Two rallies for ‘Ballot Access’ on November 7, 2017 are planned for tomorrow Wednesday, August 9th on city hall steps. The first rally is set for noon and the second rally is set for 5:00 pm. Both events are in response to the city’s admitted mistake when it announced yesterday that the Fair Rent Portland petitions were null and could not get on the November 7, 2017 ballot – even though the non-profit volunteers had collected almost double the number of signatures required, were well within the time limit given to it and followed instructions as laid out by the city clerk.
Just hours after the spokeswoman for city hall admitted the error, supporters of Fair Rent Portland began planning the rallies to tell city councilors and city manager Poor Jon (on vacation this week) that the referendum needs to be on the November ballot and not at a time to be determined by the real estate industry – the city’s ally in this referendum battle. (The city clerk Kathy Jones is also on vacation this week.)
For far too many years now, the city council has been derelict in its duty to provide renters with basic rights. That is particularly true of the Housing Committee, a fraud and charade, under the smug leadership of councilors Jill Duson; (at large), David Brennerman and Belinda Raw; (District 1) the city has flagrantly ignored basics that are commonly accepted policies for renters in other cities across the country. It’s time for the city to stop thumbing its collective nose at renters in Portland.
Portland ranks # 2 in increases in rental rates in the past five years. The city council has watched this occur and taken no steps to alleviate this abusive practice – just contributing to the crises and making it far worse than it need be.
Smugness may not be so cool any more.
Please see four prior posts herein on the Fair Rent Portland issue and controversy surrounding it.