After a year that included 120 consecutive nights of rioting, the city of Portland purchased a full-page advertisement in The New York Times in an attempt to repair their image and attract tourists
The ad comes on the heels of the mass resignation of all of the members of the Portland Police Bureau’s riot squad following the indictment of Officer Corey Budworth for allegedly assaulting a photographer during a riot in August 2020 which officers call a witch hunt.
The Portland Police Association accused Multnomah District Attorney Mike Schmidt of failing to hold rioters who lit the Multnomah Building on fire accountable.
According to KOIN, the ad was purchased by Travel Portland to run through August in order to encourage tourism from Seattle, San Francisco and Los Angeles.
The campaign also released a video featuring Portland residents including chefs, business owners, athletes and artists narrating the same text as the ad in The Times.
The ad read "This is Portland, you’ve heard a lot about us lately. It’s been awhile since you heard from us."
The ad continued, "Some of what you heard about Portland is true. Some is not. What matters most is that we’re true to ourselves."
"There’s a river that cuts through the middle of our town. It divides the east and west. But it’s bridged – over and over again. Twelve times, to be specific. And that’s kind of a great metaphor for this city," the ad says. "We’re a place of dualities that are never polarities. Two sides to the same coin that keeps landing right on its edge. Anything can happen. We like it this way."
"This is the kind of place where new ideas are welcome – whether they’re creative, cutting edge or curious at first glance. You can speak up here. You can be yourself here. We have some of the loudest voices on the West Coast. And yes, passion pushes the volume all the way up. We’ve always been like this. We wouldn’t have it any other way."
"We have faith in the future. We’re building it every day the only way we know how, by being Portland. Come see for yourself, Love Portland," the ad concluded.
The Portland Police Association, a union representing Portland's officers, accused Multnomah District Attorney Mike Schmidt of failing to hold those rioters accountable, adding that at the time of the alleged assault, crowds of demonstrators with shields and dressed in black bloc tossed a Molotov cocktail at the Multnomah Building, setting it ablaze.
Over the past year, the number of homicides in the city is over six times higher than the amount recorded in the same period last year. Portland also has a growing gang violence crisis at levels not seen since the 1990s.