So yes, the city electorate voted it down again, and by very large margins. 20% is nothing to sneeze at.
I’m not particularly interested in having a science argument about it. It makes my head hurt trying to read through, and I’ve done enough of it . The established health & medical authorities, whom I generally trust on publishing studies and such, are generally in favor of it. And it’s true that there’s overlap between the anti-fluoride camp and the growing contingent of anti-vaccination folk (the latter of which I have nothing but contempt for, because the more they grow, the more herd immunity is endangered.)
But to reduce the fluoride vote to “those crazy hippies and lefties up in Portland” misses all the interesting context of this story, which is:
- the contempt city voters already have for the city’s Water Bureau, which has raised water & sewer rates every year, and the City Council in general, which has used water bill payments and directed them to other projects.
- Last fall, then-mayor Sam Adams and then-city commissioner Randy Leonard (who headed the Water Bureau) declared they were in favor of fluoridation after two weeks of low-level murmurs about a campaign and no public hearings. The council had three votes in favor without any public hearings or input and wound up voting unanimously to fluoridate the water without asking the public to vote on it.
- After opponents gathered the signatures to put fluoridation on the ballot in May 2014, the council again voted (not unanimously this time) to move the election up to May 2013 — in part because the Water Bureau’s planned fluoridation would have started later this year, but also likely to give opponents less of a chance to raise money and campaign.
- the fact that the Water Bureau has agreements with several suburban cities in the metro area to provide water from the Portland reservoirs and those contracts say those residents don’t get a say in what goes in it. There was animosity from outside because there are hundreds of thousands of people who receive Portland water and didn’t get a vote — and some of those outer city and county officials objected.
- the failure of the pro-fluoride side to recognize ANY of this context in campaigning. Basically, the coalition known as “Healthy Kids Healthy Portland” decided to rely solely on the Logical Appeal school of rhetoric, thinking solid science alone still wins when anyone who’s paid attention to say, climate change, knows that isn’t the case in the political arena at all. Essentially, the pro-fluoride coalition botched the politics from the beginning because it charmed the politicians in the city rather than the voters who lived there. It is truly political malpractice.
- the power of the anti-fluoride group’s Emotional Appeal: understanding the sense of not wanting unnecessary things in water or food, despising a liberal yet technocratic city government that works top-down instead of progressive consultation and consensus
- the state released a study saying rates of childhood tooth decay had been on the decline for the past decade, and with that came accusations of tampering or attempts to influence that study by pro-fluoridation folks and accusations of state employees politicking for fluoride on the state’s time and dime
You can find reports about much of that stuff here.
So while I’m OK with fluoridated water in general, I can understand why others here were anywhere from really reluctant to outright opposed.
FUCK YEAH MOUNTAIN GOATS.
(god, I suck at using my cell phone camera.)
My girlfriend not only noticed that the Mountain Goats were playing a week from Sunday but then went to the Aladdin Theater the next day to buy the tickets in person to save $22 in processing fees.
We’ve been dating for two months. If I don’t love this woman, then the day I know I do isn’t very far off.
John Curley, holding down the low end with some of the most thunderous rumble I’ve ever heard out of a Rickenbacker bass.
Rick McCollum and Dave Rosser. There are few things like listening to them recreate the multi-tracked slide guitar parts McCollum put on records in a live setting.
Here’s another Dulli shot for you.
Greg Dulli, getting his stroll on. (at Wonder Ballroom)
I’ve not heard of this Portland mayoral candidate, but I imagine that slogan would be popular.
☛ History aside, Mayor Sam Adams' support ensures fluoridated water for Portland | OregonLive.com
“Dress classy, dance cheesy, PSY Gangnam Style.” My neighbors know their memes.
I don’t even know or care where to stand on this because there’s fluoride in my toothpaste and the mouthwash I use — and since I grew up in California and Colorado, I’ve never had a cavity in my life.
All I do know is that here in Portland, this means the wonderful unholy alliance when the tree-huggers meet the sovereigns who loathe Portland’s city council will be on the same side and it’s going to be entertaining. I suppose if I have to pick a side, I’m gonna opt for the “eh, we’ve already gone this far, don’t bother putting it in anyhow” route.
OMSI has an inflatable rover in the lobby!
Rover landing in the auditorium. (Taken with Instagram at Oregon Museum of Science & Industry (OMSI))
I thought I moved here to avoid this triple digit heat stuff.
Music all around. #Portland (Taken with Instagram at Portland Saturday Market)