Candidates Forum

Other comments

Sarah Iannarone, candidate for Mayor

I want to thank the Architectural Heritage Center for putting the time and effort into this questionnaire. As an urban policy expert who has worked with civic leaders from across the globe, I recognize, cherish, and share your commitment towards preserving Portland’s historic and significant architecture in a manner that allows us to still achieve our carbon, equity, and housing affordability goals.

I also want to share with AHC members that I’m the only candidate in this race who is participating in the Open and Accountable Elections program, and that I’m the only candidate who has capped my political donations at $250. 87% of Portlanders voted in 2018 to approve of campaign finance limits of $500. While my opponents take large, four- and five- figure checks from real estate interests, developers, and downtown corporate interests, my campaign has been funded by thousands of donations from everyday Portlanders; the average size of a donation to my campaign is around $30. This means that when it’s time for me to vote on policies regarding how to preserve what’s great about Portland’s livable, walkable neighborhoods while still tackling housing affordability and climate-proofing our communities, I will be beholden to out-of-state, big money interests – i’ll be beholden to everyday Portlanders looking for collaboration and engagement. I hope I can count on your vote this May 19.

Mark White, candidate for Mayor

The foundation of my run for Mayor is to ensure the upcoming Charter Commission is fully funded and supported in its effort to reach out to Portlanders to discuss and debate the various aspects of our government’s structure. As co-chair of the 2011 Charter Commission I had direct experience with interference from City Council and intend to make sure there is not a repeat of this. The structure of our government affects all aspects of our lives and defines who we are as a City and the relationships we have with one another. It is more important now than ever before. I hope you will be an active participant in this effort and bring your insight, knowledge, and passion for the benefit of all Portlanders.

Mingus Mapps, Commissioner Position 4 candidate

I’m running for City Council because I love Portland, and I am concerned about the direction our City is heading in. Homelessness is out of control. Housing costs are too high. Too often politics in City Hall are toxic and disconnected from the world Portlanders actually live in. It doesn’t have to be this way.

I have deep roots in Portland, a PhD in Political Science, and experience working in local government. I’m a transparent, evidence based policy maker. I am in this race for the right reasons. And I have a plan for getting Portland back on track. When I am on City Council, my top priorities will include:

Competently leading Portland’s recovery from the Covid crisis.
Reducing homelessness.
Increasing the supply of affordable housing.
Changing the way we elect members of city council. It is time we choose our city council representatives through neighborhood based districts, instead of at large elections.
Let’s hire a city manager to coordinate city services.

Aaron Fancher, Commissioner Position 4 candidate

We need to help people with mental health issues and drug problems as I see and hear about that issue alot of other residence.

Diana Gutman, Commissioner Position 2 candidate

I was homeless for two years due to displacement, I had less than 30 days to move out of my home because the property was sold. During my time of being a homeless Veteran, it was very difficult. I was forced to sleep in my car, and when given the opportunity, stayed with those who opened their home up to me; it was not always safe. I have been attending the Portland City Council meetings since June, 2018.The first time I signed up to give public testimony in front of the Council was on 9/26/2018 regarding agenda item 1014 for the charitable funds campaign. Since then, I have signed up to give testimony on numerous agenda items to express my support or concerns based off of the presentations being given. I have learned so much over the years since attending the Council meetings. In 2018 I proposed HB3117 for the 2019 legislative session. HB3117 helps Survivors of violence and abuse who are trying to maintain their protection order in the state of Oregon. I had this bill declared as an emergency because for the Survivor it will always be an emergency. HB3117 was signed into effect on May 22, 2019. This bill is for Survivors of sexual violence, domestic violence, child abuse, elder abuse, and for people with disabilities who are being abused. Over the last year I have been working hard here in the City of Portland; working with community partners and Oregon state legislators on establishing ways to help the residents and constituents of Oregon and to keep them safe! I have put a lot of thought into the steps that we can take here in the City of Portland. My approach to addressing complex situations is through active engagement and open dialogue with our community. Seeing the Council’s advocacy and action taken on behalf of our community is why I am running for Portland City Commissioner position no.2. As a human rights activist, a victims advocate and your prospective Commissioner I will continue to work to advocate for inclusive policies and legislation.

Julia DeGraw, Commissioner Position 2 candidate

I have worked in a number of renovated historic buildings, from office buildings to old houses-turned-office, and I loved each of them. I loved how it felt to walk up to them and admire their beauty from the outside; I loved feeling and seeing the history of each place. I don’t have the historic architecture bug as much as the members of your organization do, but remembering how it felt to work in places like the North Pacific building reminds me that there’s value in preserving our architectural heritage. America culture is generally obsessed with whatever is new; we have historically not thought twice about tearing something down and replacing it with whatever the new fad is––it’s amazing how close we came to demolishing the Arlene Schnitzer concert hall, I’m thankful we found a way to preserve that beautiful iconic Portland building.

There is value in trying to find the resources to better preserve and maintain our architectural heritage, while also working hard to invest in displaced communities and address the historic inequities and injustices of our city. This means committing to building deeply affordable housing in every part of the city, creating truly vibrant communities that are more inclusive and livable for all the people of Portland––not just those who benefit the most from our historic status quo. I appreciate that your organization acknowledges “preservation does not mean being frozen in time. New isn’t inherently ‘bad,’ nor is old inherently ‘good.’” That we agree on that core principle leads me to believe that we can partner to address the challenges we face of building a livable, beautiful, sustainable, and equitable city as we continue to grow and change.

I’d like to end by saying I’m running on a system change platform. In my 38 years it has been made clear that we must elect City Council members by districts and end our ineffective Commission form of government. Elected officials could then focus on legislating and serving the public.

Sam Chase, Commissioner Position 2 candidate

City Hall needs a successful leader with experience, an ability to get things done, and a passion to save what makes Portland special.

Terry Parker, Commissioner Position 2 candidate

Adequate off-street parking with charging connectivity for electric cars needs to be required with all new residential developments. 59% of low income people drive to their place of employment. 89% of households in the Portland-Metro area have one or more cars. The city’s own studies suggest that 72% of households in new large multi-unit buildings without parking have one or more cars. Therefore, adequate off-street parking equates to no less than three parking spaces for every four units. History clearly demonstrates higher rates of personal mobility (such as driving) significantly contributes to greater economic productivity which in turn generates family wage jobs. Nearly 10% of the jobs in the U.S. are tied to the auto industry. Neighborhood streets being utilized as full time car storage lots leave no space for visitors, small business customers or tourists to park. Additionally, curb cuts for driveways in residential neighborhoods allow access to homes for service and delivery vehicles, create a space for garbage pickup containers, and allow direct access to TriMet’s Lift or other on-call vehicles for hire that mobility impaired people in wheelchairs and with walkers utilize. It should also be noted that driving is means of travel that maintains social distancing. A pandemic like the coronavirus also spreads faster in high density areas and neighborhoods where people live closer together. Finally, my dad was a third generation Portlander. My mother was born in Canada, but came to Portland at an early age when her English parents migrated here. As a life long Portlander who attended Charles A. Rice, Rose City Park and Madison High schools, I truly recognize the value of Portland’s historic and distinctive architectural characteristics, and preserving them for future generations.

Aquiles U Montas, Commissioner Position 2 candidate

Yes, The City needs to build public housing developments for the fixed income retired citizens. For low income in assistance programs. This would be cheaper in the long run than continuing to pay millions in subsidies to landlords each year.

Tera Hurst, Commissioner Position 2 candidate

I think the ongoing houselessness crisis is also negatively impacting the historical character of many of our neighborhoods. As City Commissioner, my office will continue to look for and try any and all options that could lead to lasting solutions. There were many lessons learned, including not enough outreach and education, as decisions were being made, also a lack of stakeholder engagement and transparency. This can be difficult in a time of crisis but critical for long term success.

We need to greatly scale the building of permanent, supportive housing– the only actual tried and true solution for most people in our houseless community. The most expensive type of housing to build is also the kind we need most– pairing a steady, safe place to live with wrap-around physical and behavioral health services. It is the most effective path towards stability for many people. I will work with the County, the State and any and all other partners interested in finally achieving enough permanent, supportive housing to both change peoples’ lives and begin to substantially end the problem.

I’m looking forward to the investment in housing and homelessness services that will be made possible by the Metro bond, so that we have the funding necessary to address this head-on. We need bold and creative approaches to humanely house folks who are living on the street. In Mayor Hales’ office, I made sure Kenton Women’s Village was on a trajectory to be open and operational before we left office. We need the resources to establish more successful efforts like that. And we need to change zoning so that the many acres of land from faith communities across Portland can start building housing options for houseless people. Most of all, we need to provide adequate mental and physical health care once people transition from living on the streets to housing.

Corinne Patel, Commissioner Position 1 candidate

I love old buildings. I have a deep connection with them based on my time on the east coast. I will always attempt to preserve, redesign, and update a home or building before resorting to a tear down.