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Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler, a Democrat, sent a strongly worded letter to President Donald Trump denying his offer to send federal officers to help quell the rioting stemming from racial protests.
Wheeler posted the letter to his official social media account on Friday.
“Yet again, you said you offered to aid Portland by sending in federal law enforcement to our city,” wrote Wheeler.
“On behalf of the City of Portland: No thanks,” he added.
“We don’t need your politics of division and demagoguery. Portlanders are onto you. We have already seen your reckless disregard for human life in your bumbling response to the COVID pandemic. And we know you’ve reached the conclusion that images of violence or vandalism are your only ticket to reelection,” Wheeler continued.
Wheeler accused the president of trying to take advantage of the rioting for political gain.
“When you sent the Feds to Portland last month, you made the situation far worse. Your offer to repeat that disaster is a cynical attempt to stoke fear and distract us from the real work of our city,” said the mayor.
“In Portland, we are focused on coming together as a community to solve the serious challenges we face due to systemic racism, a global pandemic and an economic recession,” he added. “Stay away, please.”
Business owners are angry at the protests
The mayor’s message might be at odds with residents and business owners who are demanding action against the destructive looting and rioting the city has seen in the past three months.
KOIN-TV reported that business leaders told the mayor in a videoconference that the downtown was in a crisis over the crime and nightly violence.
“We are having a very very hard time keeping people employed at the very time when we need to have fewer people in the unemployment line. People don’t want to work downtown,” said Stacey Dodson, a business owner, during the conference.
“And as they’re facing these difficult decisions, they’re choosing to not stay employed, they’d rather be unemployed, than employed downtown, and that’s a reality,” she added.