September 24, 2017
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Groups seeking Portland referendums to protest city ballot mistake

By CBS 13
Updated:
WGME | BDN
WGME | BDN
Supporters stand with a Fair Rent Portland sign.

Activists who submitted thousands of signatures to Portland’s city hall over rent control say they are not giving up their fight.

The groups are holding two rallies Wednesday, hoping to urge city leaders to fix a deadline mistake.

Protesters want to see changes to certain aspects of renting property, but because of what the city calls a clerical error, they might not see those changes on the November ballot.

The groups Fair Rent Portland and Give Neighborhoods a Voice want to see initiatives of rent stabilization, which would set maximum rates for annual rent increases, as well as entitle tenants to receive required maintenance services.

The groups say the city told them the deadline to submit petitions and signatures was this week, but the city says the actual date was a couple of days earlier.

The group say the city had plenty of chances to fix it and failed to do so.

“We do believe that this is a clerical error at the same time there were many opportunities for them to check this. Over the course of two months, if a campaign asks you three to four times it’s a little more than just a simple error,” Jack O’Brien, Fair Rent Portland, said.

“This was not something that they did wrong, it was clearly our mistake and no one wants to see it postponed. We’ve spoken with both sides, and both groups would like to see it on the November 7 ballot so that’s why we’re working to find a solution,” Jessica Grondin, City of Portland, said.

There will be two protests at Portland City Hall Wednesday. One will be at noon and the second at 5 p.m.

Protesters hope that enough pressure from citizens will make the city find a work around to add the rent issues to the November ballot.

Both groups said they had enough signatures weeks ago, and waited until the proposed date, hoping a larger number would send a more impactful message.

 


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