Singer and songwriter John Mellencamp has come out with a new song called “The Eyes of Portland” that deals with the dystopian wasteland that the city has become as homelessness and addiction rule the streets, and residents believe he has captured the true essence of the crisis.
(Video Credit: Fox News)
Three residents gave their take on the situation to Fox News following the release of Mellencamp’s song which delves into the hopeless plight and massive uptick of the homeless population in Portland.
“It is pretty bad, isn’t it? The city of Portland and the state of Oregon are really in crisis at this time. And John Mellencamp has nailed it with a couple of these lines in the song. I think my favorite is one of the ones you just said, ‘The land of the plenty where nothing gets done,’” Bridget Barton, a resident of Portland, told “Fox & Friends First” on Tuesday.
“In Oregon, we only have 4 million plus people. In the last six or seven years, we’ve committed $4 billion to this crisis. And yet Portland’s mayor freely admits that the problem is 50% worse, not better. It’s 50% worse. That’s a sad commentary on his leadership and on the state’s leadership,” she noted.
“As I saw through the eyes of Portland one day, there were so many homeless. They’d all gone astray. They slept on the corners during the day. All of these homeless, where do they come from? This land of plenty where nothing gets done,” Mellencamp says in the song.
(Video Credit: John Mellencamp)
Portland has lost a reported 0.04% of its population after growing continuously for 30 years according to recent census data. The general population has declined over the last three years and Democratic Mayor Ted Wheeler’s office reports that there has been a 50% increase in homelessness between 2019 and 2022.
Homeless encampments in the city have now exceeded 700. To combat the growing number of camps on the city’s streets, Wheeler has banned them. He has sanctioned a city-run outdoor homeless camp which is almost certainly doomed to failure. It’s expected to house up to 150 people. The problem with that lame idea is that there are more than 3,000 people estimated to be homeless in Portland.
“We do have serious problems with the houseless and especially with the drugs in Portland,” Tom Karwaki, another Portland resident, commented.
He lives behind a “safe rest village” where the homeless can stay in pods with heat pumps. Karwaki says the situation near his home has improved but points out that the city still has a major problem.
(Video Credit: Tim Bracken)
“A year ago, when I was on ‘Fox & Friends,’ it was gunshots and needles everywhere and hundreds of people living basically just behind my house. And so now today we have 60 people in 60 pods where people with heat pumps,” Karwaki recounted.
“It will be a nice restful place for them to get away from things, to be safe from the streets and the drugs if they want to turn their lives around. And so far, the city has about 50% getting people into housing right now through this program,” he claimed.
Portland is also considering an insane bill that is being pushed by Democrats allowing the homeless to sue property owners if they ask them to leave. House Bill 3501, which is known as the “Right to Rest Act,” would permit “persons experiencing homelessness” to “use public spaces in the same manner as any other person without discrimination based on their housing status” with an “expectation of privacy.”
“One of the problems we have here is the government wants to administer to the homeless and they’ve created a homeless industrial society, in my opinion, that doesn’t really get to helping or to alleviating what the real issues are,” resident Stue Peterson asserted. “The local and state governments want to monopolize the money, use it for these temporary shelters that [Karwaki] addressed there and not actually help people.”
“Want to see a million pounds of trash?” A Portland resident showed me a HUGE abandoned homeless encampment. What I am showing is only 1-10th of whats there. If you count all the vehicles left there with the trash this is not a million pounds of trash but easily 3-4 million pic.twitter.com/203N2tOy0j
— Kevin Dahlgren (@kevinvdahlgren) May 15, 2023
This matched the pics I took in downtown Portland back in 2021-2022. All those storefronts are vacant, and homeless camps are being set up in empty parking lots since everything closed. This is yet another example of a Democrat-run city. pic.twitter.com/jcy46dOeJZ
— James Pack (@jpack5113) May 15, 2023
The more they spend, the worse it gets: Portland-area homeless count up 21% https://t.co/IkampaCWjK pic.twitter.com/M1bKR5Tibt
— Oregon Catalyst (@oregoncatalyst) May 15, 2023
He also stated that regardless of the massive amounts of money spent on the issue, the city hasn’t “been able to get anywhere close to solving this problem.”
Leftists evidently hate Mellencamp’s song. The Oregonian bashed it with commentary that called the song awful and played on the fact that Mellencamp’s video used shots of Los Angeles, not Portland. Some might say they should be grateful for that because Portland is arguably worse.
“Mellencamp’s new song “The Eyes of Portland” is all about the main thing people who don’t live in Portland love to talk about: How destroyed the city is,” the media outlet carped. “Portland, burned to the ground, ravaged by homelessness, drug users on every corner. Your classic wasteland scenario.”
Mellencamp’s new album Orpheus Descending arrives on June 2 and is available to preorder now on CD, vinyl, and digital. He is currently on the road for his Live and In Person tour, which runs through late June.
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