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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.

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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

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NOTE: We love your comments and work hard to ensure they are welcoming of all perspectives. Disagreements are encouraged, but only if done with tact and respect. BikePortland is an inclusive company with no tolerance for discrimination or harassment including expressions of racism, sexism, homophobia, or xenophobia. 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

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I wear many hats
Guest
I wear many hats

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

JeffS
Guest
JeffS

“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.

John Liu
Guest
John Liu

Jordan > Novick!

Sorry just being droll.

mh
Subscriber

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.

chris m
Guest
chris m

“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.

Jon
Guest
Jon

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.

9watts
Guest
9watts

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?

Clicky Freewheel
Guest
Clicky Freewheel

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.

Gregg
Guest

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

bikeninja
Guest
bikeninja

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.

mh
Subscriber

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).

Todd Boulanger
Guest
Todd Boulanger

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

Jim Lee
Guest
Jim Lee

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!

m
Guest
m

“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***

Jim Lee
Guest
Jim Lee

We could have voted for Emmons.

Alex Reedin
Guest
Alex Reedin

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.

soren
Guest
soren

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?