I’m a supporter of #BlackLivesMatter. I believe they have an important message and are starting a necessary dialogue in this country.

There are places where systemic racism and excessive force by the police are real-life problems. But, as far as I can see from my limited view, I do not believe Portland to be one of those places.

We have a strong model of community policing in this city, run by my dear friend Suna Shaw, that truly puts words into action on our streets every day. We have amazing community leaders who work on issues like this and make real headway.

Protests like the one that happened here last Friday do us no good, and they certainly do the Black Lives Matter movement no good. There have been some wonderful, peaceful protests that have been effective all over the country. Portland has seen many on our streets in the past.

Portland is better than what we saw Friday night. Our city is progressive. We listen. Our police department gets it.

A peaceful protest could have been very effective here. In fact, I have been waiting for one to happen. I’m glad I didn’t hear about this one before it happened. A dialogue could be very fruitful here. That was not a dialogue. That was not activism.

Let’s treat our city with the respect it deserves and talk about what really matters in a way that Portland has proven it can handle. We know how to do these things well.

Whoever was in charge Friday night could learn a thing or two from our great citizens who are active on so many issues with much success. We have better activists here, better leaders. I hope we can have another chance to show them how it’s done in Portland.

Lauren Tigerman