Jubilant Portlanders took to the streets on Saturday to celebrate the defeat of President Donald Trump.
Even as state officials announced a new record of COVID-19 cases—988 of them—this city's residents were too excited to stay home.
In the hours after news networks declared former Vice President Joe Biden the next president, Portland residents shot fireworks, honked car horns, and held champagne parties in city parks. Residents of Pearl District condo towers banged pots and pans outside their windows, an echo of the nightly ritual of thanking hospital workers and first responders at the start of the pandemic.
A four-year nightmare was ending. And a city Trump had made his scapegoat and testing ground for federal quelling of protest again took to the streets—to party.
Portland's elected officials were also celebratory.
"Today, we learned our nation made a stand for what we are for—honesty, decency, respect and a commitment to the common good," Mayor Ted Wheeler wrote in a statement today. "We elected Joe Biden and Kamala Harris and rejected the Trump administration's corrupt, hateful and harmful policies that have inflamed division and divisiveness in our country for four years.
Mayor Wheeler said he looks forward to working with a Biden administration. This year, Trump has warred with city officials by sending in federal troops early this summer during the Black Lives Matter protests. Wheeler added, "We now will have a partner in the federal government instead of an opponent."
U.S. Sen. Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.) also publicly applauded the new administration while highlighting the many ways Trump failed this nation, particularly during this devastating year.
"President Trump failed our nation in many ways. He failed to lead a national response to COVID-19, neglecting to initiate a plan for the PPE, testing, tracing, and social distancing that would have saved a hundred thousand American lives," Merkley wrote. "American voters have rendered their judgment: Donald Trump, you're fired!"
He noted Trump's divisive tactics that promoted hate.
"Black Lives do Matter!" Merkley wrote. "And Trump failed us by assaulting the checks and balances of our Constitution, the rule of law, and the integrity of our elections—the foundation of our democratic republic. Our foreign adversaries have not and could not level as damaging an attack on our nation's institutions as Donald Trump has done from the Oval Office."
Among his list of other ways Trump has failed is basic human decency, he wrote, but now Americans can focus on healing the nation's democracy.
"Trump's failures have left us with many challenges. Together, as a nation, we must work with great urgency to change course and create a better future for working families. I look forward to working with President-elect Biden and his administration to put America back on track."