I saw this yesterday, but forgot to write something about it until Glenn Reynolds reminded me. Short version: Trader Joe’s wanted to put up a store on some vacant lots in Northeast Portland. The people who lived there were largely happy about this; the Portland African-American Leadership Forum (whose membership apparently mostly does not live there) was not. The PAALF hassled Trader Joe’s about this until the chain threw up its hands and said Fine. We can take a hint and dropped its development plans. This left the PAALF holding a press conference in an empty lot, trying to explain to a bunch of aggravated locals about why the sudden loss of a job-producing anchor tenant wasn’t the worst thing in the world. When the PAALF wasn’t demanding pet projects that nobody was particularly stepping up to fund.
Ah, community organizers. (more…)