The mayor asks the people to pressure the legislature

Portland Mayor Tom Potter has sent a message to Portlanders asking for their help in lobbying the legislature for increased funding for drug and alcohol treatment.

Here's the note, in its entirety:

Dear Citizens,

Portland and all of Oregon needs your help in fighting the escalating problems of alcohol and drug addiction.

Our children are experimenting with drugs and alcohol in record numbers, and use among Oregon eighth graders is nearly twice the national average. There is a clear and established relationship between alcohol use and drug addiction, and yet 204,000 Oregonians who needed treatment for alcohol dependence last year did not receive it, while 85,000 drug users had access to insufficient services. That helps explain why approximately three-quarters of the inmates admitted to Multnomah County jails have tested positive for drug use, and the number of Meth labs seized locally doubled last year.

I need your help right now to stop this. I’m asking you to write your State Representative to have them support Senate Bill 1049. SB1049 will direct revenues from a new fee on the sale of beer and other malt liquor beverages toward funding treatment, education, prevention and law enforcement programs related to drug and alcohol abuse. It would generate as much as $83 million for the state annually, with about $16 million going to fund programs in Multnomah County.

This program won’t hurt small, local microbreweries, which will be exempted from the fee. Instead, it will largely be paid by out-of-state corporations who haven’t had a fee hike in nearly 30 years. And the funds generated can only be used for drug and alcohol treatment programs that are locally controlled.

Please take a moment to write to your state legislator and encourage them to support SB 1049. Through the links below, you can identify the state senator and/or representative from your district, use and edit our pre-prepared message supporting SB 1049 or create your own, and quickly and easily email it to your state legislators. Make sure to add the name of the representative or senator that you are writing at the top of the letter, and your name at the bottom. Also, remember that this is bill is in the state legislature, not the federal legislature.

Oregon’s legislature is due to adjourn in as little as thirty days. It is critical that SB 1049 pass before that time so that we can begin to effectively address the issues of substance abuse facing our city and state!

Thank you,
Tom Potter

Click here for a sample letter.
Click here to contact your legislator NOW.


  • Laugh Track (unverified)

    Oh come on, Portland (the city of) is entirely represented by D's. You think they wouldn't like this? Better to call down to Salem and put presure on Dalto, Berger and the like. Dream on Potter if you think this gonna work with Portland liberals.

  • Erika (unverified)

    Drug and alcohol addiction is fueled by many things, not the least of which is a sense of perpetual frustration. Those on the lowest rungs of our socio-economic ladder, and children growing up in stressful and/or abusive homes, are at severe risk.

    While I think we should do all we can to help people recover, I really wish we were invested enough to also try to stop the problem before it starts. We need to find a way for people to have a sense of hope, success, and joy in life. How is it do we not develop accessible and affordable quality child care, schools, health care, living wage jobs... and wonder why we have a growing problem with addiction?

    When a person comes out of rehab, he or she needs to be able to make it in the world. A person needs the ability to provide food, clothing, and shelter for his or her family. These simple things feel exceedingly difficulty in this place and time.

    I don't think it's any small coincidence that Oregon is experiencing high rates of hunger and high rates of addiction concurrently.

  • iggir (unverified)

    my life would be absolutely meaningless without the warm, god-like glow of drugs and alcohol...that said, i like this:

    "This program won’t hurt small, local microbreweries, which will be exempted from the fee. Instead, it will largely be paid by out-of-state corporations who haven’t had a fee hike in nearly 30 years."

    don't mess with our microbrews and all is good.

  • insight (unverified)

    SB 1049 gives each County in the state the authority to levy the cost recovery fee. It does not force them to, it gives them the authority. Here in Multnomah County we are talking about $16-million that could be raised to fund treatment options, secure beds, including the 177 beds that the recent Meth Congress, led by Mayor Potter and County Chair Linn, voted as a well as prevention and law enforcement efforts that currently are unfunded.

    It's really a no-brainer. And provides traction to deal with substance abuse problems such as meth and alcohol.

  • (Show?)

    Here's an idea for the Mayor, The Oregonian, the legislature, and all of the other drug warriors. How about some honesty regarding the effects, positive and negative of all substances legal and otherwise that stimulate the brain's pleasure receptors.

    We'd have to discuss appropriate use of coffee, chocolate, alchohol, psychedelics, and so forth. There are no drugs that don't have a downside, legal or otherwise, but our current policies, based as they are on mythology, cultural acceptance, and religious biases need a thorough examination.

    In a fact based world, many substances that are currently "off the table" for adults would need to be discussed in the light of actual research (much of which would be undertaken for the very first time) and people serving fifteen year sentences for selling two ounces of pot would running arround make that.......lounging on the sofas of America with silly grins on their faces consuming Doritos like there's no tomorrow.

    Law enforcement would be focusing their scarce resources on drugs that can be clearly shown to spike violent and abusive behavior or parental neglect in users, regardless of current legality or cultural acceptance.

    Kids on the other hand, would learn the responsibility of making informed and rational choices and learning wise use, at age appropirate stages of their development.

    Never mind. It's just a pipe dream. Fact based analysis and critical thought would be too much of a reach.

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