Both the Democrats and Republicans are in full campaign mode around the country as the 2022 midterms draw closer. Unlike the Republicans, who are predicted to gain heavy ground in D.C., the Democrats are increasingly worried about what November might bring. Not only are the Democrats afraid of losing power in D.C., but they are also struggling to keep several of their stronghold states like Oregon. It’s not breaking news that Oregon has been controlled by Democrats for 40 years. While the liberals always praise the state, it seems that Portland’s mayor, Ted Wheeler, has decided to finally address the number of homeless camps that have grown exponentially over the last three years.
For those who might not know, the homeless problem has gotten so bad in Portland that in just 150 square miles, there are over 700 homeless encampments. The Democratic mayor declared that the situation was a “vortex of misery.” Ted Wheeler also placed the blame for rising crime on the homeless. Just last year, the city set a record for reporting 90 homicides. The previous record was 66, and it appears that Portland might beat their own record this year. Mayor Wheeler said, “The magnitude and the depth of the homelessness crisis in our city is nothing short of a humanitarian catastrophe.”
Bringing a plan with him, Mayor Wheeler announced that he moved to do away with the homeless encampments to make way for the construction of 20,000 new units. Hoping to have them built over the next decade, the Democrat added that he hoped the units would be affordable for everyone. But again, he used the word hope.
As for the homeless problem, Mayor Wheeler admitted, “We need to move our scattered, vulnerable homeless population closer to the services that they need.” The Democrat added that the banning of camps would not start until his proposal was fully funded. Wheeler proposed building more shelters for the homeless that included Safe Rest Villages, emergency shelters, and even designated camp areas.
Already mentioned above, the move from Wheeler comes as the Democrat Tina Kotek tries to defeat Republican Christine Drazan in the Oregon gubernatorial election. There is also a third-party candidate Betsy Johnson. Currently, Drazan holds a slight lead over Kotek as the days count down.
While the race might be close for now, it should be noted that Drazan gained a massive supporter when billionaire Phil Knight, the co-founder of Nike, donated to her campaign. And given that he is a billionaire, the donation came in the form of $1 million. Knight also donated another whopping $3.75 million to Betsy Johnson. Knight told the New York Times he would do whatever it takes to deny Democrats another victory. He concluded, “One of the political cartoons after our legislative session had a person snorting cocaine out of a mountain of white. It said, ‘Which of these is illegal in Oregon?’ And the answer was the plastic straw.”