NAACP Declares Portland Earthquake Warnings To Be Racist

There is a bizarre controversy in Portland, Oregon after the city began to put up notices on buildings that it deemed unsafe for possible earthquakes. The city is trying to prepare for “the big one” — a massive earthquake that is now overdue. It is identifying older buildings susceptible to collapse with public signs. However, it is facing a challenge from the NAACP of Portland which has declared the signs to be the embodiment of “white supremacy” and racism. There is also a challenge for building owners.

The NAACP declared that the policy to warn the public “exacerbates a long history of systemic and structural betrayals of trust and policies of displacement, demolition, and dispossession predicated on classism, racism, and white supremacy.” The reason is that many of the older buildings are owned by African Americans that that the posted warnings will make it difficult for them to rent space or sell the property.

Rev. E.D. Mondaine, a pastor at Celebration Tabernacle Church in north Portland and president of the Portland NAACP chapter declared that “We will no longer allow the same principles that have driven us out again. We will no longer allow these things that have driven us from our community.”

Given the projected 50 percent chance of a massive earthquake along the Cascadia Subduction Zone off the Oregon coast in the next 50 years, one would think that the racist act would be not to warn occupants of the danger. Otherwise, these buildings will remain until they are likely to collapse on the occupants.

The new law requires the posting of the signs and the filing of a record of compliance. The warning reads “This is an unreinforced masonry building. Unreinforced masonry buildings may be unsafe in the event of a major earthquake.”

The warning signs for some 1,600 buildings must have an 8-by-10-inch plaque must go up on public buildings this month and on other buildings by March 1. The warning on them says: “This is an unreinforced masonry building. Unreinforced masonry buildings may be unsafe in the event of a major earthquake.” The law further requires:

  • The building owner must notify existing tenants that the building is an unreinforced masonry building, and unreinforced masonry buildings may be unsafe in the event of a major earthquake
  • In addition to a placard, every lease or rental agreement entered into or renewed after the timeline for placarding noted below, must contain a statement that: “This Building is an Unreinforced Masonry Building. Unreinforced Masonry Buildings may be unsafe in an event of a Major Earthquake”
  • Building owners must record an agreement not to remove the placard and acknowledgment of compliance with tenant notification requirements
  • The ordinance requires URM owners to post a placard according to the following timeline: 

An actual legal challenge has been filed by brick building owners who recently filed a lawsuit seeking to block the ordinance on the grounds of violating their free-speech and due-process rights. The challenge maintains that the signs for private owners to “broadcast the government’s message instead of their own.” It is equally hard to see the merit in that challenge. The ordinance forces disclosures tied to public safety. That is neither uncommon or unconstitutional so long as there is a rational basis for the disclosure.

102 thoughts on “NAACP Declares Portland Earthquake Warnings To Be Racist”

  1. The Juan de Fuca subduction zone?….there it is right there! A blatantly racist insult to brown people built into the name! What are white supremacists at the U.S. Geological Survey trying to signal with this anti-Latino dog whistle? I won’t even go into the derivation of Juan’s surname.

    1. Isn’t “subduction zone” a euphemism for the Earth’s surface immigrating underneath the Earth’s crust? If so, it seems to me that the geological concept of a subduction zone is an example of systemic racism against immigration. Where is the Open Boarder Society on this issue?

  2. the shutdown now impacts food stamps! all because evil Trump dares to try and keep out foreign invasion!

    the perfect storm approaches– who knows where this will end up.. make sure you have plenty of fresh water and canned goods at home in case electricity goes out once the riots start

  3. mud huts would be safer and far less racist than Portland. Liberia would be a good destination for the folks who are sick of these racist crackers! Please leave post haste.

  4. Whatever happens, it’s important for the evil white racists to be forced to pay for the improvements to the slum dwellings, regardless of who owns them!

    As part of the reparations and 40 acres and a mule and stuff generally owed to African Americans by the evil white racist society .

    We must defeat white racism and thus free the way to take all whitey’s stuff. The only way to do this is elect more DEMOCRATS who will help reverse the chronic effects of racism by TAXING WHITEY TO DEATH! VOTE DEMOCRAT IN 2020~! Get that Honkey peckerwood Trump off yo backs!

    1. Anonymous – wasn’t it the Democrats who enslaved the blacks, voted against the Civil Rights Amendment, etc.? Why would blacks support the Democrats? Unemployment for blacks is at record lows under Trump. Voting for Democrats is voting against their own interests.

      1. Paul, if you have to ask you’re CLUELESS!

        The entire premise of your question presumes that Blacks are just so stupid they can’t make any logical determinations regarding American politics.

        Quite simply Republicans play to a base of small town Whites far from urban centers. That’s not who Blacks are. And Blacks have little in common with small town Whites.

      2. Blacks started voting Democrat back in the days when the KKK was still terrorizing blacks for the Democratic Party. That’s because Democrats started buying votes with promises of free stuff. Unfortunately, most people, regardless of race, may not realize that the Democrat design of the Welfare system destroyed the black family, and led to a lot of the suffering, drug use, imprisonment, gun violence, gangs, etc that Democrats year after year promise to solve for their vote. They consistently get voted in, and things only get worse. How can anyone blame anyone for falling for the line that their standard of living was going to get better? The problem is that any party other than Democrat has failed to communicate the terrible cost of many Democrat policies, as well as the benefit of alternatives. The Democrats control the message.

        The Democrats designed Welfare so that there was a financial incentive for mothers not to live with their baby’s fathers, to not put the father’s names on birth certificates, and to not even live in a home owned by the father. I knew someone who had a baby and broke up with her boyfriend. He offered to let her live in a house he owned, but she was forced to decline because it would disqualify for a number of California benefits. In addition, there is a threshold where if a woman makes over a certain amount of money, she abruptly loses so many benefits that the net result is she is far worse off.

        Clearly, the Welfare system needs to be overhauled to help people transition into working. They should not get a big hit backward when they work, but rather be better off. In addition, childcare is a big issue for single working moms. The cost of daycare in CA is in excess of $1,000/month, which is out of reach of women trying to make ends meet.

        1. Karen, the ‘welfare system’ (Aid To Dependent Families) was completely overhauled in the 1990’s and Bill Clinton took a lot of criticism from liberals for going ‘too far’ with it. Single mothers can no longer stay on indefinitely by having additional children. I don’t know how this development escaped your notice.

          You might want to follow mainstream from time to time to keep up with current events. You are 20 years off on this issue.

  5. The profession of slum lord in Portland Oregon is now officially ‘not racist.’

  6. Like the man with a hammer who sees every problem as a nail, if you’re a radicalized African-American everything negative in your life is seen as the product of “white supremacy.” Too bad. Too racist.

    1. Why does the NAACP not consider black lives to matter? They have no problem with the disproportionate number of abortions in the black community and now this. NAACP must be racist; who uses the term Colored anymore?

  7. If the building was made of plaster only and had no interior structure to hold the plaster up then the objections would be less loud. So it is one step further away from total non compliance with earthquake protected structure. Go rent a house trailer on wheels which can be moved in case an earthquake comes along. Or one which will roll with the punches. Racial this and racial that and Rachel Maddow.

    1. I asked a related question to my state rep five-to-ten years ago. His answer was we need urban density (building up) because the construction and maintenance cost and environmental impacts of building out are not sustainable. By his logic, mobile homes are building out and unsustainable. Returning to context, we may be able to impose future design criteria and the retrofit of mobile homes for stacking but we would have to post signs on older, unretrofittable mobile homes regarding their environmental impacts and unsustainable use. So, mobile homes are probably a no-go.

    1. Justice Holmes, the answer is yes. Unreinforced masonry, i.e., brick, buildings fall down in a serious earthquake.

      Portland only now is beginning to recognize the earthquake hazard.

      1. Nothing is ever quite so simple.

        There are many factors determining a buildings response to an earthquake.

        Several applicable rules of thumb are that
        taller buildings are at greater risk,
        Construction materials with low tensile strength (masonry) are at greater risk.
        The effect of will be inverse to the square of the distance from the epicenter of the earthquake.

        A 1 story masnroy building near the epicenter may collapse – as might a 5 story steel frame structure, while a mile away a 5 story masonry building and a 25 story stell framed structure may have no damage.

        1. dhlii — That was naive. For example the nature of the ground makes a difference.

          The earthquake risk maps for the Pacific Northwest have been published. Look at those.

          1. Surimike, it depends where the mobile homes are and how they are built. There is a mobile park with just under 500 units on the East Coast of Florida in the town of Briny Breezes. These mobile homes are on the coast (barrier island) and have been through hurricanes. A builder wanted to buy the property and was offering around $1Million for each of the homes in an attempt to buy property at a total cost of $1/2Billion. Those mobile homes originally sold for ~$20,000-$40,000.

    2. Yes, they are unsafe. If the big one hits, more Blacks will be killed, and then, the NAACP will declare earthquakes to be racist. The person for whom racism is the cause of everything is a racist.

      1. No, they’ll blame the city for not doing anything to warn people. This is the state of nuttery on the West Coast.

      2. scottzwartz — It isn’t “if the big one hits”, it is When The Cascadia Fault Moves.

  8. Some years ago the NAACP hired a man named Bruce Gordon as it’s executive director. His idea was for the organization to emphasize ‘Advancement’ in practical terms, replacing political agitation with social work (rather more like the Urban League). He lasted about two years in the position. The board was resistant to his program and he was fed up with his jurisdictional tangles with Julian Bond, the board’s president. (As one might expect. Mr. Gordon was an accomplished business executive who had concluded his career at Verizon; Bond was a no-account who fancied Gordon should be taking orders from hm). He leaves and they hire a professional agitator named Ben Jealous to take his place and announce their new priority, a federal hate crimes bill.

    All of which is to say that the NAACP is a useless and silly organization sucking up donor dollars which should be going to serious philanthropic agencies. (Start with the Urban League and the United Negro College Fund). They calved their legal department 60 years ago, btw. They aren’t unique. The Southern Christian Leadership Conference, founded in 1956 as a temporary organization to co-ordinate street protests, is another ‘civil rights’ organization with out any serious institutional mission. The dregs of the Congress of Racial Equality has long been an obvious scam to provide an income for the Innes family. And then there’s the $outhern Poverty Law Center, long known to be a direct-mail mill but treated by our lying media as an authentic legal-political body. The commonweal would benefit if all of these organizations ceased to exist.

    1. Tabby, it sounds like any ciivl rights organization which criticizes conservative policies is somehow a ‘worthless scam’ in your estimation.

      Regarding the Southern Poverty Law Center, they strike me as more credible than the hate groups they profile. But again, they sometimes draw links between hate groups and conservatives so I’m sure that makes them a ‘scam’ in your view. The idea seems to be that southern conservatives are ‘never’ linked to fringe groups. Oh no, perish the thought..! We know southern conservatives are all fine Baptists.

      1. HA! SOCALLED HATE GROUPS LOOOOVE GETTING WRITTEN UP BY THE SPLC. IT’S A FORM OF LEVERAGE THAT JACKS UP THEIR RECEIVED DONATIONS ~! it’s free advertising, a sort of “reverse endorsement” if you will!

        and the same thing is true for the SPLC. They need sexy racists in outfits or maybe “alt right” sinister conspiracies to stimulate their donees into forking over more money

        a third of a billion dollars is a fine endowment but they are shooting for the moon over there!

        The Poverty Palace needs renovation!

        1. Kurtz, I looked into this. It seems much of the hatred aimed at Dees stems from a bitter political fight over the nomination of Edward Earl Carnes to a federal bench in Alabama, Dees’ home state. Ironically Dees came out in support of Carnes, a conservative appointed by George H W Bush in 1992. Wikipedia has this to say:

          “Critics blasted Carnes for defending Alabama prosecutors accused of systematically excluding blacks from death penalty trial juries.[6] Carnes’ supporters responded that as a prosecutor, Carnes had engaged in a campaign to eliminate racial discrimination in jury selection even before the Supreme Court had become involved in the issue.[7] They noted that when selected by the judges of the state to prosecute judicial misconduct, Carnes had sought sanctions against sixteen sitting judges, including two who were removed from the bench for racist remarks.[8] He also sought a venue change to a county with a higher black population for the retrial of a twice-convicted black defendant accused of brutally murdering a white victim.[8]

          Prominent southern civil rights lawyers were split over the nomination. Stephen Bright, director of the Southern Center for Human Rights, testified against the nomination and lambasted the Senate’s decision to confirm Carnes to the bench.[9] But Morris Dees, cofounder of the Southern Poverty Law Center and Carnes’ frequent adversary, went door-to-door among Senate Democrats, fighting on behalf of Carnes.[10] Both (Democratic) Senators from Alabama supported his nomination, as did the attorneys general of each of the states comprising the Eleventh Circuit.[11]

          After eight months and a Democratic filibuster, Carnes was confirmed by the United States Senate on September 9, 1992 by a vote of 62 for and 36 against.[12] He received his commission the following day.[1] He assumed office on October 2, 1992, and has served as Chief Judge of the United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit since August 1, 2013”.

          Edited from “Edward Earl Carnes”


          1. Kurtz, I looked into this. It seems much of the hatred aimed at Dees stems from a bitter political fight over the nomination of Edward Earl Carnes to a federal bench in Alabama,

            No, it doesn’t, Peter. It stems from the realty that the $PLC is a crooked money racket whose front business is slander and libel. This isn’t that difficult.

            1. Sure, Tabby, just show me the indictments. I’m sure in Alabama the locals take a dim view of crooked rackets sullying the names of good conservatives. So show me the cases brought against The Poverty center. And please attach a menu of awarded judgements.

                1. Kurtz, I looked into that award. Yes, the SPLC was found ‘liable’ by a ‘British’ court where liable is much easier to prove than American courts. Therefore the judgement is not without controversy. What’s more the plaintiff, Mr Nawaz, is quite controversial himself.

                  Here’s an excerpt from The Atlantic concerning that judgement:

                  The list that included Nawaz became a central bone of contention in a broader debate over SPLC in general. While the fabled nonprofit has long had its critics, many of them hatemongers like Gaffney, the new chorus included sympathetic observers and fellow researchers on hate groups, who worried that SPLC was mixing its research and activist strains. “Has a Civil Rights Stalwart Lost Its Way?” Politico Magazine asked.

                  Nonetheless, the settlement, and especially its size, are somewhat surprising because SPLC might well have prevailed in court, albeit at great cost. Defamation lawsuits are famously difficult to win in the United States. A plaintiff who is a public figure must show not only that what is written about him is factually untrue, but also that it was published with “actual malice,” which is to say that whoever published knew or suspected it was untrue.

                  “The words ‘anti-Muslim extremist’ certainly sounds and indeed must be a matter of opinion,” the noted First Amendment litigator Floyd Abrams told me. “The language that someone is an extremist may not in and of itself be a defamatory statement of fact. The argument would be it’s not defamatory—it’s not even a statement of fact!”

                  Even if Nawaz could prove a factual statement, he would then have to prove actual malice. “If it was a mere overstatement or thoughtless or any of those characterizations, then the defendant would start out in pretty good position,” Abrams said.

                  Ken White, a First Amendment lawyer and blogger, wrote Monday that the result was troubling. The firm representing Nawaz, Clare Locke, has sued a long list of media organizations. Trump, meanwhile, has repeatedly called for changing libel laws to make it easier to sue the press. While White criticized SPLC for having transformed itself from a bulwark against bigotry into a policeman for political correctness, he said the surrender could set a bad precedent:

                  The threatened lawsuit appears to be part of a trend of suing the SPLC for its opinions and characterizations. The settlement will embolden that trend. The trend will not stay confined to the SPLC — that’s not the way the law works. Especially in such bitterly divided times, suing over opinions is deeply censorious and corrosive of free speech. Nawaz — who has himself been the target of attempted censorship — should know that.

                  If White’s prediction is correct, that makes the episode all the more disappointing. SPLC’s work is especially important in this moment, as President Trump rolls back civil-rights laws, targets marginalized communities, and offers encouragement to white supremacists. By overreaching in its description of Nawaz, SPLC undercut its own reputation and the noble goal of fighting against anti-Muslim sentiment, and by settling, it risks undercutting free-speech protections at a time when they are already under threat.

                  Edited from: “The Unlabeling Of An Anti-Muslim Extremist

                  THE ATLANTIC, 6/18/18

                  1. “No fewer than 60 organizations branded “hate groups” or otherwise attacked by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC) are considering legal action against the left-wing smear factory, a Christian legal nonprofit leader confirmed to PJ Media on Tuesday. He suggested that the $3 million settlement and apology the SPLC gave to Maajid Nawaz and his Quilliam Foundation on Monday would encourage further legal action.”


            2. The SPLC added Ayaan Hirsi Ali to their hate list. Anyone knowing who she is would realize how ridiculous that is but then again Peter Shill doesn’t know very much about anything.

          2. I never heard of Carnes but boy i heard a lot about people about Dees.

            The reasons people hate SPLC Dees and Co vary…

            a– ken silverstein and other sincere liberals hate them because they soak the same pool of potential donors to liberal causes, and do very little good with the money the receive, as the Poverty Palace and its amply paid fundraising staff grow fat and rich on the massive donor list

            b– targets of morris dees cohen et al: targets have a love hate relationship. on the one hand, it boosts there revenues, free advertising, which they like. on the other hand, often times they lie and slander which people don’t like. especially the “respectables.”

            c– people who MIGHT be targeted which is pretty much anybody who is a registered Republican now: dont like Dees slander yellow journalism machine because well they are afraid of him.

            simple as that



    The NAACP-led coalition argues that such requirements place a “Scarlet Letter” on older Portland buildings, including many Black-owned businesses, music venues, and churches, and will make it difficult for owners to lease, refinance, or mortgage their buildings. The coalition also includes Portland Tenants United, MusicPortland, Save Portland Buildings, and Portland Assembly.

    In an energetic speech to kick off the rally, NAACP Portland chapter President E. D. Mondainé talked about the new ordinance in the context of Portland’s broader racial history. He mentioned Vanport, the largely Black community that was created by discriminatory real estate practices and wiped away in a 1948 flood under suspicious circumstances, and suggested that the URM ordinance was a continuation of racist policies.

    Edited from: “NAACP Coalition Rallies Against Portland Ordinance That Labels Earthquake Unsafe Buildings”

    The Portland Mercury, 1/5/19

    1. RE. ABOVE

      This excerpt from the Portland Mercury article raises some important issues. What about leases, refinancing and mortgages? Are these plaques a ‘scarlet letter’ that degrades the property’s value? If so, owners have genuine cause for concern.

      There are many cities, up and down the west coast, with buildings as old as Portland’s. Surely standards exist regarding old buildings and their ability to withstand earthquakes.

      Despite its modern image, Los Angeles actually has a surprising number of old masonry buildings. Downtown L.A. features dozens of 13 story skyscrapers from the 1910’s – 1920’s. Many have been converted into lofts.

      I know there are methods for retrofitting old buildings to bring them into compliance with earthquake codes. Steel plates bolted into sections of bricks are commonly seen on the exteriors of old brick buildings in L.A.

      Therefore one would have to compare Portland’s earthquake codes with Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles. Only through comparisons could one really judge if Portland’s new warning plaques make any sense.

      1. PH, no! The adequacy of Portland’s buildings for the forthcoming earthquake are not determined by looking to other cities’s codes. It is rather how badly the ground will shake in Portland. That is a matter of the local geology and the distance from the Cascadia fault. While the latter isn’t so bad the former is not helpful; the land is all fill from the Bretz floods ‘ deposits. No place else is similar.

        1. David, I’ll buy the local geology argument. But has Portland ever had earthquakes worse than San Francisco’s? S.F. had two notable shakers in 1906 and 1989. Yet there are many old, brick buildings still standing in S.F.

          1. Isn’t the real question the degree of preventable death society is willing to accept against the probability of the unknown?

            When I was a wee lad in the 1960s, California was going to slip into the Pacific because, geologically speaking, the “big one” is overdue. Tap, tap, tap – any minute now. It’s a good thing that I didn’t try to hold my breath for over 50 years. Also, Global Climate Change is suppose to result in flooded coasts, which is also assigned a probability of occurrence and will impact Portland. If society is concerned against a probable earthquake then why aren’t signs posted on all building of inhabitation due to probable permanent flooding? Admittedly, I don’t understand the logic of these things.

            1. I’m still praying for “The Big One” all these years later to help us get rid of Cancerfornia

    2. Vanport was built on along the banks of the Columbia River, and a combination of factors caused a railroad berm to give way .
      It was in a flood zone, and there were multiple factors that cause the tragedy.
      I think there were about 3 dozen fatalities; the community was segregated, with a large minority black population.
      I don’t know the race of those killed, but if blacks were among the fatalities, it certainly must have been a racist flood.
      To avoid the white supremacist label, Portland could apply the required notices, etc. to only white-owned structures.
      And if “the big one” does hit and there are disproportionate black casualities, or disroportionate black casualties, we can always tune in the HHHNN to find out how the earthquake happened under “suspicious circumstances”.

  10. I noticed in the United States that white people drive on the right hand side of the road and legislatively require all people, under pain of penalty assessment, including people of color, to also drive on the right hand side of the road.

    Question: Is that an example of White Supremacy?

    1. Good point ! Furthermore, under the Sovereign Citizen concept, anybody ought to be able to drive on any side of the road, or in the middle, and without any sort of paperwork.

      1. Jay S – for some damn reason we have people driving down the wrong side of the freeway causing accidents. I suppose you could apply the Sovereign Theory, however they are dead.

  11. Here’s the first paragraph of the NAACP’s press release in its entirety for those who would prefer not to take the cowardly and lazy approach of reacting and blathering in half-truths, omissions, and obfuscations of the truth rather than debating actual issues. “Portland, Oregon, January 2, 2019 – On December 14th, 2018, the City of Portland Bureau of Development Services issued a service update implementing an ordinance passed on October 10, 2018 requiring owners of URM buildings to place a sign (placard) on the building notifying tenants and visitors that the structure may be unsafe in the event of a significant earthquake. Embedded within the seemingly benign signage requirement compliance documents was a non-negotiable and compulsory ‘agreement’ granting the city the right to attach an encumbrance (lien) to the title bearing the weight of the full measure of invasive and prohibitively expensive seismic retrofits – far beyond the extent required by current city code and well beyond the policy recommendations not yet codified. Not only did this break an explicit promise made just a few short months earlier to work with community members to make tiered improvements as funds become available, it perpetuates and exacerbates a long history of systemic and structural betrayals of trust and policies of displacement, demolition, and dispossession predicated on classism, racism, and white supremacy.”

    1. The ordinance makes no mention of African-Americans nor does its language evidence an intent to discriminate against AA. Thus it is racially neutral and affects all building owners. This wildly out-of- control judicial notion of disparate impact still requires some proof that AA owners are disproportionately affected AND that there is not a bona fide public safety reason for the ordinance. There’s no such proof here of a disparate impact or that the ordinance bears no relationship to public safety. Clearly, it does. That makes all this hubbub mere whining by AA landlords unwilling to reinforce their property thus jeopardizing their tenants’ safety. Hardly, a sympathetic group.

      1. i say, ok, who cares forget it., let their rickety buildings collapse. maybe it will be a net improvement to society? why keep bothering all the time to fix the unfixable.

  12. Option A: Identify a need for landlords to get assistance in retrofitting their properties for public safety. Such a remodel might require tenant move out, significant loss of revenue, and impact local housing availability. This is one of those issues that it can be in the public interest to devise a grant or some other assistance program based on need and finances.

    I don’t particularly care about the skin color of the landlord. If anyone needs help making their building more safe for their tenants, let’s explore our options. If help were only to be given to lower income black landlords, then that would mean that tenants of all races and creeds living in lower income white owned properties would not get their buildings retrofitted, leaving them unsafe. That is not ethical.

    Option B: Call the city and its inspectors racist, because somehow the skin color of the landlord should require the city to keep a secret from the tenants that their homes are unsafe. That would lead to massive lawsuits and bankrupt the city.

    I truly wish people would stop banging the racist drum for unwarranted cases. It often requires so much effort and mental contortion to manufacture a crisis that it undermines the legitimacy of real racism when it occurs. It also creates a Cry Wolf syndrome. When we’ve been told over and over again that benign acts are racist, we may one day not give any credence to a legitimate case of racism.

    Just stop and think about what the ethical, right thing to do in such a situation is. It sure isn’t denying the tenants information on the safety of their place of residence.

  13. As for their legal challenge I do not believe they will prevail. The federal government requires landlords owning buildings constructed prior to 1978 to provide every residential tenant a lead paint information pamphlet and to disclose if the landlord knows of lead based paint or if it has been abated. There exists in Oregon a statute under ORS 90.22 to disclose to the tenant if the property is located within a 100 year floodplain zone. These type of notices are standard in most states in one form or another.

    As for the opportunism exercised by the NAACP, I can imagine mane of the business persons having legitimate financial costs associated with the retrofitting should be upset about the racism card being pulled out. It diminishes their case in the eyes of most of the public in general, who would just scoff the matter off as just more political bantering and will be less receptive to weighing legitimate arguments on either side.

    1. Darren Smith – none of those examples you cite – lead paint disclosures or flood plain proximity attach encumbrances to the title. Why is an ordinance that seems like a benign requirement for notification and disclosure not being enforced like those examples you just mentioned? why does it instead contain the following clauses in the placarding agreement that are not actually authorized by right of the ordinance itself?
      This Declaration and Acknowledgement shall be effective as of the date of the signature(s) below. Once effective, Declarant and subsequent owners and assigns may not modify, withdraw from, terminate, or dissolve this Declaration and Acknowledgement without the written approval of the City. All terms and provisions herein are intended to and shall be covenants running with the land and/or equitable servitudes burdening the Parcel and shall be binding on Declarant, Declarant’s heirs, executors, administrators, successors, and assigns and all current and future owners of the Parcel and all persons claiming title to such property.

      This Declaration and Acknowledgement shall continue in perpetuity, unless or until modified, superseded or terminated by a written instrument executed by all current owners of the Parcel and approved by the Portland Bureau of Development Services in writing, and recorded in the real property records of Multnomah County, Oregon.

      By acceptance of a deed conveying title to the Parcel, future owners of the Parcel will become parties to this Declaration and Acknowledgement, whether or not expressly stated in any conveyance

      1. Actually the lead paint declaration is required for sales of homes and multifamily units during closing. I do not know if it is for the floodplain designation in real estate transactions though.

        In our state if a property has had a methamphetamine lab abatement the property can be labeled by the county health authority and its records made available to disclosure for those real estate agents, LEOs and others. There is also a property forfeiture provision for contaminated properties if the owner fails to allow remediation. RCW 64.44.050(e) “If the property owner has not acted to demolish, dispose of, or decontaminate as set forth in this subsection regardless of responsibility for costs, and the local health officer or local law enforcement agency has taken responsibility for demolition, disposal, or decontamination, including all associated costs, then all rights, title, and interest in the property shall be deemed forfeited to the local health jurisdiction or the local law enforcement agency.”

        ” Why is an ordinance that seems like a benign requirement for notification and disclosure not being enforced like those examples you just mentioned? why does it instead contain the following clauses in the placarding agreement that are not actually authorized by right of the ordinance itself?”

        I agree. So often it unfortunately is the case where ordinances or laws have a simple appearance such as the signage but then contain draconian provisions in the background. Our legislature and various corporate/special interest citizens’ initiatives have this very trait, and this is why many ultimately are declared unconstitutional because they violate the single issue requirement.

  14. The “likening” to policies of displacement are to do with a contract the city has produced that encumbers the title of properties. The “likening” to history of such policies is the reference that was made. Yes, click-bait articles are easy. Research is harder. The encumbrance on the title is transferred with the deed and can only be removed by completing retrofit standards far and above what the city is considering, but have not passed or demolished. The buildings are in-code. The contract is non-negotiable, encumbers the title and was not written in the ordinance. Therefore, it is being challenged.

    1. As someone who is not in the law profession, your comment left me a bit at sea.

      Are you saying that the city added a lien on title that requires a retrofit that is over and above the current code? Is the lawsuit over whether the city is requiring more than their own building code? Is there an accusation that they are preferentially targeting areas for disparate treatment because they plan eminent domain, or to push the owners into selling to a land developer with connections?

      Basically, could you just translate everything you said to someone who knows nothing about the law?

  15. So hard to find an affordable rental in Portland that I doubt this requirement will make much difference.

    1. I am not familiar with Portland but believe affordable housing is a problem. The NAACP claim is garbage, but that doesn’t mean that the law won’t cause havoc among the poor. If rental space becomes devalued and other costs rise many units may be pulled off the market further exacerbating a housing crisis that invariably affect the poor. The idea of keeping people safe from earthquakes has merit but the unintended consequences could lead to more people living on the streets, more crime and more family break ups. The City Council has to be very careful in their actions.

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