PORTLAND, Ore. — Portland Mayor Charlie Hales met on Tuesday with a group of community leaders and concerned North Park Blocks neighbors who gathered to address concerns for safety and livability in the city’s historic park. The mayor’s office called today’s meeting more of a “listening session.”
One Reply to “KATU-TV: Park Safety Concerns Heard by Mayor Hales”
The fundamental challenge we face is epitomized in the language Mayor Hales’ used in his sound bites on last night’s news. To him—and the city I guess—the problem he sees is one of mitigating the conflict between two different communities. The North Park Blocks are one of the ‘hotspots’ he identifies where conflict exists between the homeless and the people that live and work in this part of the city, and his objective is to make parks ‘good for everyone.’ To him, there’s nothing inherently problematic in the lawlessness we are witnessing, but rather, the problem is in the conflict arising from our discontent. In other words, if we never said anything, there would be no problem for them to address. He is playing the role of a mediator hosting “listening sessions” not an executive or enforcer of the law.