PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – This week, those commuting into downtown Portland may notice a new billboard featuring two of Multnomah County’s best-known politicians in what those responsible for the display call a “Schmidt Show.”
The billboard portrays chattering teeth toys with the caption, “All Talk, No Action,” along with photos of Chair Jessica Vega Pederson and District Attorney Mike Schmidt. It goes on to say, “Billions Spent, Problems Worse.”
People for Portland, the organization responsible for the billboard at Southwest Washington Street and Second Avenue, says the display is in response to the county’s rise in homelessness, drug addiction and violence.
“Whether it’s restoring public safety, enforcing no camping laws, ending open-air drug use and sales, or spending and managing billions in tax dollars meant to ‘end the homeless crisis,’ politicians are far better at talking about our problems than taking action to solve them,” People for Portland said in a press release.
The organization says the billboards hold politicians accountable as People for Portland pushes for “urgency, action and results to rescue the city we all love.”
In April, the organization People for Portland unveiled a towering four-story billboard criticizing DA Mike Schmidt, also near the intersection of Washington Street and Second Avenue, greeting passersby with the message “Portland is a Schmidt Show!”
While it’s unclear who helped People for Portland finance April’s political stunt, state business records showed that the public-benefit nonprofit corporation is managed by Kevin Looper, a local political consultant who previously worked with former Governors Kate Brown and John Kitzhaber.
Following their most recent billboard, People for Portland has asked for funding to “Take Action: Annoy the Politicians, Support This Billboard” via donations on their website.
“This billboard, and others like it across the city and county, is a daily reminder to every local and state politician that the time for incessant chatter about our problems is past,” the organization said in a press release. “To rescue and renew all of Portland, we need bold leadership, concrete actions, and results – now!”
KOIN 6 has reached out to both Pederson and Schmidt for comment but has not yet heard back.
Stay with KOIN 6 as this story develops.