A flier distributed in a number of Portland neighborhoods recently has been a source of distress for many citizens, citing the number of people in the area receiving disability payments and threatening to name them.

by: SUBMITTED PHOTO - Versions of this flier have been sighted throughout Portland, to the consternation of citizens and city officials alike.“The Portland Office of Equity and the Commission on Disability view this flier as hate speech against people with disabilities. People with disabilities who have received this flier have expressed concerns for their personal safety and trepidation about being outside their homes and in their neighborhoods as a result of this act,” said Portland Commission on Disability (PCOD) Chair Joe VanderVeer.

People from 14 neighborhoods — including Hayhurst, Maplewood and Multnomah in Southwest Portland — responded to a request by PCOD seeking to learn who has received the flier and what neighborhood it was in.

While the majority of reports came from North, Northeast and Southeast Portland neighborhoods, as of Aug. 14, VanderVeer said, “We have received at least five reports from folks who have received the flier in the Hayhurst, Maplewood, and Multnomah neighborhoods in Southwest Portland in response to our outreach efforts through the media and social network sites.”

Stefanie Adams, city crime prevention coordinator for Southwest Portland, said this is not the first time Southwest has been papered with this type of flier.

“In April 2013, a Hayhurst neighbor showed me a flier left on her doorstep from Artemis of the Wildland that mentioned a vague complaint about people being dependent on the government. These fliers reached a number of neighbors in the area,” she recalled. “Recently there have been fliers supposedly from the same author left on doorsteps in other Portland neighborhoods that are more specific and threaten to publicly identify individuals with disabilities receiving government assistance.”

As of Aug. 13, there had been three reports of fliers from Hayhurst, one from Maplewood and from Multnomah.

“The Multnomah Neighborhood Association deplores the recent hate speech activity against people with disabilities,” said Moses Ross, Multnomah Neighborhood Association chairman, in an email statement. “We welcome and honor the diversity within our neighborhood and our city. We stand united as a neighborhood against intolerance.”

At the city level, officials are concerned as well.

“We are taking this very seriously,” VanderVeer said, “and we encourage folks to continue to report to us if they received the flier so that we can track this for the mayor's office and the police department.”

Adams agreed.

“Because the tone and content of these messages are intimidating, target individuals with disabilities, and cause concern for neighbors,” she said, “we encourage people receiving them to report them to the City of Portland Commission on Disabilities."

The commission can be reached at 503-823-4432 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. A report can also be filed online with the Portland Police Bureau at

Anyone with specific information about the person or people distributing these fliers should email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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