Published 22 Sep 2023

The Tale of Two Counties: Portland’s Lawlessness vs. Clackamas County’s Commitment to Safety

A close up view of a police vehicle with blue lights patrolling near a public park with the windows and doors closed cm

By ‘Clackamas Strong’

Portland, the largest city in Oregon, has long been known for its vibrant culture, iconic bridges, and progressive policies. Yet, recent policies to defund and vilify the police have resulted in a significant shift in its cultural landscape, causing the rise of violence, destruction, lawlessness, and community dissolution. The stark contrast between Portland and its neighboring county, Clackamas, sheds light on the drastic consequences policy choices can have on community wellbeing.

Portland’s Downward Spiral

Recent years have seen Portland embarking on a path that has proven to be detrimental for its citizens. The move to defund police services, combined with a refusal to prosecute criminals, has created a precarious situation for residents. The intention behind these policies might have been rooted in a desire to address systemic problems and reallocate resources. However, their implementation has had devastating effects.

Without adequate funding combined with leadership openly dehumanizing police the ability to retain community stability is strained to the breaking point. This has resulted in an emboldened criminal element, knowing that the chances of facing consequences are slim and a community left wondering what went wrong while still holding the same ill-fated opinions toward the police reaffirming and doubling down on failure. Property destruction, rampant theft, and violent confrontations have become an almost daily occurrence in what was once one of the most livable cities in the US.

Clackamas County’s Path of Safety and Accountability

Contrary to the tumultuous environment in Portland, Clackamas County, its neighboring region, has chosen a different path. The county remains committed to funding its police and public safety services. In Clackamas, there’s an understanding that public safety isn’t a matter of ideology; it’s a fundamental right of every citizen. The ethos is clear: ensuring that law enforcement has the necessary resources and community support leads to safer neighborhoods.

Moreover, Clackamas County believes in holding criminals accountable for their actions. This sends a clear message: crime will not be tolerated. As a result, while Portland witnesses spikes in criminal activities, Clackamas County remains one of the safest areas to live and work in Oregon.

The Broader Implications

The differing trajectories of these two regions exemplify how public policy can tangibly affect people’s lives. Traveling around Portland than comparing to Clackamas County reveals the stark difference policy decisions can make.

Businesses, too, are affected. Entrepreneurs are more likely to set up shop where they feel their investments are safe. This has economic implications; a decrease in businesses can lead to unemployment and economic downturn. Meanwhile, in areas where law and order are maintained, businesses can thrive, providing employment and spurring growth. And we continue to see business leave the Portland core, much of it relocating to Clackamas County.

The social fabric of a community is also influenced. Trust between the police force and citizens is essential for cohesiveness. In Portland, the antagonistic stance toward the police has led to distrust and division. Clackamas County, by contrast, has nurtured a bond between its citizens and law enforcement, ensuring that the community’s needs and concerns are addressed.

Moving Forward Together

As we stand at this crossroad, the message from ‘Clackamas Strong’ is clear: we must learn from the mistakes of our neighbors. The challenges in Portland serve as a cautionary tale about the dangers of implementing policies without thoroughly assessing their long-term implications.

Clackamas County has shown that it is possible to strike a balance between addressing systemic issues and maintaining public safety. We at ‘Clackamas Strong’ strongly urge the county to continue down its current path, prioritizing the safety and wellbeing of its residents. Let’s not be swayed by short-term trends, but focus on what truly benefits our community in the long run.

In unity, we can ensure that Clackamas County remains a beacon of safety, progress, and community spirit in Oregon. Let’s move forward together, hand in hand, with a commitment to the values that have made our region strong.