A vision for Portlandia, the city-state

By Rick Seifert of Portland, Oregon. Rick is a journalism teacher, a columnist (SW Community Connection), and neighborhood activist.

Mayor Potter has challenged us to envision the Portland of the future.

Why should we be confined to the concept of a city? What we need is a city-state.

Think Singapore or Monaco. And now Portlandia and forget the statue.

A benevolent city-state stands in contrast to the power-mad American nation-state. Suffice to say America is on the verge of becoming, if it isn't already, a theocratic plutocracy.

So what does Portlandia look like?

* More than a city, it's a community of interdependent urban, suburban and rural communities'an economically sustainable and organically whole region. Portlandia extends a half-hour's ride on a bullet train in four directions: to Longview/Kelso, Eugene, Hood River, and Astoria. The trains ride on railbeds once known as 'Interstates.'

* Portlandia consists of communities and neighborhoods so small that when 'strangers' meet, they know they have a friend or neighbor in common.

* Portlandia bears no burden of supporting a military because it is not longer part of America's world police force. Citing American founders' justifications, Portlandians have declared their independence.

* It is a place of joy that has eliminated the old culture of fear once exploited and disseminated by politicians and media. Its tax structure prohibits extreme, cynical wealth. Portlandia's citizens are the best educated and most creative in the world. Because of this and its thriving egalitarian economy, Portlandia has no poverty, hunger or homelessness. Portlandia ensures universal health care as a fundamental right of all citizens. The city-state has the world's lowest crime rate. Accordingly, it has the lowest per capita expenditure on criminal justice and law enforcement anywhere.

* Our city-state has an integrated and streamlined government. County, city and educational governance are one efficient, cohesive, interactive entity. It has zero redundancies. Portlandia's communities are represented through an elected city-state 'council of communities and neighborhoods.' Moreover, each community and neighborhood has its own elected council.

* The city-state is energy independent, relying exclusively on tidal, fish-friendly hyro, wind, human (pedal) and solar power. The citizens of Portlandia purchase no energy from corrupt, hate-mongering regimes or fiefdoms'whether in Texas or elsewhere.

* Pride in community is such that all participate as readily in maintaining 'The Commons' as they do in mowing their own lawns or trimming their hedges. Portlandia's constitution places strict limits on commercialism. (Good-bye Clear Channel!)

Our 'ownership society' teaches that citizenship, common stewardship, cooperation and public responsibility are as valued as individualism, fair competition, private ownership and private responsibility. The city-state's ethic is a vibrant, harmonious blend of individualism and community involvement.

Impossible, you say?

Consider prior visions that have become reality here. Some may be precursors to the above: Metro, our regional government; SOLV, which invites us to take responsibility for the Commons; our growing network of urban/rural trails; the thriving, unifying farmers market movement; wind farms; light rail, the trolley and the renaissance in bicycling.

Now add to these a mayor who urges us to create new visions.

We owe it to this place and posterity to respond.


  • Claris (unverified)


  • Andrew C. (unverified)

    I agree that neighborhoods within urban communities need to more strongly identify as inter-related parts of a larger whole, and that our whole metro area (and all similar metro areas) must assert a stronger self identity, and exert greater effort towards ensuring the welfare of our citizens.

    It's maddening how over-represented the residents of rural Oregon counties are in Salem, despite the long overdue redistricting a few years back. Even worse is the severe net outflow of tax revenue from Metro Portland to Eastern and Southern Oregon, while the Portland School District can't keep school doors open, and has slashed programs the Republican "tax cuts or death" crowd took for granted back when they were in school (assuming they ever attended a public school).

    Why must the citizens of Portland subsidize non-viable rural economies off in Klamath, Lake, Harney, Malheur, and so on?

    Republicans claim to espouse fiscal responsibility and self-sufficiency (cue laugh track). Rural citizens vote Republican. So why don't those same citizens have the integrity to practice what they preach, and survive on their own tax dollars, without cash subsidies from the urban centers?

    Some interesting statistical visualizations around this idea:

    http://www-personal.umich.edu/~mejn/election/ http://crookedtimber.org/2004/11/04/red-counties-blue-counties-and-occupied-counties

    It would be interesting to know how much money the state government spends underwriting basic governmental infrastructure (county offices, county sheriffs, etc.) in the far rural counties. Perhaps a ballot measure is needed to specify the minimum population size required to qualify as a county at all, and merge insufficiently populous counties (and their operations) as needed. "Branch office" consolidation saves big bucks for corporate America, so why not State government? Spread the money saved where it can do the most good for the most people, in the urban areas, and sell off the old county buildings. Maybe McMenamins would want them?

  • Ramon (unverified)

    Portlandia should allow unions to compete, by banning the exclusivity clause in labor contracts that guarantees a union's monopoly status in a workplace. OK, the union leadership wouldn't like that any more than any other incumbent likes a challenger, but it would certainly be in the best interest of the rank-and-file to have unions competing for our member dues. Because nowadays, unions get blamed for everything and nobody in the real world believes collective bargaining is part of the solution. Banning the exclusivity clause in labor contracts would result in a better deal for members and a better result in the court of public opinion.

    It's not that difficult to understand that government itself is a "natural" monopoly. And it seems OK that certain other enterprises, such as regulated utilities where duplication may equal inefficiency, subsititute monopoly + PUC-styled oversight for competition (although sometimes that doesn't work too well.) But labor representatives? Why should they enjoy a monopoly, except that the exclusivity clause itself enables union leaders to use our dues as political weapons, holding legislators by the short hairs? How does that benefit us? When the union does a poor job, we have no alternative.

    Let's set this straight in Portlandia. As Robert Kennedy put it, "Why not?"

  • Western Pete (unverified)

    Blatantly unconstitutional.

    Call us when the shuttle lands.

  • Steve Bucknum (unverified)

    From my rural perspective over in Central Oregon, I applaud this line of thinking! Great!

    Sink or swim by yourselves, and leave the rest of us alone.

    Without the "liberal" Portlanders to blame for the problems of rural Oregon, we can finally get on with the business of pragmatic solutions we need. We'd be forced to confront those nay-saying, road-blocking, give all benefits to the rich at the expense of the poor politicians who claim immunity because they are Republicans. It would be a boost to Democratic organizing to take away the scape goat and expose the Republicans for who/what they are.

    We'd do fine without Portland, probably better than we do now.

    Go for it! But once you go for it, please don't ask for our help.

  • portlandjewel (unverified)

    Hey Steve, Although I'm more of a go-it-together guy I do get tired of carrying the rural areas and "red states" while being force-fed their dogma and having my civil rights curtailed because of their fears. Seems a bit like CONSTANTLY biting the hand that feeds you. Check out who pays more and who receives the benefit and you will find that "blue" areas are supporting "red" areas in almost every scenario...seems like we ought to at least have an equal voice.

  • (Show?)

    glad to see people can discuss this concept for the ideas it represents, for the many other ideas it can generate, and not resort to old prejudices about "portland v. rural oregon." i'm also glad the portlanders share an equally generous view of their neighbors.

    Portland is not just a city; anyone who's lived there (and i have for many years before moving to Corvallis; i love Pdx) knows it's an amalgamation of neighborhoods and towns. the Metro government is a recognition of the area's nature. but having all those local governments, not to mention the state and feds, can't really be feasible over the long term. new solutions, as Metro was once a new idea, are vitally important.

    Portland's needs are so different than, say, Bend or Pendleton or Roseburg. M5 has exacerbated the differences hugely, especially in regard to schools. having the same set of rules for the greater Portland area as for the rest of the state, even an ultra sophisticated and brilliantly endowed small city like Corvallis, makes no sense. and as Steve so kindly pointed out, the rest of the state has a tendency to get its knickers in a knot whenever Portland's needs/preferences dominate their own -- and as portlandjewel pointed out, the feeling is mutual when roles are reversed. somehow we need to account for the differences while remaining a unified state in overall purpose and vision. we need each other, but we have different circumstances under which we live. this idea of "Portlandia" is a great exercise.

  • hottamale (unverified)

    This is an interesting article about Portland from the Oregonian not too far back ago.

    I really like living in Portland, but my spouse and I went out to dinner tonight and noticed a tremendous lack of diversity compared to Portland's bigger West Coast neighbors. We were in a not-so-expensive restaurant downtown on a Saturday night and we noticed one Asian couple, no African-Americans, and the only Latinos in the restaurants were the bus boys. This is probably out of 100 diners.

    Sure there are ethnic neighborhoods in Portland such as the SE Division/82nd area, but you don't see the people who live there integrated with the people who hang out downtown. Why is that?

    Some of this I think is related to previous posts. Portland and Oregon in general does not have any elite top-rated research universities that are seeds for new firms that then attract the best and brightest from all over the world. Intel in Hillsborough? It's just a branch of Intel in Santa Clara, CA. The twenty-somethings hipsters who live here and who are underemployed and who may be your very literate barista at Starbucks, are they the future of Portland? Portland: lost in its own reflection As self-congratulatory young creatives move in and families and jobs for the working and middle class stream out, Stumptown is becoming an Ephemeral City that mostly exists to celebrate itself

    By Joel Kotkin Irvine Senior Fellow

    The Portland Oregonian December 11, 2005

    Few cities in North America are as widely feted as Portland. For many, Portland represents the epitome of "smart" urbanism, a paragon that puts other, less-brainy places to shame.

    Pilgrims travel once or twice a month from as far as California and Canada to study Portland's transit system, economic development and land-use strategies. Lots of educated people, trees, clean air and good buzz help Portland get on all the right lists--from "most livable," "most fit," "healthiest," "most competitive," "most literate" and "best for walking."

    It's enough to make even a modest city booster blush. But before you all turn red, is all this praise deserved?

    Much like its bigger soul mate, San Francisco, Portland isn't an old-style "city of big shoulders" but a lifestyle choice for the enlightened elite. They're the people who read more than average, walk or bicycle regularly and drink lots of good coffee.

    Portland is becoming what I call an Ephemeral City. What do ephemeral cities do? Not much by traditional standards. They don't create a lot of jobs for working or middle-class people. Instead they mostly exist to celebrate themselves and provide an attractive setting for visitors and would-be migrants.

    But can a city survive--and thrive--primarily as a marketer of an urban experience?

    An ephemeral city doesn't compete with lesser places--you know, those ugly cities with functional warehouses and factories, Wal-Marts and strip malls--for jobs, companies or investors. An ephemeral city's economy relies largely on a high level of self-esteem among its residents.

    Four decades ago, author Neil Morgan used the term "narcissus of the West" to describe an already self-indulgent San Francisco. Now it's time for the City by the Bay to move over--the City of Roses wants to take its place in front of the mirror.

    To some extent, this high regard, like that of any well-chiseled middle-age narcissist, reflects something of a Portland reality. Portland, as its boosters are forever telling everyone, is a physically attractive place. Parts of the city--like the much ballyhooed Pearl District--look very much like famed urbanist Jane Jacobs' idealized urban district.

    Rhapsodizers often miss the differences between Portland today and Jacobs' gritty Manhattan neighborhoods of more than 40 years ago. Those New York areas were home to large numbers of families and immigrants; they boasted both real bohemians (those without money) as well people who worked with their hands. Most residents were there for employment and family; many hoped they'd move up into a nicer neighborhood someday.

    Upward mobility was the common theme of the time. Urbanites wanted to get ahead--not "soak" in the ambience--and saw the city as a means to get there. "A metropolitan economy, if it is working well, is constantly transforming many poor people into middle class people...greenhorns into competent citizens," Jacobs suggests. "...Cities don't lure the middle class, they create it."

    Contrast that with genteel Portland, which increasingly places its bet largely on luring the hip, cool, iPod-toting creative class--"the young and the restless," as one story recently put it. These hipsters are supposedly the engine of the city's future.

    But who isn't high on this agenda? Certainly it can't be families. Portland already has one of the lowest percentages of little tykes among American cities. The city schools are emptying out, down 14 percent in 10 years.

    Nor, despite the obligatory liberal genuflection, it can't be ethnic minorities, either. Portland has one of the lowest percentages of minorities and immigrants of any major city on the Pacific Coast. Hardworking Latin laborers or opportunistic Asian traders--the canaries in the economic coal mine--seem to be opting instead for less-lovely but more commercially vital places such as Los Angeles, Phoenix or Houston.

    If they're the leading drivers of Portland's future, what is the local "creative class" creating? So far, nothing exceptional in the way of jobs or new companies. Now clearly on the rebound, Oregon's economy started lagging the country's five years ago.

    But so far the data suggests that the rebound is stronger in places like Medford and Eugene, as well as the burgeoning suburbs which, compared to their high-priced counterparts in California, are attractive not so much to hipsters but to families.

    "People like the downtown, but the growth is elsewhere," notes local economist John Mitchell.

    But the economy isn't the only place suburbia is doing better than the sophistos suggest. Like the "creative class," the city's much ballyhooed "green" planning policy has been less than wildly successful.

    Even before Al Gore, looking out from one of his estates, discovered sprawl, Portland's planners declared war on single-family homes, backyards and insufficiently dense development. To stomp out such deviant behavior, the city--to the hosannas of the planning profession--proudly imposed tough restrictions, notably the urban growth boundary, on new development.

    Unfortunately, Portland's green urbanism has produced some unexpected results. As regulation helped boost the housing prices in the close-in areas, the middle class has moved farther and farther out. It turns out that most families--yes, they still exist--usually opt not to raise their kids inside sardine cans if they can at all help it.

    So Portland's sprawl has continued to spiral about as much, or even more, than most American regions, notes demographer Wendell Cox. Over the past few years Portland's population growth has slowed considerably, with the overwhelming majority of the Portland area's increases coming outside the city limits, and that percentage appears to be growing.

    Some of this may be traced to the little-acknowledged fact about the creative class--at some point many grow up and move out. One prime destination appears to be fast-growing Washington County, which beat the pants off Portland in a recent ranking of most-tech-savvy places in USA Today.

    Mass transit, the other linchpin of the Portland legend, also may be less a triumph than reported. According to the most recent Texas Transportation Study, drivers in greater Portland are stuck in traffic 39 hours a year, not far behind notoriously gridlocked Seattle, with 47 hours.

    So if Portland's present accomplishments are less than stellar, what does the future hold ? Actually, it won't be too bad for those who like the way things are.

    Given current trends, Portland's inner city will continue to be attractive to its core demographic niches. As an attractive Ephemeral City, it will remain a lifestyle pit stop for wayward twentysomethings and a lure for the financially secure's quest for quality of life.

    It also might remain a blessed place for aging hipsters who can "create" for each other without enduring the hard competitive scene of Los Angeles, New York or even Seattle.

    Population pressures may help. As the country grows to 400 million by 2050--due largely to the children of immigrants and babies raised out in the burbs--there'll be enough young people, childless couples and nomadic rich to keep the Pearl District hopping. Suburbanites may still wander into town on weekends to take in a play, a game or some high-quality cuisine.

    There even may still be a buzz about the place. Burdened by the complexities of managing mid-21st century super-sprawl, planners might still come to marvel at a preserved, archaic urban environment, much like today's visitors to Florence or Venice.

    It will likely be an aggressively pleasant place, kind of a nice post-graduate college town--a museum for 1960s values, a testament to good intentions and the enduring power of self-regard.

    © Copyright: 2005 The Portland Oregonian

  • Andrew C. (unverified)

    t. a. barnhart wrote:

    we need each other

    Why? What possible benefit is it to the large majority of the citizens of this state - in the Metro Portland area and Willamette Valley - that we get back less than a dollar in services for every tax dollar we pay, while the welfare counties of Eastern and Southern Oregon get more than one dollar in services for every tax dollar they pay?

    As for Western Pete's preposterous notion that it would be "blatantly unconstitutional" to merge counties, how is it even remotely unconstitutional for Oregon to take action to ensure fair and equal representation of all citizens, not to mention the efficient allocation of scarce governmental resources? Counties are not sovereign entities, no matter what a few wingnuts in Montana, Idaho, and some scattered spots in Oregon may believe. They're subsidiary functions of the State government. So, like unnecessary overhead in corporate America, and now a roster of Portland Public Schools, Oregon county governments which serve an insufficient number of citizens should be merged or eliminated.

    Of course a question as large as this should certainly be put up for a vote, to be carried - or not - by a majority of the citizens of this State. There's good, conservative economic rationale to shut down wasteful, duplicative services. And, it would all be decided through a clear "up or down" vote by the citizens of this State. How could any true Republican be opposed to that?

  • Steve Bucknum (unverified)

    Andrew C wrote,

    "Why? What possible benefit is it to the large majority of the citizens of this state - in the Metro Portland area and Willamette Valley - that we get back less than a dollar in services for every tax dollar we pay, while the welfare counties of Eastern and Southern Oregon get more than one dollar in services for every tax dollar they pay?"

    I always enjoy hearing this urban myth.

    What I love about this blog article is that it exposes a certain arrogance. Portland - or the extended concept of Portlandia which sounds a lot like the I-5 corridor - sounds like that shining city on a hill. A liberal/progessive island where the sun shines a rosy color, the rain is pure water, and automobiles don't pollute - they put our flowery odors.

    It's a dream world.

    It also defies a core underlying liberal/progressive value (as t.a. barnhart pointed out in so many words) - we live in an inter connected world. The economy that runs Portland is dependent upon the surrounding rural areas for its underpinnings. If the surrounding rural areas are not viable, then the economy of the region suffers, there is an influx of people into the city demanding services, and we all go downhill. If the rural areas are vibrant and healthy, we actually help pull up the urban area that we feed in so many ways.

    We are interconnected. My first post was deliberatively provocative, hoping that perhaps someone in Portlandia would get a clue how they sound when heard from outside of that shining city on the hill (or in the valley).

  • Realist (unverified)

    Well you better include all the dams on the Columbia river system to power those bullet trains. If you expect to eat croissants with your soy milk latte better include the Palouse. Don't forget to include all of the farms in the valley and on the coast if you expect to eat. I don't think farmers markets are going to be able to produce just quite the amount of food that Portland consumes every day. And unless you are going to outlaw eating meat (please don't tell me) you better include Eastern Oregon too. Let's see what's left? OK, I assume your house isn't made of wood, right?

    On second thought, the better plan may be for you to lay off the mescaline.

  • Andrew C. (unverified)

    Realist wrote:

    On second thought, the better plan may be for you to lay off the mescaline.

    I've not said urban and rural areas aren't interconnected, so hoist and knock that straw man down all you want. I've said tax dollars are not distributed equally in this State, and that this is unfair to the people of Metro Portland and the Willamette Valley.

    I'm far from alone in this assertion:


    The dialogue at this link essentially boils down to "Portland should subsidize Eastern and Southern Oregon because it's 'the right ('good', 'moral', whatever) thing to do'", with no rational justification as to why. Yes, of course, it's a "nice" and "moral" and "good" thing to help others, if the economy can stand it, but Metro Portland school's are cutting back and shutting down, disproportionately to the rest of the State.

    Steve Bucknum referred to my assertion - that there is a net drain of tax dollars away from Metro Portland and the Willamette Valley to Eastern and Southern Oregon - as an "urban myth". And, he's wrong. It's very much the truth, no matter how defensively self conscious our rural citizens may be about it:

    The Myth: Rural Oregon is populated with hard working, self-sufficient families, who are less likely to take a government hand out than their urban brethren.

    The Reality: Non-metro Oregon depends on government payments (welfare, food stamps, unemployment, Medicaid and Medicare) far more than does the Portland area. [...]

    The Myth: State economic development policies and investments have favored the Portland metropolitan area over rural Oregon. [...]

    The Reality: State economic development and tax policies primarily benefit non-metro Oregon and non-metro industries [...].

    http://www.hevanet.com/lad/2Oregons.htm Whitepaper prepared by Impresa for the Portland Chamber of Commerce, January 1999

    There is no reason whatsoever that Metro Portland schools and students should suffer - programs cut, schools cut, school years shortened, class sizes increased - so that "nice" and "good" rural subsidies can be maintained.

    As to my suggestion that county-level government services be merged and consolidated to save funds, why not address the point on its merits, rather than toss right-wing gibberish about "blatant unconstitutionality". Again, the hyper-ventilating defensiveness of the responses seen in this thread imply there's a dirty self-conscious secret to be discovered.

  • jfe (unverified)

    We need to bridge the divide. The divide hurts both parts of Oregon. Portland needs to pull out of the steep dive it is in.
    Funny! All the media is lit up with the failure of Portland, but BlueOregon's lights have gone out. Knock, knock, is anybody home, or is everybody hiding under their desks.

  • (Show?)

    Two states, Red Oregon and Portland.

    Red Oregon would have two Republican senators, and Portland would have two Dems so that's a wash. Red oregon would retain DeFazio and Walden (unless Chuck Butcher gets him).

    Everytime anyone left the boundaires of Portland, we would sock 'em with a massive toll to drive on our freeways. Governor Atkinson will so decree.

    Since we in Red Oregon don't believe in Gummint or taxes on ourselves, we'll also have to charge every produce truck and fuel tanker a user's fee when they cross our borders entering Portland.

    Said produce will be fairly expensive as we will have given every single illegal the choice of going back to their country of origin, or moving to dignity village, even if their kids are US citizens who speak english as their first language. (We know that Portland would never turn down these victims of the Oppressive White Male Oligarchy), and Jason and Kevin and Ron really can't wait to get their children and grandchildren out there in the fields to learn the Murican value of hard work.


    If 14 year old pregnant victims of incest from Red Oregon need an abortion, they'll be able to choose from one of several back alley joints in the Eugene Temporary Autonomous Zone, or go to Portland where it's legal, but do defray every other expense, will cost $17,000 per client.

    Anne Martens can drive out to Red Oregon to pump her own gas. It'll be cheaper than Portland, and finally the whole thing will make sense.

    If any Red Oregonians want a half skinny latte with sprinkles, they'll also be available in Portland, but people with Red Oregon IDs will not only pay double, they'll be forced to listen to hip barristas recite all of the potions each time they order.

  • Jeremiah L (unverified)

    Italics are gone.

  • (Show?)

    Pat Ryan's saterical take on Portland and the rest of the state of Oregon reminded me of the State of Jefferson, a mythical state composed of Southern Oregon and Northern California. We could name the rest of Oregon, Middlewestcoastia. Portland can have Governor Jim Hill work out the income tax structure within the boundaries of Portland. Mayor Potter can build more than one tram up to Pill Hill, bail out the Trailblazers, bring in a major league baseball team, and keep Portland Public Schools as they are, monuments to the past with 200 kids in them, and launch the 17th expensive experiment to save Jefferson High School. All motor vehicles would be banned in Portland. Bikes and buses would remain as the major form of transportation. Keep Portland wierd, that's all I can ask.

  • (Show?)

    you gotta love Pat Ryan. thanks man. apparently the idea that we are a single state and that despite our differences we need each doesn't go too far. pity. i love portland, i love the gorge, i love the high dessert (we had property outside bend when i was a kid, and i love running around in those empty places), i love the southern part of the, i love the coast, and i look forward to exploring the vastness of the southeast one day. and i know that wherever i might go in this great state, i'll find excellent people. screw the boundaries we make in our heads: the great people exist everywhere. so do the jerks.

    (and you'll excuse me if i choose to live in blue willamette portlandia; i'm just a city boy, i'm afeered.)

  • Jeremiah L (unverified)

    While we are on the topic of geopolitical fantasies... I came across some sites for Jefferson State a while back. It turns out they were getting close to some major response on the idea, but it was only slightly before Pearl Harbor, so it fell off the to-do list. I also recall the idea of Cascadia. The different groups behind this one say that the main political, social, and economic structures of the areas from the Cascades westward are similar enough to justify an international secession, entailing basically the whole of the I-5 corridor through Oregon, on up through BC. (Have a look for yourself)

  • Chuck Butcher (unverified)

    If you really don't mind me pointing out once again, M5 didn't pass in a single rural county. We were over-ruled by the I5 corridor. Our schools were, for the most part, doing well before, not so now. You impose one size fits all rules on a State with more diversity of geography than most countries and are surprised when it doesn't work and is resented. You don't like our politics after you send us crap to work with. Fortunately, DPO has taken a second look at this, maybe you ought to as well. Your candidates make statements and propose bills that are an outright affront to E OR, and you wonder why we have problems winning out here. Keeeripes, I had thought I lived in Oregon, now I find that a so-called Progressive finds it reasonable to stomp on us and then blame us for getting stomped on.

    Just for the record, get this much straight and try it out on your arrogance, I took my Democratic self down to the Klamath Farm Bureau Candidate's Forum last month (if you think there were any Democrats in that crowd you know very little and I'm running to take on Greg Walden), I was well fed, I was treated like a new friend. I got up and had my say, and I received polite applause. After the close, anyone I approached shook my hand and thanked me for coming down. I was treated exactly as I expected I would be, in a friendly and respectful manner. Out here, even in the "enemy camp" you can expect that, how about your shining city on the hill, today? Chuck

  • LT (unverified)

    Chuck, The polite treatment doesn't surprise me at all--often rural counties are polite places.

    Years ago the wife of a famous Republican legislator in a rural county died, and the woman who'd been Dem. county chair for years went to the funeral--out of respect. The legislator greated her like an old friend and shouted "You're my favorite Democrat!".

    Sometimes I think there is less distance between partisans in rural counties than Portland vs. downstate counties.

  • colorless green ideas (unverified)


    Joel Kotkin is a professional anti-city propagandist. he hardly ever uses actual data to make any of his points, and when he does it is cherry-picked, and misleading.

  • Chuck Butcher (unverified)

    Yep, LT that was exactly my point, most of my good friends are Republicans, at a 2:1 margin that's entirely reasonable. It is also entirely reasonable to believe that, yes, we all could get along tegether with a little mutual respect. My Congressional District is 2/3 of Oregon's land area, and is surprisingly coherent socio-politically.

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