Esplanade closure begins February 1st

Guest Opinion: I’m Steve Novick and I endorse Andrea Valderrama for Portland City Council

Posted by on April 27th, 2018 at 9:17 am

Former Commissioner Steve Novick at a 2016 event and Andrea Valderrama at a candidate forum earlier this month.
(Photos: Jonathan Maus)

Steve Novick was a Portland City Commissioner from 2013 to 2017.

After having the pleasure of having her serve on my staff for nearly four years as city commissioner, today I’m writing to the readers of to explain my support and endorsement for Andrea Valderrama for the Portland City Council race. Quite simply, my experience of working with her has left me convinced she is the candidate you should vote for if you’re interested in improvements to the safety and livability of our streets, our region’s ongoing housing crisis, and how these issues relate to climate change, public health and equity.

This is a candidate who has spent time in the trenches, can speak the alphabet soup of acronyms and jargon, and fundamentally understands the imperative to reconfigure our streets for better outcomes.

As you may recall, I spent three-and-a-half years as Transportation Commissioner, and was proud of my pro-bike record. I think Andrea’s skillset and background uniquely match up with the requirements of the job, not to mention the specific challenges Portland faces – and that for bike advocates, as well as other champions of truth and justice, she is the best choice.

As I wrote in Willamette Week last year, Portland’s unique Commission form of government creates some perverse incentives for politicians and bureaus that stymie genuinely thoughtful attempts to improve the provision of municipal services. I suspect many of you reading this blog are somewhat familiar with the learning process I underwent as PBOT and I fought for more funding to address thirty years of deferred road maintenance, greater investment in safe routes to schools, and investments in sidewalks in East Portland. As my “liaison to East Portland,” Andrea played a key role in ensuring that I heard from the right people and pushed the East Portland priorities that citizen activists had been working on for years.

I’m proud of our accomplishments (launching Biketown, passing the gas tax and a Vision Zero resolution among them). But traffic fatalities continue to rise, congestion’s getting worse, and we still have plenty of potholes to fill.

On a five-person city council, where each Commissioner is directly accountable to specific public, private and nonprofit sector constituents related to their bureau, the art of “getting to three” can be difficult, particularly if your initiative entails upending the status quo and moving more power to historically disenfranchised groups like tenants, working class folks, and/or east Portlanders. There is always a strong constituency for the status quo, but I believe the Commission form of government makes that worse: Commissioners primarily concerned about “their” bureaus aren’t willing to take risks on behalf of “someone else’s bureau.”


My experience colors my understanding of the sort of competent, policy-wonk, justice-minded, results-driven leadership that is necessary to be successful. It’s easy enough to serve up platitudes and bromides about the extent to which a candidate would be a “champion” for housing affordability, a ‘transportation system that serves everyone,’ police accountability, equality and justice. But it takes wisdom, guts and an understanding of nuance to win those three votes – let alone build a strong, broad coalition for anything that needs to go to the voters.

Time and again she has proven herself more than capable, and wise beyond her years at navigating bureaucracies, community advocates, and policy wonkery.

Fortunately, anyone that’s worked with her can tell you: Andrea has the wisdom, has the guts, and understands the nuances. If you read her responses to the questions posed at last month’s transportation forum, it’s evident this is a candidate who has spent time in the trenches of these conversations, can speak the alphabet soup of acronyms and jargon among the best of them, and fundamentally understands not only the imperative to reconfigure our streets for better outcomes, but also the ways and means do so.

Andrea worked with me to craft the deal we made with TriMet to improve sidewalks and crosswalks on or adjacent to 122nd Avenue, and TriMet agreed to improve service on that route. This sort of governing work is unsexy, arduous, and rarely appreciated. We had to engage and negotiate with a separate governmental entity, listen empathetically and respectfully to diverse community voices, work with PBOT’s bean counters anxious about which projects we’d choose to fund with new revenue, and deliberately prioritize valuable time and political capital for justice-minded, cost-efficient outcomes. Her collaborative work with the East Portland Action Plan, TriMet, and PBOT helped ensure that the city would fund the necessary infrastructure so that East Portland would finally move toward a frequent-service north/south bus line for the first time in decades.

I also relied on Andrea in the Foster Streetscape project [which will start construction this summer]. Although I always thought it was a good project, I delayed it when I realized our community outreach had not been extensive enough to reach historically underrepresented communities. Andrea worked with PBOT not only to expand our outreach and engagement on that project, but to revamp PBOT’s approach to outreach and community engagement in general. The Foster Road project is going ahead, improving traffic safety and neighborhood livability, with broad community buy-in.

Andrea’s leadership, thoughtfulness and project management skills are easily recognized by any set of community advocates that have had the pleasure of working with her. She’s been a dedicated voice for change at the David Douglas School District, where she serves as a Board Member. Among other achievements, she got a unanimous vote for expanded birth control services. She’s likewise received accolades from her work in the Mayor’s office on the Sanctuary City resolution. Time and again she has proven herself more than capable, and wise beyond her years at navigating bureaucracies, community advocates, and policy wonkery.

When I asked Andrea recently about her vision for bicycling, she immediately said that she would like to find a way to extend Safe Routes to School bicycle education programs to adults. She said that to many low-income people, buying and servicing a bike seems like one more expense that they can’t afford. It isn’t obvious to many people that if you bike more, you save money by avoiding the cost of gas and wear-and-tear on a car, or even TriMet tickets. That’s not a comment that I’d heard before, from any politician, and it reflects Andrea’s unique background and perspective.

A city commissioner by herself can’t promise to immediately implement a permanent Better Naito, all of PBOT’s proposed Enhanced Transit Corridors, fight ODOT’s senseless freeway expansion, or raise taxes on the wealthy to fund Youthpass. That level of Sim City-esque dictatorship is simply not within the job description (again, the whole thing about Getting to Three Votes, for starters). But a city commissioner can govern in such a manner that the advocates, rabblerousers, and community members desperately clamoring for full fledged solutions to our housing, transportation, and police accountability woes can be confident that the Commissioner doesn’t just agree with their principles but has a chance of implementing them in practice. I’m confident Andrea will deliver.

— Steve Novick

Publisher’s note:

Valderrama is running for City Council position number three. Learn more about all the candidates here. For more coverage don’t miss our recap of the recent candidate forum on transportation. For another look at this race, read the Willamette Week’s endorsement of Valderrama’s competitor Jo Ann Hardesty.

If anyone else has endorsements they’d like to publish, drop a line and we’ll consider it.

– Jonathan Maus

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  • Bjorn April 27, 2018 at 9:25 am

    I have to say I wish that this race was using Instant Runoff Voting because I feel like there is a candidate I really like, a candidate I feel pretty good about, and a couple candidates I really don’t like. I’d prefer a system where we ranked them instead of just having to pick one and only one which might result in my two favored candidates splitting the vote and someone that many people don’t want at all slipping in.

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    • soren April 27, 2018 at 9:48 am

      I personally would urge you to vote for the person that has the greatest chance of preventing a Smith vs Emmons election this fall (that Smith would almost certainly win).

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      • mh April 27, 2018 at 10:41 am

        I’m suffering here. I’d like to vote for Valderrama, but my terror of Smith vs Emmons, plus Hardesty’s two newspaper endorsements is telling me I should vote for Hardesty. She’s got so many anti-entitled-white-male-lycra-clad-bicyclists reflexes at the moment that if (or before) she wins, she needs to have a lot of conversations with transportation/utility cyclists. Bring out the parents with Bakfiets!

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        • 9watts April 27, 2018 at 10:50 am

          Another vote for Hardesty!

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        • soren April 27, 2018 at 11:09 am

          “anti-entitled-white-male-lycra-clad-bicyclists ”

          this is bad???/??/??

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          • Paul April 27, 2018 at 3:02 pm

            It’s bad if it means “entitled-white-male-lycra-clad-bicyclists” is your whole idea of cycling, which is true for far too many people.

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          • mh April 29, 2018 at 9:27 am

            Her previous statements suggest that she extrapolates, and that’s how she categorizes all of us.

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            • Middle of the Road Guy April 30, 2018 at 9:33 am

              extrapolate could easily be interpreted as “stereotypes”

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        • Shoupian April 27, 2018 at 12:03 pm

          Vote for the candidate you believe in! Who says Smith or Emmons are likely to win? I have not yet seen any credible poll numbers. How will we ever get the best candidate for city council if we vote, not based on who best represent our values and interests, but on some not verifiable perception of who’s likely to win?

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      • Aaron Brown April 27, 2018 at 11:11 am

        i’d encourage everybody to vote for the candidate they like the most. like, ain’t that democracy? Anyone that claims they know what the hell will happen in a local election with a) no incumbent b) unpredictable turn out c) multiple candidates who have legitimate claims to strong, energized bases and sizable campaign warchests (for better and for worse) is, frankly, bluffing.

        I’m supporting Valderrama, and I personally think that JoAnn Hardesty is a similarly excellent candidate for city hall. I encourage anyone interested in seeing either of these two dedicated women get elected spend time volunteering with their respective campaigns and/or turning out the vote for them, as opposed to nitpicking between the two on the internet.

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    • Damien E May 1, 2018 at 8:16 am

      The Portland City charter is up for review soon. I’ll be pushing whoever and wherever I can to change how we vote when it does – I think approval voting or range voting would be easier, cheaper, and simpler to implement than ranked-choice, but any of those options would be a world ahead of plurality voting.

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  • me April 27, 2018 at 10:06 am

    I want to see JoAnn Hardesty win, or I want to see a runoff between JoAnn and Andrea. I of course want to see Smith lose.

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    • John Liu
      John Liu April 28, 2018 at 1:54 am

      Loretta Smith has raised 2X as much money as any other candidate. That suggests she is the establishment choice.

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      • Paul Cone April 30, 2018 at 9:10 am

        Except the establishment — Wheeler, Novick, Winning Mark — is behind Valderrama.

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  • Jon April 27, 2018 at 10:08 am

    Her positions show that she is the most well rounded candidate for this position. We have enough “out there” folks on the city council already. I’m voting for her. Hardesty appears to be clueless about transportation. Smith is a train wreck based on her abuse of her staff. The rest of the bunch are nut jobs.

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    • 9watts April 27, 2018 at 10:50 am

      Hardesty is hardly clueless about the police, and on some days that seems as important.

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    • soren April 27, 2018 at 11:14 am

      Hardesty has decades of experience in government and public service. Moreover, Hardesty had been a long-time advocate for safe streets, transportation equity, and east portland’s transportation action plan (EPAP).

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      • me April 27, 2018 at 11:57 am

        I’m right there with Soren. JoAnn has the experience and the vision.

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      • Doug Hecker April 27, 2018 at 2:21 pm

        Vision Zero and “twenty is plenty” means nothing, yes, nothing without police. So while JoAnn wants safe streets, that would be impossible without police, especially in our most vulnerable areas such as our neighborhoods. A neat orange sign or slogan doesn’t do much for changing how people move.

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        • 9watts April 27, 2018 at 2:27 pm

          But we already have police, which are neither enforcing traffic laws nor treating blacks equally. Your argument makes no sense.

          Let’s come up with a fair, affordable, non-fossil-fuel drenched plan for reducing or eliminating automobile-sponsored carnage and then seek to implement it. If you know anything that suggests a given candidate is opposed to something along these lines, let’s hear it. JoAnn is the only candidate I’ve heard who unequivocally and unapologetically objects to how policing is currently done in this town.

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          • Doug Hecker April 27, 2018 at 11:19 pm

            You’re a fun human being. You must not know that our police force is dieted just like our roads and thanks to Steve, we have rental cops that can’t and don’t do shit besides call the cops just like you and I. More cops on the beat means more of a presence for lousy users of the roads and the sidewalks. You think people will continue to speed up and down your “twenty is plenty” ladened street if they got a ticket for it? Those silly signs will help you feel better and maybe even sleep better at night but people like myself and a few others know that they don’t mean ish if they won’t enforce it. 20 is plenty will only mean something after the fact that an accident happened. Big deal dude. So yes, unlike Hardesty, I need more cops. I’d like to see people have to change their crappy driving culture and habits with a fat ticket to pay. I’m sure you’ll agree that you’d like to see something change.

            I won’t respond to your climate chat as I don’t ride to make myself feel better about it and I didn’t bring it up.

            And yes, I will vote for Felicia Williams because she best someday up what I would like to see. Maybe, just maybe, we can get some regional leadership in city council. Hell maybe then we might actually get some stuff done instead of crying over pennies for each Bureau.

            Have a good night bro

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            • 9watts April 28, 2018 at 9:25 am

              More cops are only useful if we have in place a code of conduct that governs their behavior. In the absence of the trust such accountability could inspire, more cops are hardly a solution to anything.

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              • Doug Hecker April 28, 2018 at 5:15 pm

                Cool, by your own admission, 20 is plenty is useless because cops don’t know how to pull people over for speeding. So why does Vision Zero exist if there isn’t anyone to enforce? I can’t help but laugh at your reasoning on this.

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              • 9watts April 28, 2018 at 5:41 pm

                Recognizing that we have multiple problems that intersect doesn’t mean we must throw up our hands and give up. As I’ve noted here in the past, it should be possible to fix police bias and enforce traffic laws. Anyone who suggests we can’t have both is in my view not being constructive or lacks imagination.

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    • Tony Jordan (Contributor) April 27, 2018 at 4:14 pm

      My direct experience with Hardesty leaves me to believe that she will seek out good advisors on topics like transportation and will weigh lots of people’s inputs before making informed decisions when it matters.

      For example, I disagree with her current position on freeway tolling (which is, unfortunately, difficult to tease out from “congestion pricing”), but I don’t get the feeling that she would be opposed to traffic management schemes that can be shown to really take their impact on low income people into account.

      So, in summation, I wouldn’t let her positions on transportation discourage you if you agree with her on most everything else.

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty April 27, 2018 at 8:47 pm

        In their endorsement interview, WW asked each candidate if they supported the proposal to toll I-5 and I-205. None of the candidates was willing to embrace it, but in the WW endorsement interview Hardesty was adamantly opposed (citing the same equity arguments that many of you have pooh-pooed when raised by others). The other candidates mostly hedged, citing the need for more study, with Valderrama seeming the most open to it.

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  • Champs April 27, 2018 at 10:10 am

    Is this an endorsement from contrite progressive Steve Novick or a regression to Commissioner Steve Novice?

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    • soren April 27, 2018 at 11:21 am

      One of Novick’s first actions (along with Hales) was to gut active transportation funding at PBOT. This resulted in the cancellation (or permanent delay) of multiple projects, including several neighborhood greenways in East Portland. Interestingly, these neighborhood greenways have continued to be indefinitely delayed indefinitely under Wheeler (Valderrama’s current boss).

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      • Aaron Brown April 27, 2018 at 12:10 pm

        Uh, What? Soren, if there’s one elected official at the city level that doesn’t deserve your ire about funding for active transportation, it’s Commissioner Novick. He put his career on the line to get the 2016 gas tax passed, and the fact that it was a near 50/50 split for biking and walking was only because of his insistence to some of the more conservative pro-business groups that transportation funding needs to go to more than patching potholes and moving cars.

        I understand you’re supportive of Hardesty; she’s a great candidate! But tarnishing Andrea Valderrama by making demonstrably ridiculous comments about Commissioner Novick’s record (and somehow saying that Valderrama is directly responsible for something Mayor Wheeler did that was completely unrelated to her line of work in his office) seems kinda unnecessary.

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        • 9watts April 27, 2018 at 12:40 pm

          “He put his career on the line to get the 2016 gas tax passed”


          How short memories are.
          There is a string of comments and discussion right here on bikeportland a mile long showing this to be false. If you have any doubts I’ll go dig it all up.
          Novick buried the answers to the original opinion survey question about the gas tax for a year or even two, claiming that option was so unpopular as to be not worth considering, that the Street Fee was our best/only chance. When that blew up in their faces, repeatedly, he suddenly took it all back and opted for the gas tax.

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          • soren April 27, 2018 at 12:57 pm

            Novick also abandoned his own progressive tax proposal (that would almost certainly have passed, IMO) in response to pressure from the Portland Business Alliance.

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            • Aaron Brown April 27, 2018 at 1:31 pm

              You and 9watts each have a right to your opinions. I’m just going to state that as the campaign manager for Measure 26-173 two years ago, I can tell you that having seen the polling and the difficult lift necessary to raise the $120k to challenge the oregon fuels association’s campaign against it, and I think you are each sorely mistaken about the political challenge inherent in passing this funding mechanism. Novick deserves credit for taking on the challenge to demand funding for safe streets, especially considering many previous politicians decided it wasn’t worth the risk.

              It’s entirely possible a different method of taxation would have also passed; it’s unlikely, given our current mechanisms of governance. I encourage you to join in to every initiative for campaign finance reform so that future commissioners don’t have the uneasy task of deciding whether they want to rally the troops to challenge the big pursestrings of the Portland Business Alliance or the Oregon Fuels Association.

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              • 9watts April 27, 2018 at 1:38 pm

                “having seen the polling”

                Something’s not adding up here.

                The gas tax did pass, and handily. Some of us resented the defeatist drumbeat of naysayers who felt the need to browbeat us (2013-15) into recognizing that raising the gas tax was political suicide, a dinosaur, and on and on. Now it seems you’re back doing this.
                I have great respect and appreciation for anyone involved in passing an increase in the gas tax, but to suggest that this was what Steve Novick was spending political capital on from the get-go is 180 degrees off from what I remember, and we debated here over years.

                here are just a couple of bits from the archives:


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              • David Hampsten April 30, 2018 at 3:13 pm

                Aaron, you and I, along with several others, attended those meetings in 2014-5 with Novick and his staff and I’ll happily confirm what you say is true. However, as the meetings were not open to the press, being essentially “secret”, it should come to no-one’s surprise that 9watts or anyone else would only see what was published in BP or other free press sources. It’s the price one pays to pass necessary legislation – secrets stay secret even when exposed, the guilty are rewarded, no good deed goes unpunished.

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              • 9watts April 30, 2018 at 3:18 pm

                Secret negotiations?

                I of course have no special insights, but what I did see and found exceedingly frustrating was a sustained sidelining of any talk of raising the gas tax, referencing an unpublished public opinion survey that ostensibly ruled this out. So we had to listen to 18 months? 30 months? of Street Fee nonsense before the surprise exhumation of… the gas tax!

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        • soren April 27, 2018 at 12:50 pm

          ” tarnishing Andrea Valderrama”

          My post was entirely about Novick, Hales, and Wheeler.

          I would enthusiastically endorse, donate money to, and canvass for Valderrama were she to end up in the general against anyone other than Hardesty. Moreover, few things* would make me happier than to see a Hardesty vs Valderrama matchup in the general election.

          *the loss of Monroe to Jama, for example.

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    • mh April 29, 2018 at 9:34 am

      Well, _I_ liked the wordplay.

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  • SD April 27, 2018 at 10:54 am

    I’ve been super impressed with everything I’ve heard from Valderrama and it appears that the positions she is taking are what she genuinely believes rather than pandering for votes.
    I’m also to the point that I feel like “strategic” voting instead of voting for the candidates and policies that I think are best is a bad approach for local elections in the long term because it diminishes support for good ideas in return for immediate gains that often don’t pan out.

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  • Phil Richman April 27, 2018 at 11:35 am

    I wish we could have both Valderrama and Hardesty. I hope both will recognize each other as allies post-election regardless of the outcome.

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    • soren April 27, 2018 at 12:59 pm


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  • John Mulvey April 27, 2018 at 12:37 pm

    Novick: ‘Commissioners primarily concerned about “their” bureaus aren’t willing to take risks on behalf of “someone else’s bureau.”’

    Someone tell me why Commissioners who are only concerned about “their district” instead of “someone else’s district” would be better?

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    • Kate April 27, 2018 at 2:04 pm

      Because at least they would have a stake in good policy ideas, programs and funding across a variety of issue areas as they would all impact residents e.g. their constituents. As is, the incentives are to build up/protect their bureau’s primary responsibilities and not risk their political capital on other things.

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      • John Mulvey April 27, 2018 at 2:41 pm

        I don’t see the slightest basis for assuming that Commissioners would begin valuing good ideas in a way that they don’t now.

        What I do see is that there are long-standing inequities in the way dollars are allocated in different parts of the City. Going to a system in which Commissioners are elected by district would, I believe, lock in that inequity.

        For instance, great progress has been made in recent years toward addressing parks-defiency in East Portland. If we had one Commissioner from EP fighting for those increased dollars, but three others fighting to spend the same money on parks in their own district, the inequities would likely get worse, not better.

        I hear a lot of assertions about what a district system would do for disadvantaged areas of town. Not one ever explains why voters in the advantaged parts of town would voluntarily support candidates who work to increase resources going to somewhere else. I see them doing the exact opposite.

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        • Paul G. April 29, 2018 at 9:41 pm

          I think you are thinking of the politics incorrectly here.

          One of the main reasons that Portland funding is so inequitable is that in an at-large system like we have not, the same wealthy and influential areas of the city end up donating money, casting ballots, and lobbying.

          In a district system, those representing the inner SE and SW would have to build alliances with candidates elected from other districts with other needs.

          There’s a reason that at-large systems in the South were thrown out by the Supreme Court in the 1960s–they badly underrepresent minority interests. And there’s a reason that every other medium and large city in the country abandoned the at-large system, most over a century ago.

          This reform is badly overdue, no matter who gets elected.

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          • David Hampsten April 30, 2018 at 3:21 pm

            Columbus Ohio (860,000 people) still also has an at-large city council. Cincinnati and Denver only recently switched to districts under severe federal pressure. Many “southern” cities continue to have a mix of at-large and district councilors on the same council, as do many smaller Midwestern and Western cities.

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  • Steve Novick April 27, 2018 at 1:19 pm

    Soren, I went to progressives with the ability to help fund a campaign for a progressive fee for transportation – unions, progressive individuals – and none were interested in funding a campaign. PBA was prepared to spend a bunch to beat it.The polling wasn’t good enough to run a campaign that would be outspent 100 to 1. By contrast I got a surcharge passed on corporations that pay their CEOs more than 100 times what they pay their typical worker because I knew it was popular enough to survive any ballot challenge. That was the only progressive change to portland’s tax system in decades. By contrast I was the only local politician to publicly oppose the regressive arts tax. The idea that I was weak on progressive taxation is absurd.

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    • soren April 28, 2018 at 11:11 am

      I went to progressives with the ability to help fund a campaign for a progressive fee for transportation – unions, progressive individuals – and none were interested in funding a campaign.

      steve, i consider you (and many progressive) to be an ally to the left in many areas of politics. for example, i applauded your proposal to dramatically cut the portland police budget by reducing the drugs and vice division. i also see you as an ally when it comes to environmentalism and, to a lesser extent, housing and land use.

      however, your claim that a progressive income tax could not have won based on inability to raise funds is ironic considering that you were beaten by someone whose campaign was not funded by unions and wealthy progressive individuals.

      i challenge you to renew your faith in the grassroots people power that is the true source of progressive electoral strength. who knows…you might find that there is more electoral support for progressive policies than “polls” suggest.

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      • stevenovick April 30, 2018 at 3:32 pm

        Soren – we have seen over and over again that money matters more in ballot measures than in candidate campaigns, especially campaigns involving incumbents. People were grumpy with the Council in general and me in particular, so Chloe beat me even though she was largely unknown even on Election Day. But we have seen in ballot measures (like Measure 97) dramatic shifts in public opinion based on money – again and again and again. And it works both ways: The unions have beaten back bad measures that started with big leads, with money. After 30 years of neglect of the streets, and faced with the fact that every year we lose the problem gets more expensive, I thought it was my duty to do whatever based on my best political judgment had the best chance of winning. And the gas tax does have the advantage of being a carbon tax.

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  • SafeStreetsPlease April 27, 2018 at 1:20 pm

    Hardesty’s victim blaming against pedestrians at the last debate was a HUGE red flag for me, so I’m going with Andrea Valderrama. I like Hardesty on other issues, but she is out of touch on transportation when it concerns vulnerable road users. She also said tickets are too punitive. In my view, they’re clearly not punitive enough. If we treated texting and driving like a DUI, since it’s as dangerous as drinking and driving, maybe people would think twice. Hardesty wants more of a slap on the wrist. I find that logic dangerous.

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    • Ed April 28, 2018 at 9:06 pm

      And we know that Valderrama knows a thing or two about DUI …

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  • Steve Novick April 27, 2018 at 1:47 pm

    The gas tax passed 52-48 which is not “handily.” We started at 55%. Pollsters he erLky tell you never to go out with a tax that doesn’t start at 60%. We had to run a perfect campaign to win. That’s why Sam Adams didn’t even try.

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    • 9watts April 27, 2018 at 1:55 pm

      I didn’t recall the percentages of the vote so stand corrected. But how do you think it might have gone if you’d championed the gas tax from the get-go, rather than dismissing it over the course of several years of politically costly Street Fee footsie?

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  • Noel Mickelberry April 27, 2018 at 1:48 pm

    If you’d like to support Andrea’s campaign, I’m hosting a canvassing event this Saturday from 1pm-4pm! Bring your enthusiasm from the BikePortland comments out to voters in the Rose City Park neighborhood! I agree with the sentiment that the best thing we can do to ensure that a candidate like Valderrama or Hardesty (both awesome) gets into office, is to get people out voting – so I hope everyone who supports either of them puts in some door knocking miles in the next couple weeks!!

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  • Mick O April 27, 2018 at 2:07 pm

    In the Willamette Week’s endorsement of Jo Ann Hardesty, the publication specifically called out “bikes” as something only white politicians (and presumably constituents) care about and should be something Hardesty should avoid.

    “In America’s whitest big city, where leaders pay lip service to equity and then drift back to bikes and bioswales, Hardesty works from a position of sustained outrage—and appropriately so.”

    I was supremely disheartened to see that tired and outdated stereotype pushed by the WWeek staff, though I am not surprised. I tried to comment that bikes are PART of equity… but that’s not a sexy hot take, I suppose. Just more sad evidence of a lack of progressive thinking by so many in this once-great town.

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    • 9watts April 27, 2018 at 2:16 pm

      I am as dedicated a bikey person as you’ll likely find, but I have learned a lot from JoAnn (she had a weekly show on KBOO community radio until she decided to run for City Council) and will defer to JoAnn when it comes to policy priorities. I would rank persistent bias in policing as far above bike infrastructure, if I had to choose. I’m not saying we should choose or that JoAnn should choose, but you might agree that in our messed up society with its hopelessly simplistic media narratives it can be awfully easy to slip into these false choices.

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    • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) April 27, 2018 at 2:16 pm

      Good catch mick. I agree with you. That’s unfortunate and lazy journalism.

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    • soren April 27, 2018 at 2:48 pm

      The WW’s unrelated editorializing about bikes in the endorsement was really annoying and unfortunate.

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    • John Liu April 27, 2018 at 2:56 pm

      The WWeek’s coverage of the race and the candidates has been quite poor. Ditto much of their other “serious” reporting. A lot of it reads like quasi-opinion pieces – minimal factual data, a few quotes, and then the reporter’s own take. And WWeek seems to largely ignore biking except as a stereotype. In fairness, the bulk of WWeek’s reportage is focused on beer and cannabis, where they seem to be quite the authority.

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  • Paul April 27, 2018 at 2:39 pm

    Are people sure that Hardesty will be good on transportation policy? She looks kind of car-oriented to me. As someone whose highest local policy priority is getting cars off the street, I’m pretty afraid of her getting elected. Valderrama seems like maybe a better choice.

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    • Tony Jordan (Contributor) April 27, 2018 at 4:18 pm

      I think Hardesty seeks out good advisors and will listen to lots of viewpoints before making transportation decisions. I personally don’t agree with all her current takes on things, freeway tolling in particular, but I think she brings fresh perspectives and very under-represented concerns to the table.

      I think she’s a fighter and I think she will work very hard to implement the policies which I DO agree with her on (most of them) and I value that a lot.

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  • Steve Scarich April 27, 2018 at 5:54 pm

    Am I the only one insulted by a failed politician’s political endorsement here? I am no journalism ethics expert, but it seems to me like it should be a paid (to Mr. Maus) advertisement, and represented as such. Otherwise, it just compromises a bike blog.

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    • dwk April 27, 2018 at 6:14 pm

      You are mistaking this blog for integrity….
      Of course this should be a paid advertisement, but Maus was thrilled that Novice recognized him so he got published…..
      What is compromised?
      It is a private blog and you get the nonsense you want to see.

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    • Aaron Brown April 27, 2018 at 6:16 pm

      why does this insult you? it’s jonathan’s blog, it’s his business, if he’s willing to make an editorial decision to publish an opinion piece written by the first and only portland commissioner to raise money for sidewalks and bike lanes in *decades* as a piece of perspective on what it takes to get effective policy done in city hall, *and* if he openly extends the offer to any of the other candidates)…why does this insult you again?

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      • Steve Scarich April 27, 2018 at 6:53 pm

        That’s why I couched my remarks with the admission that I do not know everything about journalism ethics. The Interwebs have gotten too complex for me: what you are saying is that BikePortland is different from, say, Oregonlive, because it is owned by Jonathan, and therefore does not have the same rules? You might well be correct; as I think about it, Jonathan has not been shy about his political views and his biases, so I guess he can publish whatever he wants, in whatever format he wants.

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        • Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor) April 27, 2018 at 7:46 pm

          What even is “journalism ethics”? Is there a link I can follow to learn more?

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          • Steve Scarich April 28, 2018 at 9:06 am

            Good point. In the simplest form, I would want journalists to highlight when they are expressing an editorial opinion vs attempting to convey facts. Of course, nothing is that clean, but that’s my thought. This piece was more than an ‘opinion’, though; it was a campaign advertisement and your publication should have been compensated for it. I would say the same thing if it was OLive. I find their similar pieces objectionable, because there is no balanced response from their opposition. Therefore, it becomes an ad. I am probably walking myself off a verbal plank here, so will stop.

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  • John Liu
    John Liu April 28, 2018 at 1:04 am

    Has Andrea Valderrama had a career outside of goverment? Is her work experience solely or primarily as a city hall staffer? I can’t find a bio for her.

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    • John Liu
      John Liu April 28, 2018 at 1:18 am

      Never mind, I found the answer. She graduated from college in 2011, worked a year for the Oregon Student Association, a year for Voz Workers Rights Education Project, in 2013 started working as a city staffer and has been a Policy And Outreach Advisor for different commissioners ever since.

      I think she is well spoken, having seen her at forums. I would personally prefer a commissioner with much more career experience, and in particular much more substantial experience outside of the confines and group-think of Portland City Hall. I am also concerned about a candidate who works for Mayor Wheeler, as that person’s independence would be in doubt (to me).

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  • John Liu
    John Liu April 28, 2018 at 1:29 am

    Wheeler (Valderrama’s current boss).Recommended 8

    This bothers me. Regardless of Valderrama’s qualities, electing the Mayor’s employee to council feels like small town-style nepotism and I worry about fostering an inbred sort of council. I’m not saying she would be the Mayor’s mini-me but that concern would always be there.

    I’m not a knee-jerk vote for “the outsider” but I’d like to see people from outside of government get into goverment, and people in government go out and mix it up on the outside.

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  • Dave April 28, 2018 at 8:54 am

    We don’t live in Portland but if we did, I’d be a white MAMIL for Joann Hardesty. She gets too. much stuff right for me to think otherwise.

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  • Jim Le April 28, 2018 at 11:14 am

    This is a superb thread on candidates for a very important election!

    There are many points of view well and honestly expressed.

    My guess is that the overriding concern of most voters is “tarps and tents on the sidewalks,” but most of the candidates seem not to understand that.

    As the only other commenter here other than SN to have stood for office I too have endured WW’s interview sessions. Yes, WW’s folk are biased and emotive. No matter what a candidate says, if those folk do not like you they will ignore your well-thought positions, trivialize a minor remark, and float that out to the public.

    Beth Slovic is the worst; read her current political piece in the April issue of Portland Monthly. Beth once was a fine journalist; now she just unloads piles of chips from her shoulders.

    The most interesting facet of WW’s endorsement was citing Hardesty’s “anger.” As a baptized and confirmed Christian I hold ANGER to be one of the seven deadly sins, third from the bottom on Dante’s Mount of Purgatory. A sign of the times: deadly sinfulness is highest qualification for public office!

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    • soren April 29, 2018 at 4:24 pm

      IMO, comrade Jesus strongly disagrees with you:

      And making a whip of cords, he drove them all out of the temple, with the sheep and oxen. And he poured out the coins of the money-changers and overturned their tables. And he told those who sold the pigeons, “Take these things away; do not make my Father’s house a house of trade.”

      And Jesus went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves, And said unto them, It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.”

       Matthew 21:12

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      • Doug Hecker April 29, 2018 at 5:28 pm

        Excuse me lads, but Soren, still waiting for you to respond… thanks 🙂

        Feel free to share your checklist of what you would rather see. Safe? Convenient? Quick? Feel free to add anything I missed.

        You remember that far back? Nice. I also said that we can’t always have everything. So I am eager to see the order of hopeful items that you’d like to see in a bike facility. Thanks in advance.

        Personally, I avoid that intersection. I could use it daily.

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