Readers respond: Portland’s suffering isn’t unique

The Oregonian/OregonLive has posted countless letters blaming Portland’s City Council for incompetence in dealing with increasing homelessness, crime and violence. I also feel that somehow the council could have done better – but I don’t have a magic solution that I know would work.

I wish to point out that these are not problems unique to Portland. If you have been following the news elsewhere, you know that crime rates, homicides, drug overdoses and homeless camps have been increasing in all large cities in the U.S. since the onset of the COVID-19 epidemic. Some cities, especially on the west coast, are worse off. This suggests that increasing personal isolation, or some other large-scale sociological change, underlies this social degeneration.

No one has found a solution. Let’s put less effort into complaints and more into searching for causes and effective improvements.

Frances Moore, Portland

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