Groups from around the country poured more than $365,000 into Portland to attack this year’s citizen initiatives. Now, they have a new ally: City Hall.

In a recent announcement, the City Council attacked activists, unions, petition signers and even potential voters that support these initiatives, claiming this is “an abuse of our citizen initiative process.” Notably absent were any alternative solutions to the problems these initiatives try to address.

These issues are not new. In 2015, the Press Herald’s “No Vacancy” series highlighted an already devastating housing crisis. Since then, suffering residents have been waiting for the city to provide solutions that have never come.

It’s no surprise that constituents took it upon themselves to fix these issues, but it sadly is a surprise that to the council, the real problem facing our city, is the public’s voice.

Paul Foster

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