May the farce be with you

Governor Kohoutek's blue ribbon committee to save downtown Portland has released its recommendations. You can read them here, on a slick website that must have cost a lot of money to produce. I wish we would have spent that dough on a couple of traffic cops or graffiti cleaners.

Anyway, this being the holiday season, there's something for everyone under that tree. Everything from more park rangers to more "transportartion infrastructure" to forcing building owners to take down plywood to outlawing public drug use to no new taxes for a whole three years. And there's enough word salad that it's all you can eat. "Focus peer delivered services and street outreach workers in the Central City." "Align the County-City vision on a homelessness response strategy and set a timetable for reductions in street and total homelessness." And of course, cr-apartments! And plenty of them.

Recommendation: Build 20,000 housing units in the Central City by 2035. The key to the Central City’s current struggles was the over-reliance on office workers to drive activity—especially in the Downtown neighborhood. Neighborhoods across the Central City need resident-to-worker mixes that more closely resemble those in Slabtown, the Pearl, and South Waterfront. The good news is that the Central City is loaded with opportunities, including long-envisioned redevelopments in the Broadway Corridor, Albina, OMSI District, and the Lloyd District.  

The Task Force envisions a housing landscape in downtown that stabilizes people and allows them to pursue opportunities. The City and its partners should build upon the recent  regulatory relief project  and concepts advanced by the Governor’s Housing Production Advisory Committee to identify additional regulations that hinder housing development, such as condo defect liability limitations and the City's Fundamental Design guidelines. 

Civic leaders must also pay special attention to housing in the Downtown neighborhood where resident-to-worker ratios are among the lowest. Development of the City-owned Morrison Bridgehead should be an imperative, and the City and State should aggressively seek out and incentivize conversions of office buildings to housing. 

If I had to guess, somebody at "Prosper" Portland wrote most, if not all, of this stuff, with the task farce face cards being used to make it look like it came from outside the bureaucracy. Been there, done that.

Anyway, there's stuff we all need to do, too:

    • Participate in shop local campaigns for the holidays and beyond
    • Small Shops Big Hearts 
    • Shop Small PDX
    • Broadcast positive narratives and interesting stories in Central City on social media
    • Visit the Woodsy Winter Village and go ice skating this holiday season
    • Ride TriMet to visit Central City
    • Create an illuminated costume and visit the Portland Winter Light Festival February 2-10, 2024
    • Check out West End Wednesdays from 5pm - 8pm the last Wednesday of every month
    • Pledge to eat out in Central City at least once per week
    • Buy a coffee and take a walking meeting with a colleague through Central City
    • Commit to attending arts and culture events and institutions (see the latest on Travel Portland)
    • Bike around Central City on the Central Loop Bike Tourand the Classic Waterfront Loop Bike Ride
So lets get busy, people! Next year all our troubles will be out of sight.


  1. No.mentipn of Arrest, Hold, Convict,.and Incarcerate.

  2. Buy a coffee and take a walking meeting? So what you can pause the meeting to administer Narcan? Can you write off the new shoes you’ll have to purchase after stepping in some human feces while on your walking meeting? Is it a work comp injury if you are assaulted by a mentally ill person while on your walking meeting?

    1. You're safe if you wear your illuminated costume.

    2. You forgot "Catch AIDS or hep-C from stepping on a dirty needle"... Yep, those are still "things".

  3. Rudolph’s nose — as a gaslight.

  4. Normal Portlanders will always remember what Antifa did to downtown. It’s intellectually bankrupt to blame the destruction of downtown commerce on the pandemic.

    1. Yes, and I would add that everyone understands Antifa had help.

  5. Setting up a trespass letter of consent program as painless as just about every other jurisdiction in Oregon and allowing building owners & managers to power wash the debris away without ridiculous permitting would be a start. Actually enforcing a TLC would be another.

  6. Portland Progress, PDC, Urban Renewal…
    All corrupt and morally bankrupt from the very beginning in the 1950s!

  7. 2035!

    I keep thinking back to Opie, whom I supported when he first ran in the nineties. He had a plan to end homelessness in ten years. He was gone in nine.

    Every five years it seems we see another ten year plan created and then abandoned. Eventually everyone moves on to another rung on the PERS ladder. If you give us money today, we promise it'll be better tomorrow. Good God.

  8. This is so dumb it could be a lampooning. Besides the absurdity of more of the same planners notions that 30-40 years have brought the stuff to do is laughable.
    I know plenty of people in Portland. West hills mostly but NE and across the city.
    None of them are going to be doing any of that "stuff we all need to do, too".
    Why would they?

  9. Walking downtown among used needles, broken glass and human excrement can be disgusting. But, wants scary, in downtown, is rounding a corner and bumping into an angry young man wearing a black hoodie.

  10. So basically it's all our faults for not having the right attitudes and behaviors. As I hold up my palm, I say to all of you task forcers, READ BETWEEN THE LINES!

  11. And we're granted the wondrous gift of no "new" taxes for three years. The existing ones will have to suffice, especially the ones that haven't even been touched for the purposes for which the voters were sold. It's enough to make an ancient lefty like me lean just slightly the other way, except for, you know.


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