Rent Control is Racist Public Policy in Portland Oregon by Fred Stewart

The Portland City Council recently decided to impose rent control on the city of Portland. The city council members are going to use the next several months to craft a permanent rent control ordinance. This new ordinance, which is likely not constitutional,  will put a cap on rents in Portland Oregon and force landlords to pay for the moving costs for renters if they are given a No Cause Eviction, which in many cases will be extremely expensive and not fair to land owners.

What this also means is there will be higher increases in rental prices at the turnover of rental units. It also means higher fees to obtain rental properties and fewer rentals available. Investors are not going to develop more rental housing at a level that will keep up demand and rent control does nothing to decrease demand or address those important issues.

This means there will be a huge negative impact on the working poor. The hardest hit with these new changes will be the Black and Hispanic families currently residing in Portland. This will eventually lead to the City of Portland seeing an increase in the pace of which the non-white population of Portland, blacks and Hispanics, continue to move out of Portland; a kind of Black and Hispanic “flight” if you will because they won’t be able to afford the newer higher rental costs. This will occur not because of blatantly racist landlords and not because of any community effort to evict non-white folks from out of Portland. This will occur as a result of simply math. There are approximately 330,000 white people who rent or are looking for rental units in the city of Portland. Compare that to the only about 20,000 black people who rent or are looking for rental units in Portland.

This means that 1 in every 13 people in Portland is looking for a home to live in who are not white. Eventually what the consequence will be is it will be less and less likely that black people will have their applications approved for rental units in which to live. Not because of overt racism from the property owners but because the odds are stacked against the population in general. It is simple math, but it is also racist; a form of covert racism.

This racist public policy is the result of all white city council members who simply don’t care to make the equitable changes necessary that will be beneficial to people of color. To me, this means hard working black and Hispanic people who rent and voted for a liberal city council in Portland, did not vote for their best interests; though no fault of their own but simply because this is a very hard to understand issue and most people don’t “get” it.

The biggest issue in this is that the city of Portland has failed to develop more public housing. They have priced affordable housing out of the private sector with their massive fees and long turnaround times for permits and planned approvals. Had these policy makers not made it so difficult for private sector developers to create needed housing we would see more housing, and thus a wider range of affordable housing. And the market would have protected non-whites from being priced out, forcing them to move farther east or out of Portland entirely.

Metro has failed the black population because they should have stepped in and warned the city of this possible result by lagging in the development of needed housing in Portland. Metro should also have been willing to extend the urban growth boundary when they noticed the population was growing faster than projected.

So, now that we have a bonafide rental crisis, the only tool the city council has chosen to use is the tool that historically has caused lower-middle-class people, the poor and minorities to move out of the rent control market. This is racist public policy and unfair to people of color.

Too many people in Portland don’t understand the ramifications of rent control as well as I do, because they don’t have my history as a real estate broker.

If this unconstitutional rent control change occurs in Portland Oregon, it will result in Portland becoming an even whiter city than it already is. It will push out huge numbers of black Portlanders who have lived here for decades.

Approving rent control could one day be deemed the most deliberate act of unjustly evicting black people from Portland Oregon since 1946, if not in the history of Portland itself.

 

Fred Stewart for a Portland Youth Bureau. Vote Fred Instead!

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Friends during this election season we have discussed a lot of issues and they are all important. One of the most important is what can we do to improve the lives and opportunities for all of our children. Especially children that are in families that are struggling to just keep a roof over their heads. Portland must always invest in our youth through the up and the down cycles we face in Portland. ‪#‎PortlandYouthBureau‬

City Commissioner Candidate Fred Stewart with Dr. Don Baham

 

 

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Host, Dr. Don Baham, interviews guest about how and why he chose to become a political public servant in pursuit of his desire to be of service to his fellow citizens. Fred appears to personify dedication to progressive ideas and action.

 

 

Portland Youth Bureau

 

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My Thoughts on Providing Better Opportunities for Portland’s Youth

 

My plan to help at-risk kids get the after-school enrichment they need is one with roots that go back many decades. In this case, we should learn from our past as we prepare to address our future.

When we look at making our City safer and more equitable, we must consider the opportunities we provide for our youth. For 40 years, wealth and privilege have played too strong a role in determining the extracurricular pursuits of Portland’s children and teenagers. This is not just unfair, but deleterious. Kids with nothing to do are at a higher risk for dropping out of high school, pregnancy, drug use, and gang membership. As they suffer from these predicaments, society suffers as it struggles to help get them back on their feet.What the City of Portland must do is to reestablish a dedicated bureau tasked with promoting the health, welfare, and enrichment of Portland’s youth between the ages of 8 and 18. I say “reestablish,” because not only is there national precedent for such a bureau, but one also existed in Portland 40 years ago. Going without it has been to our detriment, particularly in an age when street gangs have proliferated and grown more violent and better armed.

A new Youth Bureau, run in partnership with the Bureau of Parks & Recreation and local nonprofits, would encourage and administer after-school programs for interested students. These programs would be diverse and plentiful: sports leagues, chess clubs, theater, dance troupes, arts classes, computer clubs, and language classes, to name a few. Everyone has interests, and the Youth Bureau can work to entice students to chase their curiosities and develop themselves physically, intellectually, and creatively. These programs would serve as motivation for students to work harder at school and would end “pay to play” for good. With an extra reason to do well in school in place, Portland’s students would not only live healthier, more positive lives outside of school, but would be driven to excel within the classroom, as well.

I propose that this Youth Bureau work alongside the Bureau of Parks & Recreation because it needs to be ideologically separate from the justice system and organizationally separate from the school system. Students must not be made to feel like they are being monitored by police, kept in extracurriculars solely to keep them out of trouble. Instead, they should be encouraged to take pride in their achievements and instructed by people without ulterior motives, even if those motives are positive, overall. Likewise, this Youth Bureau would be separate from the Portland Public Schools system so that it could be maintained independently of the state and county, and so that it could continue year-round, without having to accommodate the needs of the academic calendar. These activities should not be held hostage to the convoluted politics of the school system.

Some people might claim that Portland has better things to spend taxpayer dollars on than football, camping trips, crafts supplies, and costumes. Yet the cost of not engaging our youth is even higher. Day camp is cheaper than jail, and coaches are cheaper than cops.

If elected, I will help focus Portland’s efforts on its young people before they become a matter of law enforcement. We need to stop our current policy of neglecting our youth until they start to pose a problem. If we do not show interest in them, gang members, eager to recruit new blood, will. A well-run Youth Bureau is not only a matter of giving children and teenagers a better quality of life and education, but also a matter of public safety. Therefore, I will dedicate the same zeal to enriching these kids’ lives that I will to protecting Portlanders from crime

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