By Don MacGillivray

It is rare to have the opportunity to choose a new member of Portland’s City Council. With Dan Saltzman retiring, the Council will lose it longest-serving member and his twenty-six years of institutional memory.

Nick Fish and Amanda Fritz elected in 2008, will become the senior members of City Council. Below are the candidates running for the City Council this month. Be sure to choose carefully and vote!

Portland City Commissioner #2

Nick Fish was elected to City Council in 2008. He is currently in charge of the Bureau of Environmental Services and the Water Bureau.

During his tenure on City Council he has managed the Parks Bureau and the Housing Bureau. He serves as liaison to seven other important local organizations. and has championed many successful city reforms.

He has received numerous awards for his public service and wants to strengthen accountability, transparency, and the public’s trust in government.

Fish champions low income housing and tenants rights. As a civil rights attorney and a city commissioner he works to provide justice for all, safe streets, community policing, consumer protection, senior welfare, consumer fairness, workers rights, schools, the arts, and our parks.

Julia Degraw would prioritize people over developer profits, corporate interests, and complacent politicians. She is a strong supporter of city government reform and would change the charter so that commissioners would be elected from districts. This would allow a wider variety of candidates and political leaders to serve in Portland.

The housing crisis must be addressed even if developers, landlords, and the Portland establishment are less satisfied with the process. Living wage jobs, employment, and workers rights must be priorities so that people will have a decent standard of living.

Ms. Degraw is endorsed by a strong list of leaders and organizations. She lives east of 82nd Ave. and will provide this area with the representation it has lacked for so long.

Nickolas Sutton works as a freight clerk at New Seasons Market and he has completed his sophomore year at Portland Community College with a major in general science. He expresses great concern over economic and social issues in Portland.

Philip J. Wolfe’s issues are police reform, houselessness, traffic, mental health, and accessibility. He is an artist and a home care provider and the chairperson of the Police Oversight Board for the U.S. Department of Justice working with many other advocacy organizations.

Portland City Commissioner #3

Loretta Smith is very nearly an incumbent candidate. She has thirty years of government experience including two terms as a Multnomah County Commissioner and twenty years as a staffer for U.S. Senator Ron Wyden.

She has addressed many issues such as the Summer Works Project that helps kids gain skills and has helped to house the homeless.

Smith is strongly supported by labor interests, elected officials and community leaders. She will address the housing crisis and homelessness, improve economic opportunities for everyone, transportation, at-risk youth and vulnerable seniors, and provide improvements to East Portland.

With a proven record of experience and service, Smith knows Portland, its people, and how to do the job. She will be able to make the changes Portland needs.

Stuart Emmons brings a lifetime of “in the trenches” experience to Portland’s housing crisis. An architect and a designer of affordable and market rate housing, he has solved the homeless problem and wants to find the political will to implement it.

Emmons has managed government projects, worked successfully with developers and has been engaged with communities of color in many of Portland’s neighborhoods.

He holds a masters degree in Architecture from Harvard University and a degree in Urban Design from Portland State University. He wants to improve equity, jobs, the environment, schools, transportation, and public safety.

Jo Ann Hardesty is a veteran community leader, an outspoken advocate, and an experienced legislator. She is one of the best known leaders of Portland’s African American community. Originally from Baltimore, Hardesty served in the Navy, the Oregon legislature, and as a senior Multnomah County policy adviser.

She has been an active member of NARAL, Oregon Action, Human Solutions, the Coalition for a Livable Future, Portland Community Media, the Albina Ministerial Alliance, and the Portland City Club.

As a city commissioner, she will improve public participation, implement solutions to the housing crisis, improve the accountability and trust of the police for all Portlanders, and ensure that disadvantaged citizens are involved in the many decisions that affect their health and welfare.

Andrea Valderrama has been an outreach and policy adviser to Mayor Wheeler in the City of Portland for the last four years advising on transportation, housing, public safety, budget, and government policy with a focus toward East Portland’s neighborhoods.

Prior to this she was the director of development for VOZ, a worker organization to improve and advocate for the rights of laborers and immigrants.

Valderrama graduated from the University of Oregon in 2011 majoring in political science and is pursuing a Masters Degree of Public Administration at Portland State University. She was recently named one of Portland’s Top 10 Social Change Makers.

Felicia Williams is an Air Force veteran, a civil rights historian, and a biotech business manager. She is a graduate of the University of Portland and is attending graduate school at Portland State University studying education and urban renewal.

She is a member and has served as president of the Downtown Neighborhood Association Board of Directors and the Neighbors West NW coalition.

Williams has experience on issues of emergency preparedness, housing, and public safety and has a passion for doing the work necessary to make Portland an affordable, safe, and thriving place for everyone.

Lew Humble is a well- known figure in Portland elections as a perennial candidate for both mayor and commissioner. He is a retired mechanic with a high school education and is not active in local politics.

This is a great slate of candidates. Remember to vote on or before May 15.