Since 2009 was one of the worst years of our generation (just about any generation), we thought we would come up with a Street Roots Top 10 list of why 2010 could be a better.
Coming in at No. 10: The City Budget will be slashed again. Some speculation suggests a mandatory 4 percent cut across all city bureaus. And those are the optimists.
At No. 9: The economy will turn around and absorb some of 2009’s woes. Well, SR can’t guarantee that either. Wait… whose idea was it to do a Top Ten list of things getting better?
At No. 8: The 10-year plan to end homelessness will… Oh, screw it. We’re now doing a Top Ten list of why things will continue to suck in 2010.
At No. 10: The 10-year plan to end homelessness will become sooo five years ago. New homeless faces will become chronic homeless faces and newer homeless faces will continue to hit the streets. The euphemism “jobless recovery” will become a top 10 thing we won’t miss about 2010.
At No. 9: Non-profits and small businesses working for the good of human kind will continue to be stretched thin, with some falling over and others holding on for dear life.
At No. 8: Campaign finance law in Portland will be attacked by big business and smug politicians arguing that it’s a waste of hard-earned taxpayer money. A long and hard fight between grassroots activists and old school power brokers will ensue. Who will win nobody knows. Maybe this lands in the Top 10 of things to get better, if campaign finance triumphs.
At No. 7: The city budget is going to get slashed, again. Moving up three spots from #10.
At No. 6: Democrats will be fighting for their life in mid-term elections around the country, but will kick butt in Oregon, where they get to defend being No. 1 in homelessness, No. 2 in hunger and No. 3 in unemployment nationally. Ouch. Although we do admit, it is better to be ass-out, anxiety-ridden and without a job in Oregon than working at the Wal-Mart and paying 70 percent of your wages for rent in, say, oh, Indianapolis. Right? Which might explain why Portland’s population will grow by 1 million people next year.
No. 5: The police bureau will go yet another year without anything more than superficial oversight by citizens. That’s 159 years in a row now. We’re betting the Cubs will win a World Series (and that’s going to be long time from now) before any real police oversight happens in this city. Maybe we need a campaign to remind us — We are citizens!
No. 4: You find out your uncle has been volunteering for the Tea Party for the past year. It becomes brother against sister, father against son, and mother against daughter. The Republicans gain steam nationally. You’re forced to infiltrate your friends and family on Facebook.
No. 3: The county budget gets slashed too — again.
No. 2: A local media outlet, maybe two, will bite the dust or become severely damaged. OK, so maybe that shouldn’t really be at #2. But who will cover the Top 10?
No. 1: Drum roll please. … At least one of the above predictions for 2010 will not come true. The other eight, probably so. But if you consider forewarned to be forearmed. 2010 might not be so bad after all.