Say No to Portland's Rebranding of Oldtown/Chinatown

Petition Closed

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。

所有波特蘭的居民,和前往該地區遊客都知道華埠的流浪漢問題非常嚴重。對此,OTCTCA居然匪夷所思,想出了用纳税人的钱,擅自将具有深刻歷史背景的華埠从社区新网站的域名中去除掉,并准备在社区内燈柱上懸掛极具误导性的旗幟。我們深信這些粉化外表步驟絕不是解決流浪漢問題的關鍵所在。

OTCTCA行事的方式引起了軒然大波和本地所有僑團僑胞極其不滿。這“重新包装”項目,實則是暗地裡操作將整個波特蘭華人多年的努力洗刷掉。

此次事件和2006年设计安装违反中華风俗文化的以龙为主题的雕塑事件類似,當時城市花費纳税人近二十萬美元设计出的龙的造型,不仅不是腾飞的象征,反而被倒栽进不锈钢圈里,意喻极为明显,就是對華人赤裸裸的羞辱。不幸的是,華埠也从一个欣欣向荣的社区开始走向了下坡路。

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?

中國龍一直沉睡,今天中國龍醒了。“重新包装”項目純粹是經濟驅動,沒有考慮到根深蒂固的中華文化和歷史。OTCTCA曾經徵求CCBA出資為流浪漢問題聘請一個社區管理員解決流浪漢問題,無果後就改變策略將華埠劃分和改名。

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

This petition had 286 supporters

Share this petition