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City Commissioner Amanda Fritz Takes a Stand for Women

June 26, 2013

It’s no secret that Mayor Hales has a major hurdle in front of him when it comes to Portland’s budget. At the end of May, the City Council voted on a proposed budget But City Commissioner Amanda Fritz had something to say about his proposed cuts and their effects on women:

“Funding for five officers and three support staff for the Mounted Patrol was announced without asking Council members’ opinions about priorities in the Portland Police Bureau. My priority for restored positions in PPB is the four of 18 officers being cut from Family Services, which addresses domestic violence, child abuse and elder abuse. That’s 22% of resources in the Police Bureau that was dedicated to investigation of domestic violence, child abuse, and elder abuse now cut in the budget the Council is about to adopt. For sure, horses and the Mounted Patrol have many virtues. People die from domestic violence, child abuse, and elder abuse.

Funding the Mounted Patrol instead of officers investigating abuse of women, children and elders is troubling. But even more so is the 24% cut to services for women and children escaping human trafficking. This budget today cuts $117,000 in support for shelters providing safe treatment for these most vulnerable members of our community. Some have said that shelter and treatment for women and children survivors of human trafficking should be a County function. Healing the scars of prostitution, getting women on the right track to being productive members of society, and preventing the damaging and long term impacts to society and the police of child abuse and human trafficking, is a City, County, State and Federal problem.

This is not something we can kick down the road anymore. We have been doing that for far too long. It is a City function to help victims escape the mental and physical misery in which they are enslaved, since our current level of law enforcement cannot stop men from paying for sex with children and enslaved women. Already, our current funding level in this fiscal year is like applying a band-aid to a ruptured aorta with uncontrolled bleeding. Either we allocate more resources to stop domestic violence and child abuse, or we must pay for the consequences of failing to do so. This budget cuts at both ends.

I cannot visit the shelter for children escaping from prostitution, and look them in the eyes if I vote to cut funding for their safe shelter and treatment. I am discouraged that the only woman on the Council is the only member who finds this cut unconscionable.”

This excerpt, along with the rest of Fritz’s speech, can be downloaded from her website in the form of a Word document, or on the web at the Portland Mercury’s BlogTown

2 Comments leave one →
  1. August 22, 2014 5:50 pm

    Charlie Hales is trying to look like a good guy on twitter but refused to fund teens who had been victims of sex trafficking.

    Junior League of Portland produced an excellent and important video on human trafficking in Portland, an…— Charlie Hales (@MayorPDX) August 22, 2014



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