Portland sex worker runs for mayor, promises to build ‘arts’ hub

"Artists will bring energy back downtown," she said, "and as energy comes, there will be more hope."


A popular local stripper running to become the next mayor of Portland, Oregon has claimed that artists are the key to turning the city around and preventing residents from fleeing its crime and drug-infested streets. 

Liv Osthus, who goes by Viva Las Vegas on stage, argued that while she may not have any political experience, she could use her experience in the arts scene to bring back "the soul of the city" and "bring energy back downtown" with a hub dedicated to artists. 

"If you put an art studio downtown, very soon you’d have a coffee shop. Very soon you’d have a lunch place. Very soon you would create concentric circles outward from it," Osthus told Willamette Weekly.  

“I feel strongly called to help the city change and to remember how great it is to remember its roots in small business and arts and music,” she added.

The 49-year-old wife and mother went on to suggest that breathing life back into Portland's dilapidated and increasingly baren downtown could have knock-on effects for the rest of the city, and that the best way to do that was via the arts. 

"Artists will bring energy back downtown. And as energy comes, there will be more hope," she told the outlet. 

One of the biggest issues facing Portland is homelessness. Osthus told Willammette Weekly that she believed it should be treated like a "national disaster," with assistance coming from all levels of government. 

When asked whether her job as a stripper could negatively impact her chances of being considered by voters, Osthus invited them to come see her in action in her various ventures as a sex worker.

On her Link Tree, the stripper insists that her followers buy her books about strippers, a TedX talk about how stripping is art, and a documentary about "a young female preacher who speaks the gospel of the arts from the pulpit of a Portland, Oregon strip club while dancing for her congregation."

Recent polling found that 68 percent of Portlanders felt the city was declining, with 56 saying they would move if they could. 

Over the past few years, the city has experienced an exodus. Census data showed that between July 1, 2021 to July 1, 2022 alone, 8,308 people fled Portland. That period of time came right after the Black Lives Matter riots, which saw the city reduced to a battleground for 100 straight days. 

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