Portland’s mayor and City Council wonder, uneasily, why there is such vigorous support for citizen referendums to address problems in the city. They are uncomfortable with the way referendums bypass their control of the city. I can tell you exactly why I support such referendums: It’s precisely because they bypass the City Council and give decisions directly to the voters.

I prefer to make my own decisions, not to allow a council and mayor who are heavily subsidized and influenced by business and property development money to make decisions for me. I no longer trust the mayor and City Council to make decisions that benefit working- and middle-class people who want to work and actually live in Portland. They don’t appear to be living in the real world of minimum-wage jobs and escalating taxes and rents that real Portlanders exist in. Until they come down to earth, they will continue to be made redundant, while we make the decisions that affect real people. They have lost our trust.

As for Mayor Kate Snyder’s “cautionary tale” about poorly crafted referendums (Oct. 3): The City Council is just as capable of passing a crappy law as we the people are. We are not as stupid as they want to believe.

Arian Heald

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