An Open Letter to Disgruntled Portlanders

Mayberry has changed, and Gomer doesn’t work at the filling station anymore!

Editors note: On Monday, we posted a letter called "An Open Letter to Californians Regarding Current Rain Situation" from a concerned citizen. In the spirit of fairness and open dialogue, we are now publishing a rebuttal to that letter.

Californians didn't destroy your precious little city. "Your city" is changing in some good ways and some bad ways. Grow up and stop blaming the Big Bad California Boogeyman for your problems.

Home prices have gone up almost everywhere on the West Coast. It is not a phenomenon exclusive to Portland. Americans have had to make tough choices on where to live based on finances for hundreds of years. The reason that you love that great little bungalow in that great little neighborhood is also the reason why thousands of other Portlanders love it too. This is called a quick lesson in supply and demand.

Every city on the West Coast has more people than it did 10 years ago. People in San Diego, Sacramento, Seattle, Redding, Eugene and everywhere else don't like the increase in population in their cities either. Again, this is not a problem exclusive to Portland. People generally like their city to stay the same size, but sorry, that doesn't happen anywhere. Mayberry has changed, and Gomer doesn't work at the filling station anymore! Every city is getting bigger! Deal with it. This is called a quick lesson in the population explosion.

Which Californians are you whining about? Southern, northern, central, desert, mountain, coast dwellers? Do you think all of them get stuck on Ventura Freeway with a surfboard on the roof of their car for their morning commute? In case you don't know it, California is a really, really large state. California is more diverse than most countries in race, religion, climate and many other ways. Hell, you'd have a hard time telling me that upper Northern California isn't just an extension of Oregon anyways. To blanket-hate all Californians is ignorant. This is called a quick lesson in diversity, of which there isn't much here.

Stop with the "Oregon Native" talk too. We're all Americans. You hate all newcomers to your little utopia here. You bang the drum of "I'm an Oregon native," as if that gives you more right to live here than transplants. Sure, you might have been born here, but were your parents born here? Were your grandparents born here? You go back far enough and you'll find that your family is not native to this state. Someone moved here and settled here and started your family here from some other state or country. And guess what? Oregonians here in 1920 hated your grandpa for moving here too and destroying their idea of what Oregon should be. This is called a quick lesson in population migration.

America has open borders. We can live in whatever state we want here. That's pretty damn cool when you think about it. This is a pretty nice place. You must like it enough to call it home. Guess what? A whole lotta other people feel the same way. I didn't see a CLOSED sign on the state border when I moved here. And neither did your grandpa when he moved here.

—PJ Barrett