It’s hard to know what the future holds, but we’re operating under the assumption that we’ll still have local elections on May 19th.
One of the hottest races in town is for a seat on Metro Council. District 5 is up for grabs because Councilor Sam Chase (who’s held the seat since 2013) is running for Portland City Council. In the past month or so we’ve shared posts from two other candidates in this race: Portland Planning Commissioner and transportation reform activist Chris Smith, and civic and nonprofit leader Cameron Whitten.
Today we’ll hear from Mary Peveto. She answered five of my questions.
First, some background. Peveto is known for her work in air quality activism. She founded and still leads Neighbors for Clean Air, a nonprofit that forced a big steel company in northwest Portland to install air cleaning equipment at their plant. Her group has also successfully lobbied the legislature to reduce diesel pollution. Peveto told me she has experience not only in going after big corporations, “But also ineffective and sometimes intransigent government agencies to hold them accountable for doing their jobs of protecting people.”[Read more…]
“If we offend a few folks along the way, I guess that’s the cost of activism.” — Eva Frazier, Clever Cycles
Sarah Iannarone is a serious challenger to incumbent Mayor Ted Wheeler. After coming out of nowhere to nab 12% of the vote in her first try at the mayor’s office in 2016, her campaign has stepped way up this time around. One of the places she enjoys considerable support is among Portland’s legion of transportation reformers, where many know her not just as a politician, but as a fellow activist who often walks, rides, and rallies alongside them.
That might explain why one of Portland’s most well-known and established bike shops, Clever Cycles, has decided to host a house party for her. On March 3rd, Clever Cycles is inviting interested folks to join them at the shop for snacks, drinks and a discussion of Iannarone’s many plans.
I asked shop co-owner Eva Frazier to share why she supports Iannarone and why she’d risk getting directly involved in politics. Here’s what she said:
“I was having a conversation with another woman in the Portland bike scene. She said that we have this platform as business owners and would be wasteful to not leverage that to make Portland a better place. Portland has seen a lot of change, but also a lot of stagnation on fronts that we care about. We’re looking to the future politicians of Portland to make policy that brings us forward into a brighter future. I voted for Sarah four years ago, and I guess Portland wasn’t quite ready for her then. We need some serious change to make Portland into the city we all want to live in. Electing a mayor that walks the walk will get us there a little faster. One of the appealing aspects of owning a small business is not having to toe the corporate line. If we offend a few folks along the way, I guess that’s the cost of activism. If we don’t offend anyone, then we’re probably not doing our job.”
If you’re interested in learning more about Iannarone’s platform, consider showing up on next Tuesday. Here are the event details on Facebook. Frazier points out that the shop is family-friendly and there’s a play area for children away form the partying and politicking.