Mayor Hales – What’s the Plan?

After ignoring the summer’s invasion of traveling gangs into the North Park Block, the city surrounded one park block (between Burnside and Couch) with barbwire-topped chainlink fencing to cordon off the block from all public use.

City either ignores problem or denies all use

Not surprisingly the gangs moved across the street to the playground block in front of the Emerson school. The remaining blocks up to Flanders now have a higher concentration of drug use, prostitution and off-leash dogs.

This morning Michelle Cardinal CEO and Co-Founder of R2C Group wrote Mayor Hales  requisition clarification regarding his plan to reclaim the park. We will publish his reply.

Mr. Mayor

I was wondering when the North Park Blocks will be finished with fencing for fixing of irrigation system and prep for Art Walk? Last week – the city did fence in just one block at corner between Burnside and Couch. But have not completed entire section between Couch and Glisan.

This partial fencing, has caused many of the vagrants and gangs to move into a smaller are in front of the Emerson School and also our offices on Davis and Flanders, all the way down to PNCA. Making the situation even more unbearable.

On a safety note – things continue to spiral out of control on the North Park Blocks. I’m sure you saw the story of our neighbor who’s dog was attacked by an unleashed Pit Bull over the weekend? 

At night we continue to have large groups of gangs setting up tents and camping on our sidewalks – especially on Davis/park – under an overhang across the street from our office.

I am very concerned – there is a heightened sense of palpable fear in our neighborhood. These traveling gangs of hooligans, seem to have no fear. They are brazen, because they know the police have no authority to do anything. I worry something horrible could go wrong. When can we get some relief soon?

Your swift attention is appreciated.

Yours truly,


2 responses to “Mayor Hales – What’s the Plan?”

  1. JeanSFleming Avatar

    It continues to be scary on the Park Blocks. We had to cut through a group of drug spotters on the corner of 8th and Flanders while walking our dog the other night.

  2. marysipe Avatar

    I have had many conversations recently with neighbors about the deterioration of our neighborhood. I have lived in the Pearl District since 2000.

    Up until a couple of years ago this was a beautiful, peaceful (except for the construction but that will end one of these days) tight community.I could walk my dog at 1:00 AM and feel completely safe. Last summer I was accosted by a homeless man in broad daylight while walking my dog. I did manage to get him arrested. He spent the summer in a nice air-conditioned jail with three meals a day. And now he is back again.

    Now there is criminal activity taking over our neighborhood. We seem to be surrounded. The drug activity under the 405 overpass, the mess outside of Safeway, the North Park Blocks, needles on the street in front of the building where I live, it goes on and on.

    I have empathy for those who are homeless through no fault of their own. Tent’s are not the answer. The City has allocated almost one million dollars to address the homeless issue. Hopefully that money will be well spent and will help get those deserving individuals into housing.

    However, criminal activity needs to be addressed. We need to take back our neighborhood! On a walk through Couch Park I saw what appeared to be drug activity brewing. Two men were walking behind me and said something about “undercover” and got the heck out of there. We need a sting operation, some undercover on our streets and a strong message that those conducting criminal activity will be arrested.
    This type of activity would never be allowed in the back yards of homes in other Portland neighborhoods.Perhaps the Portland Police Crime Prevention Unit is a place to start. We need to demand assistance from our police in cleaning up our neighborhood.

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