Portland City Council debates $750M ‘Climate Investment Plan’ amidst rising crime, drug issues, and homelessness.

Portland City Council Deliberates on $750 Million ‘Climate Investment Plan’ Amid Rampant Crime, ⁣Drugs, Homelessness

For those of you who haven’t taken notice, ​Portland, Oregon, is‍ a mess.

Homelessness⁣ is ⁣rampant. So are open-air drug use and‌ overdoses. Antifa radicals still maintain a notable presence in the city. Crime is so bad that even the company most people associate with ‍the state of Oregon — Nike‍ — is closing one of ⁤its stores in Portland ‍because safety and shoplifting concerns have made its continued operation impossible.

So, the ​ City Council is all set to⁤ do something and put $750 million behind it. Except the money won’t address crime or​ homelessness or drug abuse. Oh, no. Instead, the council is spending three-quarters of‍ a billion dollars on “advancing an equitable, climate-resilient Portland.”

“Portland⁣ voters passed the ‘Portland clean energy community benefits fund program’ in November of 2018. The⁣ goal ⁣is‌ to invest money in community-based‌ projects that address ‌climate change over the next five years,” ⁢ KPTV-TV reported Thursday.

“This plan⁤ represents thousands of hours of engagement ⁣by‍ numerous stake holders and sectors,” Portland City Commissioner ‌Carmen Rubio said. “And prioritizes programs that reduces greenhouse gas emissions and⁢ strengthens the communities that are hit first and ⁤hardest by extreme climate ‍events.”

Unless “fentanyl” and ​“robbery” count as “extreme climate events,” I think the residents of Portland might be less than impressed by the allocation of resources here.

Alas, ​a quick readthrough of the second issue of a ‍ newsletter by the Portland Clean Energy Community Benefits Fund (or PCEF, because apparently Portland is as good at acronyms as it is at controlling crime, homelessness and ⁤ drug use) indicates that’s not the case.

“Guided by the needs of our community, PCEF will invest more than $750⁤ million in projects that will⁢ make Portland a safer,​ healthier, more prosperous place to live today and for ​generations to come,” the short newsletter read.

“These projects include:

  • Improving and electrifying our transportation system.
  • Making cost-saving, ⁢clean energy upgrades accessible to those hit first and ‌worst by climate change.
  • Planting more trees and greenery in the neighborhoods most vulnerable to heat.
  • Supporting a more diverse workforce in green career pathways.

These investments help ⁢ensure our most impacted residents are prepared for a changing climate as we support the City’s goal of net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.”

This is the progressive piffle ‍a proposed $750 million is going toward.

Keep in mind, this is a city that the Los Angeles Times, hardly a bastion of covert conservatism, published a story about in February titled thusly: “What’s the⁢ matter with ​Portland? Shootings, theft and other crime test city’s ⁢progressive strain.”

In ​order “to understand the schism that dominates the ⁣political and social landscape in this famously liberal⁣ city,” reporter Jenny Jarvie interviewed one resident of a blue-collar neighborhood there, Flora Gonzalez.

“The 40-year-old package handler for FedEx⁤ said ⁢that people have openly dealt drugs and urinated on the sidewalk outside her‌ family’s duplex. They’ve dumped feces and used syringes⁢ in her manicured yard, played‌ booming music at 3 a.m. and⁤ stripped stolen cars for ⁢parts. Shots⁢ have been fired behind her children’s bedroom,” the report said.

Do⁣ you think Portland’s ⁢priorities are ‍out of order?

“We feel abandoned,” Gonzalez⁣ told the Times. “We pay our taxes and the police are not watching over our security.”

Of course, there are two sides to every⁤ story, and one side‍ lived right across the street from Gonzalez:‍ Juniper Simonis, 38, ​is ⁢an ​environmentalist, data ‌scientist and left-wing activist. In her yard is a sign that reads: “DISARM, DEFUND, DISMANTLE POLICE.”

“An activist who marched downtown in 2020, Simonis said the problem is not that Portland is too liberal, but that it is not liberal enough. ‘There’s a lack of resources, and I think ⁤of‌ being liberal in terms of spending money to provide support services,’ Simonis said. ‘Trying to regulate homelessness out of a city, I don’t view that as liberal at all.’”

Well, the problem ‍is that even if that model were to work — and it wouldn’t, but let’s just play‌ pretend here — you’d need money ‍to do that. And, as the Times pointed out, “three years after pandemic ‍lockdowns emptied out the city’s core and ⁢protests‍ against police brutality turned a ⁤few downtown blocks into a battleground, this city of about 641,000 is dealing with​ skyrocketing numbers of homeless people, soaring ​crime and strikingly high levels of public dissatisfaction with what the⁣ city is doing about it.”

The homelessness numbers ‍provide the ‍most jarring example of how far Portland has fallen into the mire. ⁣According to the city’s website, ⁤“thousands of people are living unsheltered on our streets. Overall homelessness in Portland increased by 65% from 2015 to 2023 (from 1,887 to 6,297​ individuals).”

And what happens after the chickens come home to roost like this? The law-abiding half of the equation, progressives though​ they may be, start looking ‍for other places to live, putting a higher tax burden on people like Simonis who think things aren’t ​liberal enough. The tax base ⁢to provide those “support services” drops precipitously, and homelessness and crime ⁣get even worse. Wash, rinse, repeat.

And this is counting on half of the upstanding citizens ‍sticking around. A poll conducted in ‌2022 found only 11 percent of Portland’s voters thought the city‍ was headed in the right direction. That’s compared with 36 percent in the annus horribilis of ​2020 and 76 percent​ in‍ 2000.

But ⁣the important thing⁢ is that three-quarters ⁣of a billion dollars is‌ being spent to make Portland “climate-resilient.”

And the people ​behind this think that not only will it help solve the city’s climate problems, whatever they may be, but⁢ it⁣ also will be⁢ the cure to ⁣whatever else ails the Pacific Northwest⁤ metropolis.

“We’re unveiling our inaugural five-year climate investment plan which ‍sets the stage for the investments that PCEF is going to be making over ​the next five​ years, totaling almost nearly three-quarters of a ⁣billion dollars into climate projects that address‌ racial justice, social justice and economic justice.” Portland Clean Energy Fund program manager Sam Baraso told Oregon Public ​Broadcasting in⁤ August.

Right. Good luck ⁤with that — and with⁤ getting enough people to stick around to contribute their tax dollars in​ order ‌to pay for this preposterous scheme.

The post Portland City Council Deliberates on $750‌ Million ‘Climate Investment Plan’ Amid Rampant Crime, ⁤Drugs, Homelessness appeared ‌first on The Western⁣ Journal.

Is the council genuinely ‌prioritizing the‍ well-being of its citizens or pushing⁣ a political agenda by ‌allocating such ⁤a substantial amount ⁤of‍ money to climate change projects

.com/opinion/story/2022-08-30/portland-homicides-rise-police-reform-social-justice-knit” target=”_blank” ​rel=”noopener”>Los Angeles Times recently called “America’s Murder Capital,” ‌with a record-high number of homicides. It’s a city where residents feel unsafe, where crime rates continue to rise,⁤ and⁢ where ⁣drug ‍addiction and ⁣homelessness are pervasive issues. Yet, the Portland City Council seems to be more concerned about advancing an “equitable, climate-resilient Portland” than addressing the urgent needs‌ of its⁣ citizens.

The council’s decision to allocate $750 million to projects that prioritize climate change over public safety ‍and‌ social welfare is perplexing, to‍ say the least. ⁢While⁢ climate change is an ​important issue that requires action, it is hard to justify such a significant ​investment when the city is facing a multitude of other pressing​ problems.

According​ to ​a newsletter by the Portland Clean Energy Community Benefits Fund, the projects that will benefit from this funding include improving​ and electrifying the transportation system, making ‌clean ​energy upgrades accessible to ⁤those impacted by climate change, planting‍ more‍ trees in vulnerable neighborhoods, and supporting a diverse workforce in green career‍ pathways. While these initiatives may contribute to Portland becoming a greener city, they fail to address⁤ the immediate concerns⁤ of its‌ residents.

One would expect that ⁣the city council’s primary responsibility is to ensure the ‌safety and well-being of‍ its citizens. However, by prioritizing ​climate change over crime, drug‍ abuse, and homelessness, the council appears to be out of touch with the reality on the ground. ‍Portland’s residents‌ are ⁤in dire need of effective solutions to combat the rising crime rates, provide support for those battling addiction, and find sustainable solutions ⁤to address homelessness. Unfortunately, the ​council’s decision seems to disregard these pressing issues.

Moreover, the timing of ‌this massive⁢ investment is questionable. With crime rates soaring and businesses like Nike closing‍ their stores due to safety concerns, it is hard to⁣ understand why the council would allocate such a substantial amount⁣ of money to projects that seem secondary to ​the⁤ immediate needs ⁢of the⁢ community. It begs the question of whether the council is‍ truly ⁣prioritizing the well-being of its citizens or​ pushing a political agenda.

In ⁤conclusion, Portland’s City Council’s ⁣decision to invest​ $750 million​ in a “climate⁤ investment plan” while ignoring the rampant crime, drug abuse, and homelessness in ‌the⁤ city raises concerns about its priorities. While climate change is an important issue, the immediate needs of Portland’s residents should ​not‍ be‌ overlooked. It is crucial for the council ⁢to reevaluate its allocation ‌of⁤ resources and address the urgent problems that ‍are plaguing the city. Only by addressing ‍these pressing issues ‍can Portland truly become a safer, more prosperous place for⁢ its residents.

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