Say No to Portland's Rebranding of Oldtown/Chinatown

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Say No to Portland's Rebranding of Oldtown/Chinatown

This petition had 286 supporters
Chinese Community Portland started this petition to CCBA President Oregon Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association (中华会馆)

Old Town Chinatown Community Association, OTCTCA, which decided to move forward with a long-abandoned “re-branding” project, calling for change in how the area that is now known as Old Town, Chinatown, to be called “New Chinatown/Japan Town”.

For local residents in greater Portland, and visitors to the area, we all acknowledge that we have a problem with homelessness, or vagrancy, in Old Town China Town. In response, OTCTCA’s effort to address the problem is to embark on a project that will include: repainting some lamp posts, hang new banners, and renaming a place with a deep historical backdrop. We viewed these steps as cosmetic, superficial changes that do not address the crux of the vagrancy issue.

In the process, the OTCTCA acted in a way that aroused uproar in and engendered resentment from the Chinese Community. To the Chinese community, the latest “re-branding” project, is a veiled attempt to whitewash the contribution of multi-decade contributions to the City of Portland. OTCTCA’s move is insensitive to the China Town’s cultural heritage. The latest re-branding, rings familiar, to the 2006 Wok and Dragon sculpture debacle, when the City expended hundreds of thousands of dollars to erect a sculpture that totally missed the mark, depicting a dragon (a sacred animal), dangling over an upside-down wok.

The OTCTCA’s latest “re-branding” project is insensitive to the cultural heritage of Chinese in the State of Oregon. While the use of the name “New Chinatown/Japantown” was technically authorized in 1989, through the historical designation name change, that name was never, ever, actually used. That name change was passed under the radar, during a time when there was no social media, and publicity of the name change was entirely invisible to the Chinese Community, the key stakeholders. One would question, why would the Chinese Consolidated Benevolent Association (CCBA) put the largest China Gate in the country at the entrance of West Burnside & NW 4th Avenue in 1986, and then allow the Old Town China Town, to be renamed on the Historic Registry, the New Chinatown/Japantown just 3 years later in 1989? The proverbial Dragon was clearly sleeping.

The Dragon has now awaken. The “re-branding” project’s only goal is purely economically driven, without regard to the deep-rooted cultural history in the area. The Chinese community knows this because OTCTCA asked the CCBA to contribute funding for a community manager’s salary to come up with a solution to address the vagrancy problem. Now, by suggesting the name change, and redrawing the area that has been known as China Town, the OTCTCA is essentially biting the hand that feeds it. We, as a collective community of Chinese descendants, strenuously oppose to the renaming of the Old Town China Town. If allowed to go forward, the Old Town Chinatown Community Association robs us of a heritage landmark that has been long established. OTCTCA is simply giving the vagrancy problem a superficial paint-over, without helping fix the underlying problem.

最近老城華埠社區委員會(簡稱OTCTCA) 宣布推出“重新包装”(Rebranding) 項目,這項目就是將日本城融进现在被人熟知的華埠,稱為“新華埠/日本城”,而現在被稱為“老城華埠”地區,被偷梁换柱成为“老城”。其目的就是逐渐淡化華埠,最终让華埠从人们的视野中消失掉。




雖然“新華埠/日本城” 的名字技術上在1989年编入了國家歷史册中,但這個名字從來未被實際使用過。而在更名時候,亦沒有媒體報導,沒有通知社會大眾和華埠的業主。難道不覺得有蹺蹊嗎,為什麼1986年中華會館(CCBA)在W Burnside和NW第四大道的入口建造全美第二大中華牌樓,然後在短短三年後1989年又會讓華埠在歷史冊被重新命名為華埠/日本城?


我們作為中華民族的後裔,必須堅決反對華埠更改名字。 如果更名成功,無疑是讓OTCTCA剝奪這擁有悠久歷史的城市地標,也狠狠的給所有華人一個耳光。再次呼籲所有華人齊心合力捍衛華埠,彰顯華人民族心。

Petition Closed

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