Protect Portland Parks member Pat O’Donnell- “Parks are good for business”

On June 10th Portland voters will have the opportunity to enact into law the citizens’ initiative that 4200 Portland voters signed last November.

Your vote makes a difference. This is a local election with one question on the ballot. Your vote counts.

This vote is for all parks. 60 parks will have land bank protection. Other parks can be added.

Parks are vulnerable. The Parks Department was eliminated in 2008. Neglected parks are ripe for take over. There is no more available land. It will be easier and cheaper for developers to take over neighborhood parks than build anywhere else.

Parks are good for business. Good parks attract customers to nearby businesses and residents to nearby housing. Selling public parks is NOT good for business.

Representative Legislation. In addition to our legislator’s votes, Mainers have participatory democracy. Most long time Maine voters have signed petitions and voted for citizens’ initiatives. Portland voters are smart enough to know when they want their parks sold to a developer.

You don’t have to sell a park to improve the neighborhood. It is not sustainable to fund park improvements by selling the park itself.

I urge Portland residents to vote YES on June 10th.

Chris Shorr

About Chris Shorr

Chris is a lifelong Portlander who works with mentally ill and marginalized adults at Amistad Inc.. He has worked on a lobster boat, at several high-end Portland restaurants, and at a local meat packing plant. He also ran for Portland City Council in 2013, wrote a weekly column in the now defunct Portland Daily Sun, and currently writes a weekly column in The Portland Phoenix.