October 17, 2012
I was very excited because the debate, or as it was advertised, Forum on Housing was going to take place at Portland Community College which is on 82nd Street and Division. This was going to be great, as I live within walking distance from the gathering.
I no longer do two events in one day because of my health, but I was going to make an exception here due to the topic; Housing. I have lots of problems with the way we spend our money on housing here in the Rose City; bottom line we have anywhere from 1700 to 2500 people who sleep on our streets and are constantly harassed by the cops. A friend, street name 99, was recording the event on live stream and I hope you get to see some of the bullshit that took 2 hours of our time.
First, the format was terrible, no questions were allowed from the audience, the moderator was Wendy Wills, director of something called *Policy Consensus Initiative At The National Policy Consensus Center. I did not know who or why this person was selected but another should have moderated the show, the questions were so soft I wanted to use them on my butt because the metal chairs were very difficult for me. I needed a cushion to lessen this pain in the ass. I had to wander around a few times and visit the restroom just to remain for the two hours of bullshit. Each contestant/candidate was asked questions in order and given a few minutes to tell us how wonderful they were/are; no questions from the other candidates were tolerated and none of the four even tried to get one in. It was boring.
I don't know if the press covered this non-event but did not see any of the big cameras usually associated with the corporate press. Did I tell you how boring this was, yet all except Jessie Sponberg and I applauded at the end, they all seemed to think this was something that they could talk about going home--yuk! Charles Hales came up to me and said hello, I asked him why they did not take any questions from the floor and he said something like, "I just came and had nothing to do with the format." Commissioner Fritz came over and said hello, we talked a little about an issue that came up at the council meeting a few hours before that and she had some concerns about it also. Commissioner Fish was there but he and I don't like each other and he had the good sense to stay away. Jefferson laughed about my bright green shirt that said, "Don't Lie to the Irish." I thought that was a good shirt to wear to a political debate; oh, wait---it was just a forum.
The college people who were there were very welcoming as I remember from a previous event a few years ago. We were allowed to ask questions of the participants then, but not this day.
In my opinion Jefferson and Amanda were good, gave some interesting answers and Charlie and Mary were boring and gave pat answers to questions that were way too soft. Not one question about Charlie Hales quitting in mid-term and now he wants people to vote for him to a higher office. No questions about why we continue to have so many people left out of the decisions made by our representatives. No questions about the very annoying habit of our local politicians making announcements of their position on an ordinance before the first citizen offers testimony. That would have been a question that I would have asked. But we were told to sit, be nice and shut up. Mary Nolan is one of the most condescending politicians I have ever met, she uses "I" way too often. My predictions:
Amanda will stay in office and our next mayor will be Hales. The organizations that support this format should hang their heads in shame, it was a complete waste of time.
PS I did get to see Barbara Ellis and Scott Fernandez and that would have been worth attending this-------