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City Council candidate transportation forum set for April 5th

Posted by on March 12th, 2018 at 5:27 pm

Six council candidates confirmed for the panel. Left to right: (top) Felicia Williams, Loretta Smith, Jo Ann Hardesty; (bottom) Stuart Emmons, Andrea Valderrama, Julia DeGraw.

It’s time to educate ourselves about the candidates running for Portland City Council.

And with just two months until the election, we’re happy to announce there’s a candidate forum on the calendar that will focus solely on transportation issues.

Community Cycling Center, OPAL Environmental Justice, Oregon Walks, The Street Trust, and Young Professionals in Transportation have joined forces to host six candidates for a forum on April 5th. So far the candidates who will participate include: Julia DeGraw, Stuart Emmons, Jo Ann Hardesty, Loretta Smith, Andrea Valderrama and Felicia Williams. (UPDATE, 3/13: Candidates Philip J. Wolfe and incumbent Nick Fish will also particiapte.)

DeGraw is vying for the seat currently occupied by Nick Fish. Fish is also running for re-election against Nicholas Sutton and Philip J. Wolfe. The other five candidates above are aiming for Dan Saltzman’s seat. Saltzman has served for 19 years and won’t run again.

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Nick Fish (left) and Philip J Wolfe are also confirmed for this event.

Here are the forum details:

City Council Candidate Forum on Transportation
“Learn how candidates for Portland City Council will address important transportation issues facing our city, such as implementing Vision Zero, investing in East Portland, & sustainable active transportation funding.”
– Thursday April 5th, 5:30 to 8:00 pm (moderated panel at 6:00, questions at 7:00)
– Lucky Labrador Beer Hall (1945 NW Quimby Street)
– All-ages venue
– Event page: Facebook, BP Calendar

We’re looking forward to learning more about all the candidates. Share your thoughts so far in the comments and stay tuned for more coverage.

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and

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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

  • hotrodder March 12, 2018 at 6:08 pm

    Jonathan, is there a good reason that you aren’t running for city council?

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) March 13, 2018 at 8:38 am

      Yes. Lots.

      First off, I have three young kids (15, 12, and 7) — the older two I already feel like I neglected too much when I was so devoted to bikeportland in the early days.
      Second, I’m a white male and we need to give space and opportunity to women and people of color.
      Third, I don’t feel drawn to Council because I love what I’ve built here at bikeportland and I’m excited about its future.
      Fourth, I know what I’m good at and I know what I love. I love bikes/transportation/cities and I feel those topics are where I can share most of my personal value with the community.

      Thanks for asking.

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      • SilkySlim March 13, 2018 at 12:10 pm

        All that aside, you’d easily get my vote!

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      • joeb
        joeb March 28, 2018 at 9:25 pm

        Two weeks later . . . this is the best answer I could ever hope for.

        . . . from any candidate.

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  • bjorn March 12, 2018 at 7:14 pm

    I hope that the candidates have a chance to talk about how to reduce drunk driving in our city.

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    • Random March 13, 2018 at 8:47 am

      Especially the candidate with personal knowledge of drunken driving.

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  • curly March 12, 2018 at 7:27 pm

    We are in a transportation crisis here in PDX. I want to hear some value & equity positions from these candidates.

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    • Middle of the Road Guy March 13, 2018 at 8:49 am

      Can you elaborate on that a little? Is it that pedestrians are getting killed?

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      • curly March 13, 2018 at 1:18 pm

        Pedestrians fatalities are up (115th and Division a couple of days ago), automotive fatalities are up, bicycling is stagnant, transit ridership is down and people are driving more. Where are we investing the significant amount of funding we are starting to see roll in, and is it in the most dangerous sections of town. Why aren’t we seeing more private infrastructure investment? Are we spending in smart ways? Want more? See you at the Transportation forum. Or not?

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        • Middle of the Road Guy March 13, 2018 at 1:48 pm

          “Why aren’t we seeing more private infrastructure investment?”

          Such as what? A business is only going to invest money in something that has a return on the investment.

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    • Middle of the Road Guy March 13, 2018 at 1:53 pm

      From Vision Zero:

      Although Portland’s traffic fatality rate is among
      the lowest of the 50 biggest cities, the number of
      pedestrians, bicyclists, and motorists killed on our
      roadways each year has remained flat over the past
      20 years. During that time period, an average of
      37 Portlanders died in traffic collisions annually,
      including 12 pedestrians, 2 bicyclists, and 24
      motorists each year.

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  • Chris I March 12, 2018 at 7:55 pm

    Is Loretta Smith a candidate? I thought she was still working for the county…

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  • Jim Lee March 12, 2018 at 7:56 pm

    We do not need JM on Council.

    We need him running PBOT.

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) March 13, 2018 at 8:41 am

      That would be interesting Jim! But not as interesting as running BikePortland.

      I have actually considered very strongly the possibility of being Communications Director at PBOT. That’s a job I have dreamed about in the past — especially when I was in a low spot with Bikeportland. Actually I was very eager and close to going for that position twice. But I’m very happy to say that it didn’t work out either time. I really dodged a bullet!!!

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  • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) March 13, 2018 at 8:48 am

    UPDATE, Philip J. Wolfe (right) and Nick Fish are also now confirmed for this event.

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    • David Hampsten March 14, 2018 at 1:53 am

      Do you have any sense of Nick Fish on transportation issues? I’ve always seen him as a competent Water and Sewer Bureaus manager (in a city council essentially made up of an elected city manager and 4 elected assistant city managers, few of whom have any competency at all.)

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      • Tony Jordan (Contributor) March 14, 2018 at 2:42 pm

        In my experience, Commissioner Fish is a thoughtful listener who seeks compromise. I have met with him on parking policy and I was very impressed that he had good questions for me and seemed to really be trying to get a better sense of the issue.

        I think his perspective on transportation has evolved a lot since he moved to the central city and walks to work.

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  • Gregg March 13, 2018 at 9:18 am

    GO JoAnne Hardesty!

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  • Damien E March 13, 2018 at 7:52 pm

    This is the first event I’ve heard of concerning Fish’s seat, and that’s exciting.

    Regarding Saltzman’s seat, I had the pleasure of seeing Williams, Hardesty, and Valderrama speak at a neighborhood association meeting (Brentwood-Darlington, which is not where I live, but I made the trip to hear what they had to say), and afterwards felt I could comfortably vote for any of the three. I’ll be especially interested to hear what they have to say on transportation, but some quick points I learned from them:
    * Hardesty and Valderrama live in east Portland (Valderrama at least in the David Douglas district, not sure about Hardesty), so there’s some potentially much-needed representation in that direction
    * Williams doesn’t have a car and mostly gets around on Trimet
    * All of them support changing up the council to a more district representative/strong mayoral system (with Williams in particular I had the opportunity to follow up with directly on this, asking if she’d basically vote herself out of the job she’d potentially just won, and she still pointedly supported the idea)

    I’m excited for the event. I hope it’ll long enough for that many candidates.

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    • David Hampsten March 14, 2018 at 1:57 am

      I’ve worked with Hardesty & Valderrama as a volunteer in East Portland. Hardesty is solid on economic development and housing issues, while Valderrama is better about transportation stuff.

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