Letters: One street enough for bicyclists
Really? Two streets for bicycles?
Andrew Hoan, president of the Portland Business Alliance, now is proposing the Transit Mall be car-free … again. One has to ask, who were the people who wanted cars back onto the rebuilt mall? Why, it was businesses on those streets.
At least, this "new" idea is certainly better than removing vehicles from Southwest Fourth Avenue and Broadway Street. But really, two streets for bicycles?
If the mall car-removal proposal isn't accepted by Portland Bureau of Transportation, perhaps one street could be used for bicycles traveling in both north and south directions.
If PBOT accepts the PBA's proposal, then the bicycles can travel the one lane in each direction now mostly used by vehicles.
Eric J. Anderson
Property tax limits are wise
Property taxes, based on property values, were intended as a way to allocate taxes to pay for city and county needs.
When Portland taxes/budgets were increased about 10 percent per year, politicians made annual promises to slow it down.
Nothing changed. In desperation, a 1996 citizen initiative put a lid on tax increases at 3 percent a year to keep people from losing their homes to tax payments that were outsizing their mortgage payments.
"Assessed value" reflects this limitation. In Salem, home values in 20-plus years increased 50 percent. In Portland they have tripled.
The fact that values tripled doesn't mean spending had to triple, too. The tax take, limited to real growth plus 3 percent (assessed value) still has allowed Portland to spend more than the rest of the state.
Every county in the state taxes less than Multnomah County. At $17.07 per thousand, Washington County comes closest to the $20.12 that Multnomah County taxes.
What the writer said is true: "... Portlanders pay some of the highest property taxes in the state. ..."
Vote for the common good
Many Oregonians identify as being spiritual but not religious. As a person of faith, I'm both.
A desire for justice and the common good unites many of us, leaving us alarmed by the recent rise of economic, racial and environmental oppression.
While no ballot initiatives are panaceas for wicked problems, I suggest four current measures effectively fight oppression (102 statewide, and 26-200, 26-201 and 26-199 in Portland), while Measure 105, if passed, would escalate racial oppression across Oregon.
Widespread urban tent-living is the grim, visible face of unaffordability, i.e., economic oppression. Forty-four percent of homeless people have jobs, but earn too little for a roof over their heads.
The poor are getting poorer as the rich get richer. This decades-long trend was accelerated by the recent federal tax cuts.
I'm voting for Measure 26-199 (Portland, a Metro bond for affordable housing) and Measure 102, which would allow public-private partnerships statewide to create more affordable housing.
Arguments against these measures because they aren't perfect enough, in effect, support the current status quo of profit at any human cost. Let's vote for the common good.
Climate change is the sharpest threat to the common good that humanity faces. The latest science reiterates that. It's environmental oppression, hitting the most vulnerable populations the hardest, even as they create the fewest emissions.
The Portland Clean Energy Initiative, Measure 26-201, addresses both climate and social justice, creating jobs paying at least $21.60 per hour to do weatherization, solarization and building of green infrastructure.
Accountability is built in. It's funded by a 1 percent surcharge on big corporations' retail sales, i.e., a tiny portion of their new federal tax cut.
The City Club of Portland's nonpartisan study refutes altogether the corporate-funded, crocodile-teared claims that 26-201 would make Portland less affordable.
Measure 26-200, "Honest Elections," would limit campaign contributions in Portland to $500. Currently, corporations and millionaires make unlimited campaign contributions, drowning out the voices and influence of low-income citizens, who are disproportionately people of color.
Forty-four other states have long had similar limits in place; Oregon is ranked 49th in political finance laws. Passing 26-200 would correct blatant injustice.
In contrast, Measure 105 — Repeal Oregon Sanctuary Law — if passed, would escalate injustice. It would allow racial profiling, targeting immigrants and perceived immigrants alike.
It would require local police to act as extensions of Immigrant and Customs Enforcement (ICE) policies, including tearing families apart. Faith leaders, law enforcement agencies and legions of groups statewide urge No on Measure 105.
The civil rights movement and the abolition of slavery were watershed victories over oppression, both faith-led. We cannot imagine our world without the baseline notion of justice they established.
Yet, baseline justice is eroding, as economic, racial and environmental oppression keep growing in silent, powerful ways. I don't think Oregonians want an oppression-riddled state ruled by profit and private good, regardless of cost to ordinary people, climate and the common good. I think Oregonians have bigger, better spirits than that. Let's vote in support of the common good.