What Does Inclusive and Accessible in Our City of Portland Looks Like?

I have had the privilege of living in many major cities where they understood the means of being inclusive and accessible. Sadly it is not the case here in Portland where it is supposed to be progressive. This is truly alarming when Portland is not a Sanctuary City with it not being accessible and inclusive.

This is truly a historic momentum for me being the first Deaf person ever to run for Portland City Council 2018. After the Debate event fiasco hosted by 4 different organizations, begins my campaign tour with several forums hosted by different organizations. Currently, more than ten forums have invited me to talk with our communities on many issues they want to know where I stand on these issues and further elaborate on why I am running for Portland City Council 2018, position 2. Every time I inquire them about accessibility because I’m Deaf, an elephant comes storming in a room. I have to work harder in ensuring accessibility including educating, sharing resources and fighting barriers when one won’t provide accommodations. This is emotional and time consuming for me. Many organizers for public events are not trained and prepared in providing accommodations here in Portland. When anyone hosts a public event, their job is to ensure their event is accessible and inclusive for the public. It also means having a budget readily available for accommodation cost. This requires effort on their part where accessibility and inclusiveness are concerned. They shall prioritize accessibility and inclusiveness first before money. I have been talked down way too often about why they refuse to provide accessibility because it is too expensive. I find it interesting that they are willing to move mountain in ensuring the event has a mic with loud speakers are accessible for able-bodied people/people with hearing privileges. Other comes last in their mind until I ask about accommodations where then everything gets complicated when it should not be because it is not. Often they would ask me to provide accommodations for their events. I would respond by asking them if they would actually ask a person with disabilities (wheelchair) to provide a ramp after asking if the event is accessible for people with disabilities? They often would get personally offended by my question simply because I’m pointing out their ignorance, ableist and audist apologists they are. What makes it more damaging is that they would play the victim when being called out. This is the glaring truth what I experience everywhere especially when being invited to public events. I imagine the same goes for people with disabilities in our city.

Think about it, with oppressors running amok in our city today, this put public safety at risk, especially when our city is not accessible and inclusive. This greatly concerns me to no end, hence my running for City Council. I truly understand the accessibility/inclusiveness issues and aim to address this head-on. I believe I am the right candidate where those issues are concerned. Our communities matters.

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