Looks as if Portland’s sitting transportation commissioner will get to spend the next five months running against the candidate for whom he had nothing but praise Tuesday night.
Commissioner Steve Novick took 43 percent of the vote in Tuesday’s election, sending him toward a runoff with what many people (including him) seemed to assume would be the relatively well-funded architect Stuart Emmons.
But Chloe Eudaly, owner of the independent bookstore Reading Frenzy and a co-founder of the Independent Publishing Resource Center and the tenant-focused Facebook community The Shed, has spent the last 20 hours first eating into Emmons’s lead, then (at 7:30 pm Wednesday) zooming past him for a lead of almost 1,000 votes.
By that point, Eudaly had 14.8 percent of the vote to Emmons’s 14.2 percent. It was a thin margin, but there are probably fewer than 10,000 votes left to be cast for either candidate (assuming that the two continue to take about 30 percent of the vote between them). Eudaly’s gains over Emmons have been not just growing but accelerating with almost every new release of ballots, making the chances of an Emmons rebound seem slim.
Soon after the 7:30 results, Eudaly was claiming victory over Emmons on Twitter:
Anticipating a spirited debate with .@NovickOR and hope to be able to agree to limit contributions from entities that do business w the city
— Chloe for Portland (@ChloeForPDX) May 19, 2016
Eudaly, a first-time candidate, has spent $18,000 on her campaign so far. Emmons has spent about $116,000 and Novick about $312,000.
Novick’s big lead in the primary and his incumbent status put him in a strong position for the general election. But the November election also seems likely to have a much larger and different electorate, as Novick and Eudaly share the ballot with the national presidential race. It’s not entirely clear which local candidate that might help.
Eudaly has had a laser focus on housing affordability during the race so far, to the near exclusion of discussing transportation. Its only mention on her website seems to be an endorsement of “less driving” among several things she describes as necessary steps to environmental sustainability. With the mayoral election off the table, Portland’s remaining undecided council seat will probably take a high profile in the six months to November, pushing the candidates to take positions on many issues.
We’ll be eager to be part of that push.
— Michael Andersen, (503) 333-7824 – email@example.com
Our work is supported by subscribers. Please become one today.
Michael Andersen was news editor of BikePortland.org from 2013 to 2016 and still pops up occasionally.
I wish her the best against Novick Beat him!
I am thrilled, beyond my ability to express! As someone that knows Chloe first through a group reading at IPRC that Reading Frenzy hosted where I got to share my piece in Elly Blue’s “Taking the Lane, volume 8: Childhood,” then as a fellow mom of a child with disabilities, then as the spirited woman posting about rents in town and starting The Shed, I cannot imagine anyone more qualified to represent me in our local government.
I can tell you that she and I got into it once — they way two people that respect each other do — when I suggested that there will come a day that there will be no personal vehicles. She made excellent points and I have come to think that personal cars/vans/trucks will someday be like handicapped placards, requiring a doctor and the state to agree that it’s necessary. She was absolutely right that for some people biking is impossible. If I recall correctly, she agreed with me that there are many more others that could stop using their cars.
So there you have my 2-cents as a cargo biking mom and cycling advocate that I endorse Chloe Eudaly with no reservations whatsoever.
Say “most people could easily ride a bike most of the time” rather than “not everyone can ride a bike all the time”. (The latter means I sometimes ride a kick scooter?) Yes we sometimes need vans and yes cars are useful, but big, heavy vehicles make everything more expensive, including housing. I was disappointed not to hear more about parking from the candidates who claim to be very concerned about housing prices and homelessness. Who is clamoring to give-up their free parking spot to housing?
It does seem like Novick spent his political capitol to move the needle on parking and infrastructure funding (albeit poorly spent on the street fee effort), which is brave considering the maintenance debt. And yet, I expect to see more rapid work toward widespread low-cost measures to prioritize biking and safety in a city with a mandate to reduce SOV traffic.
Either way, I’m having a hard time with a transportation commissioner who is not riding a bike / trike / scooter / velomobile. Leaders lead from the front (and I hope we can get Wheeler some fenders by fall.)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GdGEaR3Fges locally-made velomobile + $8k roughly matches AAA’s figure for yearly cost of car ownership. How are there not dozens of these parked outside city hall?
Do you know how much power wheelchairs weigh? Do you know that there are children that need them? Does Novick bike or scoot to work?
At least 60lb (the rig in that video might be 25lb plus the chair plus the battery pack), if not 150. 50lb might be possible at some expense. Yes, and children who need a powered wheelchair or mobility bike/trike should be able to ride it as safely and as independently as a fully able-bodied child. No, I’ve never seen Novick on any bike, trike, scooter, velomobile, or other device which would be legally considered a bicycle in Portland — but I would love to see him on Barbur or Terwilliger, in an Organic Transit ELF perhaps.
I’m looking forward to spirited debates between these two, but currently thinking Novick is more credible on transportation and I’m hopeful he can move faster with a new mayor’s support. I’m hopeful that Eudaly shows some knowledge and intent to stop wasting so much space and money on cars, if only so Novick will have to make his case.
Remember that the new mayor is likely going to reassign bureaus. There’s no guarantee that Novick, if reelected, will continue to be transportation commissioner.
Keeping my fingers crossed for a change with Parks, but I’m not feeling very optimistic.
Totally embarrassed to admit I voted Emmons thinking that he would be the runner-up most likely to challenge Novick.
I for one am eager to see Novick out.
Having interviewed Emmons, he would be a mistake. He does not understand induced demand when it comes to parking minimums, at all, and we really pressed….. Speaking from my BikeWalkVote hat he would be more auto focussed in design than is good for this city.
If it is Novick versus him, it will be a nasty race with big developer money backing him as all the conservative factions line up to bring Novick down. The business community including the PBA would love to have him.
If it stays Steve versus Chloe, we will do OK. She ran a spirited, grass roots campaign. I would like to know about her stance on transportation though, we never got a questionnaire answered from her so no interview.
Homelessness and housing were the issues of top concern in this election, and transportation the least.
Chloe tuned into that and ran an excellent campaign.
Very nice person too.
I suspect that Chloe did not answer BikeWalkVote’s questionnaire for two very good reasons:
Candidates get dozens of complicated questionnaires on a wide range of issues; it is impossible to answer all accurately and consistently.
Questionnaires from public interest groups tend to frame issues in simplistic and restrictive ways, designed to constrain candidates’ positions; call these “straight-jacket” questions; they lead to “litmus-test” politics.
An example from BWV’s questionnaire was, “What will you do to support Vision Zero?” This sort of question allows no room for careful and reasoned analysis; it demands that one jump on the bandwagon.
Questionnaires to candidates are destructive of productive political process; often they insult the intelligence and commitment of candidates themselves. If an organization wants to discover candidates’ positions on an issue, talk with them.
A simple phone call would more accurate, humane–and easier.
We sat down with candidates and certainly gave them the chance to see that we were in fact humane.
Can’t understand the Novick hate I see in some of the comments on this and other threads. I think he’s by far the most articulate, effective commissioner we have on sustainable transportation, and he gets all the nuances. He only drew more credible competition than Fritz because he actually stuck his neck out for things that matter, and thereby made himself vulnerable. Sign me up for a commissioner who’s already shown that he’ll stick his neck out for things that matter.
If he really wanted to stick his neck out, he could have demanded that the “street” emergency be fixed out of the existing budget. You know the one where we pay taxes for things like ROADS, POLICE, etc.
That’s SO bogus. Novick proposed a tax on automobiles to help pay for increased street maintenance. This is good on a number of levels: 1) it makes driving more expensive so it’ll get a few people out of their death machines, 2) it pays to address a huge backlog that can’t be paid for with the existing budget and 3) cyclists don’t pay a dime for it.
Why any sane cyclist would be against a gas tax is totally beyond me. Novick risked his re-election by taxing car drivers. He absolutely has my vote.
Meanwhile Amanda Fritz, who doesn’t really care at all about the danger and deaths on our streets, basically runs unopposed. The mind boggles.
i voted for the gas tax but i believe that this insultingly small tax is a flawed mechanism from the point of view of effectiveness, equity, and funding stability. i was more enthusiastic about the insultingly small street fee because it’s penultimate iteration provided a more equitable source of funding. sadly, novick (but not hales) was unwilling to put it up to a public vote and proceeded to negotiate a drop in funding for active transport with the PBA. novick even received a glowing commendation from the PBA!
i’m not sure why you would assume that someone who is unhappy with novick is happy with fritz. i did not vote for any of our current commissioners (or the mayor).
“I think he’s by far the most articulate, effective commissioner we have on sustainable transportation”
Name one major accomplishment in sustainable transportation that can be credited to Novick’s leadership. It is posture, not production.
It goes beyond this, too. He lobbied hard for the street fee, and when his proposal dropped, the books were obviously cooked. Remember his estimate to plow all the city streets? It was the entire city budget of Eugene. Not much attention to detail.
The commissioner in charge of PBOT has been asleep at the wheel.
I have known Chloe for 25 years so am not “objective” but the chance to face Steve Novick in November is great news for all Portlanders.
As her website shows
she has thought about what the issues are and how to solve them, offering detailed suggestions and plans. If she has not spoken enough on transportation issues then let us make our concerns and plans of action known so they too can become incorporated into the future.
“Sustainability” and “affordability” are used by many candidates, even those who are engaged in actions that are anything but. Chloe’s longstanding record is as someone who cares about what our city becomes, how we live here, who tries to change things for the better, including for those most vulnerable and ignored. She brings to the task a keen mind, good heart, creativity and knowledge and would be a wonderful council member. Go, Chloe!
If Wheeler wants transportation to himself, what bureau would that leave for Novick and Eudaly to fight over?
I personally voted for Novick since I have a decent experience of working with him indirectly and speaking with him directly. However, I would love to know how they differ. If neither of them can get transportation, which bureau would they best be suited for? Steve, in my opinion, seemed a little too much like Hales’ lapdog, so I don’t know if he can be trusted with another bureau, but I know nothing of Chloe so far.
As we saw with Mayor Hales, we can speculate all we want about which councilors should be assigned which bureaus, ultimately it will be up to Ted Wheeler alone to decide.
I don’t get the love for Eudaly. She says we can’t build ourselves out of the housing shortage, but absent unconstitutional border controls that would stop people from moving here, I’m not sure how we’re going to ensure that all Portlanders have adequate housing.
Like, I’m all for rent control and stronger tenant protections in general, but we also need to keep building apartments. Preferably with no parking. 🙂
“She says we can’t build ourselves out of the housing shortage”
I do not think that Chloe cares much about the shortage of luxury apartments in Portland. I don’t either. Could it be that you are conflating housing affordability with housing shortage?
AFAIK she hasn’t qualified her statement with “luxury” so let’s take her statement at face value and not put words in her mouth.
That said, if you disagree with the idea that building more apartments of many different types will not flatten or lower the growth curve in rents and rental housing vacancy, what will? Because people are going to continue to move to Portland and many of them will be willing to pay higher prices for available apartments.
Increasing the density of the city is the best way to keep the city affordable. San Francisco has no more room for more people, which is why it’s such a horrorshow. I would like that not to happen here, and not putting people in city government that say things like we “can’t build our way out of the housing shortage” is pretty important to accomplishing that.
can you please link to the statement you are criticizing.
This is what Chloe actually wrote:
And she clarified in the same post:
Thanks! I wasn’t sure what these comments were referring to but this does seem pretty clear.
Thanks for the additional context! Seems like our positions are more similar than dissimilar. I like Novick and I think he’s a proven ally for active transportation and housing though.
Eric, I have *chosen* to live in apartments my entire adult life and am an advocate for tenant rights. I also believe that enormous government subsidy of single family home equity is a major contributor to societal inequity in the USA. I also view single family homes as the “hummers” of housing and believe that dense vertical housing should be a societal imperative. However, I agree with Chloe that our highly speculative and crony-capitalist housing market has failed to provide affordable housing. Consequently, I support increased housing market regulation (e.g. rent regulation, inclusionary zoning) and a dramatic increase in social/public housing.
Hi Eric, I’m sorry I should have made that statement a little clearer for people who might be hearing/reading it out of context of the larger conversation. It’s really tough to squeeze every detail in when given roughly 30-90 seconds to answer complex questions. What I’ve repeatedly heard from supply siders is that all we have to do is build more housing and the market will magically correct itself. I am absolutely not against development and density, although I do have concerns about what and where and for who it’s being done, what I meant was that we cannot build our way out of our affordable housing crisis *with market rate housing* but this simplistic view is simply wrong. No amount of market rate development is ever going to make housing affordable for our 75K extremely cost-burdened renters who are primarily very low income. There are multiple causes of our housing crisis and there are multiple steps we need to take to stabilize and begin to address it.
*Affordable Housing definitions can vary a bit but is generally considered to be housing that is affordable (not costing more than 30% of household income) to people earning 60% of MFI and below.
*Workforce housing: Moderate income (although many households earning much below 100% MFI are probably struggling with rent and need affordable housing) households earning between 60%-120% MFI.
*Market Rate is somewhat nebulous and of course subject to change but the current average rents in Portland are affordable to households earning 120% of MFI.
*Luxury housing typically comes with extra amenities and costs more than market rate.
I’m going to be supporting the housing bond which will be on the ballot in November and raise around $375M for affordable housing. This will obviously involve a lot of new developments. I also support an emergency rent freeze (which may or may not be possible but it worth exploring given the crisis we’re dealing with) until the Oregon legislature overturns the ban on rent control and allows cities and municipalities to start making their own decisions as to how to stabilize rents and preserve affordable/workforce housing. I’m in favor of completely overturning the ban on Mandatory Inclusionary Zoning as well.
You may not agree with me on these issues, but I want to make sure that you know that I am not ant-density or anti-development.
That’s already happened!
not yet. i think you are referring to the recent bill that somewhat softened the ban on inclusionary zoning.
I really appreciate the detailed response! Thank you very much.
It would also be a good thing to hear a candidate propose denying police services for evictions during such a housing emergency.
Hey Everybody, I am very sorry I didn’t get the questionnaire back before the primary. This has been a hectic four months for me — working, parenting and campaigning — and I’m afraid because there was no deadline attached it kept getting buried by more time sensitive stuff. I will submit the questionnaire soon, in the meantime I can tell you a bit about my relationship to bikes, cars, and public transportation…
I lived car free for many years in my 20s and prioritized living within biking/walking distance to work. However, two things have changed in my life since I hit 30 — I had a kid who happens to have a severe physical disability and uses a wheelchair (he’s now 15) and we’ve been pushed out of the central city by rising rents in the past decade. To complicate matters, parents of kids with disabilities don’t always get to choose where their children attend school, so while we have always lived within walking distance of our neighborhood schools (currently Woodlawn/Jefferson) he was never able to attend them. There is no safe way for me to transport my son by bicycle, nor is there enough time in the day for us to exclusively use public transportation (I work full time and am a single parent), especially considering we sometimes have to wait for 2-3 buses just to board if the wheelchair spot is occupied. If you have kids, please imagine a situation where no one else has a vehicle that could accommodate your kid, you can’t ask a friend or neighbor to grab them in a pinch, and they cannot get themselves to or from home — this is my situation. So, I own a wheelchair van and a bicycle. I drive about half as much as the average person, and I rent more fuel efficient cars for my very occasional road trips, but I am dependent on the van until or unless I can create a life for us where home/work/school/medical services are close-in and reliabely accessible by public transportation (which probably means living near a Max or streetcar line).
I do enjoy riding my bike (a Linus Dutchi I bought from my friend Kim at North Portland Bicycle Works — one of the few off the shelf bikes I can ride as I’m just a little over 5′ tall), although I feel somewhat ruined for cycling in Portland after spending a few days tooling around Amsterdam on bikes with my friend Pete Jordan, who’s the author of In the City of Bikes: The Story of the Amsterdam Cyclist. Pete, a former Portlander and avid cyclist, planned to spend a school year studying urban planning in Amsterdam in 2002 and he never left! I’m looking forward to talking to him about his take on how Portland is measuring up on bicycle transportation.
I got interested in urban planning, humane architecture, and transportation issues as a teenager when I stumbled upon books by Bernard Rudofsky (Streets for People) and Christopher Alexander (A Pattern Language). I’m probably not going to have every answer you want right now because I’m someone who really needs to dig into issues and get a broad grasp before I start asserting opinions and suggesting policy solutions, but this is what I can say for certainty right now: Safe and accessible streets for pedestrians and cyclists are a priority for me and we need to be creating them across the city. I’m interested in what Bike Portland has to say about equity across our neighborhoods in regards to things like sidewalks, crosswalks, and bicycle infrastructure. When people cannot safely walk in their neighborhoods and many people with mobility challenges (growing in numbers with our aging population) are virtually housebound due to living in inaccessible neighborhoods, it’s hard to get them excited about spending $$$ on bike paths. I’d personally love to see continued and increased collaboration between bicycle advocates, disability advocates, and neighborhoods around these issues.
I’m also interested in incentivizing living close to home (some cities have special home loan programs for people who commit to this), improving our public transportation system including making it more affordable for low income riders like Seattle is doing, preserving and increasing housing in the central city for low income and moderate income earners in order to reduce commuting among other things, and creating more events along the lines of Sunday Parkways where we at least temporarily take back our streets for other purposes. Since most of our cities were designed around the automobile, it’s hard for a lot of people to conceive of why we’d want it any other way, we need to start showing them. xc
When I heard her say that my impression was she means building is not the only solution to the problem. I don’t think she was implying we shouldn’t build.
Perhaps, but the fact that no one seems to know worries me. We don’t need another Fritz on the council.
What does that mean? Someone who isn’t a white male?
Amanda Fritz is male?
C’mon man. Amanda Fritz is NOT a white male, ergo your comment could mean “we don’t need someone who isn’t a white male”. Please explain “we don’ t need another Fritz on the council.”
Yes, it could mean that, or it could mean that I don’t want another former nurse on the council, or it could mean that I don’t want another resident of the SW Hills on the council, or…
How about you don’t put words in my mouth in an attempt to portray me as a sexist and a racist?
Calm down, dude. I didn’t put any words in your mouth any more than you are by saying I am attempting to accuse you of a sexist and a racist. I was just asking for clarification on what you meant. And I still haven’t seen an answer to that, other than you speculating what you could’ve meant.
So, why don’t you just clear this up for us and say what you meant by “we don’t need another Amanda Fritz on the council”? Then it will be quite clear (and if you’re being racist or sexist).
Calm down? You intimate that the only possible explanation for my comment has to do with the fact that I don’t want Eudaly on the council because I want more white men on it and now you’re telling me to calm down?
Yeah, thanks, but no thanks.
If you really wanted clarification on my statement, why not just say “What do you mean by that?” Instead you added the “white male” comment. So who is putting words in whose mouth, exactly?
Go back and read my first comment and note where it says “What do you mean by that?”
It says “What does that mean? Someone who isn’t a white male?”
Why add the second sentence unless it was an inartful attempt to paint opposition to Eudaly as being solely borne out of sexism?
Anyway, I’ve spent way too much time on this and you obviously have an agenda that you’re not being honest about, and I can’t debate someone who won’t operate in good faith, so see ya.
Okay, whatever, since you can’t seem to answer the question we’ll just keep wondering if you’re sexist and racist. You could have shut me down long ago if you had.
But yes, that’s exactly what I meant. I am a sexist racist. You found me out. Good job.
Hi Eric and Paul.
I love you both.. But please keep in mind these comments are for the community and I’d rather you take personal battles like this somewhere else.
To me, Amanda Fritz is anti-urban at the core and goes against much of what I believe in.
Exactly. I’d like to see Chloe replace Fritz.
Chloe definitely seems like a candidate worth checking into as she refines her policy positions. I’m not jazzed with anyone on the City Council right now, but when I heard a forum of candidates for this position on NPR last month Steve definitely popped to the top as the most knowledgeable and progressive on transportation issues. I also like that he stuck his neck out for the street fee and feel like he deserves some credit for seeing it pass, despite the debacle of the street fee proposal (which I supported, but appeared to be poorly approached to business and residents).
With regard to housing development, most Portlanders are not in need of subsidized affordable housing. It seems most people agree we should do more there because that’s the most vulnerable population. However, ignoring the need for additional market rate housing will lead to even more displacement than we’re seeing now. The market is good at some things and not good at others. I will not support a candidate that focuses only on affordable housing and not market rate housing because that will hurt Portland’s economy and most people’s housing choices.
imo, novick is business as usual when it comes to active transportation.
along with hales, he voted to decimate PBOT active transportation funding in 2013. novick also dropped the progressive street fee and then cut a deal with the portland business association that dramatically decreased funding for active transport.
with friends like these…