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The Advocate

The Advocate

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Letter to Newcomers
June 13, 2024
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Advice for Freshmen
June 12, 2024
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Advice to Freshmen
June 12, 2024

Portland isn’t the hellhole you think it is


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Portland Oregon is an amazing city, there are so many fun amazing spectacular things to do in Portland; go to 2nd Avenue and get some CDs, take your friends to Pioneer Place and people-watch the nepo babies, get a bunch of books you probably won’t read at the big Powells books, go to burnside skatepark, see the mummified babies at OMSI, head down to wizards cage or Dantes to catch some local bands. Or you could do more sensible family things like go to the Saturday market, the art museum, Oregon Zoo. Just anything but voodoo doughnuts. Portland is the more gentrified, wet, New York for North Face wearers. But so many people are scared of visiting. You hear all the stuff about homeless people, drugs, and violent attacks, and you gotta wonder, has Portland gone down the drain?

Many argue that Portland has gone downhill since the 2010s because of the drug epidemic and homeless people, the price of housing has kicked people out of their homes and given them no choice but to get a tent. Before 2009 there was a no sitting/laying rule imposed in the city, it was just a no being homeless law. But that was abolished in 2009 for being unconstitutional. The city has made many improvements in public management since then. But even then there’s still a big problem with homelessness and drug addiction in the city. This turns a lot of people away which I get but also; they are just people and there’s no reason to be afraid of people without a house. I thought that was a pretty well-known fact that homeless people are still people just like you. They aren’t doing anything to bother you and you shouldn’t do anything to bother them. And trust me I have seen my fair share of people taking the piss out of homeless people for no good reason. I once saw this kid dressed to the nine take a shovel to this guy’s tent because it was “in his way.” Maybe I’m coming off like the Lorax for hobos, but they are people, so treat them like it. 

Portland has a big drug problem and many say we have the worst in the nation. Which is not true. We aren’t even in the top 10 for the worst drug problems in the USA. That doesn’t mean we don’t have one though. We surely do have a problem with opioids and fentanyl which state officials ignore. Oregon has taken some steps to help the issue, but it’s not enough. There’s also a big problem with gentrification. Which, in my humble opinion is the worst thing that can happen to a city. Everything in Portland is expensive, which ties back to homelessness in the city. Yeah, we have a drug problem in Portland, but that doesn’t define Portland. 

Portland Oregon is so great when you really visit it and form an opinion about what you experience, and not just the news. One of my favorite things about it is how green it is. We have one of the best public transportation systems in the universe. 12,000 people take public transit to work and 21,000 bike to work. Portland is a bike, bus, and max-centered city. The bike lanes are thick and there are city scooters to rent, that nobody uses. Most people just throw them in the lake, but it’s the thought and action towards a green city that counts. Portland also has great shopping and activities for all people. I hang out in Portland a lot and I like to go to concerts and people-watch. I wouldn’t be who I am without Portland and I think you should visit.

Portland isn’t just about the problems you see in the news. It’s a city full of surprises, with beautiful parks and unique neighborhoods. There’s always something new to discover here.

So, yeah, Portland has its ups and downs, but it’s way more than what the media fearmongers about. It’s a place with a great culture, that cares about the planet, has cool, intelligent hot people in it, and is always full of surprises. It’s worth checking out for yourself.

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About the Contributor
Molly Graham, Writer
Molly Graham is a sophomore whose interests include; ugly cars, welding, fireworks, punk shows, nature and boxing. I can play banjo and am in a band called civil disobedience.

Comments (5)

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  • B

    Bet hartJan 29, 2024 at 3:01 pm

    Well it’s not quite skid row but getting there , I live in Woodstock

  • E

    EverettJan 27, 2024 at 8:42 pm

    Portland Oregon! Was voted to be the worst run city in the state! You have only yourselfs to blame, your elected city and state government can’t even decide about daylight savings, let Alon write laws. Your city officials have welcomed drug use free needles and safe place to camp for addicts and lowering drug related crimes. You city officials welcomed BLM to your city and let them destroy your city. Brought on by the far left now you have given a safe haven for the drug dealers. Your city is already in deep debt, I’m tired of seeing or tax money being wasted on a city with a far left agenda. No, Portland isn’t that beautiful city it once was.

    • M

      mollyFeb 22, 2024 at 2:35 pm

      yeah its horribly managed i agree.

  • D

    Deloris BennettJan 27, 2024 at 4:09 pm

    I remember when Portland was a clean and safe city. Today it reminds me of a third world country. You cannot pay me enough money to go to Portland now. The US cannot even print enough money for me to go there. It is really sad.

  • N

    Nancy ForrestJan 26, 2024 at 6:17 pm

    I was just in Portland mid December roaming around downtown and I had a wonderful time. It was clean and inviting. Sure, there was a few unsheltered folks here or there but I didn’t experience any issues with them. I am looking forward to returning this year and exploring more of the area.