Your Viewpoint: Charter Commission needs open minds

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I love Portland. Love it so much, I moved here from a big, racially fraught, distressed, urban area far away. Portland is so perfect, I want to change it. How? By electing candidates to the Charter Commission who infer from other cities that we have big problems, too.

This isn’t me, by the way, but it is what I understand from some newbies to Portland supporting certain candidates for charter change this June. 

I’m curious. Are these candidates supported by those pining for the anxieties, anger, political strife and problems from whence they came? Are they envious of activist friends who do have serious issues to confront in other cities? Feeling disenfranchised might be leading them to imagine the worst here, too. Or, they might be naturally cynical as H.L. Mencken defines a cynic: someone who when they smell flowers, looks around for a coffin.  

Remember kids, candidates for the Charter Commission should have an open mind, and are not assuming or contriving issues that do not exist here. So chill, and try to remember why you came to Portland. It’s almost summer, relax and smell the flowers, with an open mind.

Robert Kahn

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