School Bond Campaign Responds to Inaccurate, Intimidating Landlord Letter to Tenants

This morning, The Portland Mercury's Dirk VanderHart published a story about a landlord who told tenants he'll raise their rent if the school bond passes.  We're disappointed to learn that RoseCo Property Management's Paul Medica chose to intimidate his tenants by mailing a deliberately inaccurate letter including misinformation about the school bond that concluded by stating he would "have no choice" but to raise rents on Portland families should Measure 26-193 pass.

A local property manager is taking a strange tack in telling his Northwest Portland tenants to vote 'no' on the $790 million schools bond voters will consider tomorrow: Riffing on the messaging of Donald Trump.

Paul Medica, managing partner of a pair of family-owned property management companies, sent tenants a two-page letter in early May, inviting them to "make your wallet great again," by saying no to the measure—the largest bond ask in state history. If the measure passes, Medica assured his tenants, "I will have no choice but to substantially raise rent rates..."

Tenants across the city are worried about the neurotoxins in their children's water, the substandard fire alarms at the majority of schools, and the presence of carcinogens including asbestos and radon in children's classrooms. Despite Medica's lies, tests in July 2016 confirmed that dangerous levels of lead (as defined by the EPA) were found in sinks, faucets and fountains at all 90 Portland Public Schools. Measure 26-193 would provide over $324 million to address these crucially needed health and safety improvements to ensure every PPS Student has access to drinking fountain after a PE class. 

The integral link between affordable housing policy and healthy modern public education led to numerous affordable housing advocates to endorse the bond, including Oregon Opportunity Network, Portland Community Reinvestment Initiatives Inc, Hacienda CDC, Commissioner Chloe Eudaly, and community advocates Nick Sauvie and Margot Black. 

Portland's students deserve safe and healthy classrooms, and it's unfortunate that a local landlord is proactively intimidating and outright lying to his tenants to avoid any obligation and duty to contribute to the well being of his tenants' (and the city's) children. This bond continues the excellent, accountable, on-time and on-budget work conducted by the district with the 2012 Bond to provide our first wave of major renovations to PPS schools since 1945. It's a shame that landlords are disinterested in contributing to these much needed investments in our schools and the well being of our city. 

The campaign encourages Portland voters to drop off their ballots before the Tuesday, May 16 deadline. To find your nearest ballot drop site, check out the campaign website