Contact Mayor Wheeler

If you are having trouble getting started, copy and paste the following into email client, or create a letter to mail (or fax!?) or use as script for phone call.  The sections in RED are to be removed and replaced with your own words, but any of it can be edited, omitted or added to from other things you found compelling in the background information    ==========================================

Mayor Ted Wheeler
Portland City Hall 1221 SW 4th Ave Ste 230, Portland, OR 97204
PHONE: 503-823-4127
EMAIL: [email protected]

Dear Mayor Wheeler

[Briefly Introduce yourself]

“As a [local performing musician/ local record label/ recording studio employee/avid local music fan, etc], I am [disappointed/saddened/outrages, etc.] by the URM Placarding Ordinance. Placarding as a policy compromises the shared goal of making our city safer by stigmatizing buildings that satisfy current code before a new mandate has even been defined.  I urge you to vote to repeal the placarding ordinance.

[In your own words, briefly say why you care. Cite closures of music venues, churches, affordable housing, loss of local identity, gathering places and or Portland character]

I support serious actions to improve seismic safety, but the placarding plan does nothing to make our city more resilient or our people less at risk. The targeted buildings are all fully compliant with current city codes. Labeling them as “Unsafe” prior to a new code mandate is unprecedented and illegal. It will be a year before the city produces new code standards, but the agreement that building owners are being forced to sign by March 1 inflicts devastating financial consequences that make it impossible to complete any upgrades. The agreement also commits them to an upgrade standard FAR above anything the city was planning to require. Their only choice will be to watch their investments decline in function and value and eventually force them to sell to developers for demolition.

The placarding ordinance creates a man-made disaster that will destroy Portland’s communities of faith, culture, and the arts (including the internationally respected local music scene) more immediately and more completely than any earthquake threat. This is not good governing. We can do better.

I understand that you voted for the original placarding vote because it felt like it was "doing something". The stated goal was to educate the public, not to hurt property owners and businesses, but the only successful outcome of an education program is to change behavior - specifically to teach people to no longer live in or patronize businesses within those buildings. You simultaneously dismissed the signs as not having a big impact.  So which is it?  You also dismissed the risks to access to capital needed for improvements and other risks to businesses, but then all of the worst case scenarios (and more) are codified in the implementation agreement. I hope that you now see the  hypocrisy of an implementation that cruelly punishes a property for failing to meet a standard that has not yet been defined and rendering them unable to ever do the right thing. Let’s make our city more resilient to seismic threats without destroying what makes it special.

As far as I can tell, no one is actively supporting this placarding law, but many are opposing it (NAACP, Portland Tenants United, Restore Oregon, MusicPortland and others). I and so many in the music scene are watching closely and look forward to your leadership in City Hall. Please vote to repeal this placarding law completely and get back to productive policies to make our city safer.

Sincerely,


[Your Name]
[Business Affiliation or Band name if applicable]
Portland, Oregon