Splendid Cycles

Hardesty, Fagan, Peterson among winners in last night’s election

Posted by on May 16th, 2018 at 9:05 am

Shemia Fagan, Jo Ann Hardesty and Lynn Peterson.
(Photos: Jonathan Maus)

“Portland’s future is female,” reads the headline of the Portland Mercury after last night’s primary election.

In local, regional, and statewide offices, Portland voters made it clear last night they want strong leaders with new ideas and different approaches to solving our problems. And it just so happens many of them are women.

That dynamic was most evident in the race to replace Portland City Commissioner Dan Saltzman — which was probably the most closely watched contest. With just over 42 percent of the vote, Jo Ann Hardesty earned top spot in a runoff this November where she’ll face off against second-place vote getter Loretta Smith, who received 22.4 percent of the votes.

The win by Hardesty, a woman who distinguished herself during the campaign and in years of public service as an advocate and policymaker with strong opinions on important social justice issues, could be seen as a sign that Portlanders are tired of business as usual. At her party last night, Hardesty reportedly said, “The status quo is no longer acceptable in the city of Portland.” Her presence on council would be dramatic contrast to Dan Saltzman, who’s known for a quiet and predictable style.

Even though Hardesty has expressed skepticism and critiques of ideas considered gospel by transportation reformers, she was able to win over respected grassroots activists Tony Jordan, who founded Portlanders for Parking Reform. In an editorial we published last month, Jordan said Hardesty 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.” Another favorite among transportation advocates was Andrea Valderrama, a policy advisor for former Commissioner Steve Novick. Valderrama finished with just 10.6 percent of the vote.


In the other city commissioner race, incumbent Nick Fish won another term with nearly 63 percent of the total votes. Julia DeGraw, a new face on the local political scene with an unabashedly progressive stance on the issues, won a very respectable 31 percent of the vote. I have a strong hunch we’ll be seeing more of DeGraw in the future as she impressed a number of voters with her policy ideas and grassroots campaign style.

East Portland native Shemia Fagan also declared a big victory last night. She beat incumbent Rod Monroe for to represent Oregon’s 24th State Senate District which straddles I-205 and Portland’s eastern border with Gresham. Fagan has been a strong proponent of safe street projects and funding. In 2015 she lead a coalition of legislators to win $17 million in funding for upgrades to outer SE Powell Blvd.

In the race for Metro President, Lynn Peterson wan an easy victory with 78 percent of the vote. Peterson is well-known among transportation wonks and reformers — even before she did a 24-city bike tour during her campaign. She’s held positions as chair of the Clackamas County Commission, director of the Washington Department of Transportation and transportation policy advisor for former Oregon Governor John Kitzhaber. Expectation are very high for Peterson in this new role as head of our regional planning organization because of the depth of her transportation experience combined with her understanding of suburban and statewide politics (she’s also a longtime associate of former Metro President David Bragdon).

If you’ve been itching for change in Portland (and beyond), chances are you’re feeling good about what happened last night.

See all the results here.

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

Never miss a story. Sign-up for the daily BP Headlines email.

BikePortland needs your support.

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

  • I wear many hats May 16, 2018 at 9:34 am

    Very excited to see Portland City Hall get a backbone. Bring it on Hardesty!

    Recommended Thumb up 15

  • JeffS May 16, 2018 at 9:47 am

    “with strong opinions on important social justice issues, could be seen as a sign that Portlanders are tired of business as usual.”

    Social justice is all Portland seems to do lately. A rejection of business as usual would have been something like a conservative business owner.

    Recommended Thumb up 19

    • 9watts May 16, 2018 at 10:57 am

      “Social justice is all Portland seems to do lately. ”


      Are you saying
      (a) we’ve already solved all social justice problems, everyone move along? or
      (b) social justice, per se, isn’t all that important?

      There is a fair amount of *talk* about social justice, but as Jo Ann’s campaign I think shows, we have a long way to go if we’re interested in more than talk.

      Recommended Thumb up 23

  • John Liu May 16, 2018 at 9:59 am

    Jordan > Novick!

    Sorry just being droll.

    Recommended Thumb up 1

  • mh May 16, 2018 at 10:40 am

    Someone I can vote FOR in the council race! I wish Hardesty had cleared 50%, but at least I’m not stuck with a runoff between two candidates I want to vote against.

    Recommended Thumb up 11

  • chris m May 16, 2018 at 10:47 am

    “If you’ve been itching for change in Portland (and beyond), chances are you’re feeling good about what happened last night.”

    Voting for change for the sake of change has rarely worked out very well. There is a lot to like about Hardesty but the shift toward pro rent control candidates suggests to me that there is a faction of the left that is just as dismissive of empirical evidence as those on the right that we tend to scorn.

    Recommended Thumb up 21

    • 9watts May 16, 2018 at 10:58 am

      care to share that empirical evidence here?

      Recommended Thumb up 3

        • soren May 16, 2018 at 12:36 pm

          “empirical evidence”

          it’s hard to provide empirical evidence for something that does not exist. in fact, i’ve never met a single proponent of “rent control” who advocates for friedman and krugman’s universal hard “ceiling on rent”. imo, the entire concept of hard rent control is ridiculous because the kind of society that would agree to it would almost certainly prefer to end private property ownership entirely.

          more on soft rent control (e.g. rent regulation) here: https://pubs.aeaweb.org/doi/pdf/10.1257%2Fjep.9.1.99

          i also had to laugh at your bloomberg piece where a swedish economist was quoted a that rent control is akin to bombing cities:

          Soft Rent Control Tenant Protections
          The Swedish housing market operates under some of the world’s most pro-tenant rent
          control laws. Apartment rents are typically determined through once-a-year negotiations
          between landlords and tenant representatives, usually the Swedish Union of Tenants



          Clearly, rent control has made stockholm, copenhagen, amsterdam, berlin, brussels, and madrid truly miserable places for working class folk:


          Recommended Thumb up 7

          • Hello, Kitty
            Hello, Kitty May 16, 2018 at 12:45 pm

            The nice thing about a union negotiating on behalf of tenants is that it can be done outside the purview of government regulation. If enough tenants sign on, the union will derive its bargaining power through sheer force of numbers. Competing unions could arise, to provide an relief valve if one becomes lazy or corrupt (as sometimes happens in these things).

            Recommended Thumb up 2

      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty May 16, 2018 at 11:28 am

        As Paul Krugman wrote:

        The analysis of rent control is among the best-understood issues in all of economics, and — among economists, anyway — one of the least controversial. In 1992 a poll of the American Economic Association found 93 percent of its members agreeing that ”a ceiling on rents reduces the quality and quantity of housing.”

        It’s a bit dated now, but I don’t think economists have changed their minds on the matter.

        Recommended Thumb up 12

        • 9watts May 16, 2018 at 11:33 am

          Oh. Economists. Such a reliable source when it comes to such matters.

          Consulting economists on rent questions is like consulting automobilists on bike infrastructure.

          But thanks for the links, chris m. I look forward to reading them.

          Recommended Thumb up 8

          • chris m May 16, 2018 at 11:37 am

            I actually think that limited rent stabilization to prevent disruption for longtime tenants/residents might be justified. However looking at heavily controlled jurisdictions (SF/NY/LA) gives me no confidence that a city would do it without screwing up the whole housing market, so I’d rather leave the ban in place.

            Recommended Thumb up 6

          • Hello, Kitty
            Hello, Kitty May 16, 2018 at 11:46 am

            Seriously. What do economists know about economics?

            Recommended Thumb up 15

            • q May 16, 2018 at 10:46 pm

              Isn’t the economics profession full of people who’d wanted to be astrologists but couldn’t handle the math?

              Recommended Thumb up 4

          • Hello, Kitty
            Hello, Kitty May 16, 2018 at 11:52 am

            And this, from that same article, seems to apply quite well here:

            So now you know why economists are useless: when they actually do understand something, people don’t want to hear about it.

            Recommended Thumb up 10

            • Clicky Freewheel May 16, 2018 at 12:04 pm

              Seriously. Ignoring expert consensus on an issue is a tactic of populism, both on the left and the right, and is very dangerous to a functioning democracy. Questioning and informed discussion should definitely be encouraged but dismissing an entire profession is not.

              Recommended Thumb up 22

              • 9watts May 16, 2018 at 12:41 pm

                You’ve heard of Market Fundamentalism, Clicky?

                Recommended Thumb up 1

              • Alex Reedin May 16, 2018 at 2:45 pm

                Um… the most common set of political/economic beliefs among professional economists today can in no way be stretched to be called “Market Fundamentalism.” Yes, there is a small percentage of economists in the neoclassical school who are something like that, but mainstream economists are not.

                In microeconomics (which is what we’re talking about here with housing markets), a dominant strain of discourse is “behavioral economics” – using empirical data to demonstrate more and more and more ways in which actual behavior differs from simple classical economics. In my opinion, economics has in the past few decades taken a healthy turn away from having its head in the theoretical clouds (many of which were bright puffy clouds that gave a positive sheen to less-regulated markets) towards taking solid stock of what is actually occurring on the ground.

                Recommended Thumb up 6

              • 9watts May 16, 2018 at 2:53 pm

                ““behavioral economics” – using empirical data to demonstrate more and more and more ways in which actual behavior differs from simple classical economics. ”

                ….is that what the links Chris M supplied are referencing? I haven’t had a chance to read them, but my hunch is rather not.

                I’m all for expanding the focus. All I was trying to suggest with my castigation of Neoclassical Economists was that a healthy debate (such as you’re suggesting has started to emerge) would be preferable to the longstanding groupthink that many of us associate with the Economics Profession.

                Recommended Thumb up 1

          • chris m May 16, 2018 at 11:58 am

            (this got caught in moderation) I actually think that limited rent stabilization to prevent disruption for longtime tenants/residents might be justified. However looking at heavily controlled jurisdictions (SF/NY/LA) gives me no confidence that a city would do it without messing up the whole housing market, so I’d rather leave the ban in place.

            Recommended Thumb up 2

          • Sigma May 16, 2018 at 12:12 pm

            Thanks for proving the OP’s point.

            Recommended Thumb up 2

          • Chris I May 16, 2018 at 2:28 pm

            Your analogy is ridiculous.

            Recommended Thumb up 6

            • 9watts May 16, 2018 at 2:42 pm

              Care to offer a more substantive critique?

              Recommended Thumb up 2

              • Chris I May 16, 2018 at 3:29 pm

                I’d rather not.

                Recommended Thumb up 9

        • soren May 16, 2018 at 1:02 pm

          Krugman is referring to an historical debate that is largely irrelevant to the policies we are discussing today:

          full text: https://www.scribd.com/document/328911505/Time-for-Revisionism-on-Rent-Control-by-Richard-Arnott

          Economists’ traditional hostility to rent contols is based on models that treat the housing market as perfectly competitive and on the experience with ‘hard’ controls in New York City and many European countries following World War II. The current ‘soft’ rent control systems in North America are varied and qualitatively different from earlier hard controls. The theoretical case against them is weak, particularly when the housing market is viewed as imperfectly competitive. The empirical case against them is weak, too.

          A direct rebuttal: https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2015/11/5/1444059/-Paul-Krugman-lt-3-You-But-You-re-Wrong-About-Rent-Control

          And one of my favorite pieces on rent control (see if you can spot the period where rent control was implemented in the historical data — no cheating!):


          Recommended Thumb up 3

          • chris m May 16, 2018 at 1:57 pm

            Rent control/stabilization is just one of the many problems in San Francisco. I don’t want to single it out unnecessarily. But it certainly has not helped, and is at best a distraction from the things that could really help affordability (targeted renter protections to keep people from being disrupted are different and could be a useful tool for vulnerable populations, though in practice rent control usually benefits people with the resources to stay in the same apartment for a long time).

            On the comparisons to other countries, the population growth just makes U.S. housing policy an issue that can’t be solved by looking to European countries. Oregon and California have more than doubled in population since 1960, Denmark and Sweden grew by like 10-20%. If rent control (and other regulations) cause difficulty in developing new housing to meet new demand, it’s not really going to show up in Europe.

            Recommended Thumb up 4

            • soren May 16, 2018 at 10:08 pm

              you have this habit of making sweeping generalizations without bothering to provide any evidence. it’s time to put out, chris. show me the data.

              Recommended Thumb up 2

            • 9watts May 16, 2018 at 10:47 pm

              “though in practice rent control usually benefits people [with the resources] to stay in the same apartment for a long time”

              I’m unclear what the bracketed phrase is doing in that sentence. The sentence makes more sense without it. Where is the problem with folks staying put, thanks to rent control? Isn’t that the intent?

              Recommended Thumb up 1

              • chris m May 17, 2018 at 8:26 am

                Underprivileged people do not have the ability to stay in the same apartment for 5-10 years. If you get laid off and get evicted, or have to take a job in Seattle, or one of a million other circumstances you lose the benefits of rent control. Rent control benefits only people who are stable enough to stay in one place for a long time. That isn’t really the most vulnerable group.

                Recommended Thumb up 5

              • soren May 17, 2018 at 9:33 am

                “Underprivileged people do not have the ability to stay in the same apartment for 5-10 years.”

                Many poor people who are displaced by a rent increase or other economic eviction can no longer afford housing at all (in their community). Some become housing insecure or houseless. And tragically, many of these households have children. For those who do manage to find housing (often in an area further away from jobs, schools, child care, and grocery stores), the costs of moving are enormous. PTU surveyed local affordable housing non-profits and they all reported moving costs in the range of $4000-5000.

                If you want to learn more about the racist trauma of economic eviction, this site and the associated book is a good start:


                Your comments also betray a fundamental lack of understanding of the position of tenant advocates.

                No one is advocating for rent control alone.

                Rent stabilization helps tenants when it is paired with other policies, including an end to no-cause eviction. Just-cause eviction legislation is an essential first step towards regulation our brutal and predatory housing market.

                Recommended Thumb up 2

              • chris m May 17, 2018 at 9:54 am

                It won’t let me reply to your comment. But I agree with you 100% that the market will not necessarily serve people below +/- 80% of AMI and we need some major interventions to help these people have access to good quality housing in a variety of neighborhoods. Public housing/vouchers/inclusionary zoning mandates/eviction regulations are all important in this cause.

                But IN ADDITION to the inability of the market to help people who are not as well off, we just have a large housing shortage. This makes housing more expensive for everyone, and it also makes all the government attempts to fix the housing issues for the less well off more expensive. That’s why I think building more is critical.

                I thought “Evicted” was an amazing book. But Milwaukee does not have the problem of a housing shortage, the housing issues of a city with negative population growth are vastly different.

                However, I do support regulations to limit evictions. I am curious what you think of a social program that provides insurance against rent increases? This would ease the burden of rent hikes on renters but spread the costs around. One potential problem I suppose is that if rent increases were paid for by a government insurance program landlords might just do it to tap the program, so you’d have to figure out a way around that, maybe by tying the payouts to some sort of index.

                Recommended Thumb up 0

          • Hello, Kitty
            Hello, Kitty May 16, 2018 at 2:01 pm

            The Observer piece suggests rent control neither helps nor hurts the price of rent.

            Recommended Thumb up 0

            • soren May 16, 2018 at 2:16 pm

              the main goal of rent regulation is to prevent displacement of existing vulnerable tenants. no one is arguing that it is a replacement for a wide array of additional policies and regulations that target affordability.

              Recommended Thumb up 4

        • John Liu May 16, 2018 at 1:24 pm

          Most rent control systems are far more restrictive than Portland’s, which is effectively 1) up to 10% annual rent increases for the same tenant, 2) unlimited rent increase for a new tenant, and 3) a disincentive for no-cause eviction.

          Recommended Thumb up 1

          • Hello, Kitty
            Hello, Kitty May 16, 2018 at 1:47 pm

            I would actually totally support our current rent control regime with one small modification: I would permit no-cause evictions as long as the next tenant were offered the same rent. And, yes, I’ve rented houses and apartments for a considerable portion of my life.

            Recommended Thumb up 1

    • Clicky Freewheel May 16, 2018 at 11:42 am

      It’s pretty clear by now that rent control only raises rents overall, as does most of the supposedly “pro-renter” policies pushed by Eudaly. All these policies do is increase risk for those providing rental housing, thus increasing the cost they must charge. Why aren’t they instead pushing for more legal protections for tenants, rather than enacting rules design to punish landlords? My fear is Hardesty ends up being another Eudaly clone (thank goodness we didn’t elect DeGraw!) as putting an advocate into an elected official role generally does not work out as they tend to placate their supporters and ignore the rest of their constituents that don’t agree with their stamces on issues.

      Portland is a perfect example of the dangers of left populism. Ignoring evidence, scientific studies, and expert analyses is not limited to the right.

      Recommended Thumb up 7

      • 9watts May 16, 2018 at 12:42 pm

        There is nothing ‘scientific’ about Market Fundamentalists’ eulogies to the Free Market.

        Recommended Thumb up 1

    • J_R May 16, 2018 at 1:51 pm

      For all of you rent control advocates, I offer up some alternative solutions. You seem to think that landlords are getting rich and can afford to have lower rents.

      So, consider becoming a landlord. Put some of your money to work by buying a house or apartments. You can rent your units for whatever you think is reasonable. Alternatively, you can charge market rents and give your excess profits to causes that help reduce housing costs or some other good cause.

      So, you don’t have enough money to buy a house or apartment complex? So take some of your capital and invest it in homebuilding companies, management companies, real estate investment companies. You can even do that with your IRA. Check the following on your choice of finance sites: FRESX, FSHOX, ICF, ITB, XHB. With some mutual funds, such as the first two, you can start your investment with as little as $100. Take your profits and support the causes you like.

      Disclosure: I bought a house that I lived in for two years then moved but retained it as a rental for a few years before selling out. It was a real headache and my profits were far less than if I’d cashed out and invested in the stock market.

      Recommended Thumb up 6

  • Jon May 16, 2018 at 11:56 am

    There are many non-market forces ways of managing supply and demand. Cuba and Venezuela are the two most recent examples of how to run economies by ignoring market forces. It is concerning when Hardesty does not want to use proven ideas things like tolls to decrease driving and wants to use dis-proven ideas like rent control to increase the supply of housing. It is very much like Trump denying climate change. You can’t believe away science or economics no matter how hard you try.

    Recommended Thumb up 8

    • Dave May 16, 2018 at 4:45 pm

      Is economics really a science or is it a set of prejudices given the veneer of science by the use of mathematics to describe it’s ideas? Is economics describing something that really is (depending on one’s beliefs) a matter of laws of God/nature, or is it a human make-believe like religion, art, music, etc. that is used by the political system of the time to manipulate people and resources?

      Recommended Thumb up 0

  • 9watts May 16, 2018 at 12:05 pm

    Hello, Kitty
    Seriously. What do economists know about economics?Recommended 3

    I never said they didn’t know something (lots) about economics, so defined. But there is much to unpack. ODOT employees no doubt also know a lot about transportation, but that doesn’t mean it is useful to put questions to them about how to, for instance, make Barbur Blvd safe for those not in cars.
    What share of economists do you imagine rent?
    What share of economists are property owners/landlords?
    Does it matter?

    Recommended Thumb up 4

    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty May 16, 2018 at 12:52 pm

      What proportion of economists do you think have no experience renting? And besides, the idea that only renters can understand how the rental economy functions on an economic level is utterly unsupportable.

      Recommended Thumb up 9

      • 9watts May 16, 2018 at 1:08 pm

        We here tend to think that the fact that most* ODOT cheeses and their peers habitually view the world through a windshield (rather than from the seat of a bike) colors their views. Why would it be any different for Neoclassical Economists?

        *The late Dave Apperson being one of the exceptions

        Recommended Thumb up 1

        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty May 16, 2018 at 1:25 pm

          I’m confused. What does being a neoliberal economist have to do with experience renting a place to live? I might understand if we were talking about economists from the National Landlord Association or whatever, but you seem to be casting about for some reason to discredit economists in general when they talk about the economics of rent control.

          Recommended Thumb up 4

          • 9watts May 16, 2018 at 1:33 pm

            Neoclassical is a term that describes the Orthodox, Standard thinking in Economics departments today. Neoliberal means something else.
            There are many reasons we could enumerate for why Neoclassical Economists, as a class, are poorly situated to offer nuanced views of the place of rent control in managing our affairs. Soren has cited several excellent pieces, and in my comments above I was suggesting that far from being neutral, scientific, or whatever, Economists like everyone else suffer from biases. One which I speculated about was that – as a class – they probably were more like landlords; as ODOT staff were more like drivers, than they were/are like the classes of people we here tend to talk about: people who bike or people who rent.
            Let’s not forget that in our society renting is still viewed, generally, as something you do out of constraint, because, well, you can’t afford to buy a place of your own. That bias which parallels the bias about biking being, often, for people who are too poor to own a car, colors how so-called experts view the activity in question.

            Recommended Thumb up 2

  • Clicky Freewheel May 16, 2018 at 12:09 pm

    Not loving my choices for commissioner in the general election… Hardesty seems too misinformed about the issues she discusses and is taking more of an activist/populist angle (reminds me too much of Eudaly) while Smith has more recent elected experience but has had multiple issues eased by her employees that make me hesistant (not to mention the whole homeless jail fiasco…). Portland seems to produce terrible candates overall and this year is no different.

    Recommended Thumb up 10

    • Lester Burnham May 16, 2018 at 1:44 pm

      I don’t see this going well at all. Another Eudaly is not what we need.

      Recommended Thumb up 8

  • Gregg May 16, 2018 at 12:20 pm

    Yeah JoAnn Hardesty!!! Looking forward to supporting you in November!

    Recommended Thumb up 10

  • bikeninja May 16, 2018 at 12:30 pm

    Popular with economists or not, rent control is the opposite side of the economic pendulum that looks likely to swing back in to a dominant position in places like Portland and Seattle. It is the inevitable response by the renters to being pillaged by the landlords. When the rentiers take advantage of the improvements in land value that were mostly the result of public effort ( mass transit, thriving music scene, improved bike infrastructure) and impoverish the tennants to maximize their income in a way that is actually unearned in a pure economic sense ( see Henry George’s Classic text, ” Progress and Poverty”, they provoke an inevitable backlash among the growing renter class that outnumbers them. Paul Krugman can’t save the landlord when the pitchforks come out.

    Recommended Thumb up 3

  • mh May 16, 2018 at 1:04 pm

    The solution to the housing problem is more supply. Upzone the places people actually want to live (and yes, that would include my neighborhood and my block).

    Recommended Thumb up 7

    • 9watts May 16, 2018 at 1:13 pm

      A longage of people is also a problem, perhaps more of a problem than the shortage of housing.

      Recommended Thumb up 5

      • Chris I May 16, 2018 at 2:32 pm

        How do you suggest the city council resolve the overpopulation issue?

        Recommended Thumb up 4

        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty May 16, 2018 at 2:35 pm

          Ramp up production of Soylent Green, of course!

          Recommended Thumb up 6

        • 9watts May 16, 2018 at 2:49 pm

          I am not and have never proposed that City Council on its own could resolve this, but City Council could do many things to stop incentivizing growth in population. We’ve been over this many times here in the comments and I’m always up for another round, but perhaps consulting the archives would be a shortcut.
          Here’s a link to the middle of an extended conversation about this:

          Recommended Thumb up 2

          • Chris I May 16, 2018 at 3:30 pm

            Well, I’m at least relieved to hear that you aren’t proposing some kind of “final solution”.

            Recommended Thumb up 4

        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty May 16, 2018 at 2:52 pm

          How about not enticing companies to build facilities here?

          Recommended Thumb up 1

          • 9watts May 16, 2018 at 2:54 pm

            For instance.

            Recommended Thumb up 1

            • Hello, Kitty
              Hello, Kitty May 16, 2018 at 3:01 pm

              Amazon springs to mind. Luckily, it didn’t work. I hope they go somewhere that needs the boost.

              Recommended Thumb up 0

      • mh May 17, 2018 at 10:28 am

        Voluntary Human Extinction Movement. I’ve done my part – neither my sibling nor I have reproduced. The line stops here.

        Recommended Thumb up 3

    • Hello, Kitty
      Hello, Kitty May 16, 2018 at 1:53 pm

      I’d support letting individual portions of neighborhoods determine how they want to develop. Let people choose their own zoning.

      Recommended Thumb up 1

      • Alex Reedin May 16, 2018 at 2:25 pm

        Let them eat – I mean, live in – Gateway!

        Recommended Thumb up 2

        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty May 16, 2018 at 2:29 pm

          Gateway has a ton of potential. Someday it’s going to happen.

          Recommended Thumb up 2

          • Alex Reedin May 16, 2018 at 2:50 pm

            Cake has a ton of potential too, but for-profit developers can’t justify the calories yet. So given that most of the inner/mid eastside (where the main-course calories can be justified) has been walled off from development by single-family zoning, we’re all left hungry.

            (Today in analogies/tropes taken too far, we have Team Reedin/Antoinette! Let’s see how much they’re willing to stretch this!)

            Recommended Thumb up 0

            • Hello, Kitty
              Hello, Kitty May 16, 2018 at 2:59 pm

              On the one hand, the housing crisis is bad, and on the other developers are ignoring a huge area with a fantastic connection to downtown. There’s definitely a disconnect. Or… maybe the problem is that Gateway apartments wouldn’t rent for Richmond prices, so why bother? We only build for the top of the market these days… and those people already have plenty of options.

              Recommended Thumb up 3

              • Alex Reedin May 16, 2018 at 9:35 pm

                Those nasty for-profit developers, only building homes where they can make a profit! What will they think of next??

                Recommended Thumb up 3

              • Hello, Kitty
                Hello, Kitty May 16, 2018 at 9:43 pm

                Of course they’ll maximize profits. That’s why they only serve the top of the market. I don’t understand why people think if we could only build apartment buildings in Ladd’s Addition, our housing crisis would be solved.

                If people want to build mid-range housing, there’s plenty of land available. We don’t have a zoning problem, we have a market problem.

                Recommended Thumb up 2

    • soren May 16, 2018 at 2:50 pm

      upzoning is not sufficient because the market is not creating needed housing supply:



      we need public* housing in our backyards!

      *inclusionary housing, community land-trusts, limited-equity cooperative housing, non-profit housing, social housing etc.

      Recommended Thumb up 4

      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty May 16, 2018 at 2:53 pm

        The best place to create cooperative housing is in big old houses.

        Recommended Thumb up 1

        • q May 17, 2018 at 3:48 pm

          And it will stay that way in Portland, because the RIP and other policies all seem aimed at encouraging new small, self-contained units. A big house that houses several roommates is viewed the same as a McMansion housing two adults–i.e. bad, and to be discouraged or prohibited.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Alex Reedin May 16, 2018 at 2:56 pm

        It is not sufficient, but it is necessary. If we can get the lower-middle class and maybe the top of the working class housed affordably with market-rate units, that makes providing enough social housing way easier. (Currently, housing is unaffordable for the working class and getting to be unaffordable for the lower-middle-class, so the number of people for whom social housing is needed is too high to be politically realistic.)

        Recommended Thumb up 3

        • Hello, Kitty
          Hello, Kitty May 16, 2018 at 3:45 pm

          That sounds great, but how do you accomplish that?

          Recommended Thumb up 1

        • soren May 16, 2018 at 4:36 pm

          I don’t think land-use policy that restricts housing is necessary at all.

          “If we can get the lower-middle class and maybe the top of the working class housed affordably with market-rate units”

          First of all, the market has failed to provide needed housing for lower-middle class folk (e.g. people who earn 60-80% of MFI). Please see the joint center for housing studies rental housing report:

          Secondly, the claim that filtering will significantly address affordability for lower-middle-income folk is presented as fact despite a literature (including several large controlled studies – HUD housing demand experiment) indicating that rental prices are highly inelastic.
          One classic paper:
          https://www.huduser.gov/portal/Publications/pdf/HUD-050791.pdf (see Table 5-7).

          Thirdly, proponents of filtering would do well to read the report from state economist John Lehner where he shows that 20 years of “filtering” in Portland resulted in little reduction in overall “market price” and 40 years of filtering lowered prices by ~6% versus the overall market.


          I oppose direct and indirect regulatory mechanisms that subsidize production of high-income rental units for many of the same reasons I oppose production of single family homes in urban areas. IMO, society as a whole pays a heavy price for the negative externalities (CO2e, market distortion, redlining, displacement) of both of these housing types. I would argue that, just like exclusionary land-use policy, our speculative “market” is also a major contributor to “not in my back yard-ism”.

          Recommended Thumb up 2

      • chris m May 17, 2018 at 9:02 am

        I agree with all of this. Especially that the market rate housing development in a growing city with good wage growth and growing inequality will have major gaps in terms of housing lower income folks. That said, it’s a both/and situation. I think the way to go is have to let the market work for those above 80% AMI, then implement some of the solutions you are proposing for people below that level. That said my preference is just to massively expand and improve vouchers since it’s a program we already have (Section 8), it just doesn’t serve nearly everyone it could. But I could be talked into a reasonable public housing program.

        Recommended Thumb up 1

  • Todd Boulanger May 16, 2018 at 2:49 pm

    Congrats to Lynn Peterson’s election!, METRO’s gain!! [but Washington State/WSDOT’s loss.]

    Recommended Thumb up 4

  • Jim Lee May 16, 2018 at 2:50 pm

    I have chatted with Chloe and Jo Ann, and I like them both, even though I do not know them well.

    Chloe’s GED stomped Novick’s Harvard Law–what’s not to like?

    Jo Ann was a Navy Chief Petty Officer, (read here “Sargent”) which means she knows how to get people to actually do stuff.

    With both on board Council theater will be most entertaining!

    Recommended Thumb up 4

  • m May 16, 2018 at 2:58 pm

    “Jo Ann was a Navy Chief Petty Officer, (read here “Sargent”) which means she knows how to get people to actually do stuff.”

    ***A portion of this comment has been deleted because it appears to be an unsubstantiated rumor that has been refuted by a source I respect and know personally. — Jonathan***

    Recommended Thumb up 6

    • Chris I May 16, 2018 at 3:32 pm

      And Loretta Smith seems like just the candidate to go after that kind of thing. This election could be interesting.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

    • Tony Jordan (Contributor) May 16, 2018 at 6:03 pm

      So you are anonymously spreading rumors? That’s sure what it seems like you are doing.

      Recommended Thumb up 5

      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty May 16, 2018 at 8:16 pm

        I agree. If that is in fact true, it should be very easy to confirm. Please do so rather than pass on “rumblings”.

        Recommended Thumb up 0

        • rainbike May 16, 2018 at 9:50 pm

          Maybe the investigative reporting of JM will reveal the truth.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

    • rainbike May 16, 2018 at 9:48 pm

      In my mind, a discharge from service that was other than honorable (if true) would be an automatic disqualifier to receiving my support for subsequent government service.

      Portland has had enough candidates and elected officials in recent memory who have talked the talk, but were eventually shown to fall short in the integrity department. Demand better.

      Recommended Thumb up 4

      • Tony Jordan (Contributor) May 17, 2018 at 4:51 pm

        I’ve personally seen a copy of the discharge, it was honorable and these are slimy rumors.

        Recommended Thumb up 2

        • rainbike May 17, 2018 at 5:07 pm

          She should make it public. Nip this in the bud. Easy peasy.

          Recommended Thumb up 1

          • 9watts May 17, 2018 at 6:31 pm

            Not sure I follow that logic. Obama publishing his birth certificate didn’t stop the delusional ones and even engaging lends credence to such maliciousness.

            Recommended Thumb up 3

            • rainbike May 17, 2018 at 10:55 pm

              The delusional ones are noise in the system.
              Failure to engage is too often a ploy to deny accountability.

              Recommended Thumb up 2

    • Tony Jordan (Contributor) May 17, 2018 at 4:51 pm

      This is a completely false rumor. This comment should be removed.

      Recommended Thumb up 1

  • Jim Lee May 16, 2018 at 4:45 pm

    We could have voted for Emmons.

    Recommended Thumb up 0

  • Alex Reedin May 16, 2018 at 10:08 pm

    So… The HUD paper demonstrates that price elasticity of *demand* for housing by a static set of poor households is highly inelastic. I.e. if housing becomes cheaper, they are unlikely to upgrade their housing, and instead use the savings on other things.

    Having a highly inelastic *demand* curve means that small changes in housing supplied (read: 5% more housing) can cause large decreases in price (say, a 25% decrease in price, if the elasticity around 0.2 holds).

    So, pretty much, an inelastic demand curve appears to me to buttress the argument for more supply rather than make it weaker.

    On Lehner’s piece, the 1970s apartments went from 11% above average market to 6% below average market. So that’s a 17% drop, not a 6% drop. A 17% drop seems large enough to me to show that filtering exists, though it certainly does not argue for filtering being the be-all and end-all.

    I would also argue that multifamily construction was artificially low in the 80s, 90s, and 2000s due to restrictive local regulations, so even that 17% drop is less than we would see with healthy multifamily production creating more fancy new budings on quiet streets in desirable areas to compete with the 70s apartments.

    Recommended Thumb up 2

    • chris m May 17, 2018 at 8:52 am

      Correct, the Lehner article pretty clearly concedes that you need a healthy vacancy rate for filtering to work correctly.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • Hello, Kitty
        Hello, Kitty May 17, 2018 at 9:28 am

        I’m curious… How many of you who rent, and are paying less than you could afford, are looking for something more expensive so you can “filter” up?

        Recommended Thumb up 2

        • chris m May 17, 2018 at 9:33 am

          I’m not looking for something more expensive per se but a place that didn’t have a leaks would be nice, and I might pay more for it.

          Recommended Thumb up 0

  • soren May 17, 2018 at 10:05 am

    the negative “price elasticity of demand” numbers indicate that increasing supply did not decrease price.

    https://www.huduser.gov/portal/Publications/pdf/HUD-050791.pdf (see Table 5-7).

    “The 1970s apartments went from 11% above average market to 6% below average market”

    50% of Portland renters are rent burdened, Alex. Overall market prices are not affordable.

    The lack of a consistent decrease in overall market price across historical tranches indicates that “filtering” has little discernable overall impact on price. Moreover, Lehner did not argue that the recent spike in average rent is evidence for filtering because the composition of rental housing has change enormously. Our “market” has recently become incredibly skewed toward large high-end units. This has been documented in many studies including the one I referenced in the same post you responded to.

    See Figure 18 here: http://www.jchs.harvard.edu/sites/jchs.harvard.edu/files/03_harvard_jchs_americas_rental_housing_2017.pdf

    Could it be that overproduction (and geographic concentration) of new high-end multi-family units is damaging to the social and ecological health of our community in much the same manner as exclusionary preservation of high-end single family housing?

    Recommended Thumb up 1

    • Alex Reedin May 17, 2018 at 3:30 pm

      There was no increase in supply; the intervention was to give people money equal to 50% of what they paid in rent. So what the negative elasticity indicates is that decreasing (effective) price led to people renting slightly more expensive places.

      It’s possible that the new, high-end multifamily units are socially and ecologically harmful on net after considering what would have happened had they not been built, but I have yet to see evidence of that.

      Recommended Thumb up 0

      • soren May 17, 2018 at 8:22 pm

        There was an increase in available supply for the population in this study. Given that there were hedonic adjustment for housing types in table 5-7 your claim that they rented slightly more expensive places is not kinda the whole point. Capitalist housing market prey on low income folk.

        “It’s possible that the new, high-end multifamily units are socially and ecologically harmful”

        Geographic concentration of high-end housing (e.g. gentrification) has been increasingly linked to displacement of the most vulnerable residents (Duh!):


        Recommended Thumb up 1

        • soren May 17, 2018 at 8:23 pm

          “places is kinda the whole point”

          Recommended Thumb up 1

      • soren May 17, 2018 at 8:30 pm

        “ecologically harmful on net”

        Are you really claiming that the large luxury McApartments (with all the expensive amenities) are ecologically equivalent to smaller working class units?

        Recommended Thumb up 1