As Portland residents and business owners, we’re urging our neighbors to join us in voting “no” on Question 1 on June 10.

While this referendum effort claims to be about protecting our parks – and who wouldn’t want to do that? – what it really does is undermine the approved plan for the revitalization of Congress Square.

As the owner of Harmons & Bartons and a real estate agent with offices near the square, we know from firsthand experience the need to invest in this space. A new events center and an improved 4,800-square-foot park will bring exactly the energy and life that Congress Square needs.

Investing in Congress Square is important for a vibrant downtown, but it’s also good for all of Portland. A new events center and improved park will bring more visitors, more jobs, more business and more tax dollars to our great city. That means more money for teachers, public safety and other critical public services.

We know and appreciate that our city has an ongoing commitment to beautiful park and open spaces. From the Eastern and Western promenades to beautiful Deering Oaks, Portland’s parks are wonderful – and fortunately, they’re already protected.

That’s why we were disappointed to see the tactics of the “Yes on 1” campaign, trying to convince voters that this question is about protecting parks, when in reality it would undo the approved plan to revitalize Congress Square.

We hope our neighbors and fellow Portlanders see through this ruse and join us in voting “no” on Question 1, for a better Congress Square, a vibrant downtown and a growing Portland economy.

John Hatcher and Daniel Kennedy


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