portland independent media center  
images audio video
feature article commentary portland metro

community building | corporate dominance | homelessness

Wild Oats' contribution to the war on the poor.

I am a homeless vendor for Street Roots, a bi-weekly Portland based newspaper addressing the issues of homelessness, racism and the plight of the poor and displaced. The Wild Oats on N.E. Fremont and 15th appears to have a "No solicitation" policy that conflicts with the Wild Oats general statement on "Community Commitment".

On Tuesday December 2nd, i approached an employee at the N.E. Fremont and 15th Wild Oats to inquire about distributing Street Roots out in front of the store. He told me of their "No solicitation" policy but said he wasn't certain whether it applied to Street Roots. I followed him into the store and he called for a manager over the establishments' intercom system. A few moments passed and no one responded, so the worker got on a service phone and pressed a button. A moment later the worker was speaking with the manager, "Yeah, Street Roots. No, i think he's new.....allright, allright." The employee turned to me and said, "I'm sorry, but we have a "No solicitation" policy because we're on private property. The vendors at the Wild Oats on Division (southeast Portland) are allowed there because it's a city sidewalk. Sorry 'bout that." And off he went with that unique fake Portland way that i find so endearing.

read more>>