Talk isn't cheap

I see that Portland Cty Hall has gotten a $350,000 grant to talk about what to do about the statues that the anarchists ripped down three years ago. Jefferson! Washington! Teddy Roosevelt! And that no good racist Lincoln! (Plus, that elk looked like it wasn't rooting hard enough for the natives.)

The grant comes from the Mellon Foundation, which wants to "support public dialogue about the removed monuments." If I had to guess, they want them all melted down and replaced by statues of more correct figures. People with perfect records on all hot-button "equity" issues. Maybe a Chloe Eudaly statute in the Park Blocks and a Jo Ann Hardesty bust on Mount Tabor.

But whatever you might think about the politics involved, ponder this question, suggested by a reader: How do you spend $350,000 on "talking"? Don't you just schedule public hearings at City Hall and in a few school gymnasiums around town? Not too long ago, we could have this sort of "dialogue" pretty much for free.

Clicking around, I see there's a City Hall committee, and they'll figure out a way to blow all the money somehow:

    • Develop recommendations for creating a community process that ensures broad engagement and participation about public art and the 5 monuments currently in storage; 
    • Identify relevant stakeholders (especially among and between those communities most impacted);  
    • Create avenues to ensure that impacted populations will be heard and represented; 
    • Recommend a community learning program that will illuminate the impacts of structural and individual racism on the community and how that history relates to selection of monuments; 
    • Research best practices among other Cities and States that have successfully navigated similar processes and make relevant recommendations for the City of Portland; 
    • Make recommendations as to how best communicate the engagement plan to the public; 
    • Provide a rough estimate of the resource needs in order to carry out the engagement plan; 
    • Provide a written report that documents the recommendation and proposed engagement activities.
If it were up to me, I'd take the $350,000 and put it toward a down payment on some new jail cells for people who destroy public property. Because for all the public process the Mellons are about to buy us, people who don't like the outcome will just get loaded one night and trash whatever monuments are sitting around. "End civ," and all that. Tantrums 'R' us.


  1. How about we just melt them all down into an unsightly mass and mount it in Pioneer Square? Are we still allowed to use the word, Pioneer?

  2. Sorry to say, just more sign of our rapidly degrading society.

  3. Talk about overthinking and over-planning what should be a simple procedure. Just clean and/or repair the statues, and put the darn things back up. Why leave it to the whiners, malcontents, and equity mongers to have a say in anything? God this town is so pathetic that it is way past satire at this point.

    1. They might last a week. But if you put some cameras near them maybe you could catch the creeps (only to watch Schmidt decline to prosecute).

      They should just donate them to cities that could put them up without worry.


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