By Kris McDowell
City Council Position 2, a role currently held by Dan Ryan, is one of the races on the May 17 ballot. Ryan faces eight other individuals looking to fill the role and bring their plans on improving Portland to City Council.
Ryan has held the office for two years after winning the 2020 election to fill the position vacated with the passing of Nick Fish. During that time, he’s worked to address homelessness, community safety and build housing.
In his bid for reelection, he’s focused on moving people off the streets as soon as possible by prioritizing three steps: faster progress to providing safe, clean living spaces; clearing roadblocks to building more affordable housing and improving the construction permitting process; and creating more access to addiction and mental health treatment.
Sandeep Bali came to Portland in 2009, seeing it as a city that was prosperous, clean and full of opportunities for all people, businesses and communities. He’s passionate about ending urban camping, providing public safety, stopping the process of creating Safe Rest Villages and incentivizing the building of affordable housing. Bali says, “I won’t stand and watch Portland be destroyed by senseless crime, addiction and violence. Every community needs to thrive again. It’s time to get Portland back to being a city that every member is proud to live in.”
Chris Brummer’s website is sparse on information about his campaign other than stating that, “One of my guiding principles is that new evidence requires a reassessment of previous positions and ideas.” How and what he is looking to focus on if elected is unclear beyond that statement and he did not respond to the paper’s request for information about his campaign.
Oregonian Steven Cox views the city’s current policies regarding homelessness and public safety as “clearly failing” and his campaign is based on identifying and implementing policies and programs that are proven effective in making the community safe. To address homelessness, he sees getting people off the street and into shelters quickly to be of the utmost importance. Hand-in-hand with shelters are investments in the mental health system and addiction recovery services. His angle on public safety comes at the issue by dealing with drug addiction via short term jail terms with treatment starting while offenders are in custody.
“We are in a crisis and the only solution is to invest in communities in real time,” states the front page of AJ McCreary’s website. The native Portlander’s priorities are housing justice, including an immediate stop to homeless camp sweeps; climate justice to lead the charge to model what a green city can truly be; community safety through community-led safety initiatives that prioritize community needs and improve the quality of life for everyone; and economic development in the form of creating an equitable path to business resilience and workforce viability that breathes life into economic hubs.
Michael Simpson has seen Portland change, and not for the better, in the 12 years he’s lived here. His campaign platform is focused on revamping “failing leadership” and taking action to resolve major issues the city faces: the homeless crisis and affordable housing; a short-staffed police bureau and gun violence; and climate change. Simpson’s website sums it up with, “We need real long-term strategies backed by evidence and coupled with compassion.”
Candidates Avraham Cox, Sophie Sumney-Koivisto and Renee Stephens do not have websites and did not reply to The Southeast Examiner’s inquiry for information on their campaigns.
Visit vote411.org for additional information on these candidates and information on all candidates on the May 17 ballot.