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Bike Walk Vote PAC endorses Sarah Iannarone for Portland mayor

Posted by on March 23rd, 2016 at 12:28 pm

Mayoral candidate Sarah Iannarone-4.jpg

Sarah Iannarone
(Photo: J. Maus/BikePortland)

A political action committee that bills itself as “the political voice for Oregonians who bike, walk, or take transit,” has thrown their weight behind Sarah Iannarone in the Portland mayoral race.

That’s one of eight endorsements Bike Walk Vote PAC has just released for the 2016 election cycle. After laying low following the 2012 election, Bike Walk Vote has rebuilt its board and hopes to become a significant player in the education and influence of regional voters who care about transportation reform.

To make their decisions, members of Bike Walk Vote gave each candidate written questionnaires, reviewed public documents and forums, leaned on existing personal knowledge and experience, and conducting in-person interviews.

In choosing Sarah Iannarone over the other 15 candidates — including the much more well-known Ted Wheeler and Jules Bailey — Bike Walk Vote credited her “depth of knowledge about the intersection between the built environment and public policy.” Iannarone has learned about this subject over the past eight years as assistant director of First Stop Portland, a program at Portland State University that shows off Portland’s transportation innovations (among other things) to officials from around the world.

Here’s more from Bike Walk Vote’s endorsement:

“Sarah Iannarone has a depth of knowledge about the intersection between the built environment and public policy and how they influence transportation system design, safety outcomes, equity, and personal transportation choices. Additionally, she has the bold vision to move the city from it’s current state of resting on laurels to re-emerging as a model city for active transportation. As the only citywide candidate who lives, works and rides in east Portland her perspective is needed at city hall.”


Unlike Bailey and Wheeler, Iannarone is making transportation reform the main platform of her campaign. During a recent appearance on OPB’s Think Out Loud radio show, Iannarone was asked to share what’s next for Portland. “There’s not anyone talking about, are we going to continue to build for the automobile? Or are we going to double-down on making sure that we have good transit that’s accessible and affordable for all Portlanders?” She has also repeatedly stumped for a “carfree central city.”

Bike Walk Vote gave a “green light” to both Bailey and Wheeler, saying they have strong records on active transportation and “have the skills to represent the transportation needs of the city.”

Bike Walk Vote has also endorsed incumbent City Commissioner Steve Novick. “One thing that set Novick apart from the other candidates that we interviewed was his clear understanding of parking policy and induced transportation demand.” They also felt that all three leading mayoral candidates will be more progressive on transportation than current Mayor Charlie Hales and Novick is well suited, “to take full advantage of this new political landscape.”

For Metro councilor positions number three, five and six, Bike Walk Vote has endorsed encumbents Craig Dirksen, Sam Chase, and Bob Stacey.

In the Multnomah County Commissioner races Mel Rader (District 1) and Jessica Vega Pederson (District 3) have picked up the Bike Walk Vote endorsement.

In the state legislature, Bike Walk Vote has endorsed Tawna Sanchez for House District 43, citing her, “clear commitment to safety including a desire to end the disastrous nature of ODOT’s management of their orphan highways.”

Read the full endorsement announcement here (PDF).

— Jonathan Maus, (503) 706-8804 –

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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

  • soren March 23, 2016 at 12:46 pm

    PDF has bad pagination. Can it be reformatted?

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  • maccoinnich March 23, 2016 at 12:58 pm

    The lack of any endorsement for City Commissioner Seat 1 speaks volumes.

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  • ethan March 23, 2016 at 1:36 pm

    I am really hoping for an interview with her. Well, not for me to interview her of course 🙂

    From what I can tell, she seems like a very good candidate.

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) March 23, 2016 at 1:38 pm


      We’ve already interviewed her and will publish the piece early next week if not sooner.

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      • ethan March 24, 2016 at 10:23 am

        That’s great to hear! I’m really looking forward to it.

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    • Dan A March 23, 2016 at 1:46 pm

      Your support (wink wink) makes this kind of journalism possible.

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      • ethan March 24, 2016 at 1:35 pm

        Thanks Dan! I should support this site since I read it so frequently.

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  • Kittens March 23, 2016 at 1:45 pm

    Let’s hope the zest for untraditional candidates carries through to the local. Big fan of Sarah

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  • Doug Klotz March 23, 2016 at 1:57 pm

    Not only does Sarah understand transportation, but I trust her understanding of how land use and transportation are integral parts of making a sustainable city more than I trust Wheeler or Bailey.

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  • Jim Lee March 23, 2016 at 4:27 pm

    Tactical politics: Probably she will take votes from Bailey, but not Wheeler, making it likely Ted will win outright in the primary.

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    • maccoinnich March 23, 2016 at 8:24 pm

      Wheeler has to get over 50% of the vote to win outright. If he doesn’t receive a majority the top two candidates head to the November election. If Iannarone picks up votes from people that might otherwise be inclined to vote for Bailey it makes no difference to Wheeler’s chance of winning outright.

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      • Alex Reedin March 24, 2016 at 3:30 am

        And, if she picks up even one vote from Wheeler, it decreases Wheeler’s chance of winning outright, which is good for Bailey.

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  • Terry D-M March 23, 2016 at 6:29 pm

    I think tactically Sarah will take votes from both Jules and Ted, plus shore up independants. Having helped code Bike Walk Vote’s questionaire and listening to the responses of all three Candidates in our interview she has the boldest and most comprehensive vision. She understands the needs east of Ceasar Chavez where there is no representation at city hall.

    We need a leader. She was the only one to talk about how important bike culture is to Portland during the Bike Walk Vote interviews. She is in tune with the city.

    We could not issue an endorsement for Council Seat 1 as the incumbent did not answer our questions other than with a paragraph stating that she is “Running on her record. ” It was a well written paragraph, but we could not issue an endorsement based on it.

    Anyone need a Vote Sarah for Mayor button? I made a bunch of them today. Vote Sarah!

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  • Jon March 24, 2016 at 7:26 am

    This is a puzzling endorsement. Why endorse someone that has no chance of being elected? This endorsement seems like a good plan if you want to have less influence over the person that ultimately wins the election. I can understand principles but this is just bad politics. Iannarone has zero chance of becoming mayor. Do you think any big labor union would have endorsed Martin O’Malley for the Democratic nomination? They did not because they knew he would not win and they would have strained their relationship with the eventually winner.

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    • Terry D-M March 24, 2016 at 8:52 am

      We did green Light Ted and Jules. Since there has been no polling, and there is a lot of exciting talk about her, I’m not sure how you can discount her so fast. They each have a different angle and approach. All three understood the Miss-messaging of the Adam’s administration, but embraced the policies.

      In any case, the new Mayor will be much more bike friendly than the current administration.

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    • Dave March 24, 2016 at 12:30 pm

      Do-nothing, developer whore “serious” candidates need some political border collies nipping at their ankles. Good endorsement!

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    • Nicholas Caleb March 24, 2016 at 12:34 pm

      She absolutely has a fighting chance of getting into the general election if a few breaks go her way and she can get the word out.

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  • Jim Lee March 24, 2016 at 9:01 am

    Wheeler encouraged Bailey to run against Novick because of Novick’s intolerable actions in the UBER business. Bailey is running a strong campaign, so Wheeler’s action seems self self-serving, but a strong candidate in the Position 4 race would indeed have been useful.

    “Go By Bike’s” conjecture is right on: Iannarone would have been a pretty strong candidate against Fritz, with a real chance of winning.

    Bailey against Novick and Innarone against Fritz with Wheeler for mayor could have changed Council radically.

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    • Jon March 24, 2016 at 9:25 am

      It is sad that we appear to have 3 capable candidates for mayor but none of the worthless city councilors will have any competition. Basically a city council position in Portland is a position for life regardless of how badly the city mishandles city management. Screwed up water bureau – no problem. Streets falling apart – no problem. Homeless mess – no problem. 3rd world type heavy metal pollution – no problem. While all these big issues come up the city is busy spending money to create an office of equity, using water money to buy parkland, spending big bucks on a gold plated new building for BES, arguing for two years about where to put right to dream too, ignoring pedestrian and bicycle safety unless a pedestrian gets killed trying to get across the street, etc.

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      • Kathryn March 24, 2016 at 10:39 am

        Sounds like you should run then.

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        • Jon March 24, 2016 at 1:11 pm

          I have run for city council in Portland. Having a 9-5 job that you cannot afford to go on leave from made it very difficult to attend election related events and do much campaigning. Unless you are retired, a professional politician, independently wealthy, or in a job that you can take a 9 month leave from without getting fired you cannot run for a major office.

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    • Nicholas Caleb March 24, 2016 at 12:43 pm

      Everyone wants to be Mayor even though the position basically doesn’t have any more power than any other council seat. Maybe you get some more bully pulpit & you get to assign bureaus.

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  • Dan A March 24, 2016 at 10:53 am

    I was part of a group that elected it’s officers in order of ranking position, so somebody who wasn’t elected as president could then run for VP if they lost out, or for the next position available below that. It was a good way of getting the best people for each job.

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  • Jim Lee March 24, 2016 at 1:01 pm

    Very tall order for Iannarone to beat out either Bailey or Wheeler in the primary.

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