District 5 City Councilor Kimberly Cook’s lengthy op-ed (Jan. 16) calling for the Portland community to provide their opinion on a cap for the new shelter ignores the several meetings of the City Council when large groups of people objected to such a cap as inhumane.

I attended a City Council meeting Nov. 18 at which this point was made countless times. Since Cook seems unaware of this, I provide a passage from my words:

“I urge you to eliminate any plans to establish a cap. No cap can be appropriate. It is counter to the practices of the city since 1987, when encampments at the City Hall and Lincoln Park moved the City Manager Robert Ganley to vow that the city would never turn away anyone at the shelter …

A Maine Voices column (by former City Councilor Anne Pringle) in the Portland Press Herald on April 2, 2019, stated that business was booming in Portland but asked whether Portland should continue to shelter homeless people without limit. The column provides its own critique: why should there be a limit on people in the homeless shelter when business is booming? Why are property taxes the only source of income when we see development right and left? This argument can only be put forth by those who think developers and banks should be given every advantage and those suffering most in our community should pay for it.”

I ask Councilor Cook to watch the video of the meeting on Nov. 18 to remind herself of the community response at that time.

Cristina Malcolmson


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