In an impassioned email the mayor said that as I walked through downtown on Thursday, “I don’t think I saw one homeless person as I know them to be. I think I counted 27 travelers, many of them with dogs, sprawled on the corners throughout the center of town.”
I’m not judging people by their looks or lifestyle, but I want “our public spaces to be for all to use.”
“I don’t want travelers actually controlling, living on our corners, our plazas, our public spaces,” the mayor wrote. “I welcome them to use them as I would expect everyone else to do. And I want benches and inviting places for all the public to freely use.”
In an interview, the mayor said many of the so-called travelers have “chosen a lifestyle of moving from place to place, and they are not what we call homeless. It’s more of a lifestyle.”
Did you think that was Mayor Hales? Guess again.
Those comments are from Eugene Mayor Kitty Piercy – a leader who’s willing to tell it like it is.
The warning signs were here this spring – City Hall and Portland Police were notified that gangs of travelers were gathering on the North Park Blocks and along Waterfront Park.
City Hall had no unified plan to address this summer’s crisis. Now Portland is in a state of emergency trying to keep the lid on until the traveling gangs head south for the winter.
Mayor Hales – restore safety and order to our parks and public spaces. We need leadership in City Hall, not excuses.