It is Monday evening and this customer is only the fifth one to visit Taco City in southwest Portland today. Jorge Crisal owns Taco City, which is located at Hillsdale food cart park near Ida B. Wells High School.
Since the PPS teacher strike started on November 1st, business has decreased by approximately 75%. The park is noticeably empty, and we are hardly getting any customers, especially without the children. The employees at neighboring food carts share Jorge’s concerns. They appreciate customers like Nathan Butler, who make an effort to visit during the strike, as they do not want these businesses to suffer and potentially close down. Some restaurants are supporting teachers and students during the strike.
Laughing Planet is offering a 20% discount to teachers on the picket lines, and they are also providing free meals to students who qualify for free lunch. All of this is an effort to make things a little easier for those affected. Other businesses are also joining in.
For example, Bang Bang Cocktails and Curry is offering teachers happy hour pricing all day. Double Mountain Brewery and Tap Room is giving teachers and parents with school kids at home a 10% discount from noon to 5.
At the food carts, the situation is getting dire, as we are struggling to make any profit. Jorge emphasizes that each passing day makes it harder and raises more questions about how they can sustain this situation. There are likely other restaurants and businesses willing to help striking teachers. If you are aware of any, please email your tips to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will compile a list and add it to our website, as we are all in this together.
Thank you, Catherine, and stay with us at KGW..