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Countys mean girls will leave sad legacy

Open letter to Multnomah County commissioners: I need to voice my grave disappointment in your decision to cut funding to the Schools Uniting Neighborhoods program. I understand that budgets are tight, but it seems to me that this was a decision not based out of necessity but out of some petty disagreement among the members.

I have to say as a progressive woman voter, I was so impressed with the stand that four of you took to allow gays and lesbians to be married in Portland. I thought, 'Wow, look at the power that four women can have when they stand by their convictions and really work together.' Now as I read in The Oregonian, Willamette Week and the Portland Tribune about the three 'mean girls,' my stomach turns.

You had an opportunity to actually change the world. To change the way women are viewed as leaders. To change the way politics is done. To make a truly significant difference in the lives of everyday people.

But unfortunately, you have chosen a different path - a path of egotism, self-righteousness and downright petty high school-like girl-fighting. Does it make you proud? Sure, you've done some good work, but you will forever be labeled a 'mean girl.' Wow, what a legacy.

I am a community member and a businesswoman in Portland. Unlike the many direct service providers who work for SUN, I have not dedicated my life to making a difference in the lives of children. I work for a for-profit company that is committed to the sustainability of our community. I am seriously concerned about the economy and quality of life that Portland offers.

Decisions like this one are not in the best interest of our economy, reputation or the business that I work for. This decision doesn't just impact the children. Everyone and everything is impacted when our most vulnerable citizens are not given the resources that they need to thrive.

One of the signs held by a child at the SUN rally outside your meeting said, 'Support me now or support me later.' Out of the mouths of babes, right? Either way, the community is going to pay for the decision that you have made to cut funding to this vital program.

Jennie Breslow

Southeast Portland