Commissioner Amanda Fritz's push to relocate Right 2 Dream Too beneath the Broadway Bridge's Lovejoy Street off-ramp remains technically alive this afternoon—her office, when asked, had no updates saying the plug had been pulled—but it's causing a kerfuffle among Pearl District neighbors.
The Oregonian's Sara Hottman reported this morning that the neighborhood association is asking residents to sign a letter that argues Fritz's plan would break city law. The Mercury has since obtained Fritz's reply to some of the neighbors who've written her.
The sentiment: Stop freaking out. They've been good neighbors in Old Town. Also, don't take it out on me, because I'm not up for re-election. And this is the right thing to do.
Thank you for your message.
The negotiations for relocation of the Right to Dream Too rest area are related to settlement of a lawsuit, so I can’t comment on specifics. I urge you to visit their current location and NW 4th/Burnside. There have been zero calls for police service to that site in 2013. Nearby property owners report decrease in crime, and fewer people sleeping in doorways because there is a safe place for people to sleep. Right to Dream Too has a drug-free, alcohol-free policy that is enforced by the residents. Their residents need access to basic services, including showers and laundry facilities at nearby Bud Clark Commons.
While I appreciate many Pearl District neighbors may be concerned about the new folks who may be moving in, if the move happens I hope you will give them a chance to be the good neighbors they’ve proven themselves to be in Old Town.
I’m not running for anything ever again, just so you know. I act to do what I believe is right and in the long term public good, which is not always what is popular with voters.
Update 12:20 PM Thursday: Fritz, at the Mercury's request, provided the email she was responding to (it wasn't a cookie-cuter answer). It seems her reply came after someone threatened to raise money to see her defeated in the next election—hard to do, since she's previously announced she isn't running for office again after her term concludes.
I am extremely disappointed in your office's clandestine attempt to move this group under the west end of the Broadway Bridge with no imput from the many neighbors, both residential and business, in this area.
This is a high density area and certainly you do not want this to be a first impression as people disembark from the trains. What can you be thinking?
How can you believe that this is any less "visible" than where they are on Burnside.
I can assure you that I will contribute
to anyone who runs against you in any and all up-coming elections.