Last week, WW wrote about lawsuits Tofurky has filed against Arkansas and Missouri over whether it can label its products as meat ("Who's Afraid of Tofurky?," WW, Sept. 18, 2019). Lawmakers and ranchers say plant-based food companies deceive consumers by calling products "veggie burgers," and "tofu dogs." Tofurky says the new laws infringe on its right to free speech. Here's what readers think.
TJ, via wweek.com: "Most folks don't have any desire to eat chemically processed soy beans intentionally, let alone primarily, so stop trying to con them into buying the stuff. If they want it, they'll buy it."
Jeremy Andreson, via Facebook: "My meat-eating buddy suggested we try the Burger King Impossible Whopper, and wow…we couldn't tell a difference. If they get the price point of that thing in parity with the beef option, and it's better for you (no cholesterol), and it's better for the planet (no cow farts/methane)…that'll make a huge dent in a rancher's livelihood."
Dustin Ddraig, via wweek.com: "Goldfish crackers? There's no seafood in it. That's a lawsuit! Chicken of the Sea tuna? How dare they try to defraud consumers!"
Neighborhood Associations Must Be Heard and Inclusive
There is no question neighborhood associations (NAs) have to work harder and smarter to be more inclusive ["Chloe Eudaly's Neighborhood War," WW, Sept. 11, 2019]. Additionally, historically marginalized populations need to have a formal way to give input to Portland's city government. But the current proposal for changing the city code is not about inviting more people to a large table.
First, Portland's city government is not a large table. It is an autocracy of five with no geographical representation or accountability. So it can arbitrarily decide, now or in the future, who to hear and who to ignore. Or it can decide not to listen to any input at all despite maintaining the appearance of listening to constituents. Apparently, according to recent news reports, Chloe Eudaly even sees it as a trespass on her autocratic role to receive input from her fellow city councilors.
If Portland had a larger City Council with members who had to answer to geographical areas within the city, I would be more open to some of the changes being suggested. But that is not our current governmental structure.
Second, the language being used by Eudaly and key members of her staff makes it clear the real intent of the proposed code change is to demonize and then silence a large part of the population and to end the requirement to inform local organizations, or anyone at all, about transportation, development, and other plans.
It is this accountability of Portland's city government to people at the local level that makes the existence and vitality of the NAs essential.
Rose City Park Neighborhood Association
In a cover story on efforts to remake the Office of Community and Civic Life ("Chloe Eudaly's Neighborhood War," WW, Sept. 11, 2019), WW mischaracterized the mechanism of the changes. Six identity-based groups are not getting city funding for the first time, but could have greater input in land use and development decisions.
The story also referred to one change—giving the office director unilateral authority to choose new groups for recognition—which had already been removed from the proposed ordinance. WW regrets the errors.