Why City Council?
I'm running because I want to see Portland take more risks, and place more smart bets, and bias our thinking toward the future. As a father, the 2024 election is a unique opportunity to shape the place where my daughter will grow up in a positive way. It is possible to realize a shared vision of Portland that goes beyond short-term solutions to homelessness, affordable housing, community safety, addiction, and environmental protections. It's possible to join the most ambitious cities in the world, by putting communities first, using data to make decisions, and being smart with how we use money to make Portland a safer, healthier, happier place for everyone. Learn more about my platform and how I plan to give Portlanders across the city their voice back, and some for the first time. Many of the most exciting opportunities for the city are actually in North and Northeast Portland, as are many of Portland's most pressing threats and hardships.
I'm a devoted parent, neighbor, and Portlander. My only interest is seeing Portland become the best place it can possibly be for our families, our communities, and all Portlanders to come. I served on the board of the Concordia Neighborhood Association and as the representative to the Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods for two years. I met neighbors facing severe hardships and neighbors with deep insights and passion for improving their community. When regular sweeps of outdoor encampments ravaged our neighbors without houses, people organized. They showed up with resources. They showed up as advocates. They recruited neighbors to help and speak out for people in need. They brought creative solutions and brokered compromises. I saw Portlanders show insight into their communal needs, empathy for their neighbors, and passion for getting involved when given opportunities.
But I also saw people that felt hopeless and frustrated. I heard neighbors across North and Northeast Portland complain that the city didn't listen to them, that it didn't do things it promised them, and that they didn't trust their elected officials to care about the specific issues facing their communities.
As a software engineer, and as a teacher, I've learned the importance of starting from big ideas. This idea is more important than specific policies: we are more likely to find the best solutions by empowering communities to name their own problems and propose their own solutions. Together, we can take our place among the world's happiest cities. It only requires us to invest in the creative solutions of our neighborhoods and to trust the people around us at least as much as elected representatives.
The most impactful changes we can make are most likely to succeed at the beginning of a new form of government. Giving communities direct authority over city money, especially those that have been marginalized and excluded in the past, will help us solve more problems more quickly. A public bank of Portland will let us invest more into our neighborhoods and quality of life than profit incentives allow. Accountability requirements will help us keep track of what's working for us and how to make improvements later. But these kind of changes are historically unpopular with elected officials and career politicians who are reluctant to share authority.
This moment is the best and possibly last time to implement a system we can all be part of, that serves all of us, and that gives us insight into how government works. These changes are the most effective way to realize all of the things that we want in the future, and we may never get another chance to have them. That's why I'm running for City Council right now, to realize that vision for all Portlanders.