Note: this article was originally published on April 11, 2013 as the second installment of my six part series for Mismanaging Perception on the unsuccessful campaign to fluoridate Portland’s water supply.
Wednesday night’s debate to discuss the pros and cons of adding fluorosilicic acid (aka fluoride) to the Bull Run water supply that Portland depends upon saw an excess of 240 concerned citizens pack the Matt Dishman Community Center’s auditorium. The event was sponsored by the Multnomah County Democrats. Moderator Teddy Keizer, Chair of the Mult-Co Dems opened the evening by thanking those in attendance for coming, then sternly warned the crowd that no outbursts or applause would be tolerated during the debate. “We will not ask you to leave, we will tell you leave.”
Observing the filled room, it wasn’t hard to notice that Clean Water Portland’s bright-blue ‘No Fluoride‘ buttons and shirts outnumbered “Healthy Kids Healthy Portland” blood-red buttons about 5 to 1. It seemed the audience present might already be in favor of continuing Portland’s 60 year tradition of rejecting fluoride of their drinking water.
Representing the pro-fluoridation side of the night’s debate was ‘Healthy Kids Healthy Portland’ (HKHP), a PAC formed after activists collected twice the required signatures to move city hall’s fluoride vote into referendum, granting the public a voice on whether fluoride will be added to their drinking water. The effort that gathered a staggering 43,000 signatures last fall was spear-headed by Clean Water Portland (CWP), who were on hand to present the anti-fluoride side of the evening’s debate.