The violence at last Sunday's competing downtown Portland demonstrations between right- and left-wing protesters was not as bad as feared. But it followed a predictable pattern.
Most of the violence did not take place between the opposing sides, but between a faction of the left-wing protesters and the police as things were breaking up.
Patriot Prayer organizer Joey Gibson moved his so-called free speech march from Gov. Tom McCall Waterfront Park to Vancouver, Wash., on Saturday. But numerous counterdemonstrations that had been previously announced went ahead anyway, requiring police to show up as planned. Although most counterdemonstrators were peaceful, a significant number vented their anger at the police, who tried to keep them confined to parts of the park set aside for demonstrations and out of the streets.
The results were predictable. Two officers were injured and seven counterdemonstrators were arrested, making Portland look once again like a center of left-wing violence.
Despite cancer, Fish stays in race
After considering his options for nearly a month, Portland City Commissioner Nick Fish has decided to resume running for re-election while being treated for abdominal cancer. Fish had declared for re-election before he was diagnosed with cancer in mid-August. Initially, Fish said he wanted to see how his chemotherapy treatments would affect him. He has maintained most of his City Hall schedule and, on Sept. 11, emailed supporters to say he is still running.
"The treatment for my cancer may slow me down a little this fall, but it will never diminish my passion for public service," Fish says in the email. "Campaigns are time-consuming — and I have many things to balance in the months ahead. I won't be the first person who manages an illness or a disability and runs for office."
The email also seeks donations and lists eight priorities he wants to accomplish. They range from "Sponsoring new, cost-effective solutions to our housing crisis" to "Standing up for workers and consumers in the changing economy."
So far, only environmental advocate Julia DeGraw has announced against Fish and filed to form a fundraising committee. Affordable housing advocate Margo Black says she is considering the race.
Fritz fumes over repeat emails
Portland City Commissioner Amanda Fritz was visibly annoyed during last Thursday's hearing on the Central City Plan about the many emails she received opposing the Rose Quarter freeway project that said the same thing.
Fritz, who works hard to read and respond to every email, said she had complained to Aaron Brown, a registered lobbyist for No More Freeway Expansion, that she had received around 200 nearly identical emails against the project.
Few candidates immediately file
Candidates could file to run in the 2018 primary election starting Sept. 7. But by the end of the week, few contenders had emerged in the Portland area.
At the city level, NAACP Portland President Jo Ann Hardesty filed to run against Saltzman. At the Multnomah County level, Maria Garcia and Susheela Jayapal filed for the Commissioner District 2 position that Loretta Smith must vacate due to term limits. Also, two employees of the county auditor's office, Jennifer McGuirk and Mark Ulanowicz, filed to replace their boss Steve March, who also must vacate the office due to term limits.
At the Metro level, only Brian Evans had filed for auditor. And at the state level, state Democratic Sen. Elizabeth Streiner Hayward, District 17, had filed for re-election, and Jamie Woods had filed for the House District 45 seat held by state Rep. Barbara Smith-Warner. Also, state Sen. Rod Monroe, D-District 24, had filed for re-election, and Republican Ron Noble had filed for that seat as well.
Many more candidates will file before the March 6 deadline. Several Democrats already have announced against Monroe because of his opposition to legislation allowing local rent-control programs last session as they were written.