Arizona City Officials use Taxpayer Dollars for a Trip to Portland

Why did Arizona City Officials use Taxpayer Dollars for a Trip to Portland to Learn how to Deal with Homelessness?

Joe Setyon from the Goldwater Institute joins Breaking Battlegrounds to discuss the perplexing decision of Phoenix, Scottsdale, and Avondale officials to utilize taxpayer dollars for a trip to Portland to learn how to deal with homelessness. In Portland, homelessness has surged by 65% over 8 years, with a notable 20% increase in 2023 alone. Join Joe, Chuck, and Sam as they question the rationale behind seeking solutions from a state facing such exacerbated issues, shedding light on the questionable nature of this decision.

Listen at 14 minutes and 18 seconds:

SAM STONE: We’re continuing on right now with Joe Setyon. He is the senior communications manager at the Goldwater Institute and recently had a piece out about city officials from Phoenix, Scottsdale and Avondale took a trip to Portland, Oregon.

CHUCK WARREN: Which is like saying, I’m going to send Congress to Congo and Haiti and Ethiopia to learn how capitalism works.

SAM STONE: Yeah so they sent them there to learn how to deal with homelessness. 

CHUCK WARREN: It’s insane. 

SAM STONE: Portland is like the worst at this. They’re right there with San Francisco. The worst. It’s unbelievable, Joe, thank you so much for joining us and welcome to the program. 

JOE SETYON: Well thanks so much for having me on the show.

CHUCK WARREN: So tell us about this taxpayer-funded trip to Portland which can’t teach anybody anything about drug addiction or homelessness.

JOE SETYON: Yeah, absolutely!

So let me just start off by saying, you know, you guys covered it pretty well but when you want to do something right, you do not, you should never ever take the tips from the people who did it wrong but that’s exactly what’s going on in Arizona. 

Now we were able to obtain some emails between these folks, you know, the deputy city manager in Phoenix and her counterparts in some other places in Scottsdale, Avondale, Mesa, Glendale, and it’s part of this group called the Maricopa Association of Governments.

And Phoenix’s deputy city manager, the one who oversees the Phoenix Office of Homeless Solutions, basically said, you know, given all the problems we’re having with homelessness, we want to plan a trip to Portland to learn what we can do.

CHUCK WARREN: But do you know why they thought this was a good idea to go there?

SAM STONE: Was there any indication in their email why they thought Portland was the place to go?

JOE SETYON: Not sure and that’s actually what some of her counterparts said… They said we’re totally down for a field trip but Portland?

It’s such a curious choice and I think that’s what we are trying to figure out. Why would you want to go to Portland? I mean homelessness is horrible, it’s a terrible problem in Portland. It went up 65% over the last 8 years.

Just in 2023 alone it spiked 20% and we know that Portland leaders, know these progressive leaders, take a very hands-off approach to crime, vandalism, public drug use, public camping, and this beautiful town is now being overrun by homeless encampments. So it’s very curious, it’s a great question, so why did they go to Portland?

Listen to Joe Setyon’s full interview on Breaking Battlegrounds

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