Whoever you are for — or against — please vote!

The future of our planet and city depend on your vote.
(Photo: Jonathan Maus/BikePortland)

Now is not the time to detach from democracy. In fact, it’s time to engage.

I know there’s a lot of news that feels overwhelming in its heaviness and heartache right now — on a local, regional, statewide, national, and global scale. But if we don’t vote, we lose touch completely and we let other people — often those with more power and money and privilege — decide the direction of our city, region, state, country, and world.

If you haven’t already, please crack that voter’s guide that’s on your kitchen table and take the time to vote. There are a lot of voting guides out there from other news sources (Google is your friend), so there’s really no excuse to not have a basic sense of who the candidates are and what positions are open.

Remember: Election day is tomorrow, Tuesday May 17th.

Ballots must be received at any county elections office in Oregon or Official Ballot Drop Site location by 8 p.m. or mailed and postmarked by Tuesday, May 17th to be counted. The map below shows official ballot drop sites in Multnomah County and you can learn more at the official elections website.

Thanks for voting! You are democracy.

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Steve
Steve
1 month ago

Amen!

Matt
Matt
1 month ago

Let’s just say I want all incumbents OUT.

Mark in NoPo
Mark in NoPo
1 month ago

..people are running a “tough on homeless” platform and I wish folks would realize that “tough on xyz” is a large reason why we are in these messes to begin with.

The “tough on homeless” policies of places outside Portland are part of why Portland is in this mess — that, and us allowing hard drugs and taking a two-year break from enforcing most laws.

Johnny Bye Carter
Johnny Bye Carter
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark in NoPo

Yes, that tough policy is why we’re in this mess, and why Portland doesn’t have a tough policy. If everybody had the tough policy it would kill people instead of helping them. Now we have everybody else’s tired, poor, huddled masses, wretched refuse, and homeless. When did people become so quick to reject them?

Matt
Matt
1 month ago

You’re also assuming we all align with the people in city hall. We don’t.

Watts
Watts
1 month ago

I favor throwing the incumbents out when I believe they are a major contributor to problems that may have been decades in the making, but are getting acutely worse now. I also favor getting rid of incumbents who respond to policy questions with a litany of people they blame, rather than offering a vision of a way forward. I also favor getting rid of incumbents who have become so embattled that they can’t make the political alliances they need to move policy forward.

Watts
Watts
1 month ago
Reply to  Watts

I also favor getting rid of incumbents under the sway of megaprojects.

Mike Quigley
Mike Quigley
1 month ago

Agreed. Americans are always “throwing the bums out” only to sink into even deeper shit with the replacements.

Bob Weinstein
Bob Weinstein
1 month ago

Thank you both for the original post reminding people to get out and vote, as well as the above comment.

I will say, however, that while I agree that “major systemic problems that are decades in the making” don’t get resolved overnight, incumbents have at least a four year record to establish both ability to make progress on those issues.

That is also sufficient time, in my opinion, to determine whether or not they not only have “the hearts and minds to do it right,” but the skills and temperament as well. From that perspective, I think Hardesty has failed the test and is why I support Vadim Mozyrsky for position 3 on the City Council.

Frank Perillo
Frank Perillo
1 month ago

So the very title of this thread suggests voting for who they are “for or against” and then when someone suggests they want incumbents voted out you jump on them for not being happy with the status quo. We know your bias. What you probably should say is, “vote, but only like me”.

Mark in NoPo
Mark in NoPo
1 month ago

I disagree with most of Jonathan’s politics but I question the media literacy of those who whine about his politics emanating into his articles and comments.

Jonathan doesn’t make his politics a mystery, and that’s okay—learn what you can from his reporting and debate to your heart’s delight in the comments. Why winge that Jonathan writes from a specific perspective? We all do, and we’re all smart enough to figure it out and think for ourselves.

Let’s save our complaints, if necessary, for stories that don’t get covered or ideas that don’t get aired, rather than about the valence of those that do.

Watts
Watts
1 month ago

While I agree with the general direction of this critique response, I think many of your protestations that people don’t know you you feel about things ring hollow.

We know. Not everyone understands every nuance of your thinking on every issue, but when someone is 90% right, saying “you have no idea” feels false.

Rivelo
1 month ago

Trump ran on a Drain The Swamp platform…and created the biggest swamp in the history of our nation.

Mark in NoPo
Mark in NoPo
1 month ago
Reply to  Rivelo

I loathe Trump, but he isn’t to blame for the uniquely acute problems of the bluest of blue cities.

dwk
dwk
1 month ago
Reply to  Mark in NoPo

Its amazing that after 2 years I am finally seeing some progress in at least picking up garbage which is so easy to do.. Even ODOT is cleaning up the freeways…Wheeler is under enormous pressure from Democrats running for office.. Kotek has already called him out.
He and the City commission are going to take out the Democrats this fall unless he gets his act together and every Democrat running in the state knows it.

JaredO
JaredO
1 month ago
Reply to  Matt

It’s simplistic statements like “everyone out” that make me fear for democracy.

Many incumbents are trying to get things changed, but are being outvoted, or are running up against systemic problems or powers, or really difficult issues like the challenge of serving people experiencing homelessness.

Saying everyone should be kicked out with a blanket “whatever’s new!” feels really problematic, and not aware of the nuances and challenges of serving in office.

PS
PS
1 month ago
Reply to  JaredO

What you describe might be inefficient for progress, particularly the 21st century brand of “progress for ME”, but it should actually give you confidence in democracy. If one side is pushing ideas that are so far from the what the majority wants and they get voted out quickly, that is exactly what the system should do.

Homelessness is a great example too, there is an elected and activist demographic that likes to suggest it is just an intractable issue where the solutions are so complex that it may never be solved. Yet, I know this is hard if you’re stuck in Portland, there are places that literally don’t have this problem at all. So, in Portland we have elected individuals who cater to an activist core and now the general population is getting wise to it. It might take a couple elections, but change will come, and we are going to end up somewhere like a lot of shelter beds being built with some services, just like many other places have ended up with.

Lastly, your final point is not necessarily for the electorate to know but for those elected to office to know or be able to explain to the electorate. Explain why it is nuanced or difficult, they work for us, not the other way around. Like when certain council members talk about a budget, yet have public issues with finances, it shows they were not hired to appropriate funds, they were hired as an activist. I don’t want activists, I want public servants, so I will vote for someone new with a different skill set.

Johnny Bye Carter
Johnny Bye Carter
1 month ago
Reply to  PS

Democracy is a horrible idea and I’m glad we don’t live in one.

soren
soren
1 month ago

Democracy is an idea that USAnian voters have never experienced.

Mark in NoPo
Mark in NoPo
1 month ago
Reply to  soren

USAnian

Huh?

Watts
Watts
1 month ago
Reply to  JaredO

Simplistic statements like “everyone out”

Rest assured I, at least, and those who I influence, are not saying “everyone out”. We’re saying “ineffective and embattled and megaproject loving and political machine incumbents out where there is a viable alternative”. In this election, there is a lot of overlap between those two groups, but the messages are not the same.

Some years, I’ve supported every incumbent.

dwk
dwk
1 month ago
Reply to  JaredO

What makes me fear for democracy is the same people being voted in….Incumbents rarely lose because they have all the money to run again..
What incumbent running is not well financed? Hardesty and Ryan had a boatload of money to spend. Win or lose, Money was not the problem.

maxD
maxD
1 month ago

has anyone found any good voting guide summaries? League of women voters and City Club each link to videos. I was looking for a summary of positions, maybe endorsements…

Norman
Norman
1 month ago
Reply to  Joseph E

The Willamette Week Voter Guide used to be an excellent resource for making decisions about who to vote for. I looked at it this year and it was just shallow, ideological driven analysis that looked like it took 15 minutes to write. The Portland Mercury was worse.

Listening to candidates debate is a better way to get informed. City Club of Portland and the Oregonian sponsor debates you can find on Youtube.

JaredO
JaredO
1 month ago
Reply to  Norman

There are long videos of the interviews in Willamette Week, for those who have the time.

Lyonaise Cycliste
Lyonaise Cycliste
1 month ago
Reply to  maxD

Here’s a new bipartisan group with pragmatic endorsements. Getting a lot of traffic. Jonathan I’ll donate $50 to a bipartisan voting rights/democracy group of your choice if you publish this.

https://www.portlandparty.org/

maxD
maxD
1 month ago

this is great, thanks

Lisa Caballero (Southwest Correspondent)
Editor

Thank you Lyonaise. I’ve already voted, and I’m pretty well-informed, but nevertheless I found this a challenging ballot. It seems like a lot of the candidate positions are written in code, and if you don’t follow the issues real closely it’s not clear what they mean.

I thought these endorsements and explanations cut through some of that.

Granpa
Granpa
1 month ago

What we have here, reading this blog, is an informed citizenry. Your votes are of higher value than those who choose to be uninformed. yes vote

Damien
Damien
1 month ago
Reply to  Granpa

Your votes are of higher value than those who choose to be uninformed.

Were that only the case. Alas, the votes of the informed are weighted equal to the uninformed, the latter far outnumbering the former. In a perfect world, I’d like it to be otherwise – in anything short of a perfect world, “otherwise” scares the hell out of me.

But yes – please, vote!

 
 
1 month ago

Anyone eligible who doesn’t vote in Oregon has zero right to complain about anything our elected officials do. We make it the easiest of pretty much any state.

soren
soren
1 month ago

In fact, it’s time to engage.

Most young adults disagree:

comment image

“DPO analysis of all ballots cast through Friday”

John L
John L
1 month ago
Reply to  soren

That (difference in voter turnout by age group) is astonishing. Maybe it is typical for primaries, I don’t know.

Roberta Robles
Roberta Robles
1 month ago

I hope the progressives in the House like AOC get the message from Oregon.. . We voted out Kurt Schrader, the US House Rep. credited with recruiting enough Republican votes to break the Progressive block that tried to link and pass the additional national climate change package along with the infrastructure package.

You can thank Bend OR #represent for that Progressive flip out.