In just a couple of months, we will face an election that could change everything. You were thinking about Portland’s Mayoral race too, right? Well, that’s just it, not enough people are thinking about it, and this election will have a direct effect on our community. I’m here to give you a rundown on the candidates, who they are, and what they stand for, so you can take to the polls this November and know whom you are voting for.
Starting with our current mayor, Ted Wheeler is running for re-election. Before being elected mayor in 2016 Wheeler was the State Treasurer and a Multnomah County Chair. If re-elected he would be the first mayor since Vera Katz to be re-elected. In the primary, Wheeler finished with 49% of the vote, and he needed more than 50% to hold his position without going to the general election. As mayor, he wants to lead Portland as we recover from the economic fall due to COVID-19, continue to address homelessness, improve police services, and provide more rent protection. Also, he plans to transition Portland to all renewable energy by 2035 and support more BIPOC (black, indiginous, and people of color) small businesses.
Facing off against Wheeler in November is Sarah Iannarone, a local urban policy consultant and host of #ourportland podcast. Iannarone previously ran in 2016 but placed third in the primary. This time around she won 24% of the vote, enough to take Wheeler to the general election. If she won she would be the third woman to be mayor in Portland. She has a much more aggressive plan to address climate change by planning to transition to all clean energy by the year 2030 and fighting for free public transportation for everyone in Portland. Furthermore, she plans to institute a gun buyback program and expand programs like Portland Street Response. Among many other goals, she wants to remove armed police from all PPS schools.
Finally, there is a large movement to vote for Teressa Raidford as a write-in candidate. Raidford finished third in the primary with 8% of the vote. Raidford is the founder of Don’t Shoot PDX, and a trailblazer for the Black Lives Matter movement in Portland. Winning the election would make Raidford Portland’s first black mayor. She spent much of her summer fighting for racial justice, therefore she is not actively campaigning for mayor, but has told Portland Monthly she would be honored to serve. As for policy, she is pushing for a much larger step in police reform than what either of the other candidates are presenting, and will continue with the lawsuit that Don’t Shoot PDX has filed against the city of Portland and the Federal government for abuse of force. Raidford also told Portland Monthly that, “The system is racist, and until we define that new leadership, it won’t be dismantled.”
I hope you all take this as your first step into learning more about the mayoral candidates and take to the polls in November to vote for our city’s future.
Bailey , Everton. “Ted Wheeler, Sarah Iannarone Will Square off Again in November’s Portland Mayoral Race.” Oregonlive, Oregonlive, 21 May 2020, www.oregonlive.com/politics/2020/05/ted-wheeler-sarah-iannarone-will-square-off-again-to-be-portland-mayor-in-november.html.
Silverman, Julia. “Grassroots Organizers Are Pushing a Write-In Mayoral Campaign for This BLM Activist.” Portland Monthly, Portland Monthly, 15 Aug. 2020, www.pdxmonthly.com/news-and-city-life/2020/08/grassroots-organizers-are-pushing-a-write-in-mayoral-campaign-for-this-blm-activist.
“The Plan for Progress.” Sarah Iannarone for Portland Mayor, Friends of Sarah Iannarone , 2019, sarah2020.com/en/policies/.
“Our Progress.” Ted Wheeler for Portland Mayor, Friends of Ted Wheeler, 1 Aug. 2020, tedwheeler.com/our-progress/.