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Wednesday, April 14, 2010

East Portland: Still Neglected?

Posted by Sarah Mirk on Wed, Apr 14, 2010 at 3:13 PM

Oh snap. I love it when charismatic progressive Portland politicians disagree with one another. Mayor Sam Adams and East Portland Representative Jefferson Smith just got into a little fight here at city council.

The council was slogging through rounds of positive testimony from East Portland residents on the implementation of the East Portland Action Plan, a program city council adopted last year which prioritizes a list of long-overdue infrastructure and developments projects to receive money from the city ASAP.

Jefferson Smith: Pointing fingers at the adoption of the East Portland Action Plan last year.
  • Jefferson Smith: Pointing fingers at the adoption of the East Portland Action Plan last year.

Then up rolls Representative Jefferson Smith, who has no kind words for the council.

"Last year I came merely to say thank you. Now I am truly angry, " said Rep. Smith. He argued that the city has neglected and ignored the needs of East Portland. For example, the lands east of 82nd Avenue received only .7 percent of Portland stimulus money.

Mayor Adams was irate. "Frankly, Representative Smith, your testimony sets back the great work these people are trying to do," said Adams, referring to the dozen or so community leaders who had showed up to speak on behalf of the action plan. "We have funded this effort to create a positive change. I appreciate your frustrations, but I want to keep us on the path to improvement."

As Representative Smith left the council chambers, Commissioner Saltzman caught up with him in the mezzanine. "Good job," said Saltzman.

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