Politics

Your View: How to Fix Oregon’s Broken Tax System

By Bennett Minton The inequities in Oregon’s property tax are only one feature of a tax system that makes no sense. I was a tax wonk in D.C. for three decades, and I’ve spent a lot of my free time thinking about taxes, the purpose of which is to fund whatever ‘we the people’ want. […]

/ November 7, 2019


The Making of a Foster Family — What Local Foster Parents Told Us About Their Decision

One couple started fostering to give their friend a break. Another did it after they couldn’t get pregnant. Another saw it as their responsibility as Christians.  To help answer reader Vanessa Holmgren’s question about the incentives for becoming a foster parent in Oregon, we’ve been asking local foster families: What convinced you to take the […]

/ August 8, 2019


The 6 Things I’ve Learned About Foster Care in Oregon

Our readers sent in some great questions this month about Oregon’s foster care system, and I’ll be digging into them throughout the summer.  For now, here’s an update on what I’ve learned: 1. First things first: what even is foster care? That’s not a stupid question. Sometimes foster care is a short-term arrangement for a kid […]

/ July 24, 2019


Portland Can’t Fix Its Homelessness Crisis Without Learning from San Francisco

(📸: Erik Cooper on Flickr) “How does the Bay Area handle the homelessness issue?” When we invited questions about what Portland can learn from the Bay Area about managing growth, several readers asked us about homelessness — and it’s no surprise. Portland’s homelessness crisis ranks among the worst in the country, and on any given […]

/ June 18, 2019


Portlanders Are Riding Public Transit Less Often. Is More Housing the Fix?

(📸: Hector Chacon) “How can we get more people to ride public transit?” Reader Judy Welles submitted that question for our series on what Portland can learn from the Bay Area about managing growth — and it’s interesting timing. TriMet just announced that ridership has dipped nearly two percent since last year, continuing a downward […]

/ June 4, 2019


‘Can Optimism In Democracy Be Exploited?’ And Other Qs for Danielle Allen

(📸: Oregon Humanities / YouTube) Oregon Humanities wrapped up its 2018-19 Think & Drink series last month by interviewing Danielle Allen, a political theorist at Harvard University and author of the memoir “Cuz.” You can watch the full conversation on YouTube. And as always, we took questions from the audience for a bonus Q&A after […]

/ June 1, 2019


Your Questions about PERS, Answered

(📸: Hector Chacon) We shared an update last week about the PERS debate down in Salem and asked you for your burning questions — and boy, did you have questions. To help get answers, we turned to North Star Civic Foundation executive director Caitlin Baggott Davis, who co-authored a recent report about the PERS crisis […]

/ May 24, 2019


Think Local Government Is Gridlocked in Portland? Try Living in San Francisco

“How should the Portland metro area govern itself?” That’s the question that reader John Sieling sent me before my trip to the San Francisco Bay Area — and it’s one many Portlanders have been asking lately. In February, City Club released a 35-page report about Portland’s unusual form of government and proposed a series of […]

/ May 22, 2019


Can Portland Learn Anything from the Bay Area?

Timothy Egan once wrote a NYT column that described San Francisco’s growth as “nothing to emulate.” But for cities like Portland that are trying to avoid the same pitfalls, the Bay Area is certainly a place to study. That’s why we sent Ben to the Golden State last month to learn what’s working (and what’s […]

/ May 21, 2019


Here’s to Keeping Portland Special As Our City Grows

It’s no secret we think Portland is one special place — but we also know that keeping our city special as it grows will sometimes mean looking and learning beyond our borders. That’s why we travelled to the Bay Area last month to learn what’s working (and what’s not) for the region as it deals […]

/ May 21, 2019