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The Race for Mayor 2012

Welcome to BikePortland's coverage of the 2012 mayoral election. Start with our in-depth interviews with the leading candidates: Jefferson Smith, Charlie Hales, and Eileen Brady. Then browse the stories below for more coverage.

Charlie Hales will be Portland's next mayor

Tuesday, November 6th, 2012
Charlie Hales
Your next mayor.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

(more...)

New documentary shows mayoral candidate Hales as Critical Mass supporter

Thursday, October 18th, 2012
Hales being interviewed in 2010 for
a documentary about Critical Mass.

Charlie Hales, the leading candidate for Portland mayor, rode undercover on Critical Mass during his previous tenure as a city council member. People who were on the 2001 ride say his presence — and his testimony about it that ran counter to the version being told by the Portland Police Bureau — had a major impact on how participants were treated. The story of Hales' involvement with the ride is part of a forthcoming documentary called Aftermass by local filmmaker Joe Biel.

Hales served as Transportation Commissioner during his stint on Portland City Council from 1993 to 2002.

Biel released an unfinished clip today that features an interview with Hales from August 2010 (when Hales was already considering a mayoral run) where he speaks about his decision to join the Critical Mass ride. "I wanted to see how people were being treated," he said. (more...)

Smith, Hales asked about bicycling goals at City Club debate

Friday, October 5th, 2012
Hales and Smith at City Club today.
(Image: Screen grab from live stream)

Mayoral candidates Jefferson Smith and Charlie Hales shared their visions at a City Club debate at the Governor Hotel in Portland today. The debate was moderated by Tracy Barry of KGW-TV. Transportation came up several times during the debate, and one of Barry's questions asked specifically about our bicycling goals.

Here's the question she posed:

The current City Council has committed Portland to pursuing policies that will lead to 25% of all the trips within the city to be made by bicycles and 25% by public transportation by 2030. Is this a realistic goal? And what will you do in the next four years to advance it; especially in light of tight budgets that have curtailed mass transit and may actually pit bicyclists against motorists in the quest for infrastructure improvements?

(more...)

The mayoral candidates weigh in on transportation funding

Thursday, September 27th, 2012

"The Bureau of Transportation has been facing budget challenges for several years; how will you as mayor create a sustainable source of revenue or otherwise ensure that the bureau has the resources it needs over the long haul?"
—Question for mayoral candidates at recent Women's Transportation Seminar luncheon

With the election just over a month away, it's time to get serious about deciding who will be our next mayor. A Survey USA poll released by KATU News last week showed that 34 percent say they'll vote for Charlie Hales, 29 percent are going for Jefferson Smith, and a whopping 37 percent are undecided.

That's a lot of undecideds.

On September 11th, Hales and Smith were guests at the monthly luncheon of the Portland chapter of the Women's Transportation Seminar, a group that promotes the advancement of women in the transportation industry. It wasn't a back-and-forth debate, but the candidates got into some good detail on important policy issues. I wasn't there, but I've obtained an audio recording of the event and want to share some of their answers with you.

One of the questions they were asked was about transportation funding. The question is below and it's followed by a transcript of each candidate's answer (which are pretty much verbatim, give or take a word or two):

"The Bureau of Transportation has been facing budget challenges for several years; how will you as mayor create a sustainable source of revenue or otherwise ensure that the bureau has the resources it needs over the long haul?"

Here's Jefferson Smith's answer: (more...)

Business coalition asks candidates about transportation

Wednesday, September 12th, 2012
Amanda Fritz-1.jpg
Active Transportation Debate at PSU-6Mayoral Candidate Jefferson Smith ride-12
Top: Fritz (L), Nolan. Bottom: Hales (L), Smith.

"The Value of Jobs", a coalition of Portland-area business groups that includes the Portland Business Alliance, has published its http://www.valueofjobs.com/candidate_ques/index.html for the City Council race between incumbent Amanda Fritz and her challenger Mary Nolan; and the mayoral race between Charlie Hales and Jefferson Smith. (more...)

My opinion on Charlie Hales' 'approach to active transportation'

Tuesday, September 11th, 2012
charlie hales bike sticker
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Last month, a who's-who from local active transportation planning and advocacy circles gathered around a table at the Charlie Hales for Mayor campaign headquarters on the central eastside. Hales called the meeting to have a "lively discussion" about walking, bicycling and transit. He asked questions. He took notes. Last night, Hales turned some of what he heard during that discussion into a blog post on the topic titled, Active Transportation for Portland today and tomorrow .

In the blog post, Hales wrote that we need to "further our progression" with active transportation because Portland's progress so far has, "helped our economy, health, fitness, air, congestion and worldwide reputation."

With less than two months before election day, the blog post gives voters a window into how Hales — a former City of Portland Commissioner of Transportation — would handle the bureau if he were elected. Below I'll share excerpts from his post and offer my opinion on what it might mean.

(more...)

Still undecided? Join us for a 'Mayoral Inquisition' next week

Monday, September 10th, 2012
Event poster detail. See full version below.

The Portland Mercury is putting on what should be a fun and informative Portland mayoral candidate debate next week. It's their "Mayoral Inquisition!" — an even that, according to Mercury reporter Sarah Mirk, will look to, "get away from the stiff, soundbite-inducing structure of a formal debate and instead have a public forum that's more conversational."

Mirk and Mercury News Editor Denis Theriault will be the chief inquisitors and they'll be joined by three members of the public: Public Defender Chris O'Connor, Social Services Advocate (and former City Council candidate) Karol Collymore, and yours truly.

This campaign has been tough to follow recently as personal ethics — not the big issues our city faces — have dominated the headlines. The Oregonian columnist Steve Duin had a good recap of the recent troubles of both Jefferson Smith and Charlie Hales in his piece yesterday, Can either candidate for Portland mayor be trusted?. (more...)

Follow up: Jefferson Smith's driving record includes 7 speeding tickets - UPDATED

Monday, August 20th, 2012

Following our story last week, more information has been revealed about mayoral candidate Jefferson Smith's driving record. His poor record, first brought to light months ago, was made public in greater detail by The Oregonian last week. Given that the way people operate their vehicles is an important transportation safety issue, I posted a story about this after reading about it in The Oregonian. The comment thread is full of a diverse range of reactions, and folks seem evenly split as to whether or not Smith's driving record matters.

Today, Jefferson Smith shared a more extensive and detailed account of his driving record with The Portland Mercury (as well as sharing a Q & A about it in the comments). Now we know his record includes a whopping seven speeding tickets between 1994 and 2009:

6/27/1994 - Speeding - 95 in 55
4/2/1995 - Speeding - 69 in 45
5/17/1995 - Speeding - 80 in 65
10/22/1995 - Speeding - 80 in 55
7/20/2002 - Speeding - 52 in 35
1/28/2003 - Speeding - 75 in 50
1/11/2009 - Speeding - 40 in 25

(more...)

Does Jefferson Smith's driving record, license suspensions matter to you?

Thursday, August 16th, 2012
Mayoral Candidate Jefferson Smith ride-12
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

The Oregonian's City Hall reporter Beth Slovic just published a new story about mayoral candidate Jefferson Smith's driving record. According to Slovic, who peered into Smith's personal driving records with his permission, Smith's license has been suspended a total of four times since 2004:

"State Rep. Jefferson Smith, a candidate for Portland mayor, acknowledged shortly after jumping into the mayor's race that his driver's license had been suspended in 2004.

But newly obtained records from Oregon Driver and Motor Vehicle Services show Smith received three additional suspensions, including one as recently as 2010.

On Jan. 12, 2010, records show that police in Woodburn cited Smith, then running for his second term in the Oregon House, for the improper display of stickers and failure to show proof of insurance. His license was suspended May 14, 2010, and Smith failed to have it reinstated until eight months later, in January 2011."

(more...)

Mayoral candidate takes voters on a ride

Tuesday, July 3rd, 2012
Mayoral Candidate Jefferson Smith ride-7
Mayoral candidate Jefferson Smith (R) chats
with Portland resident Joel Shapiro as they
ride on the Eastbank Esplanade.
(Photos © J. Maus/BikePortland)

Portland mayoral candidate Jefferson Smith has set himself apart from his challengers by not being much of an everyday bike rider. However, despite his lack of biking credentials, he managed to snag the endorsement of the Bike Walk Vote PAC. On Friday, he added to his bike-friendly profile by leading a Pedalpalooza ride.

Organized by volunteers with Bike Walk Vote, participants met on the Eastbank Esplanade and heard Smith speak on a variety of issues on stops along the river and throughout downtown. While Pedalpalooza is often connected to naked bike rides and costumed craziness, this ride was all about policy.

With a conversation stoked by Bike Walk Vote volunteer Michael O'Leary and questions from ride participants, we heard Smith explain his positions on everything from campaign finance to homelessness and from coal exports to the Columbia River Crossing project. (more...)

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