Portland voters reject fluoridation

Posted in the Minneapolis Forum

1776 Defender

Ankeny, IA

#1 May 23, 2013
Portland fluoride: For the fourth time since 1956, Portland voters reject fluoridation
Fluoride supporters, it appeared, had everything going for them.

Five Portland city commissioners had voted to add fluoride to the city water supply. Health advocacy groups, and many of the city's communities of color, lined up behind the cause. And proponents outraised opponents 3-to-1.

But none of that was enough. For the fourth time since 1956, Portlanders on Tuesday night rejected a plan to fluoridate city water, 60 percent to 40 percent.

"There's a libertarian component to Oregon politics ... a kind of opposition to what the establishment might want," said Bill Lunch, a political science professor at Oregon State University. "Those who have more money, despite the kind of popular presumptions in this regard, don't always win elections."

The lesser-known of two issues on the Portland ballot passed easily. Voters approved a third renewal of the city's Children's Levy with more than 70 percent in favor. The levy directs more than $9 million a year to programs that support about 14,000 children annually in areas such as child abuse prevention, after-school activities and foster care.

The campaign to renew the levy, however, took a back seat to the fight over fluoride, which intensified in the weeks leading to Election Day.
In Portland, where a largely Democratic electorate often finds liberal candidates struggling to differentiate themselves, the fluoride debate created stark, and heated, divisions.

Both campaigns accused the other of stealing yard signs. A thinly veiled anti-fluoride push poll went out to voters. Opponents were described as insensitive to equity issues, while proponents were accused of wanting to willingly pollute the city's famously pure water.

The issue also wound up politicizing a statewide health report that showed falling cavity and tooth decay rates in the state over the past five years. One of the report's authors said she felt pressured by Upstream Health, the group spearheading fluoridation, to present the findings in a certain way.

More than $1 million was spent on the campaign, a considerable total for a Portland-only election. But Portland finds itself back where it has historically been, as the only city among the nation's 30 most populous to not approve fluoridation.

Clean Water Portland, the group leading the opposition, was hesitant to claim victory, but it was clear an hour after the 8 p.m. ballot deadline that the measure didn't have enough support.

Still, said Kellie Barnes, a spokeswoman for the group, "when you really get down to it, clean water is a universal issue.

"When citizens took a look at the information, they decided for themselves that the risk wasn't worth it."

Barnes wouldn't discuss possible next steps, although the group has said it would like a ban on fluoride written into the city charter.

"I think we're going to take a little rest and reevaluate where we are."

The pro-fluoride group Healthy Kids, Healthy Portland conceded defeat early. "Disappointed" was the word of the night.

"The results are certainly disappointing, but I think they're mostly disappointing because, at the end of the day, we were not able to provide this preventative measure" to people who need it, said Alejandro Queral, co-chair of the group's steering committee. "The issue doesn't go away at the end of the election."

Dana Haynes, Mayor Charlie Hales' spokesman, said Hales had no plans to come back at the issue but shared supporters' frustration.

"The measure lost even with my own 'yes' vote," the mayor said in a statement. "Disappointing, but I accept the will of the voters."

Portland has been at odds with fluoridation for more than half a century.

http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/...
Bushwhacker

Seattle, WA

#2 May 23, 2013
You're a nut.
1776 Defender

Ankeny, IA

#3 May 23, 2013
Bushwhacker wrote:
You're a nut.
The fluoridated water would have reached 900,000 people, those people are now safe.
Bushwhacker

Seattle, WA

#4 May 23, 2013
Had it for decades, you're a child.
1776 Defender

Ankeny, IA

#5 May 23, 2013
Bushwhacker wrote:
Had it for decades, you're a child.
Is that what you blame your mental retardation on?
non-starter

Saint Paul, MN

#6 May 23, 2013
Bushwhacker wrote:
Had it for decades, you're a child.
Those Portland people vote like you do, slew.
CRASSUS

Green Bay, WI

#7 May 23, 2013
1776 Defender wrote:
<quoted text>
The fluoridated water would have reached 900,000 people, those people are now safe.
I get all my water from the fresh well near my bunker. Nothing but the best water for my.
Bushwhacker

Seattle, WA

#8 May 23, 2013
My what ?

You know, I've always heard money talks. Anyone here got a real voice ??

<crickets>

Tell me when this thread is updated:

Subscribe Now Add to my Tracker

Add your comments below

Characters left: 4000

Please note by submitting this form you acknowledge that you have read the Terms of Service and the comment you are posting is in compliance with such terms. Be polite. Inappropriate posts may be removed by the moderator. Send us your feedback.

Minneapolis Discussions

Title Updated Last By Comments
Review: State Wide Protective Agency (Jul '11) 56 min future supervisor 156
Drop one word....add one word game (Apr '14) 1 hr Whiny1 237
walkway at the Downtown East station. 1 hr Spirit of 1776 2
simply victims of the vicissitudes of nature 2 hr Spirit of 1776 3
Police Investigating Two Homicides in Minneapol... 2 hr goat lover 5
News For inmates, a healing process through journaling 4 hr Unknown Male 6
News Minnesota's medicinal pot growers nearly ready ... 14 hr Unknown Male 2
More from around the web

Minneapolis People Search

Addresses and phone numbers for FREE

Personal Finance

Mortgages [ See current mortgage rates ]