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community building oregon elections 2004

City Government being selected for you

Does anybody seem to care that their are debates and interviews around Portland that many of the candidates are not being invited.
Currently I'm running for City Commissioner Seat #1 because I got sick of watching City Hall drop the ball on many issues. Now it's coming down to the elections are under 2 months away. With little money and not being invited to debates, what is my outlook. Well I definately do not plan on stopping, but I need help now. Unless you want somebody, who is getting thousands of dollars from developers. Where is the grassroots in local politics? I can only do so much myself.

I'm the person supporting Peace Camp bring down food.
I'm the person pounding the pavement getting the PUD initiative on the ballot.
I'm the person who is at Social Actions from labor justice to FTAA/WTO.
I'm the person who was against the War in Iraq before it even started.
I'm the person who has been on the receiving end of police violence.
I'm the person volunteering at FreeGeek.
I'm the person support KBOO.
I'm the candidate who did not even know City Commissioner was a paid position when I decided to run.
I'm the candidate who worked on the Portland Bill of Rights Committee.
I'm the candidate with no real political career to think about, other than making Portland better for everybody.

Looking for people that want a better Portland. I need help with canvasing, phone tree, getting press and invitations, printing and design of posters, and anything else you can think of.

Brian Smith
Then demand Clean Campaign financing 01.Apr.2004 16:16


The election for Position #1 has pretty much been decided already by the amount of money raised by Sam Adams and Nick Fish. No other candidate will be able to compete with those two as a result, and the media won't provide any visibility for other candidates. One of those two will take 50% + 1 on the day of the primary, or they'll go into a runoff against each other. No one else has a chance.

That's not right. Head down to City Hall at 10 am on Wednesday, April 7 to ask that the Portland City Council fund a study to determine the appropriate methods and costs for a Clean Campaign system, similar to that in Arizona and Maine.

Here's how it would work:
1.) A candidate would have to meet a viability threshold, such as gathering $5 contributions from 1,000 different people. That's quite a bit of work, and someone must have community support in order to achieve it.
2.) The candidate would then be given $150,000 or so in order to run their campaign. No private money could be accepted by the candidate.

That's really the best way for a grassroots campaign to win in Portland. The developers and special interests have esssentially done away with democracy, unless we can reform the system.

Brian, good luck with your campaign. However, you might want to consider working your way up the ladder in the future. Portland City Commissioner is one of the most powerful (and best paying) political jobs in Oregon. It's a lot easier to get elected to County Commission or Metro, even State Representative. Then you could demonstrate your abilities and eventually be elected to Portland City Council. It takes a lot longer, but it's the best way for a political novice who isn't well-connected to gain experience and succeed.

I'll be there 01.Apr.2004 17:07

Brian Smith

Already planning on attending the City Council Meeting on April 7th, but good that you know about it. I would like to think that I have a shot, but it's hard running against so much money. I'm just not a big complainer and would rather just do something to fix the problem. With all the complaining about police brutality, PGE, and Social/Labor issues, that some people would seriously want to change the root of the problem. Which is getting the big money out of city government and returning it to the community. There are groups in Portland, doing so many good things but they hit a wall when it comes to City Council.

PGE is the perfect example, City Hall should have fully supported public power. Which would have dropped rates in Portland allowing businesses to lower costs and create new jobs without taxes, public services/community would have cheaper rates too. Also providing stable living wage jobs and a better focus on the kind of energy Portlanders want. Instead City Hall totally dropped the ball and we are looking at the possibility of higher rates. Oregon is not business unfriendly, the energy prices are.