Riots, Tent Cities, Plunder, and Wokeness — Is it Any Wonder Why People Are Fleeing Portland?

AP Photo/Noah Berger

For years now the normal people have been lectured to by Portland, Ore., leaders about how woke, wonderful, and progressive they are and how out-of-step those who gasp at the controlled demolition of the City of Roses are. The results are now in. Normal people have left Portland in huge numbers, according to the Census Bureau.


Take a bow, Mayor Ted Wheeler. Or, as my colleague Kevin Downey, Jr. calls him, Red Wheeler.

Portland has long been a dysfunctional city. The Democrat machine churns out candidates and ideas that have moved the city far to the Left. Progressive planners carve out areas of the city where cars can’t go, create areas that are no-go zones because of dangerous and desperate addicts camping on the streets, allow BLM and Antifa to stop citizens at armed checkpoints and no-go zones, and let Antifa and its anarchist brethren destroy parts of the city. They’ve demonized and prosecuted people who defend themselves against this anarchy. Cops are fewer and defunded.

And the Census Bureau reports that Portland has now shot up on the charts! After being named 11th in the nation for losing population from 2020-2021, Portland moved up to 6th place from 2021-2022. Put another way, Portland’s population loss accelerated by a lot last year, so it became the sixth worst in the country. The city lost “8,308 people from July 1, 2021, to July 1, 2022.” That’s a helluva legacy, Red.

U.S. Census Bureau

Red Wheeler, et al, have done this to the city they claim to love. The truth is, however, they love their ideology more than they love the city and the people who live there. This phenomenon is revealed in their zeal to destroy schools with wokeness, continue with confiscatory tax increases for phones, special new taxes for libraries, and art that taxpayers were already paying for, denigrate enforcing the law, and show disdain for making a buck by working a job. Read any of my West Coast, Messed Coast™ reports for a further recitation of all that is going wrong in Portland.


This damning Census Bureau data is stunning because New York City, San Francisco, Los Angeles, and San Jose, Calif., were also in the running. San Francisco fell out of the 2022 “top” ten list likely because there was nobody left to leave.

Related: Remember the ‘Homeless’ Addict Who Said Portland ‘Was Loving Them to Death’? We’ve Got an Update.

The business community has sounded off on these concerns in its 2023 State of the Economy report.

In the words of the report, “People and businesses vote with their feet, and they are not voting for Portland, the city or the region, in the way they have in the recent past. The persistence of that trend could lead to a stagnant and underproductive economic future for our region.”

Red and all of the minions in the city and in Multnomah County will argue that this is a national trend following COVID-19. No doubt there is some truth to that, but hardly all of it.

Wheeler was encouraged by his city hall minions to participate in the Antifa and BLM riots in 2020 in an attempt to show Donald Trump that he was all wrong about Portland’s riotous lawlessness.


It backfired spectacularly on Wheeler.

Ted Wheeler’s behavior backfired in his city as well. His cowardly handling of BLM, de-funding police, and hanging out to dry the businesses burned and vandalized in the riot zone, caused this.

People may have chosen to leave because of the inexplicable COVID mandates, the masks, and the shot shamers but that was a political choice as much as ceasing graduation requirements at Oregon high schools. Those political choices were of a piece with Ted Wheeler’s politics. He shares the blame.

This loss of population and brick-and-mortar business in Portland is a disaster of the wokes’ own making.

The economic report says not only have people voted with their feet and gotten the heck out but also that Portland can no longer expect people to move in.

If trends continue, the economic outlook, especially for the City of Portland, is as concerning as any time since the twin recessions of the 1980s. Newly released census data suggests the region can no longer take net in-migration for granted—as it has for most of its history.

Portland’s Leftists chose this.

Now everyone suffers.

Who else is going to tell you the truth about the West Coast, Messed Coast™?

The Deep State Borg has prevented you from seeing our brand of opinion journalism. We’ve been censored, vanished, and pummeled by social media companies at the behest of political Leftists.


It’s wrong and un-American.

But you are the great equalizer.

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