State, county and city officials announced Thursday that Clean Water Portland’s anti-fluoride referendum qualified for the May 2014 ballot with more than 33,000 valid signatures.
The group needed about 19,000 signatures to halt Portland’s plans — approved Sept. 12 by the Portland City Council — to add fluoride to the region’s drinking water.
But Clean Water Portland isn’t stopping with a referendum. The group is also pushing an anti-fluoride initiative which, if successful, would go further to prevent city officials from adding fluoride to Bull Run water, which serves about a quarter of the state.
“The referendum puts the genie in the bottle,” said Kim Kaminski, a Clean Water Portland organizer. “The initiative keeps the genie in the bottle.”
Raquel Bournhonesque, co-chairwoman of the Everyone Deserves Healthy Teeth coalition that backed the City Council’s fluoridation efforts, said the group would counter Clean Water Portland’s efforts. “When Portlanders are provided with accurate information they’ll be able to differentiate between myth and fact and they’ll land on the side of fluoridation,” she said.