Portland Mayor Whines About Ad Campaign Claiming ‘Portland Sucks’

An advocacy group called “People for Portland” has gotten under the skin of Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, who wishes Portlanders would take pride in their downtown again.


“People should be proud of the work that the city of Portland is doing under withering circumstances to ensure the recovery of this city,” Mayor Ted Wheeler told Oregon Public Broadcasting (OPB) Monday morning.

On Monday, Oregon Governor Tina Kotek unveiled a list of recommendations to revitalize Portland that includes new tax relief policies, trash cleanup programs, and a ban on public drug consumption.

People for Portland have erected huge billboards downtown that aren’t particularly charitable to Portland’s political leadership. The billboards condemn the city’s crime and homelessness problems and target the city’s radical, George Soros-backed district attorney, Mike Schmidt. 

The billboards proclaim that the city is experiencing “record crime” with “murderers on the streets,” among other fearful accusations.

Wheeler, who is not running for reelection and has largely avoided the group’s critical gaze, said the campaign is wrongheaded for two reasons. First, Portland’s crime is on the decline. Second, he said that the billboards effectively disincentivize investment in the city from event organizers, businesses, tourists and prospective residents.

“We’re competing against other cities all around the country for jobs, for investments, for travel, for tourism,” Wheeler said. “We’re making it really, really easy for our competition when we have billboards that say, ‘We suck really badly here.’”


People for Portland disagree that their ad campaign has damaged the city’s reputation.“Only a desperate politician would blame a billboard for the reality that exists right underneath it,” said Dan Lavey, People for Portland co-founder.

“Failed politicians, leadership and policies created Portland’s problems, not a billboard,” he said.

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Wheeler wanted Gov. Kotek’s revitalization plan to address the negative press the city was getting. The fact that Kotek is recommending that the city ban public drug use is a clue about why the city “sucks.” Wheeler can’t fathom that people might not want to walk around a downtown with people lying passed out (or dead) in the street from drugs.

Wheeler thinks that the People for Portland ad campaign is driven by “profit.”

“At the end of the day, there are people who are getting paid a lot of money to put those messages up,” he said. “People are making money on the backs of the reputation of the city, and I think it’s disgusting.”

Kotek’s recommendations were announced at the annual “leadership summit” of the Oregon Business Plan, an event that drew hundreds of local business leaders whose financial stability rests on the city’s success. Wheeler said it’s ironic that many of those businesspeople are top donors to People for Portland. He’s asking those funders to think before doling out more campaign contributions.

“What I’m asking people to do is to not make an investment,” he said. “I’m asking them to save their nickels and dimes and not invest in negative press about the city that we’re all trying to support and help. Let’s not sell against ourselves.”


The man is so full of himself he can’t see how his policies are at fault for the negative press.

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