Kerry Tymchuk is glad the Oregon Historical Society upgraded to impenetrable glass.
In October, at an event dubbed the “Indigenous People’s Day of Rage,” an Indiana man named Malik Muhammed allegedly used a metal baton to smash in the windows of the downtown Portland history museum. Someone tossed a lit flare in the lobby, and other protesters dragged into the rain-slicked South Park Blocks a quilt made for the 1976 bicentennial by Black women.
Five months later, at another leftist protest, a Reed College student named Theodore Matthee-O’Brien smashed the OHS front windows again. This time, they were laminated: They cracked in a spider-web pattern but did not shatter. (Muhammed and Matthew-O’Brien both face felony charges.)
It is in this fraught environment that Tymchuk is asking voters for money.
Measure 26-221 is the renewal of a five-year tax levy to fund the work of historical preservation and display. So last week, Tymchuk, the executive director of OHS, and Mary Faulkner, the board vice president, pitched WW’s editorial board on another five years of history.
Related: Read our endorsements.
Among OHS’s plans: preparing a curriculum for Portland Public Schools on the history of this city. That deal caught the attention of WW editor Mark Zusman. In a moment when OHS is already taking political heat for its exhibitions, why court more controversy—especially when the San Francisco Unified School District is still reeling from its ill-fated effort to remove historical names from its buildings.
In this video Tymchuk answers. And then he responds to a very cynical question about how much of a boom vandalism was to his fundraising.