We are at a difficult inflection point.
A pandemic has cost too many lives and livelihoods, a natural disaster has just ripped through our forests and towns, our children must learn from screens at home instead of in the classroom.
Portland has become a point of national focus in one of the largest civil rights movements in generations. Meanwhile, our underlying problems continue to fester, like homelessness, climate change, police accountability, the rising cost-of-living, and the availability of quality jobs.
But I see opportunity for Portland.
I served as Chief of Staff for Mayor Vera Katz, whose family fled from Nazi Germany when she was only two months old. While working for Vera for more than a decade, I learned about her family’s story of great resilience and the Jewish faith.
Tonight is Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. This time of year is one of reflection, when we repair ourselves, our community, and the world.
I see this moment in our City's history as one when we must also continue to reflect, repair and begin anew, ever more equitably, inclusively and sustainability.
Since the primary election, I have spent time reflecting on my race and the candidates with whom I shared the stages and Zooms with. Now, I know the general election city council candidate who can move us forward—a leader who is capable of healing, repairing, and rebuilding the city I love.
Portland must work for everyone, not just some, and the person who will represent more voices is Mingus Mapps.
Like my own mother was for a time, Mingus is a single parent. He brings a combination of education, government, nonprofit, and private sector experience that prepares him for the incredibly nuanced roles he will face while in City Hall.
Mingus listens, is inclusive of ideas. He exercises patience, restraint, and pragmatism that will serve him well in times of discourse. Mingus has the public policy acumen needed to complement the current city commissioner lineup to implement charter reform and make our government more effective.
I trust Mingus will open the doors of City Hall even wider. He will embrace a culture with a diversity of ideas, where more people are at the table to get the work done.
I see Mingus getting big wins for all Portlanders as he works alongside Commissioners Jo Ann Hardesty, Carmen Rubio, and Dan Ryan. Mingus will represent all of Portland and every one of the 95 neighborhoods and neighborhood business districts that make Portland the City you and I love.
As the first openly gay mayor of a major city, for those too often shut out of Portland's decision-making, I know that representation in city hall matters.
Mingus will be the third Black man elected as a City Commissioner in Portland history. With police reform front and center, we need his voice at the table to build a modern public safety system. His lived experience will be invaluable. After many conversations with him I trust that he will make bold reforms to move Portland in the right direction. For example, learn more about Mingus' public safety reform agenda and more here.
For these reason and more, I ask that as you reflect on the candidates running for Portland City Council Position No. 4, that you please stand with me and Mingus as we move forward together in repairing our Portland.
I ask that you please join me in voting for Mingus Mapps as our next City Commissioner.