When the crime clock hit reset in Portland, a surprising sense of déjà vu struck on the very next day. Remember that touted 90-day reset designed to curb crime and homelessness? A three-month grand scheme that seemed to sweep problems under the rug and just as quickly, business owners watched them crawl back out. It’s like an ineffectual, short-lived magic trick that no one is amazed by anymore. The harsh reality is, this quick-fix approach is as futile as trying to extinguish a forest fire with a water pistol. It’s all fun and games until the party is over and the riff-raff is back in town.
Emphasis patrols and the ‘Safer Summer PDX’ initiative temporarily held crime at bay, but it was like putting a band-aid on a bullet wound. And why wouldn’t it? You can’t expect a vigilant approach to be the silver bullet when the real issue is the urban decay that’s been fueled by policies, or lack thereof. And the irony? The same homeowners who now can’t sell their homes due to camping in front of their houses are the ones who voted for the same politicians that allowed these issues to snowball. But it’s easy to cast stones and even easier to forget that one’s vote does count.
It’s simple, if the root causes of homelessness, crime, and urban decay aren’t tackled head-on, these issues will not only return, they will thrive. And, let’s be honest, who would be shocked? Portland needs to address this urban blight with more than just temporary solutions and shiny ‘resets’. Unless the city gets its act together, it will continue to teeter on the brink of complete breakdown, leaving everyone to wonder, “What about us?”
#PortlandChaos, #UrbanDecay, #TimeForChange
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