The Real America: Neighbor Helping Neighbor
By Stan Penkin
In the wake of the destructive rioting that hit the Pearl District during the night of November 10th, many neighbors came out the next morning to show support for the community by helping with the cleanup. Rioters broke store front windows, mostly along Lovejoy and Everett Streets, and spread hateful graffiti on many buildings. The riot was an unfortunate outgrowth of a peaceful protest at Pioneer Square against the policies of President-elect Donald Trump.
The Pearl District Neighborhood Association (PDNA) put out a call for volunteers early in the morning. Volunteers gathered at its storage space to pick up supplies and fanned out across the neighborhood with brooms and other supplies in hand to help wherever needed. Neighbors were stunned by the lawlessness and the devastation they saw, but at the same time were able to come together in the spirit of community and neighbor caring about neighbor. TV and radio reporters spanned the neighborhood to gather the story of how the community quickly responded.
Graffiti removal was aided by the presence of Paul Watts and his Graffiti Removal Services Company who went thought the neighborhood with two trucks to clean up the graffiti as it was found. “I just want to help the neighborhood and this is on me,” said Mr. Watts when asked about the cost.