“We at Fair Rent Portland are surprised, disappointed and shocked to learn of the erroneous instructions provided to us by the City Clerk’s office. From the start of the campaign our organization was in close communication with the city clerk who on multiple occasions confirmed that if at least 1,500 valid signatures were submitted by August 7th, the referendum would be reviewed by the council in early September and be included on the November 7 ballot,” according to a press release issued by Fair Rent Portland on late Monday, August 7th.
“Portland citizens trust our public officials to provide accurate information about the requirements of civic engagement. To negate an important civic initiative – the result of scores of volunteers, hundreds of hours of donated time and thousands of engaged citizens – on the basis of an admitted clerical error runs counter to the spirit of the democratic process. Fair Rent Portland calls on our publicly elected councilors to rectify this error, avoid an unnecessary and costly special election and restore confidence in our municipal government by allowing the citizens of Portland to make their voice heard in November,” the press release continued.
“To that end, Fair Rent Portland and their attorneys are determined to work with the Corporate Counsel and city officials to ensure the referendum is on the ballot. Our initiative has resonated throughout Portland’s communities, galvanizing support from renters, landlords and businesses alike, all of whom share our vision for housing security, sustainable growth and reasonable checks on the steep cost escalations on Portland’s rental properties.” the press release ended.
Yesterday the non-profit Fair Rent Portland filed a petition with over 2,500 names on it at the city clerk’s office in Portland’s city hall. The office is to validate the signatures as a requirement to getting the referendum onto the November 2017 ballot. This is expected to happen by Thursday of this week. Only 1,500 signatures are required to get placement on the November ballot. However, late in the day the city of Portland spokeswoman issued a press release stating that because of a process issue, the petitions were nullified and the referendum would not get on the ballot as promised by the city clerk.
The above press release is the non-profit’s response to the city – declaring that the city clerk made a mistake and vowing to work with the city’s attorney to rectify the situation so that the referendum can be on the November ballot.
The city of Portland’s Housing (Hoax) Committee under the chairmanship of councilor Jill Duson has repeatedly ignored opportunities and requests from citizens to afford Portland renters relief from the abusive rent increases dolled out to renters. There has been an on-going crises for renters for years now. Duson and her colleagues, Brennerman and Raw especially, have been derelict in their responsibility to alleviate the situation and have made the crises far worse than it need be. Fortunately, the Fair Rent Portland volunteers are responding where the city has been derelict.
Councilor Duson is up for re-election in November. She is challenged by Joey Brunelle, of Munjoy Hill, who should replace her. Bree LaCasse, is also a challenger to the Duson at-large seat, but she should withdraw from the race and allow Brunelle to win the race by a larger margin than he would if she remained in the race. A three way race is not needed here. Bree should withdraw from the race, mhn.com believes.
LaCasse works for a real estate developer. She did not respond to an inquiry last week by mhn.com as to her position on this referendum proposal by Fair Rent Portland. This was the second request from mhn.com that Bree has ignored. Following the launch of her campaign at Congress Square Park several months ago, LaCasse told mhn.com that she would meet with the Free Rent Portland volunteers and get back on her thoughts about it. She never did. Is that the kind of unresponsive representation you want on the City Council? Doesn’t that speak volumes about where her loyalties are?
For more background information on what necessitated this press release, please see the former two posts on this blog.