Latest mayoral candidate is an urban planning wonk who commutes on a folding e-bike

IANNARONE 1K FRIENDS 200X260

Sarah Iannarone

Sarah Iannarone, a doctoral candidate in the venerable Nohad A. Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning at Portland State University, is running for Portland mayor. The Willamette Week reported the news earlier today and a source tells us Iannarone will make an official announcement this Thursday at 11:00 am in front of City Hall.

According to the Willamette Week, Iannarone was encouraged to run by none other than our current mayor Charlie Hales. The connection? Iannarone works with Nancy Hales at First Stop Portland, an organization housed at Portland State University that shows off Portland’s livability and urban planning successess to delegations from around the globe.

Iannarone, 42, joins Oregon State Treasurer Ted Wheeler and Multnomah County Commissioner Jules Bailey in a race that so far has failed to muster excitement from Portland’s large number of urban planning and transportation wonks.

Here’s more from The Willamette Week on what her entry means to the race:

Iannarone’s candidacy would add an element of unpredictability to a race that was shaping up as a head-to-head contest between Wheeler and Bailey.

With her experience advocating bicycle transportation and greater urban density, Iannarone could siphon the votes of Portland’s young liberals away from Bailey. Those votes are crucial in the May primary, where voters are usually older and more conservative.

But her candidacy also increases the likelihood of a runoff in the November general election. In a presidential election year, like this one, November voters are often younger and more liberal. That could be bad news for Wheeler, a Democrat seen as the more conservative candidate in the race.

iannarone=firststop

An image from the First Stop Portland website.

Iannarone doesn’t just sing the praises of urban cycling at her day job, she has more real-life, everyday cycling experience than either Bailey or Wheeler. A quick scroll through her Twitter timeline shows that Iannarone commutes to work year-round on a folding electric bike.

https://twitter.com/SarahSvati/status/663759069623140352

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https://twitter.com/SarahSvati/status/666440653304303616

Iannarone is also mentioned in a 2009 Portland Mercury story titled, “Protest for Pedestrian Rights.” Iannarone participated in that rally following a collision that killed two women who were walking in the crosswalk at SE 80th and Foster. “This road was designed for automobiles, not for people,” Iannarone told The Mercury. “What we need to do is make it more difficult for cars to go through.”

I also couldn’t help but notice the urban planning books on the shelf in the photo Iannarone chose to use on her Twitter profile:

iannaronebooks1

iannaronebooks2

That’s some wonktastic stuff right there. This race just got much more interesting.

We plan to attend Iannarone’s official announcement on Thursday. Stay tuned.

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 – jonathan@bikeportland.org

UPDATE, 1/20 at 6:47 am: This article initially stated that Iannarone’s announcement would be made in front of Keller Auditorium. It will be made in front of City Hall. Sorry for any confusion.

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Founder of BikePortland (in 2005). Father of three. North Portlander. Basketball lover. Car owner and driver. If you have questions or feedback about this site or my work, feel free to contact me at @jonathan_maus on Twitter, via email at maus.jonathan@gmail.com, or phone/text at 503-706-8804. Also, if you read and appreciate this site, please become a supporter.

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yashardonnay
yashardonnay
8 years ago

Just going by what was written in this article, she may be the answer to our dreams.

daisy
daisy
8 years ago

I’m wondering if she might do better if people don’t realize the Hales connection.

J.E.
J.E.
8 years ago
Reply to  daisy

The Hales connection isn’t a bad thing IMO. She appears to have much less government experience than Bailey or Wheeler, so having the current mayor say, “yeah, I think you’re up for the job” helps alleviate qualification concerns significantly.

daisy
daisy
8 years ago
Reply to  J.E.

Yeah, I’m not sure a one-term mayor who isn’t beloved by the progressives in Portland is that helpful of an endorsement. Earlier this summer his tweets suggested he thought his opinion on this should be paramount, and it really irked a lot of folks that he seemed to feel entitled to anoint a successor.

In any case, I’m thrilled by this candidacy. She obviously has done a ton of relevant work and her politics seem great. I hope she’s a strong candidate as well.

was carless
was carless
8 years ago
Reply to  daisy

I don’t know, Portlanders are pretty fickle with their politicians. Plus the city’s governance system is setup to prevent the mayor from actually making any important decisions anyways.

EricIvy
EricIvy
8 years ago

Fork in the small spokes! Looking forward to a BP interview 🙂

Adam
8 years ago

So far, Iannarone seems like a breath of fresh air compared to the cookie-cutter, media approved duo of Wheeler and Bailey. Looking forward to see how she pans out.

Paul Atkinson
Paul Atkinson
8 years ago

Okay, I’m definitely listening. 🙂

Todd Hudson
Todd Hudson
8 years ago

“Sources tell WW that Charlie Hales urged Iannarone to enter the race.”

I could be wrong about this, but having the endorsement of the current mayor is definitely not a positive thing.

Spiffy
8 years ago

she already has my vote…

steve-o
steve-o
8 years ago

Her glasses must have the same designer as the Klingon swords. Who else notices the resemblance?

Todd Hudson
Todd Hudson
8 years ago
Reply to  steve-o

Google says there no such thing as bat’leth eyeglasses, but there are many types of bat’leth drinking glasses! SMH

mh
mh
8 years ago
Reply to  steve-o

At first glance I thought they were industrial safety glasses, but the frame convinced me otherwise.

mran1984
8 years ago

It’ s a moped. I love the Klingon bit steve-o. I know why Hales is not running. How about you?

anonymous_middle_aged_white_guy_in_a_box
anonymous_middle_aged_white_guy_in_a_box
8 years ago

I was all ready to get on her bandwagon, then I read this (from the very end of the WW article): “Because what’s sorely needed in Portland politics is another middle-aged white guy,” wrote Innarone.

I get the sentiment (the political status quo is subpar and it really is), I’m just really uncomfortable how she says it; the language is more divisive than constructive. But who am I to judge? I’ve said some snarky sh*% (just not publicly on the internet)!

Adam
8 years ago

I feel the complete opposite. A little snark never hurt anyone, plus she’s 100% right.

soren
soren
8 years ago
Reply to  Adam

But more importantly what is her position on protected bike lanes…

Adam
8 years ago
Reply to  soren

I’m guessing she’s for them, and since I’m a single-issue voter, she gets my vote. 😉

was carless
was carless
8 years ago

As a middle-aged white guy, I disagree with your position. City hall needs a shakeup.

Anne Hawley
8 years ago

Well this is promising!

Lenny Anderson
8 years ago

Ah, someone who walks (or bikes) the talk!! But can she raise money?

Lance Lindahl
Lance Lindahl
8 years ago
Reply to  Lenny Anderson

She doesn’t need to. It’s called twitter and Facebook.

Adam
8 years ago
Reply to  Lenny Anderson

It’s really sad that someone running for a local election in a city of only 600,000 people needs exorbitant amounts of money to run. Especially considering how highly politically engaged Portlanders are; anyone should be able to run an effective grassroots campaign here.

soren
soren
8 years ago
Reply to  Adam

Ironically, Portland voters rejected publicly-funded elections 6 years ago.

Aaron
Aaron
8 years ago

I’ve known Sarah a little bit over the years. She’s done a lot of work with City Repair and I would guess that she’s the single most important force involved in creating the landscaped triangle at 72nd & Woodstock. She’s been involved in neighbourhoods for many years. I really appreciate that she’s biking to work, very few even marginal candidates consider that
(I have a couple of neg. thoughts, but I think their minor for now)

wsbob
wsbob
8 years ago

What does Iannarone have for political experience? Does she have, or will she be able to muster the chops needed to get commissioners, bureau heads, and other sorts of people in power positions, to work together to get things done?

was carless
was carless
8 years ago
Reply to  wsbob

Well, she can’t do as poorly as Fritz.

Ted Timmons (Contributor)

Woot. Looking forward to hearing more from/about her.

Jennifer
Jennifer
8 years ago

Has Bike Walk Vote found a new leader yet? This piece makes me miss and appreciate the work that a group like BWV did for our community. They did such an excellent job of putting on display real, actual differences between candidates and elevating the voices of those who could create real, actual change. I feel like they could come in and do some strong advocacy work for someone like Sarah.

Doug Klotz
Doug Klotz
8 years ago

My experience is that Sarah has been a voice for appropriate levels of development and for affordable housing on Portland’s Mixed Use Zones rewrite committee for the last two years.

mh
mh
8 years ago

What active transportation is going to call for a candidates’ debate – and ask the questions?

Adam
8 years ago
Reply to  mh

How about a Bike Portland Wonk Night debate?

longgone
longgone
8 years ago

Wow…. Really ?

Social Engineer
Social Engineer
8 years ago

Is Amanda Fritz going to waltz to reelection without any challenge? That is who truly needs to be thrown out of office. This city is a joke.

maccoinnich
8 years ago

Yeah, it’s really disappointing. If Iannarone’s experience includes “advocating [for] bicycle transportation and greater urban density” she should really be running against Fritz, who is often hostile to those issues.

wsbob
wsbob
8 years ago
Reply to  maccoinnich

Fritz works in favor of city and neighborhood livability, and doesn’t cater to or cave in to bullying behavior. Both are excellent qualities for a city leader to have.

Ted Timmons (Contributor)
Reply to  wsbob

Personally, she is too conservative/status-quo for me. It’s seen on issues where her response is basically NIMBY. One example was the recent ADU change.

maccoinnich
8 years ago
Reply to  wsbob

“Livability” is such as nebulous term as to be meaningless. One could use the word to argue in favor of better bicycle transportation and greater urban density. Or against them, depending on ones view on the matter.

was carless
was carless
8 years ago
Reply to  wsbob

“Livability” is essentially a PC term to whitewash your own position so as to paint your opponent as against all that is good and holy.

Jim Lee
Jim Lee
8 years ago

Interesting, but not Bud Clark

Jim Lee
Jim Lee
8 years ago

However, possibly the long-lost second sister of K’Ehleyr…

..but Klingons do not ride electric bicycles…

…especially the females!

John R
John R
8 years ago

Thank you for the serious coverage…unlike the Oregonian where we get talk of cake? How can this be our paper of record in 2016?

maccoinnich
8 years ago
Reply to  John R

That cake article rubbed me the wrong way. Maybe it would be a fun post for later in the campaign… but as the first article they write about her entry into the race? Seriously?