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Message - Showdown At The Public Housing Policy Corral

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Posted by  Richard Ellmyer on January 21, 2003 at 00:39:21:

If you pay taxes in the city of Portland or Multnomah County or the state of Oregon or the United States of America you have a right to express your opinion on a public housing policy supported by your tax dollars. http://www.goodgrowthnw.org/publiccomment.pdf

The JOB of elected public officials is to make Public Policy.
Teachers, firefighters, dock workers and white collar employees of insurance companies do NOT make public policy. Initiatives notwithstanding, ONLY elected officials (and occasionally judges) make public policy. So the question arises: Why hasn't a single publicly elected official in the state of Oregon who is connected to the Housing Authority of Portland's $200 million public housing project stood up to declare that:
"Increasing the number of tax-supported low-income housing clients in a neighborhood that already has the highest number of low-income housing clients in the City of Portland, Multnomah County and the state of Oregon is either Good or Bad Public Policy.

The Housing Authority of Portland's plan to approximately double the number of qualified residents (80% or less of Average Median Income) at Columbia Villa, Oregon's largest (70 acre) tax-supported low-income housing compound, falls under this Good/Bad Public Policy and should be accepted/rejected?"

The answer is quite simple. Like abortion, social security and taxes most of them don't want to touch this hot potato with a ten foot pole if they can avoid it. Quite understandable.

Is there anyone in the state of Oregon who believes that improving the quality of life in their neighborhood is achieved by OVERLOADING their own neighborhood with low-income housing?

The answer is quite simple. NO. And therein lies the dilemma for elected officials connected to this multimillion dollar multi-government sponsored public housing project. But we pay these people to stand up and be counted on public policy issues. It's their job.

There are perhaps ninety days or so before this monstrous political steamroller takes on a life of its own making it almost impossible for anyone to influence, redirect or shut it down. So NOW is the time for every elected official in the state of Oregon with any connection to this public policy issue to vote. The question has been called.

Here is a URL to a ballot for those of you who are public officials to download. http://www.goodgrowthnw.org/publichousingpolicy.pdf . In the coming weeks your responses will be posted here, http://www.goodgrowthnw.org . We will look with particular interest to those publicly elected officials who have a financial connection. They would include:
1) The entire Oregon congressional delegation
2) The Portland City Council
3) The Oregon Governor
4) The Oregon State Treasurer
5) The Oregon Legislature
6) The Multnomah County Commission

Cut Along Dotted Line
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A Citizen's View of Public Housing Policy
Increasing the number of tax-supported low-income housing clients in a neighborhood that already has the highest number of low-income housing clients in the City of Portland, Multnomah County and the state of Oregon is Bad Public Policy. The Housing Authority of Portlandís plan to approximately double the number of qualified residents (80% or less of Average Median Income) at Columbia Villa, Oregonís largest (70 acre) tax-supported low-income housing compound, falls under this Bad Public Policy and should be rejected.

My Signature indicates agreement with the statement above: .
Please Print
First Name Last Name .

Street Address City/State/Zip .

Phone Email .

Are you a registered voter? .
If you are representing the views of an organization what is its name? .
What is your title? .

Notice: Your name and city will be published on this web site http:www.goodgrowthnw.org
Signed forms may be mailed to: Good Growth NW 9124 N. McKenna Portland, OR 97203
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Any citizen who agrees with this position on public housing policy can cut out the form above or download the statement from http://www.goodgrowthnw.org/publiccomment.pdf , sign and mail it in. The name and city of each respondent will be published on this site, http://www.goodgrowthnw.org in the near future.

HAP's enormous financial resources and aggressive public relations machinery make it meaningless to ask for citizens to express a positive opinion on this public policy matter. Just as HAP has rounded up its clients and vendors and bused them to influence public meetings of all sorts it can and would just as easily "persuade" these folks to flood the mail. HAP can pay for and publish the opinions of those under HAP's influence on HAP's web site. This is an opportunity for the rest of us to speak out.

Special Note to Writers
If you wait too long to address this topic your work will not be that of a journalist but rather a historian. Don't worry about the blood and puppies crowd. Unless two kids and a beagle get mowed down by a bulldozer during demolition there's no need to worry about arousing their interest especially if the story has anything whatsoever to do with Public Policy. This is a writer's game. Please join in anytime you're ready.

Richard Ellmyer
Portland, Oregon

President, MacSolutions Inc., a Macintosh computer consulting and web hosting service located in the Portsmouth neighborhood of North Portland since 1984. http://www.macsolve.com
Staff advisor to former state senator Bill McCoy and former Multnomah County Commissioner Gladys McCoy.

For more detailed information on the controversial $200 million Columbia Villa remodel project go to: http://www.goodgrowthnw.org .

Articles related to this subject by and about Richard Ellmyer
Community activism - Getting involved to make a difference by Gayla Whitman, The Review of North Portland, September 13, 2002.
http://www.goodgrowthnw.org/Review.html

Columbia Villa faces transformation by Gordon Oliver, Oregonian, July 24, 2002.
http://www.oregonlive.com/news/oregonian/index.ssf?/xml/story.ssf/html_standard.xsl?/base/news/1027511760296551.xml

Zoning issue handled badly by Richard Ellmyer, Portland Tribune, July 9, 2002.
http://www.portlandtribune.com/archview.cgi?id=12383

Measure tips balance away from citizens by Richard Ellmyer, Portland Tribune, May 7, 2002.
http://www.portlandtribune.com/archview.cgi?id=11325

People, like gardens, need help to act right by Renee Mitchel, Oregonian, March 13, 2002.
http://www.oregonlive.com/news/oregonian/renee_mitchell/index.ssf?/xml/story
http://www.goodgrowthnw.org/RMitchel.html

Housing boon or blight? by Cristine Gonzalez, Portland Tribune, October 9, 2001.
http://www.portlandtribune.com/archview.cgi?id=6899

 
 
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