The City’s Largest Business Organization Also Wants the Feds Out of Portland

The Portland Business Alliance calls for “the departure of a heightened federal presence in Portland.”

A stencil artist, who created their own templates, spray paints signs containing the faces of notable Black victims of police violence, and hands the signs out for free. (Alex Wittwer)

The Portland Business Alliance, the buttoned-down trade organization that represents the region's largest employers, today called for the federal government to pull the supplemental federal forces President Donald Trump's administration sent here as part of what he called a "surge."

Coming on the same day that Oregon Senate Republicans rebuked Gov. Kate Brown, a Democrat, for failing to intervene and rein in the nightly protests in downtown Portland, the statement from the city's most vocal and influential business group is a sharp repudiation of Trump's policies—particularly as many PBA members own property and operate businesses in the downtown core.

Here's what the PBA said:

The presence of federal agents in a single block of downtown Portland has led to a near-universal upset and a worsening of conditions on our streets over the last two weeks.

In response, some individuals have engaged in criminal acts – including significant property damage – on a nightly basis.  These activities detract from the ongoing movement against racism.

Their presence is overshadowing our strategic goals: economic equity for our Black residents, regional prosperity for all, and stopping the spread of COVID-19 so that our economy can begin to recover.
The Portland Business Alliance stands unified with our regional and state leaders in calling for peace and the departure of a heightened federal presence in Portland.
We need peace in the heart of our region's economy to begin the work of rebuilding together and restoring desperately needed jobs.

Willamette Week’s reporting has concrete impacts that change laws, force action from civic leaders, and drive compromised politicians from public office. Support WW's journalism today.