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Homeless in Portland: Business Alliance, Street Roots, and the Law of Urban Planning 101


There has been a recent slew of articles and editorials on homelessness in Oregon, but this editorial stands out – and not just as a reminder that Street Roots is always worth reading.

The editorial needs a few footnotes, specifically citations to sections of the Oregon Constitution and other laws that are referenced. But their absence doesn’t take away from the gist.

Portland Business Alliance: We can do better than this,” by Israel Bayer, Street Roots editorial, 15 July 2015

The Portland Business Alliance took out a full-page ad in today’s Oregonian with the headline, “We can do better than this.” The ad goes on to say, “Our city is experiencing a crisis on our streets and in our parks….

On its face, the campaign seems like a practical call for housing and resources — something we can all agree on. In some ways, Street Roots doesn’t disagree. It’s time for bold action on housing and homelessness in our city. There’s simply no place left to turn.

Saying that, buying a one-page ad in The Oregonian and orchestrating a petition seems like a sensational attempt to force the mayor into responding to the issue.

Here’s the thing. When it comes to having tools at our disposal to combat our housing and homeless crisis we are hurting badly. Here is a short-list of tools used in other states that are prohibited at a local or state level….‘ [Link to full editorial.]

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