signs (the one on the
right says, “No prying =
(Photos © J. Maus)
Friday night’s rally in support of Sam Adams brought hundreds (500-600?) of Portlanders to City Hall. It was an astounding moment of cohesion for a city that had seemed to lose its way in the past few days.
The mantra of the night was “Get back to work!” On signs and on stage, there was a feeling of forgiveness and a sense that many Portlanders just want to see Mayor Adams take the reins of our city once again.
Emcee Mark Acito introduced several local business owners and other community leaders who came to the mic and simply said, “I’m with Sam”. It was a powerful message that seemed to crescendo as the event went on.
Singer Storm Large provided a musical interlude, first with “America the Beautiful” and then with custom lyrics set to the Tammy Wynette classic, “Stand by your man” — but her version was of course, “Stand by your Sam”. Here’s an excerpt from the lyrics (read them all over at the Mercury):
- Sometimes it’s hard to be in Portland.
Giving all you got to this guy Sam.
You’ll have bad times,
He’ll have some good times,
Doing things that you don’t understand.
But if you love him,
You’ll forgive him,
Even though he’s hard to understand.
There were a few (I saw two or three) anti-Sam protestors among the crowds, but, other than loudly criticizing everyone as being “disgusting” and other things, they didn’t have an impact on this event. An anti-Adams rally held earlier in the day on Friday was also not too well-attended.
Public support and momentum for Adams has grown considerably in the past two days. Hollie Teal, the woman who sparked this rally by launching the Sam is Still My Mayor blog on Wednesday, shared an interesting set of stats that shows a major shift in attitudes about the Adams scandal over the course of this week.
According to an “anonymous source” at City Hall, there have been around 700 emails sent to Mayor Adams since Monday (through the official TrackIt system used by the City’s website). On Monday, 80% of them called for his resignation. By Friday that number had shrunk to just 12% in favor of resignation and 88% saying he should stay.
Those numbers capture a shift in mood from Wednesday morning when I wrote that Adams’ prospects did not look good at all. Several advisors/friends I spoke to before writing that story, are now starting to feel like Adams’ mistakes are something they can forgive (but not forget).
The question remains; can this swell of support and the positive spirit that reverberated throughout this rally be enough bring Adams back from the dead?
He’s slated to meet with his fellow Commissioners Saturday morning and then make an announcement this weekend of whether he’ll stay or go.
I’m sure he’s watching the video from Friday’s rally and hoping, if he does choose to stay, that enough people will “stand by their Sam” to help get him through the tough times, and hard work, that lie ahead.
Where you at the rally? Did it impact your thinking about Adams’ future? We’d love to hear your thoughts.
— For a more thorough rally recap, read Matt Davis’ report on the Portland Mercury blog. For more photos of silly signs and faces from the crowds, check out the Photo Gallery.
UPDATE: Below is video of the event from The Oregonian:
|City Hall rally in favor of Sam Adams|