Splendid Cycles

10 biking advocates on Portland’s fast-changing mayoral race

Posted by on October 29th, 2015 at 10:35 am

Policymakers Ride - Gorge Edition-1

Former BTA Advocacy Manager Michelle Poyourow and BTA
Deputy Director Steph Noll: undecided voters.
(Photos: J.Maus/BikePortland)

Last week, the spring 2016 race for Portland mayor looked like a hard-fought duel between two very similar people. On Monday, when Mayor Charlie Hales dropped out, it briefly raised the possibility of a coronation for the remaining major candidate, State Treasurer Ted Wheeler.

By Wednesday, it once again seemed clear that this will be a race. State House Majority Leader Jennifer Williamson, former Metro Councilor Robert Liberty and Portland Association of Teachers President Gwen Sullivan said they’re considering runs. Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury and Multnomah County Chief Operating Officer Marissa Madrigal have both been conspicuously silent so far.

Amid all this, we wondered what the city’s bike advocates have been thinking. So we asked a bunch of them.

Lisa Marie White of the Portland political action committee Bike Walk Vote, which was active during the previous mayoral cycle:

I’ve had a lot of thoughts about the mayoral race, but ultimately I’m realizing that we need to get a questionnaire and interview from Wheeler (and ideally get some other people to run. I have a couple in mind who I’ve reached out to… will keep you posted if any are starting to sway). None of the current rumored challengers are particularly pro-bike nor interested in making this a part of their platform/sell to voters, which sucks.

BWV is currently dormant, but now that Hales is out, I think it might be important to revive it for endorsements. If we don’t have a voice in the race, especially the way it’s currently shaping up, I fear active transportation will remain a side issue. Wheeler is not an advocate, though he’s not an enemy. He needs a push.

Michelle Poyourow, former advocacy manager for the Bicycle Transportation Alliance:

“Someone who knows bullshit when they see it.”
— former BTA advocacy manager Michelle Poyourow on the ideal mayoral candidate for bike advocates

I don’t have any particularly bikey or transportation-progressive people in mind whom I think should run. All kinds of people come to the conclusion that bikes are a good investment, and our transportation system needs radical reform, whom I wouldn’t identify as being part of that “culture.” They just do the math, or trust good advisors who themselves do the math. I’m thinking of Bloomberg, Novick, others like them.

I will have to think about who in the city is smart and ballsy and experienced enough to be a good mayor. It might not be someone who currently gets the “bike” vote. But it is someone who knows bullshit when they see it.

Rob Sadowsky, executive director at the BTA:

We know that big changes to make big streets safe will require dedicated, passionate leadership to build broad support. Let me clear, when I say big streets safe, I am calling for a comprehensive network of protected bike lanes on arterial streets. The next mayor of Portland should emphasize safety over speed and continue to grow the best network possible to ensure that all of our neighborhoods are twenty-minute neighborhoods. It will require competencies in coalition building and experience partnering with various partners, especially community based organizations that are on the front-line of important issues such as affordable housing, building real economic opportunities for Portland residents and rebuilding trust.

BTA is launching a “Bike the Vote” effort. Advocates can get involved by helping write our candidate questionnaire, turn out to forums and debates. We will provide easy toolkits. … The best way to get involved with Bike the Vote is to contact Carl Larson at carl@btaoregon.org. He’ll be leading up the citizen action part of that work. We are meeting later this afternoon to put a timeline and rough outline together.

Amy Subach of Portland-based advocacy group Vision Zero USA:

Amy Subach of Vision Zero USA,
with her husband and children.
(Photo: Megan Gray via Subach)

The first season of the mayoral race taught us that “back to basics” is no longer a winning position. Portland needs leaders with a strong vision for Portland’s future, leaders who love our city and relish the challenge of guiding our impending population growth instead of letting the market do its thing. Who is going to guide the city?

We loved seeing Wheeler and Hales compete to be more street-safety oriented and bike friendly. We talked with Wheeler about the R[eturn] O[n] I[nvestment] of pedestrian comfort, and he seems to get it. We hope that Whoever runs against keeps him on his toes about active transportion (ha ha pun alert), and we think that the commissioner races become a good venue for our city to continue this conversation.

There’s the bigger issue of the (dis)functionality of the structure our city government, and the confusing interplay between the city, county, and Metro.

The local advocates are doing a great job, and we think they can and should ask for more from mayoral candidates than bike rides. We need someone with a vision for the edges of the city as well as the center, which includes not only better safety/infrastructure but also better transit and walkable “20 minute neighborhoods.” Improving the edges would reduce the pressure of displacement.

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Emily Guise, co-chair of BikeLoudPDX:

I guess I’d like to see someone run for mayor that doesn’t look like the current city council line up- someone youngish, with a lot of energy, maybe a person of color, who’s not from inner/SW Portland. And who mainly bikes or takes transit! I think advocates now are looking at the big picture- a lot of envisioning the future, especially with the Comp Plan being updated, and with housing and affordability being such important issues to address. I feel like collaboration is the future of advocacy and of Portland- groups that don’t seem to have much in common banding together to present a united front on issues to their local legislators, lawmakers and regional powers.

Bike Temple Joy of Sects Ride-3

Ted Buehler.

Ted Buehler, co-chair of BikeLoudPDX:

My question is “what are you doing to ‘think big’ for bicycling and other green transportation?”

As a frequent visitor to Portland in the 1990s and early 2000s, I was always impressed to see big urban livability projects moving forward. Lots of what was built in that era was unique in the US, and has had long-lasting benefits. Steel Bridge lower path and Eastbank Esplanade. Mixed streetcar and plaza space at PSU’s Urban Center. Mixed sidewalk, street and parking on NW 13th. And infrastructure from before the 1990s also, like the Skidmore Fountain Plaza with mixed light rail and pedestrians.

Since I moved here in 2008, the big vision projects appear to have ground to a halt. The Tilikum Bridge is the only really big piece that’s gone in, and the execution of the facility is so lacking that it doesn’t jump out to users as an example of a world-changing innovation.

Last month I visited Europe for the first time, I spent a month traveling by bicycle and train, and saw for myself what low-car cities and towns look like. They look a lot like PSU’s Urban Center, like Skidmore Fountain, or like NW 13th. They don’t look like SW Oak/Stark, they don’t look like the Rose Quarter Transit Center, they don’t look like N Williams. All of these are good, important steps in the right direction, but the deliverables are sorely lacking when compared to either European cities or what Portland planners and leaders did in the 1990s.

The past successes were the result of leadership at the mayoral level, and Portland is poised to implement more Big Vision projects. The constituency is ready, but leadership has lacked the political will needed to make them happen.

So, my question for anyone interested in being mayor of Portland is “What big plans do you or your supporters have? What are you going to do to transition Portland into a truly multimodal, low-car city? How will you wrangle support from constituents to do it? Fund it?”

Stephanie Noll, deputy director at the BTA:

With Director Leah Treat’s leadership on Vision Zero within the Portland Bureau of Transportation, having a mayor that was a true Vision Zero champion would create a real dream team that could really transform Portland streets into safe, inviting places to walk and bike. Portland also has a real opportunity to incorporate equity into our vision for safety in way that other cities have yet to do. Vision Zero fatalities, Zero serious injuries, Zero disparities in infrastructure investments in our lower income neighborhoods. That’s the kind of leadership I want to see from Portland’s next mayor.

Gerik Kransky, advocacy director at the BTA:

Utrecht study tour-37

BTA Advocacy Director Gerik Kransky.

We need a candidate for Mayor who is willing stand in support of historically disenfranchised Portlanders and ensure that City Government works for them. On housing, taxation, and transportation we have systemic challenges facing people of color and low-income communities. Overcoming disparities in access to affordable housing, transportation choices, and economic opportunities will take real leadership. We need a Mayor who is willing to stand up to Oregon’s pay-to-play politics and lead on behalf of our truly progressive electorate. As advocates we should be focused on elevating voices of women and people of color, ideally as mayoral candidates.

Chris Smith, planning commissioner and former city council candidate:

I think somebody needs to start educating Ted about active transportation issues, along the lines of what was discussed at the PSU panel last week.

I’m not sure it makes sense to try to recruit a bikey candidate to get into the race, although a well-rounded candidate who’s good on bike issues would probably be a nice addition.

I kind of hope someone runs on an equity platform. There are some important discussions that should be part of this race.

And finally, just for fun we’ll quote in full an unsolicited email we received on Monday from someone who once considered running for mayor himself: former Metro President David Bragdon. Here’s what he said about the current Portland mayoral situation under the subject line “Freedom”:

Now Charlie can lead the crusade to oust ODOT from the urban region, without too much fear of their legendary retribution!

Certainly Bragdon thinks that needs to happen. Wherever things go from here, we’ll be watching to see what happens next.

— Michael Andersen, (503) 333-7824 – michael@bikeportland.org

NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are productive, considerate, and welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. If you see a mean or inappropriate comment, please contact us and we'll take a look at it right away. Also, if you comment frequently, please consider holding your thoughts so that others can step forward. Thank you — Jonathan

61 Comments
  • dwk October 29, 2015 at 10:53 am

    Since none of these people or their groups seem to do anything for cycling in this town, why do we care what they think?
    What were any of them doing the last 10 years while the biggest piece of transportation infrastructure was being planned and built?
    Complete and total fail by the BTA.
    As someone who commutes 130 miles a week in this city by bike, I thank these groups for nothing…….

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    • Chris I October 29, 2015 at 12:14 pm

      And what are you doing, other than riding your bike a lot?

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      • dwk October 29, 2015 at 12:27 pm

        I am not being paid a salary to advocate for bicycle planning…..

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        • Alex Reed October 29, 2015 at 12:43 pm

          Neither is Emily Guise, Ted Buehler, Chris Smith, Michelle Poyourow, Lisa Marie White, or Amy Subach. In fact, that means a solid majority of the folks interviewed are volunteers just like you could be!

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          • buildwithjoe October 29, 2015 at 4:28 pm

            Actually Michelle draws her salary directly from many political insiders who turn a blind eye to the CRC freeway and a host of questionable issues of slow progress on bikes in Portland. She’s friends with the CRC Rex burkholder who fasttracked the CRC she a metro commissioner

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            • Alex Reed October 29, 2015 at 5:13 pm

              I hesitated when listing Michelle. Yes, I believe she is an independent consultant on transportation issues now, if I’m not mistaken?

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            • Wells October 31, 2015 at 12:54 am

              Regarding the CRC, the proposed double-deck bridge lower level ped/bikeway arrangement was a major error in design. All double-deck bridge proposals reduced river clearance below the Coast Guard standard and pitifully lose the most important advantage a single-deck bridge design offers – a 3-lane transit/pedway span (alongside a reduced width 5-lane southbound span) creates an emergency access corridor. Duh. The northbound span remains 6-lanes to handle afternoon rush hour traffic.

              The Hayden Island Interchange proposal Concept ‘D’ was the only other major error in the CRC design. Metro and Hayden Island Neighborhood Association have copies of a design called “Low Level Access” – ‘low’ by eliminating the 3rd central underpass. It’s much safer than Concept ‘D’ for sure. This ‘Low Level Access’ design replaces Concept#1 Off-island Access in my “Gemstone Bridge” proposal. The CRC is very soon to be revived. The horrible Marine Drive Interchange needs to be replaced yesterday; no thanks to Port of Portland Director Bill Bryant who IMO should be fired. And the local bridge/MAX extension to Jantzen Beach is best built at the same time, with the single-deck Gemstone to follow using most of the CRC commission’s preliminary study. Please pass this info on to all candidates.

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              • Wells October 31, 2015 at 10:53 am

                Make that Port of Portland director Bill Wyatt. Bill Bryant is Port of Seattle director (Washington Governor wannabee) who shouldn’t escape culpability in how the CRC went down, especially as Terminal 6 container shippers moved to Puget Sound.

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  • kiel johnson
    kiel johnson October 29, 2015 at 11:00 am

    I want someone who rides a bike!

    We need some deverse presepectives on city council. Diveristy in transportation mode choice, neighborhood, and background. We need someone who has a history of turning plans into reality and not just another plan.

    We need someone who can inspire people to believe that Portland can achieve great things. Let’s not forget about our city council races, with our powerless mayoral system city council seats are just as important!

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    • Adam Herstein
      Adam Herstein October 29, 2015 at 11:44 am

      I’d take even just a car-free mayor. It’s amazing that there are still so many public officials and people that work for transportation agencies that don’t take public transport or bike at all; yet seem to love touting our bike and train infra to other cities. We need someone with a perspective other than behind the windshield.

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      • Middle of the Road guy October 29, 2015 at 2:17 pm

        One does not have to be an artist to appreciate the need for art.

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      • longgone October 30, 2015 at 1:43 am

        We had a car free mayor, his name was Sam Adams.

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        • dwk October 30, 2015 at 8:27 am

          Actually, Adams never rode a bike to work…
          He was a complete phony….

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          • Bert October 30, 2015 at 10:39 am

            Best phony we ever had then

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          • longgone October 30, 2015 at 1:43 pm

            That’s funny… i lived not far from him and saw quite a different scenario.

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            • longgone October 30, 2015 at 1:45 pm

              I see I used the phrase car fee… I’m sure Mayor Adams owned a car, but i passed him on his bike all the time. just my two cents.

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        • Steve B October 30, 2015 at 1:48 pm
  • wsbob October 29, 2015 at 11:23 am

    “…Let me clear, when I say big streets safe, I am calling for a comprehensive network of protected bike lanes on arterial streets. …rob sadowsky

    The next person stepping up, should be somebody, as mayor of Portland, that would be able to recognize and support the potential for practical biking to play a life blood role in meeting the travel needs so many people have, of Portland’s streets.

    It’s getting to be ancient history now, but anxiety over Portland, and nearby cities possibly running into a crisis of not being able to have its roads and streets sufficiently meet growing travel needs by motor vehicle, in no small part spurred broad public support for the creation of bike lanes on existing road right of ways.

    Portland doesn’t yet really have an ‘amsterdam’ style neighborhood in which the streets have percentages of people walking and biking approaching that of the Netherlands’ city. Though it may be getting closer, gradually, to a neighborhood here, of that type, and the next person that becomes mayor would hopefully be aware of this and actively encourage its development.

    Which by the way, brings to mind a recent story from the Oregonian about the Pearl intersection…11th and Couch, or Davis, I think, set to get signaling to allow for what’s referred to as a ‘scramble’. Signaling would allow pedestrians to go any direction, including diagonally, when the the scramble signal is activated. Looking forward to seeing how this type signal works for that very busy part of NW Portland.

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  • Anne Hawley
    Anne Hawley October 29, 2015 at 11:30 am

    Of all these responses (thanks for collating them, by the way–excellent reporting), I think I like Michelle Poyourow’s the best on a general policy level. Nobody here, I don’t think, wants candidates who are afraid to mention the B-word, but bikes should be an unquestioned part of a transportation policy, and I’d much rather elect someone who gets that: “A truly multi-modal city” (Buehler), “ROI on pedestrian comfort” (Subach)–a candidate who understands and can lead on the premise that expenditures on non-car transportation are a good investment.

    And I agree about a thousand percent with everyone who mentions equity. Give me a candidate who loudly embraces – perhaps even embodies – Portland’s crying need for diverse voices from other than the pool of white, middle-class, middle-aged, and most-likely-male homeowners in the close-in neighborhoods. That mayor could raise more voices for equitable transportation than anyone we’ve seen in City Hall…probably ever.

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    • BeavertonRider October 30, 2015 at 2:34 pm

      Please stop with the meaningless and stereotypical identity politics game, please. All white men don’t think alike just as someone of color does not belong to some politically monolithic racial group.

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  • Bald One October 29, 2015 at 11:36 am

    I’d like to see a mayor with some interest in starting the process for long-term solutions to Portland area air-quality problems. (Diesel emissions from old trucks and engines operating in the city being a good place to start). Who wants to ride through black clouds on a regular basis?

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  • Spiffy October 29, 2015 at 12:28 pm

    I really appreciate groups like Bike Walk Vote compiling a list of acceptable candidates that we can feel comfortable voting for without having to do our own research…

    not to be sheep but these groups have already done the research and can usually suggest good candidates…

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    • Anne Hawley
      Anne Hawley October 29, 2015 at 12:35 pm

      I don’t think it’s “sheepish” at all. For my entire voting life, I’ve referred to secondary sources that I trust for voting advice. I could read all the statements and articles myself, but it seems like a much better use of my time and brain to read three or four digests provided by groups I belong to and news outlets I trust, and triangulate from there.

      So yes. Yay for BWV and other groups who take on the original research.

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    • buildwithjoe October 29, 2015 at 4:25 pm

      You mean acceptable to the few insiders of the Board of the PAC. Only the Board of the Bike Walk Pac can vote on the endorsements.

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  • Buzz October 29, 2015 at 12:49 pm

    After listening to him command the stage at the recent BikePortland 10th anniversary party, I think Jonathan Maus himself would make an excellent candidate, and I told Michael Anderson so at the time.

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  • AndyC of Linnton October 29, 2015 at 1:30 pm

    I’d like someone who embraces Vision Zero and the 2030 bike plan.
    Or at least someone who has HEARD of them!

    Recommended Thumb up 1

    • soren October 29, 2015 at 2:12 pm

      They all embrace those plans…they just aren’t willing to fund them.

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      • BeavertonRider October 30, 2015 at 12:38 am

        Affordable housing. Homelessness. Etc, etc, etc..

        Without demanding more tax levies, where does the $ come from?

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        • Brian October 30, 2015 at 10:23 am

          Weed, man. It will solve everything.

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        • soren October 30, 2015 at 8:31 pm

          I enthusiastically support increased taxation of the wealth and income of people in the upper quintiles.

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  • nuovorecord October 29, 2015 at 1:55 pm

    I think a candidate who follows Bragdon’s advice first, sets the stage for the next big step forward in Portland with regards to bicycles.

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  • mark October 29, 2015 at 2:27 pm

    dwk
    Since none of these people or their groups seem to do anything for cycling in this town, why do we care what they think? What were any of them doing the last 10 years while the biggest piece of transportation infrastructure was being planned and built? Complete and total fail by the BTA. As someone who commutes 130 miles a week in this city by bike, I thank these groups for nothing…….Recommended 9

    As I have learned, the BTA is not a political lobbying arm like some think they are. Keep that in mind.

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    • dwk October 29, 2015 at 2:31 pm

      They have a huge staff, what do they do, seriously?

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    • dwk October 29, 2015 at 2:34 pm

      The Bicycle Transportation Alliance ® is a non-profit membership organization working to promote bicycling and improve bicycling conditions in Oregon. Since 1990, the BTA has worked in partnership with citizens, businesses, community groups, government agencies, and elected officials to create communities where people can meet their daily transportation needs on a bike.

      Our Mission

      The Bicycle Transportation Alliance creates healthy, sustainable communities by making bicycling safe, convenient and accessible.

      Our Vision

      Bicycling transforms communities by reinventing transportation and offering solutions for the universal challenges facing health, livability and the environment.

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      • dwk October 29, 2015 at 2:35 pm

        This is their mission statement, do you feel that the access to the new Tilikum bridge is convenient and safe?

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      • Alex Reed October 29, 2015 at 2:41 pm

        The BTA is about half and half (staff & money wise) between implementing government contracts to educate kids about biking (Safe Routes to Schools, awesome!) and “soft-ball” public education & advocacy & lobbying. They are really good at what they haven chosen to do, which is not everything. If they tried to do everything, they would be bad at everything.

        They are not in the business of playing hardball politics about biking (campaign contributions, endorsing candidates, fighting candidates who are big obstacles, get out the vote, strong lobbying), nor do they need to be. In my opinion, that should be BikeLoudPDX’s niche once BikeLoudPDX (a year and a few months old) gets its legs under it and forms a 501c(4) and/or PAC. Or Bike Walk Vote if it can become a healthy organization. BikeLoudPDX may go through an intermediate stage of being a 501c(3) subgroup under Umbrella before forming a sister 501c(4) which can endorse candidates, etc.

        This seems like a perfectly healthy division of labor to me, and allows the bike community to play “good cop/bad cop” in an effective manner.

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        • Alex Reed October 29, 2015 at 2:44 pm

          Also in BikeLoudPDX’s camp: “in-your-face” outside-city-hall and outside-the-legislature activism – rallies, protests, etc.

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          • dwk October 29, 2015 at 2:48 pm

            Thanks for clarifying…

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          • buildwithjoe October 29, 2015 at 6:45 pm

            Bike loud is now limited to 10% or less of work to influence legislation and may not endorse anything like a person, or petition.

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            • Alex Reed October 29, 2015 at 7:07 pm

              Not true. We are not a 501c(3). We are not ANYTHING except for (soon) an Oregon non-profit corporation, which can correspond to a number of federal tax statuses, including 501c(4)s, which can do lots of electoral activities. The Bus Project, which does get-out-the-vote, candidate advocacy, etc. galore is a 501c(4).

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        • Alex Reed October 29, 2015 at 3:12 pm

          Also to clarify – BikeLoudPDX probably WILL got through a 501c(3)-only phase given that my very-501c(4)-heavy opinion is in a minority in leadership as far as I can tell. 501c(3)’s are restricted in what they can do – but this would allow outside-of-city-hall activism/protests/etc., some inside-of-city-hall-and-the-legislature lobbying (playing “bad cop” to the extent that we say “funding highway expansion at ALL is crazy, ODOT!” to shift the window of what is politically reasonable, then letting the BTA follow up with a “compromise” proposal that actually gets somewhere because they don’t look like the crazy bike freaks), and organization-building. But my opinion is that, to be truly effective and change the face of Portland biking, we MUST have a strong 501c(4)/PAC voice for biking in the future.

          Having only 501c(3)s in Portland/Oregon (1000 Friends of Oregon, BTA, etc.) fighting powerful and well-funding 501c(4)s, super PACs, business owners, etc. (Oregon HBA, road contractor lobbyists, etc.) is in my opinion why you see the Oregon Democratic party being so weak-kneed on environment and transportation issues. We need to change this and fight fire with fire, no more knife-to-a-gun-fight battles. We’ll still be using a pistol vs. the conservative business lobbies’ automatic weapons, but we have facts and a passionate populace on our side.

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          • soren October 29, 2015 at 4:40 pm

            Alex…I’m firmly in the 501c(4) camp now.

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            • Alex Reed October 29, 2015 at 5:31 pm

              woot! We’re number 4! We’re number 4!

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            • Adam Herstein
              Adam Herstein October 29, 2015 at 9:58 pm

              Count me in for 501c(4) as well.

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  • mark October 29, 2015 at 2:29 pm

    The reality is, most politicians see people who bike as a voting block…just as they see people who drive.

    Guess which has more people -in their mind?

    Until the people stand up again, like they did to rip down the waterfront highway, we are nothing but pawns.

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    • Alex Reed October 29, 2015 at 3:52 pm

      I doubt they see either group as a voting bloc; I doubt many people vote based on bike issues. If we change that, then people who bike will be a voting bloc and people who drive still won’t be.

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      • buildwithjoe October 29, 2015 at 6:43 pm

        Oregon politicians know cyclists are all talk/blog and no turnout in person/cash to help them get in office. Other than the lesson slapped to Mitch Greenlick for his proposed dialog by passing a law to ban kids on bikes w parents. The cargo bike community had a one day revolt. Nada since. ODOT goes unchecked and considers bike loud toothless.

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        • Alex Reed October 29, 2015 at 7:16 pm

          Sure! From ODOT leadership perspective, BikeLoud IS mostly toothless now (a little bit of bad publicity being the only tiny exception). The question is, is BikeLoud on a path to IN THE FUTURE have teeth? That is the big question of BikeLoud and it’s up to you and me and other BikeLouders to answer it with “Yes, and we’re willing to do the work to make it happen!”

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        • wsbob October 30, 2015 at 11:33 am

          “…Other than the lesson slapped to Mitch Greenlick for his proposed dialog by passing a law to ban kids on bikes w parents. …” buildwithjoe

          Enthusiasm is fine, but it might help to at least try be a bit accurate in making accusations, and try to keep the rhetoric from going hysterical.

          The law Greenlick facetiously proposed, addressed the obviously inherent safety issue of children hauled about in lightweight bike trailers being directly exposed to collisions with motor vehicles.

          Even had the proposal never have had a ghost of a chance of being made law…which it didn’t…the proposal had the potential to direct discussion onto a very important part of what good infrastructure for practical biking needs to have…which is that a number of practical biking routes throughout the city, should be built to offer protection from motor vehicle traffic, to people transporting their kids in bike trailers, (as well as other people riding bikes and that don’t feel safe or comfortable contending with the hazard to biking that motor vehicle traffic poses).

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  • buildwithjoe October 29, 2015 at 4:20 pm

    2 people from the fake bike PAC? A PAC where members were asked for membership dues but no votes. Complete insider favor trading. Its now RIP bike walk vote PAC.

    Join me and other pissed of cyclists in forming a democratic bike PAC like San Francisco !!! Call me at (414) 465-8805

    Some members of this new PAC are loosely related to bikeloudPDX.org

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  • gutterbunnybikes October 29, 2015 at 8:40 pm

    There is a lot more on the table than just bicycles. It’s something to consider and could be an issue that swings my vote from two candidates which I find equally appealing (or perhaps better stated as the least appauling), but nothing ever good comes from a population of single issue voters.

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    • Eric Leifsdad October 31, 2015 at 3:46 pm

      If a mayor is on the right side of most of the major issues, can you imagine they would not bike to work? Climate change, pollution, sustainable energy, congestion, productivity, livability, equity, local economics, pavement, even freight benefits from removing SOVs from the road.

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  • inwe October 29, 2015 at 10:06 pm

    there are any number of important policy and planning questions for which we, as a city, need answers: “how can we better grow and accommodate population growth?” “what more can we do to meet our (transportation, housing, environment, vision zero, etc) goals?” “what can we do to become a healthier, safer, more equitable community for all portlanders?” these are just a few of those questions. unfortunately, for many city leaders, advocacy groups, neighborhoods, and individuals the answers are all the same: “nothing! we’re fine, thanks!” (*and cue angry, ignorant comments about parking).

    i’ll be voting for the first candidate that has the spine to stand up and explain that “nothing” is not one of the options. you can either contribute to that discussion in a meaningful way, or you can get out of the way.

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    • Jeff Snavely October 30, 2015 at 3:16 pm

      I’d rather hear someone asking “is growth a worthwhile goal”. That person gets it.

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      • inwe October 30, 2015 at 6:46 pm

        Jeff, you have entirely missed the point. Just like children and puppies, growth is not a choice. It is happening. A combination of climate, environment, and the work of generations of Oregonians have long made this a lovely place to be. Unfortunately, the secret is out! Growth is going to continue to happen. Seriously, what are the alternatives? Walling off the city? Apocalyptic natural disaster? Perhaps ebola in the water supply?

        We can work together to try to guide how Portland grows, but we cannot stop it. We have plenty of options, anywhere from thoughtful garden to aggressive cancer, but not taxidermy.

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  • BeavertonRider October 30, 2015 at 12:22 am

    Gerik Kransky, “We need a candidate for Mayor who is willing stand in support of historically disenfranchised Portlanders and ensure that City Government works for them.”

    What does this even mean? Standing in support of something is the height of do-nothingism.

    Who are these historically disenfranchised people? And how would the City work to empower those without power (whatever that might mean) or without privilege (again, whatever that might mean). Unless he’s talking about those deprived of their right to vote which is specific and fixable.

    “On housing, taxation, and transportation we have systemic challenges facing people of color and low-income communities. Overcoming disparities in access to affordable housing, transportation choices, and economic opportunities will take real leadership.”

    Well, you have to first demonstrate that these alleged systemic challenges actually exist. I know the systemic challenge meme is the current leftist fad, but repeating it doesn’t make it true.

    Then you have to demonstrate that whatever these supposed challeneges are that the local government can and is the appropriate actor to even try to “address” these supposed challeneges. Though, I suspect the only way to address these supposed challenges is taking more money from residents for dubious housing, education, and transportation programs that are nothing more than more of the same.

    “We need a Mayor who is willing to stand up to Oregon’s pay-to-play politics and lead on behalf of our truly progressive electorate.”

    Amd there it is… Progressivism. The local religion of choice it seems. Progressives are the worst hypocrites. It’s really just a matter of being more progressive to solve contemporary problems, right? Contemporary Portland-style Progressivism has not led us to where we are today, right? So lets have more of the same. Sheesh.

    “As advocates we should be focused on elevating voices of women and people of color, ideally as mayoral candidates.”

    Once again, a progressive is not without their gross identity politics baggage.

    And trust me, people like this guy only cares about women who think like him. I cannot imagine this guy ever wanting to elevate the voice of a Carly Fiorina or the voice of Ben Carson. Nope.

    In all that this guy said there was not a substantive idea that would help this City. Instead it was all code words and dog whistling to his progressive cohorts.

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    • Brad October 30, 2015 at 11:26 am

      Amen! The BTA’s chief lobbyist just regaled us with a largely meaningless statement full of buzz phrases and wonk words without any mention of…BICYCLES OR ALTERNATIVE TRANSPORTATION! No wonder things have stalled on the infrastructure and safety front. It isn’t a lack of political will, lobbying clout, or funding like we all thought. It is our failure to elect a working class Latina Bernie Sanders as mayor.

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  • Ted Buehler October 30, 2015 at 8:47 am

    Thanks for compiling and publishing these thoughts and opinions, Michael.

    Now we all need to refresh ourselves on how to be involved in shaping campaign issues to make sure that bicycles remain a front-row topic as the roster of candidates solidifies.

    Keep up the pressure, folks. Social media, face-to-face encounters with candidates, etc.

    Ted Buehler

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  • Eric Leifsdad October 30, 2015 at 11:58 am

    I would like to elect the world’s first velomobile mayor.

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  • Evan Manvel October 30, 2015 at 8:48 pm

    First, 501(c)(3)s *can* work on petitions, ballot measures, etc. Though there are limits to that (if they’ve filed for the (h) exemption, 20% of their budget for small nonprofits and less for larger)
    https://www.councilofnonprofits.org/taking-the-501h-election

    Second, for those interested in biking and equity issues, it’s notable Robert Liberty has been “loosely mulling” running.
    http://www.oregonlive.com/portland/index.ssf/2015/10/former_metro_councilor_robert.html

    As the former Executive Director of 1000 Friends of Oregon (and my former boss), Liberty is a strong advocate for transportation choices, and one of the main forces in the birth of the Coalition for a Livable Future, which created the Regional Equity Atlas and served as a model for equity-focused advocacy groups in the country.
    https://www.friends.org/issues/housing

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  • Ted Buehler October 31, 2015 at 6:13 pm

    Alex Reed wrote:
    “BikeLoud IS mostly toothless now (a little bit of bad publicity being the only tiny exception).”

    Alex — While we may not have teeth, I think we should give ourselves credit for being pretty influential.

    I’ve heard from a number of people, from inside PBOT and outside, that our Clinton campaign is the reason that PBOT staff were able to have enough political cover to develop the new Greenway Guidelines. Which are, in turn about to transform Clinton St. and hopefully other greenways as well.

    Influence can be gained without teeth. Often more easily than *with* teeth, as you need to be more strategic and make more friends along the way. Which makes you effective in subtle ways that use of teeth would hinder.

    (I’ve been thinking about this for the last day or so since I read your comment, it’s a bit of a topic-drift for this post, but not entirely –I think it is central because the bicycle constituency is more of a swing voting group and so benefits more from mayors who need to earn the appreciation of bicyclists rather than those that campaign on a pro-bicycle platform).

    Ted Buehler

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