Portland Must Spare No Punches Dealing with Homeless People Camping in Public Places

PORTLAND, Ore. — Portland City must spare no punches when dealing with a crackdown on homeless people camping in public areas, says mayoral candidate and city commissioner, Rene Gonzalez. He is proposing a measure that will place an immediate ban on homeless camping in Portland and subject those found guilty to one month in jail if the U.S. Supreme Court and Oregon Legislature retract current restrictions.


Rene Gonzales Wants Jail Time and Fines to be Increased

The proposal put forward by mayoral hope, Gonzalez, is contradictory to that of Portland leaders who want to scale back on current legislation that places an outright ban on the homeless camping in public open spaces during daylight hours. He is pitching for more punitive measures that will increase jail time and fines.

If approved, the Gonzale measure will place executive power in the hands of the mayor or designee, effectively ruling out decisions governing the homeless that are presently made by the city council leaders.

Gonzalez issued a statement saying he favors camping regulations taken at an “executive level” to be flexible and to “adjust as a fluid legal environment evolves.” Commissioner Gonzales says his office is committed to protecting the city from the “debilitating drug culture in the encampments” which, he adds, is harming the community and preying on vulnerable residents.

Gonzalez points out that Portland’s neighboring city of Gresham has already introduced a similar measure and has arranged for a spokesperson to address Portland council members and staff tomorrow (Friday).


Gonzales Measure is Inhumane, Says Another Mayoral Hopeful

The Gonzalez measure has been described as “inhumane” by fellow commissioner and mayoral candidate, Carmen Rubio. He says Portland residents want compassion and accountability, and not the proposed aggressive measures that will attract lawsuits as it criminalizes homelessness without the alternative of rehabilitation.

Rubio endorsed a proposal by Portland Mayor, Ted Wheeler, to hold a meeting calling on the public to vote to allow the homeless to camp at all hours of the day in restricted locations. The proposal forbids storing possessions and lighting fires across a wide area of the city. The mayor proposed a one-week jail term for offenders, as opposed to the one-month sentence suggested by Gonzalez. The mayor’s proposal was made after the city’s current daytime camping ban was put on hold by a judge “while it is under a legal challenge.”

Several hours after Portland leaders decided to delay the meeting scheduled for today (Thursday), city attorney Robert Taylor handed in a copy of the Gonzales measure to the council offices. At least three votes of the five-man city council are needed to pass the Gonzalez measure.

According to state law, cities are required to employ humane measures when dealing with the removal of homeless people from camp sites on public property. Such individuals must be given 72 hours’ notice and require cities to be objectively reasonable with rules that limit the place or manner where the homeless can sleep warm and dry.

Morning Brief Newsletter
Sign up today for our daily newsletter, a quick overview of top local stories and Oregon breaking news delivered directly to your inbox
You can unsubscribe at any time
Leave A Reply

Your email address will not be published.