Multnomah County Voters Undaunted by Federal Probe
What, Portlanders worry? President Donald Trump's Election Integrity Commission hasn't led to a wave of Multnomah County voters canceling their registrations. This month, The Denver Post reported that Colorado voters were canceling their registrations in unprecedented numbers, fearing the federal government would receive their personal information. But Multnomah County elections director Tim Scott says as of July 20 just 17 county voters have asked for cancellation since the federal commission was announced—two more than the previous month. "And the vast majority of them said they had moved out of state," Scott says.
Housing Bureau Picks Property to Buy With Airbnb Money
Three years ago, Portland City Hall approved a tax on Airbnbs and other short term rentals to spend on affordable housing. Now the Portland Housing Bureau has selected its first purchase using short-term rental tax dollars: a 50,000-square-foot property at 3000 SE Powell Blvd. with a price tag of $3.72 million. The land could be developed into as many as 300 units of affordable housing using funds from another pot of money: a chunk of the $258 million housing bond. (The city is still picking those projects.)
Gorge Residents Sue Jail for ICE Contract
Residents of Oregon's Wasco County have sued a regional jail in The Dalles for imprisoning undocumented immigrants on behalf of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. On July 21, four residents sued the Northern Oregon Regional Correctional Facility in federal court, claiming the jail is misusing their tax dollars and violating state law by imprisoning immigrants for the federal government. WW reported this spring on the jail holding immigrants in possible violation of Oregon's 1987 sanctuary law, which forbids state and local resources from being used to find and deport undocumented immigrants ("Trapped in the Gorge," WW, May 10, 2017).
Mural Artist Discovers His RV Painting Is Now a Home
A Portland mural artist was surprised to see an RV decorated with a Mount Hood landscape on WW's cover last week—because he painted it. The freelance painter, who goes by Joseph the Human, had airbrushed the abandoned Country Camper four years ago when it was dumped in front of his art studio in Northwest Portland. He says it was "moldy and unloved—completely ditched." The RV was hauled away by the city a few weeks later. It is now home to Sheila Fitch, who has parked it in St. Johns ("Zombieland," WW, July 19, 2017). Portland Bureau of Transportation spokesman John Brady says private tow companies can resell towed RVs.