An Open Letter to Oregon Walks

Oregon Walks Steptember.PNG

OREGON WALKS practices censorship!

Last month we signed up for a walk on Oregon Walks Steptember Event Calendar. Yesterday I received this response from them.


Members of Oregon Walks raised concerns about the inclusion of the Lents Neighborhood Livability Association walk on the Steptember calendar. Of specific concern was the title of the blog, "From the Crotch", and some of the blog content, featured on your organization's website. As such, Oregon Walks is unable to advertise your walk on our Steptember calendar.

Jess Thompson
Executive Director

Yesterday, today, tomorrow: Oregon Walks protects your right to roam. Click here to become a member today!"

So how is the blog “From the Crotch” exclusionary? Are they referring to the criminals, junkies, drug users & drug dealers that are mentioned in this blog? They proclaim that Oregon Walks protects your right to roam. Does this mean that Oregon Walks wants to protect the right of the criminals, junkies, drug users & drug dealers to be allowed to camp along our streets and the Springwater Corridor? Does that fit their inclusionary population? What about the law abiding public’s right to roam? Does safety not fit into their scenario? I certainly wish they would have been less opaque as to the inclusionary part.

Yet another City funded organization that has excluded us because we have an opinion that does not fit their narrative. If the only people that you will allow in your group have the same views as yours, you are not inclusionary and will never see other possibilities.

East Portland Community Office was the first City agency that banned us from using their facility or any of their equipment as well as their insurance for our non-profit because of a Facebook post. They told us later that they do not monitor Facebook pages but was basing this exclusion on voices from the neighborhood. These voices were the voices of the “official” neighborhood association that were threatened by us for starting our own non-profit after they denied us involvement with THEIR city funded group. This was a very exclusive social club and if you didn’t agree with their ideas you were not accepted.

Ironically the Montavilla Neighborhood Association wrote us up in a dossier describing us as anti-homeless after contacting the Lents Neighborhood Association.

Crystal Contreras wrote an article for Willamette Week called “A Poem for the Anti-Homeless NIBMBYs of Lents” that referred to a poem that was posted on our FB page that was aimed at the CITY…. “My City sent to me…” Sarah Iannarone called us out for the same poem. NOTHING in the poem mentioned the homeless. We have never been anti-homeless. We have only been anti-criminal activity.

More recently, the Portland Mercury defamed us by claiming that we had Homeland Security out to one of our meetings and claimed that we were attempting to arrest illegal immigrants, just because it was ironically advertised as ICE. Instead of watching the video from our meeting that was posted the next day they decided to post hearsay from one privileged neighbor who was upset with us.

It makes you wonder why these people are so focused on shutting us up? The more that we as people allow this type of censorship it will only continue to escalate. Our organization supports the right of free speech by our members. As long as it does not promote violence or contain extreme profanity it will be posted on our Facebook page and website. Evidently Oregon Walks, who takes public money and feigns to be inclusionary is just another private club with their own agenda. Their by-line should be "Neighborhood advocates for livability need not apply"