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Guest Opinion: I’m Tony Jordan and I endorse Jo Ann Hardesty for Portland City Council

Posted by on April 29th, 2018 at 4:58 pm

Cynthia Fisher, Jo Ann Hardesty (center), and Tony Jordan.
(Photos courtesy Tony Jordan)

Tony Jordan is a long-time BikePortland reader and founder of Portlanders for Parking Reform.

I’m Tony Jordan and I support Jo Ann Hardesty for Portland City Council Position 3.

I’ve been active in the housing and transportation political scene for many years and I think Jo Ann has the integrity, resolve, and lived experience to help Portland earn its celebrated position at the vanguard of progressive and sustainable cities.

“Jo Ann is well regarded as being a champion for everyday Portlanders and has never been afraid to speak truth to power, or tell you how she sees it.”

Her platform contains a lot to be excited about. She has solid ideas about sustainable industry, she is uniquely poised to reform our police department, she supports the Residential Infill Project, and she wants to make public transit affordable and effective for everyone by expanding the youth pass, bringing down fares, and prioritizing buses on busy streets at peak hours.

Jo Ann doesn’t say everything I want to hear and that’s OK. She is not afraid to tell the Rose City Park Neighborhood Association (one of the most “NIMBY” neighborhoods in the city) that “we will have more people, we will be more dense” and that we need “housing for every income level in every community.” Jo Ann is also not afraid to tell transportation wonks that she is skeptical of congestion pricing and road pricing. Jo Ann is well regarded as being a champion for everyday Portlanders and has never been afraid to speak truth to power, or tell you how she sees it. When you talk to Jo Ann, and I do believe that Jo Ann will be an accessible commissioner, it will be clear if your message resonates with her or not.

I’ve also learned that Jo Ann is a fighter and I believe she is a commissioner who will make progress on the issues she chooses to focus on. Jo Ann is a reluctant politician and I don’t think she will make the same frustratingly political moves I have seen far too often as an observer of City Hall. Too often do we hear pleasing campaign rhetoric from our candidates and then we are disappointed as they compromise or capitulate on delivering results. I went to a house party for Jo Ann where Israel Bayer, former Executive Director of Street Roots put it this way, “Portland politicians run left, and govern right.” Jo Ann has a sustained record of holding the establishment accountable for progress. She has chosen critical issues for her platform: police accountability and reform, housing all Portlanders, advancing Portland’s green future, and providing access to government for all citizens and I know she will make progress on these issues.

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“I’m OK with her not being a transportation wonk, because I know that her voice is needed to highlight and make progress on issues that have been stalled out much longer than diverters on the Salmon greenway.”

I know that a lot of people in my circles; BikePortland readers, YIMBYs, active transportation advocates, and cheerleaders for the “missing middle” to name a few, are on the fence about whether to cast a vote for Jo Ann Hardesty. These communities are largely made up people with social and economic privileges and it’s important to examine how much of this hesitance comes from the idea of a strong black woman wielding significant political power in a very white city. On the policy side, a big issue is her skepticism of road pricing and her concerns about the impact of tolls on Portland’s low income citizens. I understand this concern, I’ve been at countless meetings, hearings, and committees where “equity” is a buzzword used cynically by people who don’t want to pay for the resources they use. I don’t think Jo Ann is cynical in her concerns about user fees. Jo Ann promises to represent the voices of Portlanders who aren’t always present at our meetings and happy hours and who might not be commenting on our blogs or facebook groups.

Jo Ann will bring a much needed perspective, informed by lived experience, to a council that has been far too homogenous for far too long. I’m OK with her not being a transportation wonk, because I know that her voice is needed to highlight and make progress on issues that have been stalled out much longer than diverters on the Salmon greenway. We should also remember that having a wonky commissioner doesn’t guarantee a wonky vote. If you’ve spent time lobbying commissioners, you’ve almost certainly been told that they know your argument is correct, but they’re getting calls from their big donors and they need to get re-elected.

Transportation advocates have been very successful in Portland in raising awareness about our concerns and demanding changes. We must be mindful that there are many people in this city who don’t have the access or power to effect the changes they need, I believe Jo Ann will seek out and amplify those voices.

My passion is parking reform and I believe strongly that we should charge market rates for on-street parking. I am also a car-free everyday cyclist who knows that charging people to drive on congested roads during peak hours works. I’m endorsing Jo Ann Hardesty even though I know that we will have to work hard to earn her support for those policies. Jo Ann Hardesty will hold the transportation advocacy community accountable to propose solutions that truly consider the people who aren’t at the table. I think that’s a very good thing and I know that we are up for the challenge.


— Tony Jordan @twjpdx23 on Twitter

For more on this race, read an of Hardesty’s competitor Andrea Valderrama by former Commissioner Steve Novick. And don’t miss the discussion in the comment section.

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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

  • mh April 29, 2018 at 6:58 pm

    I was filling out my ballot and grinding my teeth about this race, and only this race. I celebrate a council member who is angry about important things that deserve fury, but am afraid of one who classifies cyclists as moneyed white guys who are unnecessarily coddled. Doug said “Tony Jordan has been advising her,” and I immediately filled in her bubble. At least she has a transportation advocate on her team (even if he is an entitled white guy).

    Ms. Hardesty, please fight your way at least into a runoff. If I am forced to choose between Smith and Emmons, I won’t be able to vote for either.

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    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty April 29, 2018 at 11:19 pm

      Why is Tony “entitled”?

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      • mh April 30, 2018 at 7:10 am

        White and male. Not his fault.

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        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty April 30, 2018 at 8:15 am

          Why does being white and male make one “entitled”?

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          • Middle of the Road Guy April 30, 2018 at 9:23 am

            Grabbing popcorn…

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            • Mtnbikeskillworms May 1, 2018 at 9:44 am

              This article almost lost me in the first sentence, when I saw “Portlanders for parking reform”. I liked your popcorn comment, now I’m out. Can’t bare to rabbit hole these comments further.

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          • one April 30, 2018 at 9:48 am

            …Not sure if question is real…

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          • paikiala April 30, 2018 at 11:23 am
        • Cyclekrieg April 30, 2018 at 8:25 am

          Can you explain how making assumptions and/or gifting attributes to a person based on intrinsic qualities (sex/gender, “race”) isn’t some form of bigotry?

          Just wondering, because I’m pretty sure if anyone on these comments suggested that Hardesty was problematic because of her sex/gender or “race”, you might take issue with that.

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          • Evan Manvel May 2, 2018 at 9:24 am

            Cyclekrieg asked:

            “Can you explain how making assumptions and/or gifting attributes to a person based on intrinsic qualities (sex/gender, “race”) isn’t some form of bigotry?

            Just wondering, because I’m pretty sure if anyone on these comments suggested that Hardesty was problematic because of her sex/gender or “race”, you might take issue with that.”

            I’d posit people who because of their gender or race have different power in this society, not *intrinsically,* but because of how our society has ingrained systemic sexism and racism. That means people tall white males like me are assumed to have more credibility, more authority, more strength, less likely to commit crime, etc. Because of those assumptions, I gain power, just because I’m a white guy. And those who aren’t white guys lose power.

            I don’t think it’s bigotry to note X (Tony or me) has been taught, through his life, to trust oneself more than average, or to likely overestimate his power and intelligence. Whether that means a person becomes “entitled” may be a valuable dive into the semantics and facts around “entitlement” and “bigotry.”

            That’s all I took from MH’s comment. Paikala’s link helps. Maybe this link about self-confidence helps too. https://www.theatlantic.com/magazine/archive/2014/05/the-confidence-gap/359815/

            Peace. (Sorry, Tony, now that we’ve let this thread not be *too* distracted for a while, I didn’t want to let this hang and ignore hard conversations around gender and race, though I also want to talk about the council race).

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            • Hello, Kitty
              Hello, Kitty May 2, 2018 at 10:12 am

              Leaving aside interactions with the police, I will assert that a charismatic, attractive, and confident black man will do better in many respects than a dumpy, pudgy, balding white guy (or, worse, woman). Power definitely flows in unfair ways, and while race is a particularly potent example, there are many other factors that are equally unfair (did I deserve to be born ugly?) that regulate our position in the social hierarchy, wholly unrelated to current societal measurements of merit.

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              • Evan Manvel May 2, 2018 at 11:15 am

                There’s a lot that you did there, besides altering the race. But yes, there’s a lot of discrimination about body type and attractiveness.

                I’d say your “leave aside interactions with the police” is a huge understatement.

                Start with “leave aside how people react when you walk down every street/into a store/apply for a job/interact with landlords/interact with the courts/interact with the media/audition for the orchestra” etc. Systemic racism is deep and pervasive.

                Just having a black *name* can reduce the chances of getting an interview over a white-sounding name with the exact same resume (one study found it reduced call-backs by 33%). There’s similar research about trying to get housing.


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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty May 2, 2018 at 12:20 pm

                It’s not an understatement, it’s an important area of interaction where we know being a soft, balding white guy is far better than being a powerful, confident black man (unlike, say, dating). I don’t downplay or trivialize it. I just wanted to set that case aside because it’s a distraction from my main point.

                We know DeShawn or Jazmine will have a harder time getting an interview for an engineer than Jeff or Andrea, but I suspect Brandi, Hank, Misty, Virgil, or Tammi-Lynn would have difficulty as well. Part of that is race, but there’s a lot of class and other factors involved as well. (And when trying to get that interview, I’d probably be better off with Li Jing than Billy, white male or not.) In the interview, an equally qualified but attractive Jamaal will be better off than a blotchy Lester, or a Joe that rolls in in a wheelchair. And god help you if you are 50, of any race or gender.

                I do not deny or downplay systemic racism. My point is the way people judge one another is complex, and attributing it all to race (an important factor, to be sure, but one of many, and one weighted differently in different types of interactions) is reductionist and simplistic.

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        • Tony Jordan (Contributor) April 30, 2018 at 8:35 am

          And I’m not offended and I hope this part of the thread ends so people can discuss something that isn’t centered on me and my whiteness.

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          • Chris I April 30, 2018 at 9:41 am

            Shame on you!

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        • Middle of the Road Guy April 30, 2018 at 9:31 am

          What about white and female? What has a higher rank on the scale of entitlement? Gender or race (which we have been told doesn’t exist)? I truly want to know how progressives think about this.

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          • Cyclekrieg April 30, 2018 at 11:26 am

            Race doesn’t exist, at least not scientifically. The number of genes that code for “racial features” (eye shape, skin tone, skull angle, whatever else people think is a racial characteristic) are lower in number than the genes that people create characteristics people think of as individual to a person or family. https://news.nationalgeographic.com/2017/10/genetics-history-race-neanderthal-rutherford/

            That being said, its possible to have race as not a thing, yet racism be a thing. Or bigotry based on perception of what a person is or their supposed “racial history”.

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            • Hello, Kitty
              Hello, Kitty April 30, 2018 at 11:34 am

              You are absolutely right, but race is a social construct that is very real.

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            • Middle of the Road Guy April 30, 2018 at 2:00 pm

              Such as “white privilege”?

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    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty April 30, 2018 at 11:39 am

      mh — I’m interpreting the comment I took issue with above not as an expression of your opinion, but rather as a riffing on comments attributed to Hardesty about cyclists being white, male, and entitled. Is that right?

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      • mh November 7, 2018 at 10:35 am

        Months later, after Joann wins the council seat, I actually saw the question. The answer is “yes.”

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    • Joshua May 2, 2018 at 5:28 pm

      The guy wearing the necktie and holding the clipboard in the picture above is Fred King.
      This Fred King: http://www.wweek.com/portland/article-4586-unsolved-murders.html

      He’s long been a friend of the Hardestys. I for one, will not be voting for Joann Hardesty

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      • dan May 3, 2018 at 11:37 am

        That’s an interesting read. Thanks for posting the link.

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  • soren April 29, 2018 at 8:02 pm

    Sarah Iannarone also endorsed Jo Ann Hardesty today:

    “Given the lackluster leadership we’ve had on Portland City Council in recent years, I’m almost giddy to see someone with Jo Ann’s backbone, tenacity, and commitment to racial equity making a serious run for this seat — even on days she disagrees with me.”


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    • anubus April 30, 2018 at 3:32 pm

      She is the most extreme player in Portland politics and I would run away as fast as possible from her and anyone she supports. We need centrists in this city , not whackjobs that get love to get their base all riled up – ahem, like a certain someone that occupies a house in Washington DC right now

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  • soren April 29, 2018 at 8:05 pm

    Jo Ann Hardesty has always been willing to speak truth to power as can be seen in her fierce opposition to the Columbia River Crossing here:


    Coalition for a Livable Future is hiring a full-time lobbyist to work in Salem starting today. CLF’s Board President Jo Ann Hardesty said the lobbyist will talk with every legislator. “They’ll tell them that this project is not acceptable, that Portlanders don’t want it, Oregonians don’t want it, and we can’t afford it.” “There’s nothing about this project that passes the smell test,” she added. “We the people get to decide what a livable community looks like, and that ain’t it.”

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  • William Henderson April 29, 2018 at 8:30 pm

    Thanks for writing this, Tony. I agree with every word, and second your endorsement for Jo Ann! Even if you don’t vote for her, transportation wonks who aspire to be truely progressive should do the work to understand Jo Ann’s perspective.

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    • 9watts April 30, 2018 at 8:29 am

      Hear, hear!

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  • Mike Quigley April 30, 2018 at 5:57 am

    If JoAnn doesn’t get elected, it proves that Portland is incapable of addressing its transportation problems.

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    • dwk April 30, 2018 at 7:51 am

      She does not support congestion pricing….
      How are things going to get better…

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    • dwk April 30, 2018 at 7:53 am

      In fact, her platform on transportation issues is really lacking.

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    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty April 30, 2018 at 8:26 am

      JoAnn is right on a lot of issues, but she’s wrong on transportation.

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      • Tony Jordan (Contributor) April 30, 2018 at 8:34 am

        I obviously think that’s an incorrect assessment. Jo Ann has plenty of areas regarding transportation which she is in agreement with the general transportation advocacy community. She wants sidewalks, she wants expanded transit, she wants bus right of ways, she opposes widening I5.

        Most importantly, I think she has an open mind and is going to listen to people, not big donors, when she is deciding how to vote. I know I’ve been let down by politicians who “know better” plenty of times. So being “right” on transportation doesn’t mean someone is going to do the right thing.

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        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty April 30, 2018 at 11:23 am

          We’ve also been let down by candidates who should be on our side, but, for whatever reason, aren’t, or aren’t effective, or get bogged down with whatever side issues capture their attention.

          I haven’t voted yet, and while I’ve eliminated some candidates, Jo Ann is still on my list. But I feel like we’ve been down this road before, of hoping that because a candidate says good things about one issue, they’ll make the right choices on another. I would feel very encouraged if I heard a statement from her campaign to the effect that she understands that cycling and cycling infrastructure will play an important role in resolving our growing transportation and environmental problems.

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  • GlowBoy April 30, 2018 at 8:15 am

    Here’s hoping Portlanders vote in a progressive pro-density city council! We in Minneapolis did just that last November, buoyed by a strong YIMBY movement – and just in time for this year’s rewrite of the city’s Comprehensive Plan. BIG zoning changes are on the horizon here. Most notably, nearly the entire city is going to be rezoned to allow up to fourplexes, but other upzoning actions are also part of the plan.

    Unfortunately, Portland’s too-little-too-late easing of its own zoning restrictions coincided with a big spike in housing demand, causing a lot of people to assume a causal link where there is none. Let’s hope Portland’s voters realize the problem is there is still not enough supply, and that while new apartments are always expensive, their existence helps deter wealthier renters from bidding up the rents on older properties.

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    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty April 30, 2018 at 8:25 am

      How many new single family units (not apartments) do you think Portland can realistically build in the next 20 years? And how many will it take to meaningfully slow cost inflation?

      I’m not sure those two numbers are even vaguely in the same ballpark. What your solution would create, I fear, is a city full of Renaissance Homes and no improvement in affordability. A scenario where everyone loses.

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      • Cyclekrieg April 30, 2018 at 8:35 am

        What Glowboy is referring to is Minneapolis now allows by right density increases up to four plexes without zoning/neighborhood approval. This allows for older homes to be turned into apartments (like brownstones in NYC) or new structures to be created next to existing single unit housing. This is a step toward the type of housing change that used to be automatic. Personally I would prefer by right doubling every 10 years (single to double to quad, etc.), but this is a good step.

        Where the affordability comes in is that an older couple could partition a part of their existing house to an apartment (or 3) without all the steps. That means they could rent them for what the market allows. More apartments in more locations = cheaper rent.

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        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty April 30, 2018 at 11:02 am

          Internal partitions of existing properties, which I completely support, is only a small element of what’s being discussed for Portland. The RIP is mostly focused on new development, which, in most cases, involves the demolition of lower-end housing.

          As long as our housing prices remain below those of other west coast cities, they are bound to rise, regardless of anything we can realistically do. New development will make them rise faster, giving people less time to adapt.

          Want an immediate increase of smaller, less-expensive, in-the-neighborhood housing? Get rid of short-term rentals, today.

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          • Gary April 30, 2018 at 1:14 pm

            I’m going to paraphrase an insightful comment I read once:
            “How many new … units … do you think Portland [would realistically add if it did away with short term rentals]? And how many will it take to meaningfully slow cost inflation?”

            I don’t mean to provide only snark–I think you’re making the point clear. There is no one fix for the issue, and there may not be any complete fix. But to object to improvement because it’s not a singular fix is really a mistake in my opinion. Lots of little solutions–like short term rentals and gradual increases in density through redevelopment–are going to be necessary to help.

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          • twyrl May 7, 2018 at 4:07 pm

            up till now, the math proves that STRs are a non issue, just a scapegoat….all but a very small amount of the STRs( last year, 4-500) are not up to code for long term….folks just need to blame someone….instead of also looking at all the great jobs and biz that STRs bring to town, as well as helping many folks, seniors included, be able to afford to stay in their homes.
            also, as much as love my bike….i don’t want to be forced to ride it, because the 30 units of expensive, rabbit holes built next to me, don’t have to have parking….right, like that’s gonna be full of only bike riders who don’t own cars….dream on!

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            • Hello, Kitty
              Hello, Kitty May 7, 2018 at 4:44 pm

              I’d love to see your math, and why it differs from the math in NYC, where they are an issue.

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      • Chris I April 30, 2018 at 9:45 am

        You are contradicting yourself. One on hand, you say that it will “fill out city with [crappy] homes” and on the other you imply that it won’t be enough to meaningfully make an impact on affordability. Which is it?

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        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty April 30, 2018 at 10:54 am

          It’s both. That’s the problem. Everyone loses, except the developers.

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          • Chris I April 30, 2018 at 11:33 am

            Assuming what you say is correct (it isn’t), what is your solution to the affordability problem, then?

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            • Hello, Kitty
              Hello, Kitty April 30, 2018 at 11:59 am

              The only solution I see is public (or non-profit) housing, housing cooperatives, and other non-market based approaches to maintain housing options for lower income families. I do not see this working without a big policy shift away from incentivizing demolition, and instead funneling properties into public/non-profit ownership. The longer we wait, the more lower-end properties we rebuild, the more difficult and expensive it becomes.

              How about when a developer applies for a demolition permit, REACH and other non-profits get a chance to buy the property at market rate.

              Given the ability of people to live in Portland and work elsewhere, I see no real limit to the number of people moving here to escape higher housing costs on the west coast. How can we possibly build enough to accommodate them and keeping our prices below west coast market rate? Leave aside zoning for a moment; our building pipeline simply doesn’t have the capacity, and our infrastructure can’t support it.

              I mean, seriously… no one (not even most proponents) think RIP/redevelopment is going to solve our housing affordability problem.

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              • chris m April 30, 2018 at 1:26 pm

                No one thing can solve the housing affordability problems but building more housing units will help.

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              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty April 30, 2018 at 1:51 pm

                It would help if we weren’t just building units aimed at the top end. Joe Weston’s apartments were (and still are) cheap because they are essentially particleboard attached to shag carpet with some fake brick and vinyl siding on the outside, and no one would pay top dollar to live in one of those. Modern apartments with granite and stainless are never going to serve that same market, no matter how many we build.

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              • David Hampsten April 30, 2018 at 4:26 pm

                And I lived in one. My 2bd/1.5 bath 1,000 sq ft w/d ac in East Portland rent was $720/m in 2007. By the time I left Portland in Dec 2015, the same unit was $1,450/m. Your description is apt and correct, except that unlike most, they were well-insulated.

                I currently pay $707/m here in NC for the same amenities but 800 sq ft, poorly insulated, but with a heat exchange.

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      • Shoupian April 30, 2018 at 12:43 pm

        What’s wrong with building apartment units? We need more rental units if we want to keep rent stable and avoid economic displacement. Over half of the city’s land is zoned for single family. I think we already have plenty of supply for single family units.

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        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty April 30, 2018 at 1:08 pm

          Nothing is wrong with building apartments, though it would help if someone was building more lower-end units. They also won’t help much with the spiraling costs of home ownership (which is a problem for anyone trying to free themselves from the yoke of paying for someone else’s property). You’re the first person I’ve heard suggest we have enough supply to take care of that problem, and I hope you’re right.

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        • soren April 30, 2018 at 4:40 pm

          ironically, portland’s multifamily zoning discourages the construction of apartment units. for example, a small 16 unit courtyard apartment building cannot be built on many R1, R2, or R3 lots (the bulk of multifamily-zoned lots). instead we get row houses, small houses, and other types of expensive owned housing.

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          • John Liu
            John Liu April 30, 2018 at 10:28 pm

            Better Housing By Design, a rezoning project for R1-2-3 zones, will take care of that. BHP essentially says in those multifamily zones, there is no limit on the number of units a building can hold and no parking required. Only size and height are regulated. (Simplifying a bit.)

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            • soren May 1, 2018 at 7:47 am

              John, BHD switched to FAR density limits that when paired with strict height limits (35 foot height limit) prevent development of apartment buildings on most RM1 lots (FAR of 1) and still restricts the building of apartment buildings on some RM2 lots.

              Diagram showing FAR limits for RM1 and RM2: https://bit.ly/2w5fVGC

              Of course mixed use commercial zones have far higher FAR because Portland’s solution to our housing crisis is to encourage the building of more restaurants, coffee shops, doggy day care centers, pot dispensaries, and salons…but not the housing for people who work in these shops.

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          • Hello, Kitty
            Hello, Kitty April 30, 2018 at 10:34 pm

            A friend is building such a multifamily apartment building in R1 on SE 12th, and says there are lots of similar buildings going up in N/NE Portland.

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    • soren April 30, 2018 at 9:10 am

      “their existence helps deter wealthier renters from bidding up the rents on older properties.”

      So…let them eat “filtering” cake while working-class housing continues to evaporate
      and the vacancy rate for high-end housing increases. I’ve noticed that many of those telling poor folk that they should wait 30 years for a slight reduction in the price of rent are winners of the housing equity lottery (or hope to be some day soon).

      A genuine YIMBY position would be to emphasize public housing in my back yard (PHIMBY) because this is the housing type that is most excluded from our neighborhoods (via regulation, direct/indirect disincentives, and political capture.)

      “and that while new apartments are always expensive”

      New social housing is not always expensive.
      New inclusionary housing is not always expensive.
      New rent-stabilized housing is not always expensive.

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      • chris m April 30, 2018 at 9:35 am

        Recently new affordable housing projects have been extremely expensive, running like 500-800k per unit. This is because as far as I can tell the stakeholders in these projects are more interested in creating nice buildings than creating a lot of units. https://www.citylab.com/equity/2017/10/why-is-affordable-housing-so-expensive-to-build/543399/ So while public housing doesn’t have to be expensive to build, in reality the political environment means it has a recent history of being as expensive or more expensive than comparable private construction.

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        • soren April 30, 2018 at 10:36 am

          the political environment can change…

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          • chris m April 30, 2018 at 10:57 am

            I will be interested to see how the City spends the rest of the 250mm housing bond and if Metro passes the housing bond they are considering how that goes. But I think that a lot of community advocates are more interested in building housing in expensive areas that are on par with new market rate buildings than maximizing the number of units. There are reasons for this (an “edge city” situation where all public housing is consigned to one part of the outskirts of town is certainly not desirable), but it makes things a lot more expensive. So we shall see.

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty April 30, 2018 at 11:08 am

        I have had great experiences with REACH. They have a proven track record of providing good housing to people with low incomes in desirable neighborhoods. I wish we would focus more on incentivizing programs like theirs, rather than creating new rules to accelerate the transfer of potential candidate properties to developers.

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      • GlowBoy April 30, 2018 at 10:29 pm

        Maybe I should have written, “their existence would have helped deter wealthier renters…” Unfortunately Portland acted too late and allowed demand to exceed supply by too wide a margin. There isn’t an easy way out of this, now.

        I was going to quote the same CityLab article by our friend Joe Cortright, but got beaten to it. “Affordable” housing has been ridiculously – outrageously – expensive, at least so far. There simply isn’t enough money to build enough subsidized housing to seriously put the brakes on rents unless we can get an order of magnitude better at controlling costs.

        Unfortunately there isn’t an easy way out of this for Portland – except to keep bringing enough new housing into the mix so that there is no longer a shortage. Only then will rents stop rising. That doesn’t just mean building large apartment buildings: as mentioned above, there is no one solution. Yes, midrise apartments on arterials or in already-dense districts are part of the picture. So is encouraging ADUs, tiny houses, and partitioning of existing homes into plexes. Likewise, figuring out how to build subsidized housing for less. And so is imposing some limits on Airbnb-style rentals, as well as finding ways to restrict Renaissance-style homes that fill out an entire lot to the legal edges with a single unit.

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        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty May 1, 2018 at 9:23 am

          Building our way out of this problem is as realistic as building our way out of traffic congestion. It’s the obvious solution. And it’s wrong.

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          • 9watts May 1, 2018 at 9:26 am

            I’m 9watts and I agree with this statement.


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        • soren May 1, 2018 at 10:07 am

          i was, of course, referring to the price of rent, not the capital income of real estate investors. i wonder what would happen to property prices if we reversed some of the rent-seeking incentives that make housing such an incredible speculative investment.

          take a look around, glowboy. people are losing faith in the “market” and for good reason.

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          • GlowBoy May 2, 2018 at 8:44 am

            If the market had been allowed to build ANY apartments between 1965 and 2010 Portland wouldn’t be in the predicament that it is. Current high rents are the market’s response to the distortion that was Apartment Prohibition. As with intoxicant prohibition, a market doesn’t go away just because we wish it out of existence. We absolutely should not bow down to markets as some kind of God and allow them to dictate our lives … but we ignore their existence at our peril.

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            • Hello, Kitty
              Hello, Kitty May 2, 2018 at 8:54 am

              Are you saying Portland built no apartments between 1965 and 2010? That would be astonishing, if true.

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        • John Liu
          John Liu May 2, 2018 at 6:25 am

          Induced demand applies to housing too.

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          • GlowBoy May 2, 2018 at 8:57 am

            In saying housing is subject to induced demand, are you saying fewer people would have moved to Portland the last 10 years if fewer apartments had been built?

            Nothing could be further from the truth. Do you really think high housing prices are dissuading people from moving there now? I can tell you that’s not happening.

            Lots of people back and forth between Minneapolis and the Pacific NW, and I frequently meet people here who have heard great things about Portland, or maybe visited once, or briefly lived there 20 years ago, and are thinking about moving there. I actually have this conversation quite regularly, and in ZERO cases was anyone aware of housing costs there (or, historically, the relative difficulty in finding good-paying jobs).

            When I do mention it – and I’m careful not to exaggerate – the reaction is either outright disbelief, or at least downplaying that it’s a problem. They’re sure they’ll find a decent place when they get there. A couple months ago I ran into an entire family who’s planning a move over the summer, cost be damned. Not long before that I ran into a Trader Joe’s employee who’s about to make the move: it’s been approved by management, and he will make exactly the same wage that he does now. When I told him how difficult it was to find affordable housing, he just shrugged his shoulders.

            At this point I can confidently say that it is universal that when someone decides they want to move to Portland, they’ve already decided that it’s the place to be, and they don’t care about the cost or availability of housing until they get there. So I’m skeptical that there’s very much induced demand (i.e., demand elasticity) when it comes to housing in Portland.

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            • Hello, Kitty
              Hello, Kitty May 2, 2018 at 10:02 am

              We may have high housing prices by Portland standards, but we are still very affordable, cheap even, by west-coast standards. Many people are moving here from the Bay Area, induced by our low rents. Some Silicon Valley companies are moving whole teams here (I know of at least two, and a neighbor relocated his entire company here) because they are close enough (quick flight), but costs are lower.

              You say no one is being dissuaded by high housing prices, but you have no possible way to know that. I could similarly make the statement that no one is dissuaded by terrible traffic congestion from driving at rush hour (look at all those people on the roads!), so we can solve our traffic issues with freeway widening.

              I would make a similar traffic-themed argument to your “costs be damned” anecdote. If I get a new job across town that is a big improvement over my current job, I’ll likely take it, driving cost be damned. I’m not likely to move out to Beaverton just because I got a new job at Nike. What if the job doesn’t work out? No, I’ll grit my teeth and get in line on 26. For many people, moving is a much bigger deal than commuting.

              It’s interesting that you embrace induced demand when it comes to traffic, but deny it when it comes to housing. They are the same phenomenon, work the same way, are driven by the same forces, and exhibit the same dynamics. The main difference is that, in this forum, making driving more expensive is seen as a good unto itself, making induced demand/tolling/limiting road construction seem an attractive idea, whereas applying “congestion rents” to housing is an obvious loser, making it easier to deny the underlying problem that it would solve.

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      • JeffS May 1, 2018 at 6:32 am

        How generous of you to offer up everyone else’s tax money to build subsidized housing for people who cannot figure out how to live where they can afford to live.

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  • Gregg April 30, 2018 at 9:24 am

    I also fully support JoAnn Hardesty and I ride a bicycle too!

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    • X April 30, 2018 at 11:25 am

      Wow! A person who says “I ride. . .” that actually does!

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  • Sean Kelly April 30, 2018 at 10:17 am

    I’m another bicycle commuter for JoAnn. Portland has been too slow to adopt housing measures & strategies to make livability accessible for all.

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  • Joe April 30, 2018 at 10:52 am

    I was hesitant about who to pick in this race because I don’t want to end up with another Fritz, but after a little research it became clear that JoAnn was the right choice for me, for basically all the reasons Tony points out. I didn’t realize JoAnn was so on-point with the land use policies by supporting “missing middle” and telling it to the Rose City NA NIMBYs. That is quite encouraging!

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  • stevenovick April 30, 2018 at 3:46 pm

    The oddest thing about Hardesty’s policy positions is that she supports a new tax (the gross receipts “Just Energy Transition” tax) allegedly to fight climate disruption, but would not spend a dime of the money on transportation, the biggest source of carbon emissions. I don’t see how she is going to get the money to improve transit options if, even when she herself proposes a new tax, that logically should fund transit, she doesn’t want to fund transit.

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    • twyrl May 7, 2018 at 4:19 pm

      tenants wonder why our landlords need to raise the rent sometimes? we vote these bonds in, but don’t pay unless we own property. then get mad when our rent goes up.

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  • Douglas K April 30, 2018 at 7:59 pm

    I’m also a Hardesty supporter. I was on board because of her work on police reform and housing, but I think she’s good on transportation as well.

    Her campaign website has now added a position statement to transportation. Ms. Hardesty supports “access to free and widely available public transportation” and “a Portland where you can get where you need to go without using a car.” She wants to expand bus service and make it free (no specifics on how, beyond “securing and expanding our Youth Pass for students”) and supports the SW Corridor Project. She prioritizes public transportation over congestion pricing for equity reasons (“people of color in our community have been pushed to the edges of town” and shouldn’t be charged “for the privilege to come back for work or play”) and also is concerned about how drivers will seek to evade tolls by choosing new routes. She also doesn’t want congestion pricing to pay for more roads, but rather to invest in other modes of transportation, which I’m completely on board with.

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  • David Hampsten April 30, 2018 at 8:29 pm

    I’ve worked with both Hardesty and Valderrama through EPAP. I think they are both sympathetic towards alternative transport modes and would make good Portland city councilors. Neither are particularly avid cyclists.

    I’m kinda glad I don’t have to choose between them, as I can no longer vote in Oregon.

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  • JeffS May 1, 2018 at 6:36 am

    Self-loathing white guys seem to love Hardesty.

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  • Anthony May 1, 2018 at 1:22 pm

    We need centrists in this city, Recommended 7

    Yes, because that’s been working out so well for us thus far.

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    • anubus May 1, 2018 at 4:00 pm

      We got full exposure to the whackjobs with our own Springwater “Trail of Terror” thanks to Hales Chief of Staff, Josh Alpert. Nope, I do not want to go back there again.

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      • Gary May 2, 2018 at 6:21 am

        Only a whackjob would think to allow people a place to sleep, huh? You sure do throw that word around lightly. The Springwater experiment may not have been a success, but I don’t think it required being a whackjob to attempt it. I guess you prefer a “centrist” approach of doing absolutely nothing.

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  • SUVtoBike May 1, 2018 at 4:33 pm

    What we really need in Portland is transportation tax reform so that bicyclists start paying their own way with user fees, licenses, registration fees and tolls for the infrastructure space on the street they selfishly reserve for themselves, when taken away from motor vehicle infrastructure adds to congestion and then expect the people who drive now in that congestion to pay for their special treatment. Additionally, the two wheel hypocrites can’t even decide whether they are vehicles (as in state law) or pedestrians and can’t even follow traffic laws such as stopping at stop signs or obey traffic signals for which they expect others to do. It is just twit mayhem on two wheels.

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    • 9watts May 1, 2018 at 5:31 pm

      Another comment of the week.

      Winner of the most misconceptions per column inch.

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    • SD May 1, 2018 at 5:49 pm

      And, if someone rides a bike or is too friendly to a bicyclist they should have to ride a bike forever and not be allowed to drive so that they can’t trick us into thinking that they are a legitimate road user. I hate it when hypocrites ride bikes. Only car drivers or bus drivers or astronauts and longshoremen should be hypocrites. And commenters on bike blogs are …

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    • Brian May 3, 2018 at 5:22 pm

      Cyclists subsidize motorists, not the other way around. A person who pays taxes (via payroll and living in housing that is taxed) and bikes but does not use a car is paying for a lot of road infrastructure they don’t use: parking garages and free parking spaces for automobiles, freeways, etc. Fuel taxes do not even keep up with maintenance of existing roads, fixing wear caused by cars. Bike lane paint and bike racks are very cheap. Is it still true that all of the bicycle-oriented infrastructure ever implemented in Portland has cost less than one mile of urban freeway? It was the last time I checked several years ago. License fees typically do not pay more than the cost of administering them. People paying for their driver’s license are not paying anything, at all, into the road system, just a percentage of the funds for the DMV offices and personnel.

      Read an article one of these days? This subsidizing issue is very well documented and info about it is easy to find. You should be thanking bicyclists for helping you the costs.

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      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty May 3, 2018 at 6:27 pm

        How much property and payroll tax money do you think is used to fund roads that cyclists derive no benefit from? To get you started, ODOT’s funding sources are here:


        And even if you can find some property tax in there, do you really believe you, as a non-driver (if you are one), derive no benefit from, say I-5?

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        • 9watts May 3, 2018 at 7:01 pm

          Have you read Todd Litman’s Whose Roads? He spends the whole book laying out the case that, on average, in the US if we were trying to be fair about allotting costs to match the benefits each of us receives from our transportation infrastructure those who don’t drive should be mailed checks of several hundred dollar/yr. While a given jurisdiction (here Oregon) may differ in the way it funds its roads, on balance the situation in the US seems to involve substantial transfers of funds from everyone (which includes many who do not drive) to prop up our massive and poorly maintained road infrastructure.

          As for how those of us who don’t drive benefit indirectly from there being roads and highways, I think you’d probably also want to ask about the disbenefits of all that as well. Climate change is upon us, and it is going to smash all of us, not just those with SUVs and three car garages.

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          • Hello, Kitty
            Hello, Kitty May 3, 2018 at 11:22 pm

            You receive benefits from a good road network whether you drive or not. And even if you could demonstrate that you are an exception to the general case, there is probably an area where you receive more benefits than you pay for. Perhaps you have children in the public school, and I don’t. Perhaps your house catches fire, and mine doesn’t. Perhaps you need the police in your neighborhood more than I need them in mine. Or whatever. The exact cost and the exact benefits are impossible to calculate.

            And even if you could go through the impossible analysis and demonstrate you pay more for everything then you receive in benefits, then tough luck, that’s the price of living in society.

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  • Al M May 2, 2018 at 11:21 am

    Damn Tony, look what you started.

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