Architect Stuart Emmons, who is running for the Portland City Council, sent out a notable campaign mailer last week—capturing attention both for its novel technique of personalizing the message to each recipient's neighborhood and for fear-mongering about homelessness.
The mailer features a street sign emblazoned with the name of the street to which the flier is addressed, with the accompanying message: "Before homeless tarps cover your street, demand City Hall take action."
The photo shows bungalows with a line of tents in front.
Sarah Iannarone, a former mayoral candidate who is supporting Jo Ann Hardesty in this race, objected to the mailer.
"I find the campaign mailer problematic in execution and implication," she tells WW. "It's disappointing to see someone with Emmons' professional expertise and elite networks claiming to care about issues of housing and homelessness while engaging in such callous fear-mongering. His mailer dehumanizes and further marginalizes the vulnerable, unhoused Portlanders that he claims to serve."
Emmons stands by the advertising.
"I am trying to wake people up to the fact that we are going backwards on homelessness, despite the positive spin coming from City Hall and the county," Emmons tells WW. "My mailer says 'demand City Hall take action,' and I hope people do just that."