Violence at Columbia Villa, renamed New Columbia, has always had a chilling affect on the quality of life in North Portland since before is was the scene of Oregon's first drive by killing. The recent shootings, one fatal, at New Columbia continues to reenforce the highly undesirable impression that North Portland is a dangerous place to live and do business. 

Unfortunately, mayor Adams, who convened a community meeting on this subject on June 24th at New Columbia, deliberately restricted the invitation to New Columbia's 2,700 residents. His message was clear, gun fire and murder at New Columbia do not have a negative effect on the surrounding Portsmouth neighborhood and North Portland so they need not be included in a "community" discussion. In this errant presumption mayor Adams was dead wrong.

So, if the mayor has ignored/forgotten to invite you as an interested party from North Portland such as property owners, business owners etc. and the press, then please accept my invitation to participate.

Thursday July 22 - 6:30 PM

New Columbia Boys & Girls Club - 4430 N. Trenton

With only three days before the meeting mayor Adams continues to hide his agenda. Nevertheless, be prepared to consider the following:

1. Will the mayor acknowledge that he has complete and total control of the Housing Authority of Portland and the Portland Police Bureau?

2. Will the mayor acknowledge that violent crime in New Columbia casts a negative image on all of North Portland?

3. Will the mayor acknowledge that New Columbia is a failed social experiment because it REQUIRES at least two full time, uniformed, armed Portland Police officers in addition to the regular district patrol officer to keep the peace?

4. Will the mayor add, reduce or keep the same level of police presence at New Columbia to ensure the safety of New Columbia/Portsmouth/North Portland residents?

5. Will the mayor acknowledge that Columbia Villa/New Columbia has always been and continues to be a separate, insular, HAP controlled neighborhood and not an integrated part of the Portsmouth neighborhood/North Portland? 

6. Will the mayor explain why he has condoned HAP chair, Lee Moore's, refusal for the last 19 days to acknowledge an Oregon Public Records Law request made by me on behalf of Portland police sergeant Willie Halliburton? The recent shootings and murder at New Columbia prompted Portland police sergeant Willie Halliburton to imply in his public comment in the Portland Tribune that the number and type of HAP clients at New Columbia did NOT require the assignment of two full time officers to keep the peace. This challenged my proposal that two additional officers were needed to provide public safety in New Columbia, Portsmouth and North Portland. The request for Public Housing Statistical Data goes directly to this issue and is necessary to further the public conversation/debate.

The state legislature has given the mayor of Portland, Sam Adams, the singular authority to nominate and, more importantly, dismiss HAP board members, making Adams HAP's boss who is totally and completely responsible and accountable for every program, policy and annual expenditure of $80,000,000.

The city charter has given the mayor of Portland, Sam Adams, the singular authority to command the Portland Police Bureau, making Adams responsible and accountable for their behavior.

All public safety issues that are connected to New Columbia are under Sam Adams' authority, control and responsibility.

Richard Ellmyer - 35 Year Homeowner and Small Business Owner in the Portsmouth Neighborhood


To those media organizations that are perpetually promoting themselves as being "tough" and "holding the powerful accountable", this issue would be an excellent opportunity to give your slogan some exercise.