In 2018, Portland City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty became the first black woman on City Council by a landslide. Now that she’s announced a re-election bid, a group of respected transportation advocates have stepped up to help her stay there.
Calling her a, “True champion for healthier, greener, and more equitable streets,” six names that should be very well-known to BikePortland readers will host a virtual fundraiser for Hardesty on November 6th. It will be hosted by Steve Bozzone, Aaron Brown, Tony Jordan, Joan Petit, Steph Routh and Chris Smith.
Earlier this week, Hardesty’s campaign said they’ve already exceeded their fundraising goals with over 300 donors. The incumbent faces a challenge from Vadim Mozyrsky, a newcomer to Portland politics who’s active a number of high-profile boards and committees.
In a statement released Monday, Hardesty said Portland faces an “extremely challenging” future and that her vision will make our city stronger and more equitable. “We can’t allow our progress to be rolled back. I believe I am the right woman for the job, and that Portland City Council needs my voice as we take on serious challenges in the coming budgets and policy agendas.” Her campaign said she intends to focus on, “public safety, housing and homelessness, economic resilience, and bold action on climate change.”
That notable list of advocates who will host a “Zoom party” for Hardesty next month want to make transportation reform a key part of her agenda — and her success — going forward. In the event description they point to several recent measures of progress including her support for 82nd Avenue, carfree streets, and her continued fight against ODOT’s I-5 Rose Quarter project.
Hardesty was named commissioner of Portland’s transportation bureau by Mayor Ted Wheeler in late December of 2020, despite showing no public inclination for the assignment. Hardesty’s main issue has long been police reform and she’s spent most of her political capital on that issue. Of course that was before she began to dabble in techniques to combat gun violence and reduce the need for police officers through street design and placemaking. If she continues to lean into that type of work, and embraces its direct connection to climate change, community economics and resilience, transportation could become an even larger part of her profile.
Learn more about the event on our calendar.
CORRECTION: This article originally listed Hami Ramani as one of the hosts of this event. He has since informed us that he is not a host. Sorry for any confusion.
— Jonathan Maus: (503) 706-8804, @jonathan_maus on Twitter and firstname.lastname@example.org
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