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I'm deeply committed to civic engagement and participatory democracy. I come from a background of grassroots activism, and I have been a conduit for community voices at City Hall. You can seen this throughout all of my work--from tenant protections to transportation--we work hand-in-hand with community to develop equitable policies that will benefit the least well-served members of our community and avoid unintended consequences and disparate outcomes.

Portland has a wonderful tradition of civic engagement and neighborhood involvement. Neighborhood associations serve an important role from improving their immediate community to advocating at City Hall. But Portland has another, not so wonderful tradition, and that is one of segregation, exclusion, and inequity. If we truly value civic engagement and community input, then we must be committed to ensuring that ALL community members are informed and engaged, and have a voice at the table. In order to do that we need to do a much better job at getting information out to the community, recognizing the ways that people choose to organize, whether it's geographic, identity, or issue based, and provide multiple avenues for engagement and input. Our city will only better for it.

These efforts have all been launched and are ongoing:

  • For an excellent overview of our work on Civic Life code change, aimed at addressing the 2016 audit of the Office of Neighborhood Involvement (now Civic Life) and the 30+ year conversation about the lack of diversity in our neighborhood network, click here.


  • I championed the City's 311 initiative which is now in development as a collaborative project between Civic Life and OMF. The City is weak on customer service, we struggle to get information out to the public, and we don't have adequate avenues for engagement and input.

  • Voting is one of of our most fundamental constitutional rights. In 2017 my office and Civic Life lead a non-partisan, content neutral, bilingual GOTV effort in some of Portland's lowest voter turnout precincts. While difficult to measure the impact, we saw higher increase in turnout in the precincts that were canvassed than those that weren't. I believe that the City and County has a responsibility to provide basic information and support language access for communities that face barriers to participating in our democratic process.

  • I was an enthusiastic supporter of the Open & Accountable Elections Program and am now participating in it. I support limiting campaign contributions and getting corporate dollars out of all campaigns.

  • I'm a big believer in local power. Especially in a state like Oregon, with wildly divergent regions and a part-time citizen's legislature, municipalities need to be able to advance regulation that serve the needs of their communities. I've successfully fought back against preemption on regulating the TNC industry and years of effort on the part of housing advocates, myself included, has led to some loosening of state preemptions and stronger tenant protections for all Oregon renters.

  • Government has an obligation to provide reasonable accommodations to people with disabilities and people who need language supports. Every year I've fought for increased funding for accommodations, which is currently left up to individual bureaus, making accommodations inconsistent and hard to access. We need these services to be adequately funded and overseen by a single bureau to ensure consistency across all bureaus.

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