A group of about 80 activists with Portland Jobs With Justice dropped by for an unannounced visit to City Hall Feb. 7, demanding a halt to proposed city worker layoffs and to fines levied against a homeless encampment. The visit was one of seven stops made by two busloads of union supporters on a six-hour roving protest.
At City Hall, “have a heart” was the message delivered to City Commissioner Nick Fish. Fish agreed to an impromptu meeting, and responded, basically, that he has a heart; it’s his pocketbook that’s shriveled up. But Fish told the activists he’s all ears when it comes to suggestions on how to avoid the cuts. [A day earlier, ABC News released poll results showing that 72 percent of Americans support raising taxes on incomes over $1 million. No word on when that proposal will be coming to City Hall.]
- The First Student school bus yard for the Gresham-Barlow School District — school bus drivers there are still trying to get a first contract more than 18 months after they voted to join Oregon School Employees Association.
- The Neighbors United worker center in Gresham, a community organizing space developed by the group We Are Oregon.
- University Station post office, for a rally to save the postal service.
- Legacy Health System HQ, for a short protest against 400 layoffs.
- Aveda Institute Portland and Dosha Salon Spa at NW 23rd and Glisan, to demand a contract for a group of hair stylists, nail techs, and massage therapists. [See here for more details.]
The afternoon of protest was part of Portland JwJ’s “Portland Rising campaign,” which calls for good jobs and no cuts. It was the group’s second bus-borne day of action; the first took place June 30, 2011.