Encourage Non-Profit Literacy Organizations in Portland, Oregon

Target: Charles Hales, Portland mayor-elect

Goal: Support programs and organizations in the Portland area that attempt to expand literacy at all ages and academic levels.

Portland, Oregon is typically one of the highest-scoring cities in the nation in literacy rate; as of 2009, it ranked sixth-best in the nation for major cities, and has consistently been in the top ten over the last decade. Not coincidentally, it has also been ranked as one of America’s greenest cities, as well as one of its highest scorers in categories such as knowledge, communications, and city development.

Yet still, there are problems. Portland’s unemployment rate, while having decreased considerably since the major economic problems nationwide in 2008, still ranks extremely high relative to the rest of the country. The homeless population also has seen a steady rise in recent years. These problems are bound to occur at any point when the nationwide economy is in trouble, but they still needed to be combated at every turn to ensure the continued improvement of the city.

Literacy rates are a good target to utilize in order to help citywide improvement. Often times, the increasing cost of primary and higher education hinders individuals’ academic development, and keeps them from learning the skills necessary to succeed in the job market. As such, the city can lend a helping hand by promoting or aiding non-profit organizations that aim to provide affordable help to these citizens.

Portland Literacy Council and Literacy Volunteers-Greater Portland are two primary examples of literacy programs targeted at adults to help them develop their reading and writing skills, and at giving them the learning tools necessary at an affordable cost to help them expand their knowledge base. If the city of Portland makes a conscious effort to aid these resources and expand their ability to help others, it could directly affect the major unemployment and homelessness problems in the city, for the better. Urge Portland’s mayor-elect to support these vital resources and improve the city’s literacy rates.


Dear Portland mayor-elect Charlie Hales,

You are inheriting a city that has a lot to be proud of: it is one of the most environmentally-friendly cities in the nation and has a citizen base well-versed in knowledge and communications. However, you have the opportunity to make your proud city even prouder.

As you are undoubtedly aware, Portland maintains a high unemployment rate and homelessness population relative to the rest of the country. These are problems that can be fixed, and you have the ability to help them.

Given that education costs are rising and keeping many qualified individuals from learning and fine-tuning the skills they need to succeed in the job world, it is necessary to find a way to provide these people with a low-cost alternative that helps them acquire this knowledge. Non-profit literary organizations are a good place to start in this regard.

By supporting any of your various non-profit literacy organizations around the city, you will be encouraging learning and literacy in your city, and providing many underprivileged citizens with the tools they need to succeed and lead happy lives in your city. You can make a difference, and you absolutely should, beginning immediately.


[Your Name Here]

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  1. J Davidson says:

    Literacy is essential to survival and must be a national effort for everyone.

  2. A high literacy rate is good for any community. Encourage Portland to strengthen itself in this manner.

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