In case you’ve been under a rock (or watching Fox News on repeat), everyone in Portland should be aware that there is a HUGE debate right now over the city’s attempts to flouridate the water supply.
Most major cities in America have flouridated water. Proponents of flouridation claim it has dental benefits and ensures that low-income residents without access to dental services will be helped by it. Opponents argue that the industrial by-product has no proven health benefits and that it may even be toxic in high doses. Some argue that flouridation actually reduces low-incomes resident’s access to clean drinking/farming water, and that adding drugs to the fundamental water source is just plain wrong. They also point out that there’s a lot of money being spent to do this ($5M to build the facility plus around $500K per year for the chemicals) which would probably be better spent on our failing school system.
Portland activist Jesse Sponberg of Fight Church states, “The kids in Portland deserve actual solutions… There is no quick fix, no miracle elixir. We need real leadership that will address deeper issues of inequity, not some heavily financed Wizard of Oz to run through town, high-5 everybody, and cure a symptom when we are actually dealing with a diseased infrastructure.”
Of course, the City brushed aside these concerns as the thoughts of conspiracy theorists and passed a semi-secret council vote on September 12, 2012 to go ahead and flouridate. But dude, this is Portland… Within a month, Portlanders raised over 43,000 signatures to force a public vote (only 20,000 were required), setting off what the Oregonian has dubbed as a “civil war”.
The current ballots, if not mailed by today, are due Tuesday, May 21st. No matter how you vote, We Out Here Magazine suggests that you take the Nike approach and “Just Do It”.
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