We stand against systemic racism and reject acts of violence and looting on the streets of Portland
The rioting that occurred last night and early this morning has left us all devastated.
Yesterday’s powerful demonstration in front of Portland’s City Hall was a true reflection of what it means to stand in arms together. Our gratitude, our thanks, and our solidarity are with those community leaders who, in the wake of the tragic loss of George Floyd’s life, called our community together to stand up against systemic racism and hatred.
What happened hours later, in the middle of the night, is simply anarchy. We reject and condemn those involved with the looting and wanton destruction on the streets of Portland from Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard through the heart of our city.
The rioting that occurred has left us all devastated.
So many employees who have been unemployed under “stay at home” orders with COVID-19, were looking forward to coming back to work today in downtown Portland. Today, they were deprived of that opportunity.
This morning, our thanks to the hundreds who responded to pick up the pieces. Teams from Downtown Portland Clean & Safe and Central City Concern, private property owners, building managers, retail store owners and their staff, and contractors, city agencies and concerned Portlanders, all are working together to sweep up truckloads of broken glass, removing miles of graffiti. All told, businesses and our community will suffer the loss and or damage of tens of millions of dollars. And even more employees now will go without wages.
“We stand with the peaceful protests and demonstrations that occurred yesterday afternoon, but to see what occurred overnight is by no means acceptable in our city or any city or any place at any time. We stand with the folks who are here on the ground today, trying to fix what’s broken and so our city can reopen,” said Andrew Hoan, president & CEO, Portland Business Alliance, greater Portland’s Chamber of Commerce.
“My heartfelt thanks to all of the cleaning and security teams with Central City Concern and Portland Patrol, Inc. who showed up at first light this morning, helping sweep up the city we love,” said Mark Schlesinger, Partner, Schlesinger Companies and chair of the board of directors, Downtown Portland Clean and Safe.
“This is heartbreaking. These businesses were already hurting because of the COVID-19 crisis. This is just another blow. This is one of the saddest moments in our city’s history,” said Vanessa Sturgeon, President & CEO, TMT Development and chair of the board of directors, Portland Business Alliance.
“To the dedicated people of Downtown Portland Clean and Safe who were out early this morning, removing graffiti, sweeping up broken glass and helping store owners repair the damaged storefronts. We thank you and we’re here for you,” said Maureen Fisher, Executive Director, Downtown Portland Clean & Safe.
We as a community stand together in support of peaceful demonstrations that call out the systemic hate in any city. We condemn those who choose violence or to take advantage and loot and riot, especially under the devastating economic conditions we all face.
Should those who looted last night return, we call upon our city and state to activate the National Guard to support our Portland Police Bureau at this moment of vulnerability. We need time to repair what damage has been done and be made safe to recover.
The Portland Business Alliance is Greater Portland’s Chamber of Commerce.
Downtown Portland Clean & Safe
The district provides additional cleaning and security as well as market research, retail recruitment and retention efforts. Learn more at DowntownPortland.org.