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Pep talk precedes day for the homeless

Mayor Scott Hill summarized Tuesday’s State of the City address and volunteer appreciation banquet by saying: “Tonight is about fun, celebrating and taking the time to recognize the people who make our community great,” said Hill. “I love McMinnville, and it’s clear our whole community loves McMinnville.”
Then arrived the morning after, when the Yamhill Community Action Partnership conducted its annual count of the hundreds of people homeless in McMinnville.
A persistent destitution is as much a part of the state of the city as improvements on Alpine Avenue. People trying to stay warm on a chilly night may not share the mayor’s jubilation.
Of course, the address was never intended as a scholarly examination of McMinnville’s good, bad and ugly. It was meant as a pep talk.
There’s nothing wrong with that. McMinnville needs solid marketing and public relations. Otherwise, it’s like going on a first date and confessing, “Frankly, I have problems.”
But it’s always important to understand the difference between reality and the reverie often viewed through the keyhole of public relations.
We hope in his 2020 address, Hill celebrates some victories in the battle against homelessness, while also outlining what remains to be done.

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