Much of downtown Portland’s core is still boarded up and dying, the aftermath of months of antifa and Black Lives Matter rioting, looting, and arson. The mayor has done little except to offer clean plywood to cover windows and make a few speeches. Now some businessmen and women have formed a new group to save their city with or without him.
For months, businesses in the Portland Business Alliance have pleaded and begged the mayor to stop the violence, which is destroying current business and costing them millions of dollars. But Mayor Ted Wheeler has given them promises and not much else in return. Between the governor’s draconian COVID shutdowns and the city’s reputation for lawlessness and violence, Portland’s reputation as a popular and safe tourist destination is taking a huge hit too.
The latest insurrection by the radical mob, the occupation of a neighborhood in North Portland, is currently taking hold.
— Vitalist International (@VitalistInt) December 10, 2020
Antifa and BLM members are holed up with a cache of weapons, according to police.
The antifa Red House autonomous zone continues to grow as it is now in its fourth day. Militants continue to build new border check points further and further out to buffer the area. The zone is now three blocks long. Graphic: Oregonian pic.twitter.com/ND86ZXjrld
— Andy Ngô (@MrAndyNgo) December 11, 2020
Recently Leftist radicals destroyed storefronts along Hawthorne Avenue because – Thanksgiving. Duh.
Amongst the graffiti much of it stencilled, were the following phrases “Pequot massacre 1647” “f*** off colonizers” “f*** tnxgiving” “f*** your American flag” etc. #koin #hawthorne #Portland #pdx https://t.co/6ZYHNND5p2
— Adam (@adamdogrady) November 27, 2020
But a new group of business owners has emerged and vowed to clean things up.
The name of the group, The Rose City Collective, has a decidedly Leftist Portland sound. In an open letter, signed by businessmen and women and non-profit members, the groups has attempted to strike a chord with the Portland Professional Protesters™ but also point out what’s true: The destruction is killing the city and their businesses.
While the PBA plays insider politics, giving the mayor cover, the Collective takes aim at him in the letter for allowing the “criminal destruction” and “chaos.”
Protest has long been the historical spark to ignite real change and the Rose City Downtown Collective could not be more proud to support the protests for civil rights happening in the heart of our great city. But the focus of the movement has been blurred by the ongoing chaos and criminal destruction that is happening night after night, often after the protests are done, taking the attention away from the actual movement.
Our elected officials let us down this year, but we are hopeful that the new City Council will step up. The hard reality is that some local businesses won’t make it to January to see new council members take their posts. The urgency of this situation cannot be overstated.
The group has asked a private organization that helps with statewide litter cleanups to help clean up the city. It vows to match volunteers to businesses to help them get back open.
Supporting and promoting cleanups of the downtown area by SOLVE
Creating a sign-up for businesses that have been vandalized to connect them to funds, materials, resources and volunteers that can help repair damages, paint over graffiti and ultimately take boarding off windows
Creating a system to report graffiti in non-business specific areas for clean up
Help connect businesses downtown to city, state and county officials with a clear action plan on how to help Downtown
Create other channels for volunteer opportunities to aid downtown businesses.
Take a look at that list. Those are things the PBA and the mayor’s office could have been doing all along to help, but haven’t.
Perhaps business owners have been afraid of the mob hurting them up to this point. That fear is entirely understandable. There’s little help from the city. Portland’s political class continues to coddle the professional protesters. District Attorney Mike Schmidt is not prosecuting many of those arrested, some of them multiple times, who participated in destructive and illegal behavior at the Portland riots and other violent mob activity. There’s a revolving door at the Multnomah County Jail for rioters and vandals. They’re set free for the next night’s attack on the businesses and people of Portland.
We can only say to the poor business owners in Portland, good luck and godspeed because the city government is not going to help.
Victoria Taft is the host of “The Adult in the Room Podcast With Victoria Taft” where you can hear her series on “Antifa Versus Mike Strickland.” Find it here. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, Parler, MeWe, Minds @VictoriaTaft