Chris Piekarski 0

Move the Plaza 125 Sex Offender Clinic Now

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Dear Representatives: This is almost completely cut-and-pasted from a prior ipetition. That's how ridiculous this is ... the same business is having the same issue just months later. All changes will be designated by CAPITALIZED WORDS where the old petition's words were replaced. The old petition is at We are constituents expressing serious concern regarding a sex offender treatment clinic that is currently operating in the MILL PARK neighborhood. The organization, Whole Systems Counseling & Consultation, treats up to 200 sex offenders, some with violent backgrounds and many who are court-mandated to attend. We believe their location in MILL PARK, long established as a family-focused neighborhood, is completely inappropriate and unsafe. Incredibly, the Program Director of Whole Systems, Johneen Manno Verbeck, did not disclose the nature of her business when opening the clinic IN MARCH 2013 – although operating WITHIN BLOCKS OF A HIGH SCHOOL, AN ELEMENTARY SCHOOL, A PUBLIC LIBRARY, NUMEROUS APARTMENT COMPLEXES, SCHOOL BUS STOPS, AND (AMAZINGLY) STRIP CLUBS. Treating convicted criminals of sex crimes in a residential neighborhood begs full disclosure, community awareness and discussion, which never happened. Ms. Verbeck clearly took steps to keep the nature of her clinic (SEE NUMEROUS PRIOR NEWS COVERAGE) secret from our community. According to a large-scale Bureau of Justice Statistics (BJS) report on the recidivism rates of sex offenders (, 1994), it was found that 5.3 percent of sex offenders, within three years following their release, were rearrested -- again -- for another sex crime. We also find it morally reprehensible that the property owner, KW COMMERCIAL/GIBSON GROUP, rented the building to a business that “specializes in the treatment of adult males and females who have been convicted of a (felony) sexual offense.” Although commercially zoned, this is a residential area where children walk, play and live. In fact, our community only recently became aware of the clinic after AN OREGONIAN NEWSPAPER ARTICLE THAT RAN AFTER THE CENTER WAS OPEN AND ESTABLISHED. THE LAST NEIGHBORHOOD THAT DEALT WITH THIS DISCUSSED DEALING WITH THREATENING AND OFFENSIVE BEHAVIOR IN THIS PART OF THEIR PETITION AND WE DON'T CARE TO EXPERIENCE THIS. In response to Whole Systems we have unified and established the NEIGHBORS OF UPPER SE PORTLAND. We are mothers and fathers, grandparents, brothers and sisters, business owners – and we're worried for the safety of our children, and anyone else who is vulnerable to a potential offense or attack. Let's be clear: We have compassion for these individuals seeking professional help; we are not suggesting the closure of this clinic ALTOGETHER. We would like your support in our efforts to move Whole Systems to a more appropriate locale. There are many urban areas that won't pose a direct threat to any community. We also understand this situation may call for a more in-depth conversation -- one that could lead to proximity laws regarding sex offender clinics and nearby schools, after- school clubs, etc. Please sign this petition. Let's influence Whole Systems to leave our neighborhood and find a more appropriate location. Let’s keep a dialogue open with municipal leaders who can help ensure that we find a proper resolution that serves the whole community. FOR MORE INFO, GO TO WWW.PLAZA125SEXOFFENDERCLINIC.BLOGSPOT.COM

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