Michael Trimble announces bid for Oregon Governor

Posted by on August 27th, 2021 at 3:13 pm

Michael Trimble on the Eastbank Esplanade, July 31st 2021.
(Photos: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

We told you so.

Remember our profile and video on Portlander Michael Trimble? When I went on a ride with him back in March he made an interesting announcement: That he wanted to be Governor of Oregon. Trimble is quite a talker and I wasn’t sure if he was serious.

Turns out he was.

Trimble has launched a campaign for Oregon’s highest office. His campaign logo includes an icon of his custom bike that allows him to steer using the small nub of his arm. You’ll recall that Trimble was born without arms due to his mother being exposed to the nuclear disaster in Chernobyl, Russia in 1986. Despite having no arms, Trimble is an avid cyclist who does long rides on a near daily basis using a highly customized bicycle.

One his website, Trimble says he’s running for Governor as a Democrat because, “This state needs and deserves a well-informed, ambitious individual willing to advance Oregon through present-day obstacles towards a reinvigorated identity.” Here’s more from Trimble’s platform:

With an all-hands-on-deck attitude, Michael plans to be a leader of bold action. His plans for upgrading Oregon’s infrastructure are transformative and progressive. Once in office, his list of priorities includes working towards expanding OHP to all Oregonians making under $93,600, and negotiating rent caps to reduce cost of living for Oregonians spending greater than 50% of their hard earned income on housing, as opposed to reinvesting it in our state’s economy.

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Beefing up Oregon’s cycling infrastructure will be one of his focus areas:

His plan to fortify the cycling pedestrian infrastructure, making it easier and safer to commute within our urban communities by bike or walking, has the aim of incentivizing Oregonians to reduce their reliance upon gasoline-powered vehicles, as well as mitigating traffic on our highway systems. With new rent ceilings, zoning overhauls and tax code restructuring, he will make Oregon the first state in the union to eradicate homelessness.

Learn more about Michael and get plugged into his campaign on his website or follow him on Instagram and Twitter @Trimble4Gov.

And don’t forget to (re)watch our video of him below…

— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and jonathan@bikeportland.org
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sorencmh89damieneMiddle of the Road GuyReal American Recent comment authors
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soren
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soren

“negotiating rent caps to reduce cost of living for Oregonians spending greater than 50% of their hard earned income on housing…”

It’s nice to see a candidate who is not gunning for the YIMBY “all housing matters” or the NIMBY “property owner” vote.

I also support caps on rent (and the repeal of the Faircloth amendment and legalization of public housing). Rent caps would have an immediate impact on Portland’s chronic housing affordability crisis (as opposed to P:NW’s imaginary shortage of housing for well off people) and would help reduce the displacement of black people from N/NE Portland neighborhoods.

https://www.wweek.com/news/city/2021/08/25/the-black-population-of-inner-north-and-northeast-portland-continues-to-shrink/

Newly released U.S. Census Bureau data shows Portland’s historically Black neighborhoods continued to see an exodus of Black residents…The demographic shift over four decades in the inner North and Northeast Portland neighborhoods of the Albina District is remarkable. In 1970, census data shows, 9 out of 10 Black Portlanders lived in those census tracts. Today, according to new calculations performed for WW by the Portland State University Population Research Center, just over 1 in 5 Black Portlanders live there.

Cody S
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Cody S

Rental price control reduces the supply of rentals which ultimately makes renting MORE expensive. We are significantly under built in terms of housing, and we should be doing whatever we can to boost that supply. Supply & demand wins the day, and the best way to temper expensive housing involves building more units.

Michael is a genuine guy, but I think his platform for rental relief is far too radical for him to be electable. The race for governor is relatively competitive and wild policies like this are going to scare off the purple voters. Buehler was within striking distance in 2018, and all it takes it another moderate GOP candidate and then we’re stuck with a R sitting in Mahonia Hall. If nothing else I hope his candidacy will trigger some serious conversations about housing and transportation.

Watts
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Watts

It would probably be best not to oversimplify the housing market. While supply and demand do operate on some level, it does not resemble the types of markets you learn about in Econ 101. For example, building new housing can raise rents at existing units in the same neighborhood, and the notion that housing is fungible is demonstrably false. There is no shortage of the types of housing that YIMBYs and white urbanists like to live in, and which the construction market is so good at delivering.

cmh89
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cmh89

For example, building new housing can raise rents at existing units in the same neighborhood,

Do you have any evidence to support this statement? It’s not true based on everything I’ve read.

There is no shortage of the types of housing that YIMBYs and white urbanists like to live in, and which the construction market is so good at delivering.

We have a massive shortage of housing stock.

soren
Guest
soren

There is absolutely no shortage of housing affordable to people earning above 80% MFI in Portland (based on HUD standards). In fact, there is an excess of this type of housing due to overbuilding of Class A property. We still have a massive shortage of housing stock affordable to people who make less than 60% MFI and this shortage exists in cities with exclusionary zoning and those with uber-permissive land use policies.

Do you have any evidence to support this statement?

Here is one recent publication:

http://econ.geo.uu.nl/peeg/peeg1914.pdf

“Policies such as blanket upzoning, which will principally unleash market forces that serve high income earners, are therefore likely to reinforce the effects of income inequality rather than tempering them.”

“The affordability crisis within major urban areas is real, but it is due less to overregulation of housing markets than to the underlying wage and income inequalities, and a sharp increase in the value of central locations within metro areas, as employment and amenities concentrate in these places.”

And another:

https://www.anderson.ucla.edu/documents/areas/ctr/forecast/reports/uclaforecast_June2018_Nickelsburg.pdf

“…it does suggest that it is not all zoning, not all just build-baby-build, but also a case of the
value of amenities in a growing population and the degree of maturation of the city. Optimal housing policy should take into account the impact of each when considering how to alleviate a lack of affordability or moderate the rate of
increase of home prices. “

cmh89
Guest
cmh89

There is absolutely no shortage of housing affordable to people earning above 80% MFI in Portland (based on HUD standards). In fact, there is an excess of this type of housing due to overbuilding of Class A property. We still have a massive shortage of housing stock affordable to people who make less than 60% MFI and this shortage exists in cities with exclusionary zoning and those with uber-permissive land use policies.

So, you agree, we have a massive housing shortage.

Thanks for the links, so you have access to the actual papers? I don’t think Singapore and Finland are exactly apples to apples with us but I’d be interested in checking it out. Maybe tomorrow I’ll have time to read the first link, the opinion piece.

From what I have access to, which is the summaries, what you posted boils down to: developers target building new housing in up and coming neighborhoods which in turn have prices increases. Not exactly shocking. I was looking more for examples in Portland of prices going up BECAUSE a new apartment building was completed.

soren
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soren

I believe we have a chronic shortage of affordable housing that cannot be addressed by trickle down “supply side” economics. If it were up to me, I would tear down every single YIMBY “infill” SFH and every old PDX bungalow (esp those with registered status) and replace them with brutalist 4-30 story apartment buildings.

“I was looking more for examples in Portland of prices going up BECAUSE a new apartment building was completed.”

The paper arguing that amenities help explain price increases is illustrative, I think. Once a neighborhood accumulates lots of new housing, bougie “amenities” typically follow. IMO, the only way to mitigate this “price discovery” process is via some sort of regulation (inclusionary housing or price control) and/or to build non-market units.

soren
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soren

And a few more examples:

“It appears from the analysis that completion of a single multi-story apartment building has an immediate positive impact on apartment values within 300 metre radius…”

https://ideas.repec.org/a/eme/ijhmap/v9y2016i4p671-690.html

“…we find that infill developments have a positive and persistent impact on local housing prices. The contagion effect is larger for infill developments that are built on teardown sites. The spillover effect can also be traced to the overpricing of new homes by developers. Overall, the evidence indicates that developers act as price leaders and contribute significantly to price discovery in the local housing market”

https://ideas.repec.org/a/eee/regeco/v43y2013i6p850-861.html

soren
Guest
soren

“…whatever we can to boost that supply”

Perhaps you have never heard of the Faircloth amendment (google it and learn something about our housing crisis) or have some strange aversion to considering public/social housing as bonafide supply but my post directly addressed the only kind of supply that has a track record of addressing chronic affordability crises. In fact, every well-off democratic society without a USAnian-style housing crisis relies on public/social housing to rein in speculation and to treat access to housing as if it’s part of the basic social contract.

The idea that rent control somehow prevents the “market” from providing housing to well off people is also absurd given that most well off nations have rent control and seem to have little problem producing housing that is affordable to well-off YIMBYs/bike advocates.

And, finally, the idea that that our private housing market, which is addicted to margin/expensive housing, can address the USA’s chronic multi-generational affordable housing crisis is truly delusional. Large USAnian cities with few limits on land use have some of the worst affordable housing crises so the fact that lower income people struggle to find habitable housing has @#$% all to do with barriers to the “free” market and everything to do with the way this society has turned land/housing into a scarce and highly financialized asset.

Middle of the Road Guy
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Middle of the Road Guy

Given the last few governors, maybe a moderate is a good thing.

Aaron
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Aaron

He sure does have a weird stance on masks. Masking protects people who are unvaccinated by choice but also protects the immunocompromised and those who are ineligible for vaccines. He makes token mention of those exceptions in his statement (“Those that remain unvaccinated(the immune compromised and those for valid and legitimate medical reasons who cannot be immunized excluded) do so at their own choice and peril”) but he isn’t taking into account that a lack of mask mandate for the vaccinated puts those exclusions in peril as well. If I were vaccinated but immunocompromised and his policy of no more masks for the vaccinated were implemented, the fact that his policy isn’t targeting me wouldn’t exactly reassure me in terms of my safety in public settings. Not to mention the unvaccinated include not only hardcore antivaxxers (yeah, I hate them too) but also marginalized communities with vaccine access issues.

He also says, “The CDC cannot have it both ways. The vaccinated either are or are not protected.” In fact the CDC can have it both ways in this particular case because the protection is substantial but not 100%. Things that occur on a percentage scale by definition are not binary. This betrays a pretty significant misunderstanding of how vaccines and math work, which is not a quality I would want in a governor or any leader during a pandemic.

Anyway, none of what I said above actually matters because the fact is, we already tried doing an unvaccinated-only mask mandate and it didn’t work because enforcement was an issue, and we also realized that enough vaccinated people are infected to the point that covid would still spread and overwhelm hospitals. Where has he been the past month?! If we can’t protect one group to the exclusion of the other, we protect both groups regardless of how we feel about the other group, because that’s the moral/ethical choice.

Regardless of his other political positions, I’m not sure I can ignore this one. Apologies for the long rant.

damiene
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damiene

Not to mention the unvaccinated include not only hardcore antivaxxers (yeah, I hate them too) but also marginalized communities with vaccine access issues.

This is worth emphasizing. There is a strong narrative that our COVID woes are the making of MAGA white Republicans who refuse to get vaccinated. Those certainly exist, and I agree they deserve our scorn (for many reasons) – but by the numbers, most of the unvaccinated are black and brown working class people who haven’t been vaccinated yet because of access, trust, lack of sick leave, and so on.

If you care about those folks, keep your mask on.

Marvin Himmelfarb
Guest
Marvin Himmelfarb

Agreed. We don’t need medical apartheid. Studies have shown vaccinated people can carry equally high viral loads and should continue to use masks where appropriate.

The Economista
Guest
The Economista

Got my shot to protect older family members mostly. I wear a mask when I’m inside a business and I keep as far from other people as possible.

If you don’t want to wear a mask or get vaccinated, I’m OK with that. Not a big deal at all. If the vaccine is worth a shi+, then I’ll be fine even in the unlikely even that I get COVID.

Also, despite the hullabaloo about ICU beds being full, the fact is that hospitals normally run them as full as possible because it is very expensive to run them at all – they are very energy intensive and that costs $$.

cmh89
Guest
cmh89

If you don’t want to wear a mask or get vaccinated, I’m OK with that. Not a big deal at all. If the vaccine is worth a shi+, then I’ll be fine even in the unlikely even that I get COVID.

The unvaccinated spread the disease and allow it to mutate. It could potentially mutate into a strain that renders your (and all of our) vaccines useless or mostly useless and we are back at square one. Getting vaccinated is about protecting other people as much as it is about protecting yourself, just like masks. It’s also still possible to catch and die from COVID-19 while vaccinated. So while you might die if you catch it, you might spread it to a elderly person who is vaccinated but still at risk due to pre-existing conditions. Or you might spread it to a cancer patient who can’t get the vaccine, or a child for whom the vaccine is not yet approved.

Not getting the vaccine for any reason outside of true medical exemption is a grossly negligent, selfish, stupid thing to do and those who choose to remain unvaccinated for no reason should be shunned from society because they obviously have no respect for those around them.

Also, despite the hullabaloo about ICU beds being full, the fact is that hospitals normally run them as full as possible because it is very expensive to run them at all – they are very energy intensive and that costs $$.

The fact is that you are full of it. Hospitals don’t “normally run them as full as possible..”. I work in the healthcare sector and am very familiar with this subject. Hospitals do not put someone in the ICU to cover costs.

It’s a huge deal that the ICU beds are this full and in normal operations they are never ever, ever, ever, under any circumstance this full.

My question for you is, why bother making up these lies and trying to spread them? Are you just an anti-vaxxer or covid denier and want to spread disinformation? I’m honestly curious.

damiene
Subscriber
damiene

…Trimble says he’s running for Governor as a Democrat…

Well, it’s a shame I’ll never get to vote for him.

For a state that’s led the way in some aspects of progressive democracy, it’s too bad it’s still stuck with closed, partisan primaries and plurality voting.

FDUP
Guest
FDUP

what do you prefer, ranked choice voting or something else? I’m asking because I’m serious, I don’t like the system as organized right now either, but at least we can vote by mail!

damiene
Subscriber
damiene

what do you prefer, ranked choice voting or something else?

Ironically, the version of ranked choice voting popularized in the US is arguably the worst alternative to plurality. Though with that said, it’s still much better than plurality. STAR voting takes the cake as the best method*, combining the advantages of ranking methods and scoring methods. After that, even something as simple as approval voting is a vast improvement over plurality (or, honestly, ranked choice).

One of the beauties of STAR or approval is that you can collect enough information in one election ballot to not need primaries at all (they eliminate the spoiler effect). Primaries are one of the biggest distortions in our political system, particularly partisan primaries (but certainly not exclusively – just see Portland’s last mayoral election cycle).

* “Best” is of course somewhat subject, but also somewhat not – there are studies putting various voting methods through various criteria, and while no method can be the best at every criteria – some criteria contradict one another – STAR consistently ranks at the top for most of the important ones.

Real American
Guest
Real American

You can vote for any candidate you want in Oregon. Takes 5 minutes to change parties at your local elections office. I did it in the 2016 primary to vote for Trump because Cruz and someone else (can’t remember who it was) were teaming up to deny Trump the nomination. I was unaffiliated but switched to Republican because I knew he was what the nation needed (still is).

Change parties if you want. It’s not a big deal.

damiene
Subscriber
damiene

And if I’m to join the Democratic party to vote for Mr. Trimble here, I then lose the ability to preference any number of Republicans. Or Independent Party candidates. Etc and vice versa. No matter what I choose, I’m restricted from weighing in on a majority of candidates for a given office (setting aside the potential case where one party happens to field 50+% of the total candidates for a given office).

This is not a good system.

FDUP
Guest
FDUP

Please retire the phrase ‘avid cyclist’!

Granpa
Guest
Granpa

I see him cycling quite often. We should all be so avid

GAW
Guest
GAW

Well I like this kind of “keeping portland weird”. Much better than the recent portland weird of blocked bike paths, drug needles and garbage everywhere.

Matt
Guest
Matt

As an interested voter, I have a few questions for Mr. Trimble:

1. When you say “This state needs and deserves a well-informed, ambitious individual willing to advance Oregon through present-day obstacles towards a reinvigorated identity.”–this implies Gov. Kate Brown does not fit this description. How do you find her governorship lacking in this regard?

2. In the last article on BP, you endorsed helmet mandates. Do you still support helmet mandates?

3. Have you ever held elected office before?

Real American
Guest
Real American

All politicians in the Oregon ruling majority party today are lacking in just about all respects. They’ve been ruling the state for decades and they talk a good game, but NOTHING useful ever happens.

Helmet mandates? No thanks.

I hold an elected office currently.

Real American
Guest
Real American

Richard Nixon enacted wage/price controls in the 1970s. It was a disaster – resulted in shortages of many items.