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What the Bleep Does Metro (Oregon) Do? Hint: Don’t Ask a Reporter or Radio Show Guest or Host


I heard 3 people last week (and countless others before last week) on radio news and podcasts make erroneous statements about what Metro does.

This is nothing new. I’ve heard these mangled Metro descriptions for almost 2 decades. There is zero excuse for this. There is even a not-bad Metro Wikipedia article for heaven’s sake.

So, Metro Homework for You Radio / Podcast / TV People:

Read the Metro website, write down what you *think* Metro does, and then call someone at Metro, preferably in the President’s office, a Metro Council member, or someone in their Media Inquiries office and ask if you have your facts right. Then rewrite correctly what you originally wrote.

Or, click on Contact Metro and find someone to talk to.

Please don’t be part of the “Can’t Be Bothered to Look it Up or Ask an Expert” problem.

Or, duh, read the Wikipedia Metro article and get most of it right. Or maybe, read the Services of Metro at the bottom of the Metro homepage?

In your defense: Metro doesn’t make it easy with their difficult to find and totally unhelpful “What is Metro” explanation, but that is no excuse if you put yourself out there as someone who knows what Metro does, when if fact you have only a vague idea what they do.

(Hint: Metro buries their so-called “What is Metro” blurb under the Metropedia tab and then makes this singularly awful statement: “Metro works with communities, businesses and residents in the Portland metropolitan area to chart a wise course for the future while protecting the things we love about this place.” Huh? Don’t we all? (To paraphrase Arthur Bryant in “Bryant and May and the Bleeding Heart,” “I see your lips moving but all I hear is rubbish.”))

Yes, Metro definitely needs a new name or a new What is Metro website summary and one that includes statutory and other legal authority for its existence. AND, everyone who works at Metro should carry a card that describes what Metro does AND no one should ever be hired by Metro unless and until they can describe in under 60 seconds what Metro does, in terms a layperson can understand.

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