Soccer Fields or Social Services? The Real Cost of Urban Renewal Districts.

Next week the Portland City Council consider an $85 million proposal by Merritt Paulson to bring major league soccer to Portland. Paulson wants the city to contribute $20-$40 million of urban renewal money - funds intended to combat "urban blight" - to close the deal. Paulson and his supporters ay sthose dollars will create jobs and enhance the community. Critics not only say that soccer doesn't qualify but that its diverting funds from essential county services.

This week Dave talks with Marissa Madrigal, chief of staff to Multnomah County Commissioner Jeff Cogen, about how the city's expanding use of urban renewal districts is affecting the county's ability to meet the needs of county residents. Also joining the conversation will be State Rep. Nick Kahl (D-Portland) who recently introduced legislation that would require county approval for the creation or amendment of urban renewal districts as well as permit urban renewal funds to be spent on social services.

The conversation doesn't end when the program does. You can join in additional discussion of the week's issue on our blog at kboo.fm/voicesfromtheedge (click on the "blog" tab). You'll find additional information, important links, comments from other listeners and commentary from Jo Ann and Dave. Have a question for our guests, but can't call in during the program? Post your questions on line so we can make them a part of the Voices discussion.

 

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