Online house party looks to boost four bike-friendly council candidates

There’s an argument to be made that bicycling and transportation activists (aka the “all powerful Bike Lobby”) are one of the most influential and engaged voting blocs in Portland. Yes I’m biased, but consider this: before the cascading crises of recent years drowned it out, active transportation was consistently among this city’s most highly prioritized issues; some of our most powerful and well-known public figures have rested much of their legacy on building (or fighting) major transportation projects; Portland was the first major US city to earn a “Platinum” bike-friendly city award after a campaign that galvanized political and business leaders; and if you add up all the candidates we’ve hosted at Bike Happy Hour it’s surely the most popular venue for politicking in the city.

On Monday, four Portlanders will host an event that will make the case even more convincing.

“Bikes, Homes, and City Hall” will be a one-hour long, online, joint house party event with the specific goal of helping elect one Portland City Council candidate from each district. And because of Portland’s small donor election system, all organizers want is $5 for each candidate from every person who logs in.

The candidates chosen for the event are: Timur Ender in District 1 (East), Marnie Glickman in District 2 (Northeast), Angelita Morillo in District 3 (Southeast), and Chad Lykins in District 4 (West).

Housing and transportation activist Michael Andersen said he helped organize the event to boost candidates he thinks, “Have a clear path to win in November, but may not be the very highest-profile in their district.” “We think all four deserve particular attention from Portlanders who think better biking can serve the city,” Andersen added.

“We need a city council that works to build bike lanes, not remove them,” said even co-organizer and noted cycling activist Kiel Johnson. “We need a city council that understands the importance of good policy and has the guts to implement that policy. These candidates have stood out for their ability to help us create a city where anyone can bike and live wherever they choose to.”

Johnson and Andersen are trying to game the system. They know a low-commitment, low-donation, high-volume approach wouldn’t make sense in most cities. But in Portland’s small donor election system, bumping up a candidate’s total unique donor amount to 750 makes a huge difference because it unlocks double the matching funds — up to $80,000 — compared to the 250-donor tier. And a bump to 1,250 (in the case of Morillo) unlock $120,000.

Simply put, $5 bills are powerful political tools in Portland that should be wielded by everyone who cares about our city.

Organizers hope to raise $20,000, “Enough to give all these candidates a huge burst of momentum — and to make a big political splash on behalf of equitable transportation, abundant housing, and a city for everyone.” Good attendance will also burnish the reputation of bike activists as a powerful voting bloc.

The event will begin at 6:00 pm this coming Monday (June 18th). You can register here.

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Jonathan Maus (Publisher/Editor)

Founder of BikePortland (in 2005). Father of three. North Portlander. Basketball lover. Car owner and driver. If you have questions or feedback about this site or my work, feel free to contact me at @jonathan_maus on Twitter, via email at maus.jonathan@gmail.com, or phone/text at 503-706-8804. Also, if you read and appreciate this site, please become a supporter.

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Angus Peters
Angus Peters
29 days ago

Why can’t we have a bike friendly city council member that doesn’t put up TikTok videos supporting shoplifting? Why do I have to choose “bike friendly” along with “cops are bad”, “we must pass out free tents” and having shelters/enforcing no camping laws is “criminalizing homelessness”. Let’s elect someone who cares about bikes AND the rule of law. I’m growing so tired of this progressive Portland crap.

Micah Prange
Micah Prange
29 days ago
Reply to  Angus Peters

Move to The Dalles?

Angus Peters
Angus Peters
29 days ago
Reply to  Micah Prange

Micah, Why do far left Portlanders frequently seem to want to perform political “cleansing” of the city? It just gives such an intolerant vibe to Portland. (My apologies if you’re actually from the Dalles and are encouraging me to move there)

Art Lewellan
Art Lewellan
27 days ago
Reply to  Angus Peters

There are near no true Leftwing major US cities including Portland.
They are all run by Rightwing business groups, construction firms, truckers.
Many mayors pose as progressive, as did Adams and Wheeler.
Hales did good. Katz was an angel. Goose Hollow guy none better.
Chief Porter did his appointed rounds with less violent protests.

Here’s to the end of the TRUMP regime!
Here’s to the end of the WHEELER regime!

Angus Peters
Angus Peters
29 days ago
Reply to  Angus Peters

Oh and if you don’t believe me about the shoplifting tbing…here’s the video.
https://www.reddit.com/r/PortlandOR/comments/19bf7lx/portland_city_council_candidate_comes_out_in/

BB
BB
29 days ago
Reply to  Angus Peters

Just watched it, does Andersen and Johnson (BikeLoud) support her point of view?
They must or didn’t vet her very well.
Amazing Video, Pretty funny.

qqq
qqq
29 days ago
Reply to  Angus Peters

She never says she supports shoplifting. She said that people shouldn’t be surprised when it happens after other options become unavailable.

So now that I’ve watched it, I don’t believe you.

BB
BB
28 days ago
Reply to  qqq

Stealing is a moral failure and we have food banks… People also need transportation and have no options if they have no money, so I assume you are fine with them stealing your bicycle?

Chris I
Chris I
28 days ago
Reply to  BB

Only if “they’ve exhausted all available options”. Somehow I don’t think that is the background behind the vast majority of bike theft, or any kind of theft.

People aren’t stealing bread to feed their families.

qqq
qqq
28 days ago
Reply to  BB

That’s a weird assumption. Why would you think that?

BB
BB
28 days ago
Reply to  qqq

I don’t support bike stealing but I am not surprised it happens.
There are root causes that make people not be able to afford a bicycle.
So no complaining about bicycle theft until we solve all inequity in society. Sounds completely rational doesn’t it?

qqq
qqq
28 days ago
Reply to  BB

So you’re not surprised bike theft happens, but don’t support it.

The person in the video isn’t surprised shoplifting happens, and didn’t say she supported it.

So your view about bike theft is basically matching her view about shoplifting.

I don’t support shoplifting or bike theft either, and I never said anything that implies that I do. All I said was that she didn’t say she supported shoplifting, but said people shouldn’t be surprised it happens.

So again, why would you twist that into your weird assumption that I’d be fine with someone stealing my bike? Or your equally weird apparent assumption that I’d think nobody should be “complaining about bicycle theft until we solve all inequity in society”?

Matt Villers
Matt Villers
29 days ago
Reply to  Angus Peters

I’m not sure what video you just watched, but what I see here is a video explaining “why” people shoplift and how to mitigate it, which is very far from arguing that it’s a good thing. Did you ever watch Aladdin? Did you consider that movie to be “pro-shoplifting”, or did you understand the point it was trying to make?

It’s really hard to get someone to grasp this if they’ve never truly grappled with not having access to something as basic as food. Maybe you have this idea in your head that “there are organizations that handle that sort of thing” or “you could just eat cheaper stuff”, but sometimes that just isn’t the case. A whole lot of people go hungry in our city and for that matter in our country every day.

And I’m sorry, but if you were in a position where your choice was “steal” or “starve”, there’s only so much “starve” you can take before you will choose “steal”. And when you have kids? When you have kids, pride is not a luxury you can afford. You will do whatever it takes to meet their needs.

“But there’s no way we’d just let kids starve! There are programs for that!” – no, not really. Certainly not reliably. On days I went to school without lunch money in Southern OR, do you know what they gave me? One frozen Uncrustable. 200 calories. For a 16 y/o boy.

“Well you could’ve gotten a job at that age” – I had one. I worked as many hours as they’d give me and that mostly just covered rent. My mom’s health was failing and she couldn’t work more than part time, but she donated blood plasma as often as they let her to fill in the gaps. At one point we went to a church to ask for food, and they gave us half a stale sheet cake left over from a bishop’s birthday party. We made that cake last a week.

We were lucky that we managed to scrape together enough to get by without having to steal, but would my mom have done it if it came down to that or letting me starve? I’m quite sure she would have.

So yeah, I don’t like that it happens, but like Angelita I find it very difficult to blame desperate people for doing it. If you also don’t like it, then let’s make a point of doing whatever we can to ensure peoples’ basic needs are met so it stops happening.

Watts
Watts
29 days ago
Reply to  Matt Villers

Not a lot in that video that talks about how she would fix the hunger she claims underlies the shoplifting issue, but then that’s not really the problem, at least not in Portland (maybe in the more rural parts of the state). Oregon food banks have not run out of food. People are not stealing cell phones so they can get a job.

So sure, if it’s starve or steal, I’ll go with steal every time. But that’s a tiny part of the problem that is not driving the epidemic of shoplifting. Also, ethically, I cannot vote for anyone who makes a video that zooms all whack like that.

Cathyrn Quinn
Cathyrn Quinn
28 days ago
Reply to  Watts

I volunteer at a food hub in Eugene. We don’t ask for ANY proof of need. Unlike some food resource centers where you have show you’re on TANF, SSI, Section 8, we welcome anyone. Yesterday, I served about 30 households who received bread, vegetables, pantry staples, multiple packages of meat, cheese, and desserts (that graduating 6th-grader’s face was gold ❤️). Food insecurity isn’t visible.

Watts
Watts
28 days ago
Reply to  Cathyrn Quinn

Food insecurity isn’t visible.

I totally get that. It’s also not driving the wave of shoplifting, which was the narrative Morillo was promoting.

John V
John V
28 days ago
Reply to  Watts

How can you make that assertion? Just because people aren’t shoplifting food?

You know what doesn’t need refrigeration and can fit in your pocket and get many meals worth of food? The money you can get from selling something you steal.

Also people need more than just food.

Watts
Watts
28 days ago
Reply to  John V

Also people need more than just food.

This is exactly what I said below.

John V
John V
28 days ago
Reply to  Matt Villers

Comment of the week. Couldn’t have said it better (or more authoritatively) myself.

Nobody thinks shoplifting is good. Nobody thinks camping on the streets is good. Nobody thinks drug use in public is good. Nobody thinks these things, but they are an understandable consequence of the reality we live in. They’re going to happen, and punishing the people who are doing it is the cruel and doesn’t address the problem.

BB
BB
28 days ago
Reply to  John V

COOL… Can they come to your house and steal your stuff?

Watts
Watts
28 days ago
Reply to  John V

They’re going to happen

Only if we don’t acknowledge and deal with the underlying causes. Most people are not on the street because of a shortage of market rate housing (we have plenty of market rate apartments, but not enough subsidized units or the smaller single family houses that a lot of folks are moving to the suburbs to get, adopting a car-centered lifestyle). Most people are not stealing because of a shortage of food.

A large part of both of those problems is drug addiction. I, along with many others, voted to give the state a huge amount of money (taken from schools) to address that specific problem. The “reality we live in” is that we have one-party that has proven itself utterly incapable of dealing with the the issue (and many others), even with plenty of resources at hand. This incompetence has back the cause of drug decriminalization in America by at least 20 years.

Most of us who really think camping on the streets is bad want to encourage people to get into a shelter and get clean, not help them get high in a nicer tent.

John V
John V
28 days ago
Reply to  Watts

Most of us who really think camping on the streets is bad want to encourage people to get into a shelter and get clean, not help them get high in a nicer tent.

The problem is the people who say this only have one solution and that’s sweeping up encampments and arresting people. No plan for the short term, nothing for the situation people are in now, living on the street. And that isn’t a solution.

Watts
Watts
28 days ago
Reply to  John V

The problem is the people who say this only have one solution

I just offered a different solution (which you even included in your excerpt): shelter and treatment. We have dedicated funding and an explicit mandate from voters for both.

The county and the state need to figure out how to do the job, or step aside and let someone else do it.

Laura
Laura
27 days ago
Reply to  Matt Villers

Her video amounts to, dare I say it? “poorsplaining” The problem is, what I and my family/friends are seeing is not unhoused people shoplifting, but thugs. People who see that Target, Freddies, et al, have told their employees to not engage shoplifters, so it’s a free for all. If you look at what MultCo Sheriff and Portland PB have done in their shoplifting “stings,” it’s not homeless, or even deep poverty housed folks. That said, I don’t see Ms. Morillo any more of a bike-friendly candidate than the Boomer white guy, Rex B (and he actually has governance experience).

OregonRainstorm87
OregonRainstorm87
29 days ago
Reply to  Angus Peters

Angelita talked shit about AOC. AOC does more with her pinky finger than ms Morillo does on any of her self absorbed tictoks

Steve Cheseborough (Contributor)
Chezz
28 days ago
Reply to  Angus Peters

Because bicycling doesn’t exist in a vacuum. Many of us consider bicycling part of a life dedicated to trying to improve the world. That’s great that at least one of the candidates agrees. Sorry if you’re “growing tired” of trying to improve the world — that’s what progress is and it takes a long time.

Micah Prange
Micah Prange
29 days ago

According to my calendar, the 18th is a Tuesday.

maxD
maxD
29 days ago

Is it too late to invite Keith Wilson to this?

Jose V
Jose V
29 days ago
Reply to  maxD

Nah, Wilson has a plan to get homeless people off the street in 12 months and restore some cleanliness and order to the city. Jonathan wouldn’t allow one of these “criminalizing homelessness” candidates to come to a Bike Portland event.
https://www.keithwilsonformayor.com/priorities

Jose V
Jose V
28 days ago

My apologies. I’m happy to hear you had invited Mr Wilson in the past. I’d would have liked to see Eli Arnold at the event. He’s on a bike more than almost any of us.
https://bikeportland.org/2024/04/02/podcast-portland-police-officer-and-city-council-candidate-eli-arnold-385208

OregonRainstorm87
OregonRainstorm87
29 days ago
Reply to  Jose V

I don’t approve of your snark & shit talking about bike portland but I did just check out Keith Wilson and thanks for introducing me to my new fav candidate. donated to his campaign

Matt Villers
Matt Villers
29 days ago

Having seen the small donor stuff play out for the first time, I have to say I really like it. It feels like it does a lot to help level the playing field between grassroots candidates and the favorites of wealthy donors, and feels good knowing I can:

  • Give a candidate a small amount of money and have it mean a lot.
  • Support a range of candidates I like instead of feeling like I have to focus on the ones most likely to win.

Very cool to see organizers understand how this works and try to make the most of it, especially in a cooperative way.

ED
ED
28 days ago
Reply to  Matt Villers

I’m increasingly in favor. I was a little skeptical after reading the earlier op-ed by Timur (https://bikeportland.org/2024/06/03/guest-article-how-to-engage-with-the-upcoming-city-council-election-387049) advocating “voting with your dollar.” How about, ya know, voting with your vote and getting money out of politics? Why should I get to spend my dollars to influence elections in other Council districts? But then I realized, oh yeah–this is what mega donors and dark money and PACs and Citizens United is all about–this is happening already and with much more nefarious intent. So the small donor system seems like a smart, technical way to better direct the influence on money in politics to favor individual, citizen voices in local races. I hope it works out that way!