One of the last times I wrote about Occupy Portland, the news peg for the story was the city's seeming endorsement of open drug use and alcohol consumption by people at the Occupy encampments in downtown Portland's Lownsdale and Chapman squares.
That was in October.
Since then, Portland Police officers broke up the 500-strong encampments at Lownsdale and Chapman and Occupy Portland faded from the headlines, aside from some one-day protests and marches.
Last week, though, I read something in a banking trade publication that seemed astounding: Occupy chapters in Orange County, Calif., and San Francisco had taken steps to form credit unions. So far, neither group has filed a formal application with federal regulators.
Turns out, Occupy Portland volunteers have also had that conversation. While they're not pursuing the idea, they have several initiatives in the works that could turn the public's attention away from the petty vandalism that's often associated with the movement and refocus it on the much broader goal of economic fairness.
For Friday's issue of the Portland Business Journal, I wrote about several of the group's new strategies, including the formation of a nonprofit called Friends of Occupy Portland.
"They're moving to more mainstream organizing tactics," said Ron Williams, executive director of the Portland nonprofit Oregon Action, which also advocates for economic justice.
It'll be interesting to see if the approach can win back some of the movement's once-robust support. As the story notes, 51 percent of Americans think the movement has "run its course," according to an April poll by NBC News and the Wall Street Journal.
The Portland Business Journal is a news partner with KATU.com