What Will Be Portland's Legacy To Future Generations?

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What Are We Leaving To Future Generations?

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What Will Be Portland's Legacy To Future Generations?
By Jack Kerfoot

Have you ever thought about your legacy? An email to my campaign web site, www.jackkerfoot2020.comprompted me to think about what will be our legacy to the future generations in Portland?


Mason, a high school student sent me an email asking about solutions to our homeless crisis. We agreed to meet for coffee to discuss our homeless crisis and other issues facing our city. Mason is an articulate young man, who has a keen interest in politics.


Once we had our coffee, I asked Mason to tell me what he sees as the major issues in our city from his perspective. In Mason's opinion, the primary issues are climate change, homelessness and gun violence in our schools. Listening to Mason, I realized that my generation never had to face these types of serious issues when we were in high school. My second reaction was, what type of legacy are the citizens of Portland leaving future generations?


Mason and I first discussed climate change and our environment. Mason asked, why can't Portland achieve 100% of our city's power from renewable energy before 2035?


Mason raised an excellent question. In my opinion, Portland can achieve 100% renewable energy before 2035, if we develop a plan, which is measured and reported annually. Unfortunately, Portland's City Council doesn't have a plan, which is one reason I am running for City Commissioner 4.


Mason and I then discussed the Zenith Oil Terminal and why it is a potential environmental disaster waiting to happen. The terminal has massive oil storage tanks that can hold up over sixty-three million gallons of viscous, toxic oil. The Zenith Oil Terminal is located on an earthquake liquefaction, which means those massive oil tanks could rupture spilling millions of gallons of toxic, viscous crude into the Willamette River.


Mason and I then discussed our city's homeless crisis. I explained what I have discovered about the complexity of our homeless crisis, talking to numerous nonprofit and religious organizations. I emphasized that I still had many more organizations to meet to really get a deeper understanding of how our city can be more effective at helping our homeless.


After, two hours we said good-bye. I was impressed with Mason and his concerns about our cities. I decided to run for Commissioner 4, because we need to leave a better legacy to future generations than our current Portland City Council is providing.


This article was reprinted with permission from Jack Kerfoot. Jack is a candidate for Portland Commissioner.


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