The People First Portland initiative campaign is unnecessarily confrontational, and assumes that a landlord-tenant relationship is antagonistic, versus a partnership.

I am a landlord, with a mutually respectful relationship with my tenants. I charge fair rent and maintain my properties well. I will not evict my tenants or increase rent during a pandemic.

Normally, I do not increase rent for existing tenants; only when a new tenant moves in. Because of rent control proposals, I have a new lease with a 4 percent annual increase. My fear was that I would be limited in raising rent later if I gave a current tenant a discount.

Regarding the minimum-wage initiative, People First Portland assumes employers and employees are adversaries. I support a $15-an-hour minimum wage, but not time and a half to employees during a pandemic. While working for the city of Portland as a public servant, I saw my relationship with the public as a collaboration, not a competition or argument.

There are solutions to Portland’s problems without making landlords, employers, property owners, city officials or any other group into an “enemy” that must be fought. Those groups include our neighbors, and they participate in supporting the local economy.

If our economy is functioning well, everyone wins. A pandemic poses challenges, but if we support each other, we can get back to normal sooner. I prefer that method of problem-solving to the People First Portland strategy of finding a group to battle or blame.

Jody Huntington

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