The Era of Insiders in City Hall is Over: District Representation Now

Last week I met with families in far East Portland during a National Night Out event. They described being left out of the city’s policies and resources. Heads nodded when I said we need more representation in City Hall, and that the way we get there is to restructure how the city works.

A man lamented that candidates always say good things during the election, but don’t follow through once in office. He asked what made me different. I said that part of the challenge candidates face once they’re elected is a structure that makes them more accountable to their assigned bureaus than to the people that got them elected. If elected, I will work to end this commission system so that our elected officials will fight on behalf of the people – not their bureaus. 

We also need districts for Portland City Council members. Of the 50 largest cities in the US, 47 elect all or part of their councils through geographic districts. Right now, all but one commissioner lives in SW, and none live East of Cesar E Chavez Blvd.

With districts, people from each area of the city would have an elected official who actually represents them, someone they can hold accountable. It’s also easier and less expensive to run for office in a single district, as opposed to city-wide. This is a critical step in creating a City Council that is representative of Portland. We can break the cycle of well-off West side city commissioners. 

I announced my districting platform on X-Ray Radio early Monday morning –
my interview is near the end of XRAY in the Morning. I’ll be updating my website soon with more of my platform.

August, 9, 2017