It’s Saturday, and I’m up at 7:30AM.  My new mantra is “be in bed by 10PM, no matter what.”

Bird songs, stream sounds, wind sounds…yea, it’s like I’m back in the Pacific Northwest.

Now more than ever we need a strategic immigration policy to recruit a entrepreneurial and innovative work force, in light of the global competition and the rising US deficit.  YOO HOO, people with good ideas, sweat and tears, and business!   The US needs you and wants you!!!

So today —

Stop going to NY, SF, or LA if you are immigrating to America — cities that are expensive, congested, incumbent, and taxed up to the eyeballs.

GO TO PORTLAND, OR — clean, progressive, educated, friendly, and possible.  They’ve got a few big multinationals like Intel and Nike, but more importantly they’ve got the tool and the space that you need to run a young and fast growing small and medium size business.  They’ve got open minded city planners.  They’ve got young people willing, able, and ready to make meaning.  They’ve got affordable housing.

They’ve got CHICKEN!  Delicious and affordable food like chicken are sold in street food carts, like Nong’s Kao Man Gai.  (I’m a baby vegetarian but if I ate meat I’d like this very much.)

Sure, there are homeless people, cigarette butts, and empty offices with For Rent signs.  But the positive outweighs the negatives.

Imagine a city!

Where there is a plaza in the city center that has been designed to feel and function like the “living room” for the city, where people hang out and talk to one another in fresh air.  Of course, you can always find more reasons not to do something, than to do something.  But, are you an entrepreneur or a lawyer?  Now you go and take a look for yourself!

At the conveyor belt sushi restaurant, a large, open, and happy space that felt like a cafeteria-meet-Brooklyn loft, I over heard a conversation between two young ladies in their 20’s, whose lips glistened with the fat of the fish, whose earrings dangling and shining like piercing armors, whose glasses of coke and beer clinked constantly.  They were just happy to be in this sunny and happy, vibrant place, talking about…”city planning,” “environmental design,” and “civic responsibilities!”

The taxi driver told me the story of his journey to settle in Portland.  He was at a bar in Sacramento one day, and met a woman who said how wonderful Portland was.  That night, he got on the overnight bus.  That was 24 years ago and now he has all of his family here, and a fleet of cars.  At PDX, he got out of the cab, and personally handed me his business card.  With his hands folded behind his back, and with a little nod and bow, he said: “If you ever move to Portland, consider me a friend.”

So folks, when you come here, please bring commerce back to your home country, and help the US reach deeper into another market with your privileged contacts,  thank you so much!