim-Edwards told KOIN 6 News.

The candidate says she’s “not at all” satisfied with the county’s response to the homeless crisis.

“The county needs to take immediate effective action and the fact that we have thousands of people living on the streets without basic services, without a path to shelter or to permanent supportive housing is completely unacceptable and it’s a humanitarian crisis. It’s heartbreaking for the individuals who are in that situation and also for the neighborhoods and the community in which they’re living,” Brim-Edwards said.

Sound familiar? The current Big Kahuna of Oregon politics, I Tina, was making the same kinds of noises on the eve of the last election when she was running for governor. We're four and a half months into her reign, and does anything in central Portland feel different? Not to me.

I don't live in Brim-Edwards's district, and so I don't get to vote in her race, but if I did, I'd probably leave that one blank. Her opponents are awful, but I don't buy her act. She's saying what she needs to say to get elected, and I doubt that she'll back it up once she gets her seat in the bobblehead gallery. I would expect her to settle in nice and cushy and wallow in the mediocrity like just about everybody on that council before her, except Dr. Sharon on a good day. All while she awaits the chance to run for a higher office.


  1. Bojack2 gets it. If he were only electable!

  2. Brim-Edwards goes to the head of the class with talk. Perfect fit for Portland. She will undoubtedly call for a committee to discuss major issues.

  3. Working Class Julia, who lives in a $1.5m house next to Mt. Tabor Park…

  4. Sometimes I fantasize about moving back to Portland from the burbs and mounting a mayoral campaign. If I did win, I would take a wrecking ball to the current group of nincompoops inside City Hall. Unfortunately I have far too much baggage from my long passed wasted youth to even get on the ballot, and/or to be taken seriously. Plus I would be unwilling to spout the kind of approved gibberish that would even afford me a slight chance to win.

    A man can dream though.

    1. A similar thought crossed my mind. Then I realized —— my constituents were leaving.

  5. Anyone who would be or will be elected in Portland will be no different than any of the current or previous goofballs. With the exception of the strong potential to be worse.
    Just like Seattle & San Francisco there is no level of degradation that is severe enough to alter anything


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