Dawson Park is precious. That’s why his dilemma is so painful.

In 2010 I worked at the Red Cross in the cafeteria. Yes, Mom used to be a thoroughbred cafeteria chef. I was on the news once because my soup was so good.

Anyway, I’ve spent many sunny lunch breaks in Dawson Park, either swinging or jotting down soup recipes in my sketchbook. Six years later my child attended the children’s hospital across the street and after that we played on the same swings.

I have an affinity for this place because — unlike the parks in my neighborhood, which slowly filled with white faces as development progressed and black and brown families were displaced — Dawson Park, at least in our lives, has always been a gathering place for the black community was .

Now, against a pandemic, drug decriminalization, the changing landscape of gentrification, and the magnifying glass that rightly remains trained on the Portland Police Bureau, the historically black neighborhood around the park is seeing a surge in violence and outright drug abuse. This week’s cover story explores why.

Today I welcome Sophie Peel to not just chat about how she and Lucas Manfield put together their in-depth look at Dawson Park in a Post-George Floyd, Post-Measure 110 Portland. I’ll also ask Sophie about the divergence in the downtown police response and the neighborhood response around the park, and how lines can be drawn between the downtown desertion and the police response and foreclosure of some of Portland’s large hotels .

Listen on Spotify.

Listen to Apple Podcasts.

Listen to Google Podcasts.

https://www.wweek.com/news/city/2022/09/19/dawson-park-is-precious-thats-why-its-dilemma-is-so-painful/ Dawson Park is precious. That’s why his dilemma is so painful.

Mike Fahey

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