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STREET ROOTS lies down with business alliance

STREET ROOTS, the homeless paper so-called, has according to its director, Israel Bayer 'taken the next step' and affiliated with the Portland Business Alliance. How and who does this move benefit in the homeless community?
The progressive community in Portland has for ten years supported the city's homeless paper, Street Roots. It has respected the paper's presumed advocacy for the homeless' best interst and dignity. When asked to support vendors or give money donations, the community has responded. Yet without consulting anyone in the homeless advocacy community, the director of Street Roots has decided to affiliate with the Portland Business Alliance. To what purpose? For whose gain? Is this simply bogus 'relation-building' that ultimately only benefits the director in his career track in the poverty industry? Or makes some of his like-minded non-homeless comrades, who helped form this decision, feel good about themselves for reaching out to their enemy? How Christian. 'Can't we all just get along?' Why sho we can massa!
All rationalization aside, who else benefits besides the director and his fellow-travellers? Who among the homeless benefits? Will the developers be more inclined to build less upscale housing and adhere to the 30% set-aside for affordable dwellings? Will business types push for police restraint? Will street musicians have it easier on downtown sidewalks?
Or is it safe to say that with the homeless paper serving as agent for the business community, the work of sequestering the homeless, neutering their outrage and activism, is being done for them? The question is why respect a 'homeless paper' that tells its supporters to bend it over for the business community which has imposed an unaccountable private security force and pressed for enforcement of sit-lie, the camping ordinance, the so-called 'drug free zones'? Why donate? Why read an outfit that merely sanitizes the homeless, makes them acceptable to the business types and the tourists and consumers they cater to, and renders homeless numbers harmless? What has the director done to organize vendors to be a tool for their own self-improvement, to organize!organize!organize! the homeless as a real instrument of their own power, besides post them out to beg while soliciting readers to 'get to know your vendor'?
How many even read the director's decison in the latest paper? It's on the inside back page, June 12th edition

trust 24.Jun.2009 09:28

Joe Anybody iam@joe anybody.com

The fourth paragraph down in the back page column.
"Street Roots will in no way, shape or form be beholden to the Alliance or will change our editorial and social justice presence or important issues effecting people experiencing homelessness and poverty citywide

Although this is "eye opening move" ... I trust that the intentions are still on par, and that by joining their will be "input" and leverage while sitting "at the PBA round table"

I'm sure if things get stonewalled or start looking biased or unfairly slanted, Street Roots could back out or make a stronger stand with a "members voice"

I (myself) trust that all is going to be OK with this "new alliance"
And maybe we will even see some "good changes" in the near future

sometimes 27.Jun.2009 21:53

little one

Sometimes you really need to sit down with your opponent and open a dialogue.

Don't we want to see diplomcay in the world? Not war?
Maybe this is an example of that?

Maybe Street Roots wants to figure out a win/win situation for homeless people and needs to negotiate with PBA?
Heavan knows they have a tough job of it.

Maybe they want to give better info directly to these PBA people or look them straight in the eyes and see them squirm while they come up with lame excuses about how homelees people can't have benches to sit on, or a safe place to be during the day.

I'll want to hear more about it before I condemn it.