I want to make it clear that this action is not an action against the Occupy Portland movement.
In fact, the Occupy Portland movement has highlighted the challenges our community, like many across the country, are facing with homelessnesss. Too many in our community are without a safe place to call home. Despite fiscal challenges, the City has continued to invest in long term solutions to end homelessness. Commissioner Fish and I will be working closely with our dedicated network of service providers to make sure everyone at the camp is aware of the resources that are available. Experienced outreach workers will be reaching out to the homeless people at the camp to help them access existing resources in our community, like health care, emergency shelter, permanent housing placement assistance, and short term needs.
I have said from the beginning that I believe the Occupy movement would have to evolve in order to realize its full potential.
It is my sincere hope that the movement, with its focus on widespread economic inequity, will flourish in its next phase—a phase where we can focus all of our energies on economic and social justice, not on port-a-potties and tents. I believe Occupy Portland can lead the nation in this next phase of the Occupy Movement, and I personally look forward to working with participants toward their broader goals.
I also want to extend my thanks to: Occupy Portland participants, who by and large are non-violent, peaceful, and dedicated to the larger vision of this movement; Occupy’s appointed liaisons, who have worked hard to communicate clearly with City and Police officials; Our city’s unions, who have stepped in to help with sanitation issues in the camp; Social service providers and first responders, for the support they’ve provided to the camp’s most vulnerable population.
The list indicates an SS Henry David Thoreau was also constructed here. Like most Liberty ships (and unlike the E.A. Poe), it was strictly a civilian vessel. Which is good, I mean, naming a Navy ship after Thoreau would’ve been absurd.
When Officer Barr knocked on my door Saturday morning, it took me just seconds to guess the reason for his visit. And my guess was spot on - someone called the police when they saw me put my seven month old down in the street to take a photo. He asked if I’d been “out for a walk with my baby” earlier that morning, and I laughed and explained that I’m a photographer, and when it’s foggy in the morning I like to take the kids out for photos. That the quiet street makes a great setting. He did kind of a relieved exhale and said something like “I love calls like this - usually the person is like, ‘I don’t know what you’re talking about!’” He took my name, DoB and phone number and was on his way.
I’m not mad about it - if anything I’m happy that people in the neighborhood are aware and concerned enough to report “suspicious” activity. It does strike me as odd that the person watched me put David down, take a photo, pick him back up, go back into the house and thought s/he needed to call the cops. Oh well, better safe than sorry, right?
In other news, Getty selected this photo the same day I put it on Flickr. That’s a new personal best!