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Bike Walk Vote PAC endorses Sarah Iannarone for Portland mayor

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.”

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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 – jonathan@bikeportland.org

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