We’ve never done political endorsements here at Portland Monthly. But unusual times demand unusual measures. So, for the new year that begins with this issue, here are some endorsements.
We endorse the city. Obviously, we love Portland. Despite its many shortcomings and absurdities (and often because of the absurdities), we consider Oregon’s metropolis one of the greatest cities in the world. It is a bastion of decency, forward-looking thought, creativity, beauty, and fun. The city faces many problems—a troubling past compounding today’s issues of race and class, the transformations brought by growth—but our collective willingness to acknowledge those challenges speaks to an abiding desire, across decades and generations, to create the best and most vibrant city we can. We are proud to be Portlanders.
Beyond that, let’s get one thing straight: urban America is not a “bubble.” It is where the majority of people in the US live and work. Our great cities—Los Angeles to Boston, Houston to Minneapolis, Atlanta to (we’ll say it!) Seattle—serve as beacons of opportunity and magnets for the world’s best. They foster new businesses, incubate new ideas, and provide many people an all-American freedom to grow and achieve.
We also endorse the country. We’ll stick close to home on this one: The communities outside the Northwest’s major cities are not a “hinterland.” One way or another, they’re why most of us are here, whether you’re talking pioneer history or present-day economy. Oregon isn’t Oregon without its coastal towns and its enterprising ag and timber communities. And it’s past time to recognize—as Portland’s incoming mayor does in our interview—that we’ve failed too many of those communities for too long.
It’s also true that great stories unfold all the time across Oregon. We’re honored to have readers all around the Northwest, and in our own humble way we will work to improve coverage beyond the urban growth boundary.
Town needs country. Country needs town. Let’s not forget.
Finally, this issue itself embodies some standing endorsements. We endorse taking care of yourself (our annual Top Doctors & Nurses feature) and enjoying life (our guide to winter relaxation). We also endorse reflection about what’s going on in the world. We endorse cocktails and (if you’re into gluten) fresh bread. We also endorse chocolate and wine in ample quantities for the foreseeable future.
Editor in Chief