Portland mayor "Streetcar" Charlie has to love Cylvia Hayes. Gov. Retread's press conference, in which he attempted to deal with the blowback relating to the activities of his First Squeeze, had the effect of overshadowing as well Streetcar's "State of the City" address - and the cover could hardly have come at a better time:
Portland Mayor Charlie Hales used his third annual "State of the City" address to stump for economic equality—proposing reforms including a $15-an-hour minimum wage, stricter oversight of the city's minority contracting program, and tax credits for companies that hire people with criminal records.
This is the same guy who, along with his sidekick, has spent over a year crying poverty and insisting upon the need for Portland residents and businesses to pay a special "street fee" to fund a basic, core city function: maintaining streets. Like his predecessors, he can always come up with millions of dollars for non-core projects - such as a five-thousand-dollar tax credit for each criminal hired by businesses in the city.
Hales announced the city will begin offering businesses a tax credit of up to $5,000 for every ex-offender they hire.
"Will this be expensive?" Hales asked. "Let me turn that around: How will it compare with the billions of dollars we spend a year as a country on prisons? No contest. It's a good investment."
When you're spending other people's money on pet "social justice" projects, you never say you're "spending money"; instead, you call it "investment".
And the $15 minimum wage has been a big hit among the Seattle socialist set, so it should be cool here, too.
As for those other "core functions": at present, the city has torn up block after block of Multnomah Boulevard, not to pave or maintain the street itself - but to build "bioswales". At this point, after months of work, they've finally got most of the concrete forms in place, so they should soon be able to fill them with dirt and stick plants in there. Yay! Far be it from them to address traffic issues related to their infill policies.
But finally, Southwest Portland's Multnomah Village area is getting some "bioswales". Finally! They won't have to import mosquitoes after all these years.