Portland, it's finally safe to come out from your panic bunker: There is no more anarchy in PDX. Not officially, anyway.
On Wednesday, President Joe Biden issued an executive order repealing several actions implemented by his predecessor, Donald Trump. That included removing the "anarchist jurisdiction" tag from three cities run by Democrats: New York, Seattle and yours truly.
The Department of Justice formally labeled Portland a lawless hellscape back in September, a few months after deploying federal agents to guard the downtown courthouse from protesters, declaring that the city "permitted violence and the destruction of property to persist and have refused to undertake reasonable measures to counteract these criminal activities."
This was both a rebuke to Portland officials who tacitly sanctioned protests against police that often ended in vandalism of government buildings, and a convenient way for the Trump White House to use Portland as a scapegoat during a reelection bid. (This kept happening.)
Still, it wasn't just a badass moniker: It came with a threat to pull federal funding in the middle of a pandemic, leading the mayors of all three Anarchotowns to file a lawsuit against the administration.
That's all over now, and to be honest, it's a little disappointing. After a decade of bird-art jokes and Mom and Dad asking about kooky doughnuts every time we went back home, it was nice to feel…dangerous again. It was a real "George plays the bad boy" moment for us.
Maybe Biden can do us a solid and give us a title that conveys "danger" but without the baggage. Mischief township? Shenanigan province? Naughty town? C'mon, Joe! Make Portland cool again!