Intro Hales Parrish margulies Bueno Fred Wilker

They are angry, agitated, wry. They are careful watchers, even obsessive witnesses, to what is odd and distracting and wrong. And they all stand on lonely promontories from which they view our city—and call out to us.

This issue of WW introduces you to six people who know this town, and this state, in ways many of us don't.

In the following pages, you'll hear from people who are fighting the school system, a monopoly transit agency and Oregon's status as a one-party state. 

You'll hear from a comic actor whose TV show japes at Portland's smugness and discover a poet who has followed a dangerous road home. And you'll listen to the new mayor who has returned to City Hall and isn't enthralled with how things are going.

They speak in a harmony of discontent, haunted by a city that is leaving citizens out, that it is heading in the wrong direction, that trails off, out of breath, before finishing its own narrative.

But if you feel a glimmer of hope for 2013, maybe it's because these aren't complacent voices. 

They want you to know they are speaking for you—and why they are doing so—and that they won't fall quiet until something gets better.