Portland Politicians Talk Tough to Texas, and No One Cares

By Eric Fruits, Ph.D.

Last week, I attended my first out-of-state conference in nearly two years. This week, Portland City Council is considering an emergency ordinance banning the city and its employees from doing business with the State of Texas. The ordinance is in response to a new Texas law effectively banning abortion in the state. What do these two things have to do with each other?

At the conference, I learned that outside of Oregon, no one really knows—or cares—about Oregon. They don’t care about our homelessness crisis. Every major city has a homelessness crisis. They don’t care about our spike in gun violence. Every major city is seeing a spike. They’ve heard about our wildfires; but to most people, that’s just something that happens out west.

So, when Portland City Council puts on a cowboy hat to talk tough to a state seven times bigger, you can bet our friends in Texas won’t be shaking in their boots. Heck, it may not even make it into their local papers. Our region is facing some real emergencies; we’re on our own to solve them. We pay taxes and elect people to do the hard work to solve these problems. It’s time for our elected officials to saddle up and fix our own problems first before sticking their noses in other states’ business.

Eric Fruits, Ph.D. is Vice President of Research at Cascade Policy Institute, Oregon’s free market public policy research organization.

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Comments 9

  1. Avatar for Terry Thompson

    Terry Thompson

    2:22 pm - September 8, 2021

    For 100 days, Mayor Wheeler and company let their city be torn apart and did nothing except pay lip service. Now the mayor wants to cease doing business with Texas because of an abortion issue he doesn’t agree with. Go figure.

  2. Avatar for Scott Brown

    Scott Brown

    2:28 pm - September 8, 2021

    If just the nitwits in Texas would deign to take even some virus prophylactic measures, like decent masks, and not value their “liberty” above their responsibilities to others, it would be nice. To care about their “liberty” above my “safety”, it is like putting a gun to my head. Me, with diabetes and heard disease for God sake. It they’d just look past their own selfish noses and get off of their “Texas” it’s all about us mentality. And “don’t mess with Texas” bullcrap. At least Abbot got the vaccine. Hey, here is a thought, be a man and recommend vaccines to the other yahoo’s down there, or is that to un-manly.

  3. Avatar for Scott Brown

    Scott Brown

    2:31 pm - September 8, 2021

    I am glad, though, about the efforts they are putting forward to stop the abortion scourge.

  4. Avatar for Scott Brown

    Scott Brown

    2:37 pm - September 8, 2021

    I am against abortion, unlike Mayor Ted, so good on Texas for their stand on that, but it would be nice if those in Texas would get a clue about protecting others from the Delta variant with masks, and not essentially to put guns to the heads of others, in the preservation their vaunted “liberty”! And why doesn’t the revered governor Abbot, since even he got the vaccine, try to persuade the Texas populace to get them as well. He and his ilk are excessively silent on this, I think, to their shame!

  5. Avatar for Glenn Gailis

    Glenn Gailis

    7:34 pm - September 8, 2021

    I could not agree more. Portland has not been able to take care of their own problems and now they are going to “advise” Texas on their problems. Really? Again, Portland needs new leadership. Glenn Gailis

  6. Avatar for Edwin Pole II

    Edwin Pole II

    9:05 pm - September 8, 2021

    The council reminds me of these boys. Don’t mess with Texas.


  7. Avatar for John DiPaola

    John DiPaola

    2:38 pm - September 9, 2021

    It appears that what most public figures fear the most is admitting, “We Don’t Know. We don’t have the answer.” Statements and mandates are put forward only considering HALF of the available information driven by a refusal to consider all sides of an argument for fear that it will threaten their position. Conformation Bias is a condition where a person or group only considers and accepts information that confirms their currently held beliefs. Real debate requires the discipline and discomfort of respectfully considering another viewpoint and defending the person’s right to express that viewpoint freely and openly without censorship. When public discourse and the public forum were revered, we often heard the statement, “I completely disagree with your position on the issue, but I will defend your right to express it with my life if necessary.” This usually results in diplomacy and compromise to reach a point in between the extremes and preserves public civility. The current polarization of thought has led to some supporting late term abortions to the moment of birth and others to limit it to before the first signs of life. Two situations brought about by attempting to protect one of the involved lives or the other. To protect both lives – individuals who engage in unprotected sexual relations need to know they can monitor the situation with readily available over the counter tests. Those who are beyond that point need to be aware of other options and be offered the personal and community support to carry out those options to avoid the devastating long term emotional consequences to themselves and the multi-generational loss that follows an abortion. Abortion tragically impacts the poor and communities of color, robbing them of their personal well-being and the promise of nurturing future generations.

  8. Avatar for John DiPaola

    John DiPaola

    2:49 pm - September 9, 2021

    Please forgive me for an error I missed in editing my thoughts. The last sentence should read:

    Abortion tragically DISPROPORTIONATELY, impacts the poor and communities of color, robbing them of their personal well-being and the promise of nurturing future generations.

    Thanks- JDD

  9. Avatar for Mike Mihalik

    Mike Mihalik

    6:16 am - September 10, 2021

    Eric, you are spot on, save the proclamation that “every major city” is experiencing many of the same problems as Portland

    Nope, not from my experience.

    Many major cities do not tolerate camping on the city sidewalks or in parks. They do, do something to help the homeless, and they still do keep their cities clean.

    I’m fortunate to be able to visit many major cities in the US, and this week in Greece.

    What’s happened to Portland is a disgrace. People who realize where I’m from ask, “what the hell happened to Portland? “.

    Portland can do better, if only the leaders actually do their jobs. That goes for the rest of Oregon, too.

    Taxpayers and residents deserve better.

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