Trump’s first week: Portlanders react to new policies

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PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Nearly a week after his inauguration, President Donald Trump is already making his mark on the country and the world, for better or worse.

On Thursday night dozens gathered at Portland State University to hear former Congressman Barney Frank’s lecture against Trump, and to voice their opinions on the moves the president has made during his first week in office.

One of Trump’s first orders of business was to withdraw the U.S. from the Trans-Pacific Partnership. He also reinstated and expanded the Mexico City Policy, which threatens to cut funding for foreign healthcare organizations that provide life-saving services for women and girls around the world.

Trump imposed a freeze on all new federal hiring, except military and national security jobs. All of this while trying to move forward on his promise to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border.

Some Portlanders who supported Trump during the campaign say they feel he is making good on his promises.

“I think that shows someone that’s driven and active,” Multnomah County GOP Vice Chair Bill Guthridge said. “I think he’s a businessman and as a businessman he doesn’t have time to waste.”

But others in Portland voiced their opposition to Trump’s tactics — through protests in city streets and at Thursday’s “Democratic Values After Trump” event at PSU.

“I have a lot of concerns,” Portland resident Michael Volk said. “About our constitutional process, our country and its future.”

Before his event, Frank told KOIN 6 News this week’s protests won’t change much.

Former Congressman Barney Frank speaks at PSU on January 26, 2017. (KOIN)

“I’m glad people marched on Saturday, but if that’s all you do, you haven’t done anything,” Frank said. “I spent 40 years in elected office and politicians are not frightened by people who march.”

He says there is a way to change the status quo: voting in the next election cycle.

“Many more people vote for president than vote 2 years later for Congress and governor,” he said. “They tend to be more on the left than on the right. I would hope that they would get engaged.”

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