David Morrison (Candidate for Portland Commissioner, Position 1) responded March 23, 2016:
(1) In what specific ways have you supported arts and culture in Portland?
I subsidized partial rent for the Portland Playhouse for 5 years until they bought the building. I hosted Cygnet Productions Plays in my book store when it was located on 37th Ave. I own a book store on 37th– culture. I used to have a photography gallery in my shop on 37th. I give to street musicians
(2) Artists and arts organizations add measurable value to our region’s economy, our education system and our quality of life, and yet there are a number of pressing needs in our community that often compete for attention and investment. What is Portland’s proper role in supporting arts and culture in the region?
The money from Unnecessary and corrupt Projects like the decommissioning of the Washington and Mt. Tabor reservoirs would have been better spent on funding the arts.
(3) The region’s affordability is a serious concern for all of us, including artists and arts-related businesses. What are your plans for making housing and creative spaces more affordable?
Tax incentives to landlords seems to be the popular answer and of course rent control which has been in effect for 30 years in Santa Monica, California and works just fine. Also, the city or county or state should get involved in development and or purchasing viable buildings to rent to those in need of low cost studios. Artists can also join collectives that occupy one bldg. but share the rent.
(4) Are there other unmet needs when it comes to shaping Portland’s arts and culture policy for the future? If so, what steps would you take to help ensure those needs are met, and how should they be funded?
(5) The Arts Education & Access Fund, or arts tax, has delivered on its promise of providing arts specialists for all K-5 schools in Portland, but the fund hasn’t generated enough revenue to support as many grants for arts and culture organizations as envisioned. If elected, would you take any steps to modify the arts tax, improve administration of it, and/or fulfill the voters’ vision of supporting arts education and access through other means?
I find the art tax as counter to the importance of arts and I am not for it, didn’t vote for it because it puts the arts into a category that is dispensable. It is insulting and degrading to the arts. Art should not be sidelined as something that we can do away with if we don’t raise the money. the money should come out of the technology budget as there is not one single study that shows that technology has improved learning but there are many studies that show that it causes cognitive problems and retards some aspects of learning and brain development. The STEM program that sidelines the arts and is responsible for the idea that it is dispensable was designed by the military and is essentially a recruitment tool and a one way street towards jobs in the tech industry.