It was Vic Atia, Tom McCall, Mark O. Hatfield, Neil Goldschmidt (he actually did some social good early in his career although he likes to fuck children and, ultimately, did all he could to screw the state...object lesson; beware of all baby-boomers they're generally selfish wolves who wrap themselves in the sheep clothing of '60's anti-war, civil rights, love children), Oswald West, CES Wood, and Senator Wayne Morse...among others including some very powerful women leaders.
These visionaries set the tone for Oregon to set Oregon and Portland apart as a great place to live. Under the guidance of these visionary leaders Portland saved their neighborhoods from the wrecking ball, saved Waterfront Park from becoming an interstate, reserved the Oregon beaches for public access and from privatization, initiated the bottle bill, preserved its forests, cleaned its rivers,
The historical cultural tradition of Oregon has been tolerance for individuals following the model of Jeffersonian Republicanism and preference for States rights and independence from the Federal Government.
Unfortunately, Portland is on the fast track to becoming another Northern California town promising more sprawl, large income discrepancy, and an imbalance of concern for economic growth at any social or environmental cost.
What is the motivation that is driving this cultural de-evolution? It is a movement of outside influence who come to Oregon not for its culture but to make money. Portland is the new nirvana of unexploited opportunity another frontier for the profiteer and their battle cry is: "let's let everyone know that Portland is open for business". Oregon should not be prostituted for sale to the highest bidder but rather as Oregonians we should pursue business organizations who "fit" the social objectives that support our unique social culture.
This, therefore, is my recommendation; "let's begin a letter writing campaign to solicit companies that fit our social objectives." Since the leaders are not leading let the social objective community lead and the leaders will follow. Portland is ripe with underemployed people...there is a labor glut here which is very appealing to any corporation but we don't want another Wal-Mart. There are huge economic opportunities for corporations to locate to Portland and Oregon so don't let the politicians pander to the most exploitive but rather appeal directly as a social community to organizations that match the Portland social climate.
About two years ago a Swedish company that produces wind driven generators considered moving to Portland but Vera and Co. scared them off. As a social objective community we should pursue these kind of companies to locate here and pressure the local and state governments to pursue these kind of compatible interest businesses to located in Oregon. This can be done with petitions, direct letters to companies, and pressure on our representatives.
My suggestion is to take back the historical social and cultural traditions that have made Oregon great. This is a positive response to a negative influence that is depreciating our quality of life. It is based in grass-roots organization which is an Oregon tradition. It is something that we can all do together to demonstrate our values in a positive, meaningful manner.
Please, if you know of a buiness interest that fits an environmental model suggest it here to open a discussion. Let's brainstorm as a community for change.