city politics

Mayoral candidate Jules Bailey: The BikePortland interview

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on March 11th, 2016 at 1:50 pm

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Bailey came by our office Wednesday for an in-depth conversation about biking-related issues.
(Photo: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

When Jules Bailey served in the state legislature, he was usually known as one of biking’s best friends in Salem. Now he’s running for mayor.

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As state law passes, the fight for affordable proximity moves to City Hall

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on March 4th, 2016 at 12:36 pm

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A rally last fall to better protect Portland tenants from displacement.
(Photo: M.Andersen/BikePortland)

After years of fighting, a “grand bargain” on affordable housing passed Oregon’s legislature this week. But it won’t begin shaping Portland’s bikeable neighborhoods until after the city council takes action of its own.

Representatives for Mayor Charlie Hales and his council colleague, Housing Commissioner Dan Saltzman, say that plans to do so are already underway.

Any city plan seems certain to include some level of “inclusionary zoning,” a measure that could require that up to 20 percent of units in some new buildings be sold and/or rented at discount prices to people who make less than 80 percent of the median income. (As of 2015, that 80 percent figure means that a family of three that makes less than $52,950 would qualify for the reduced-rate units.)

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Gas tax ‘Yes’ campaign says it’s got $17,000 in pledges, will aim to raise more

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on February 11th, 2016 at 1:21 pm

fix our streets

The campaign named a committee of backers
Thursday.

Five months after a poll showed a slight majority of likely Portland voters would support a temporary 10-cent gas tax to improve local streets, some donors are hoping cash will lock that lead in for the May election.

Backers of a local gas tax have so far pledged $17,000 for the effort, campaign strategist Stacey Dycus said Tuesday.

“We’re going to ask some local electeds to help chip in,” Dycus said. “We’re going to ask businesses to chip in. We’re looking for help from organizations. … Hopefully organizations and businesses and individuals are going to step up and help us tell the story.”

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With help from development interests, Wheeler is dominating mayoral fundraising

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on February 9th, 2016 at 3:49 pm

Safe Sound and Green press event-3.jpg

Then Multnomah County Chair Ted Wheeler at a
2008 event calling for new local road funding.
(Photos: J.Maus/BikePortland)

Former Oregon Treasurer Ted Wheeler has reported raising almost 15 times as much money as his closest competitor in the race to be Portland’s next mayor.

Among his donors are a wide variety of real estate businesses and Paul Romain, the oil and gas station lobbyist who’s threatened to kill the 10-cent local gas tax increase that Wheeler supports.

Multnomah County Commissioner Jules Bailey, the second-biggest draw for donors, has brought in $26,886 since just before declaring his candidacy, compared to Wheeler’s $398,509.

The race’s newest candidate, Portland State University scholar Sarah Iannarone, has brought on a campaign manager, so presumably aims to raise money. But she hasn’t been in the race long enough to hit a 30-day fundraising report deadline.

Of the other three registered candidates, only David Schor has reported any campaign finances at all, mostly loans from himself. Bim Ditson and Philip Davis haven’t reported anything.

Part of the reason for Wheeler’s lead is that he’s had longer to raise money. But Wheeler has reported $74,542 raised in 2016 alone, triple Bailey’s four-month total.

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The political arm of Portland’s biking movement is back and organizing for 2016

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on February 2nd, 2016 at 8:26 am

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A Bike Walk Vote event at Crank bike shop in February 2013.
(Photo: J.Maus/BikePortland)

The national political season may have officially begun with Monday night’s Iowa caucuses, but the local political season is well underway.

And Bike Walk Vote, the political action committee that has helped elect politicians in 23 Portland-area races since 2004, will be back at it in 2016.

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Council sends gas tax to ballot behind wide range of supporters

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on January 28th, 2016 at 10:42 am

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Marion Haynes with the Portland Business Alliance
offered conditional support.
(Photos from City Council live feed)

Advocates of a 10-cent local gas tax joined up to form quite a list of endorsers Wednesday for a midafternoon hearing at Portland City Council. Council heard a presentation and testimony about the idea ahead of adopting a resolution to send the tax to the ballot.

“I feel like a possum on I-5 during rush hour right now,” said Paul Romain, a lobbyist for Oregon gas retailers who was one of only two people to speak clearly against the measure.

Offering support was everyone from a freight advocate to a business advocate to an environmental justice advocate from East Portland to a frequent City Hall testifier who goes by the name of “Lightning.” While almost everyone seemed to like the idea, a close look at their testimony reveals mixed feelings that could offer clues to future debates.

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As a big election year looms, Bike Walk Vote PAC is looking for new leaders

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on December 24th, 2015 at 11:54 am

Bike Walk Vote candidate party-11

Future Portland Transportation Commissioner Steve Novick speaks at a 2012 event for Bike Walk Vote-endorsed candidates.
(Photos: J.Maus/BikePortland)

In 2016, Portlanders will vote on a local gas tax, a new mayor, a transportation commissioner, a regional council and a governor.

If you make between approximately $7,000 and $100,000 a year, you’ve probably got $50 in free money from the State of Oregon to spend in 2015 on a candidate or political committee of your choice.

That’s the fact of Oregon’s unusual but underused political tax credit system.

But for people who believe that Oregon should be reducing its dependence on cars, the odd complication is that no political committee active on those issues seems to be asking for that money — even as Portland heads into an election year that will shape transportation issues for years to come.

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Big day at City Hall affects pedicabs, taxi safety and backyard homes

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on December 3rd, 2015 at 8:43 am

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Commissioner Fritz.
(Photo © J. Maus/BikePortland)

A flurry of end-of-year activity at Portland City Hall Wednesday led to changes in three different stories we’ve been tracking on BikePortland.

With Commissioner Amanda Fritz playing a key role in all three votes, the council agreed to delay changes to pedicab rules that would have required pedicab operators to hold driver’s licenses and have a year of continuous driving experience; to require a one-time “defensive driving” training for taxi, Lyft and Uber workers rather than retrainings every two years; and to allow small accessory dwelling units to be built near the edge of properties as long as they’re no larger than the garages that have long been allowed near property lines.
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If elected mayor, Ted Wheeler says he’d overhaul transportation bureau

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on November 9th, 2015 at 10:00 am

Safe Sound and Green press event-3.jpg

Then Multnomah County Chair Ted Wheeler at a
2008 event calling for new local transportation funding.
(Photos: J.Maus/BikePortland)

Portland’s current mayoral frontrunner says that if he wins next year, he’ll take over the transportation bureau and rewrite its budget from scratch.

In an interview with Oregonian columnist David Sarasohn, mayoral hopeful Ted Wheeler said the Portland Bureau of Transportation’s current budget is “byzantine” and that its street system is “a patient on the table bleeding to death.”

“As mayor, Wheeler would assign himself the transportation bureau (along with the mayorally expected police bureau), and start redesigning its budget from zero,” Sarasohn reported in a column published Friday afternoon.

Portland’s mayor doesn’t have many actual powers beyond those of the other four commissioners on the city council. The main difference is that it’s up to the mayor to decide which commissioner gets administrative authority over each of the city’s 19 bureaus and offices.
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10 biking advocates on Portland’s fast-changing mayoral race

Michael Andersen (Contributor) by on October 29th, 2015 at 10:35 am

Policymakers Ride - Gorge Edition-1

Former BTA Advocacy Manager Michelle Poyourow and BTA
Deputy Director Steph Noll: undecided voters.
(Photos: J.Maus/BikePortland)

Last week, the spring 2016 race for Portland mayor looked like a hard-fought duel between two very similar people. On Monday, when Mayor Charlie Hales dropped out, it briefly raised the possibility of a coronation for the remaining major candidate, State Treasurer Ted Wheeler.

By Wednesday, it once again seemed clear that this will be a race. State House Majority Leader Jennifer Williamson, former Metro Councilor Robert Liberty and Portland Association of Teachers President Gwen Sullivan said they’re considering runs. Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury and Multnomah County Chief Operating Officer Marissa Madrigal have both been conspicuously silent so far.

Amid all this, we wondered what the city’s bike advocates have been thinking. So we asked a bunch of them.

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