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Tom Potter Bike Ride

On the morning of May Day, mayoral candidate Tom Potter had his second "Ride for the Recumbent" bike ride through the streets of Portland. About twenty people attended the event that rode up and down the Esplanade and Interstate Avenue. As a bicyclist and a reader of Indymedia, I would like to tell you about the bike ride with Tom Potter and why I decided to vote for him.
Tom Potter on his recumbent bike
Tom Potter on his recumbent bike
The bike ride along the Esplanade
The bike ride along the Esplanade
The bike ride began at Ladd Circle. As people gathered for the bike ride, a bicyclist mentioned to Tom about the silly citations people have been receiving during Critical Mass (e.g. popping a wheelie) and how sometimes the law enforcement completely outnumber the bicyclists. Tom expressed concerns about the possible misuse of city resources on Critical Mass. The bicyclist invited Tom to ride in next month's Critical Mass. He accepted the invite depending on his campaign schedule.

If Tom Potter is elected mayor, I truly believe he would be a city official that listens to community concerns. I can see him as mayor that when a community member has a concern, he would investigate that concern before coming to a conclusion.

Recently, City Commissioner Erik Sten has endorsed Tom Potter for Mayor. I believe this endorsement came from the commissioner, since Erik and Tom both support the city effort to buy Portland General Electric. Tom Potter's campaign office has also refused to accept donations of more than $25, which goes along with Erik Sten's initiative for campaign finance reform. Former mayor Bud Clark has also endorsed Tom Potter and rode in the March bike ride.

As we left from Ladd Circle, Tom and his wife rode in their recumbent bikes with the other bicyclists. Besides being a mayoral candidate that is a bike advocate, I am also enthusiastic about Tom's strong stance in supporting same-sex marriage. Visit his web site www.tomformayor.org to see why Tom feels really passionate about this issue. I would also like to point out that Tom once served on the board of the Oregon ACLU.

The bike ride stopped along the new MAX train stops where neighborhood associations and community organizations had table and booths. Tom walked around shaking hands with the voters. Some people were thrilled that Tom opposed the initiative to cap the city reservoirs. Tom mentioned during the KGW debate that he opposed using City money to lure a major baseball team to Portland. He believes the City money should go directly into the community first.

I missed the bike ride back to Ladd Circle as I crossed the Burnside Bridge to join the May Day rally. Just to note, Tom introduced community policing when he was a Police Chief under Bud Clark. Hopefully there would not be over abundance of police at peaceful marches if he gets elected on May 18th

About the author: Joseph is community activist that deals with mostly environmental issues in Oregon. I wrote this piece about Tom Potter to inform Indymedia readers about his candidacy. I invite people who support other candidates to also post their own commentary piece about their candidate. Other media outlets have my permission to use my pictures.

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Thanks! 03.May.2004 05:05


Nice report. Hmmm... let's see how the cops bust the bicyclists when Potter's mayor...

Mmmm. 03.May.2004 14:13

John disaray80@yahoo.com

Well, as I remember, wasn't Tom police chief when it was discovered that police officers were keeping secret files on political activists? I seem to be the only one around who thinks it's important!

I worry about the rhetoric surrounding this campaign--that many of Portland's progressives are being lost to empty promises. I want ideas and I'm not seeing them from Tom or the campaign. Every forum I've attended has been unimpressive and, quite frankly, unbelievable.

I'm not sure I'm going to cast a vote for any of the top four candidates in this race. The only honest ones out there, if that's possible, are James Posey and Phil Busse. Both have not backed down from police criticism or one's right to marry, protest or disagree. And both haven't been dragged down by the local political machine. And at least I saw Phil at the May Day demonstration for international worker solidarity!

pleeease... 03.May.2004 14:37


Good report. Good comments.

Pleeease, everyone, VOTE for SOMEONE for mayor in the May primary!

As long as the top-funded candidate doesn't get a majority in the primary, we can have a run-off between the top two candidates.

I believe there are several candidates who would represent the PEOPLE of Portland better than Francesconi, the candidate of money, .


... and vote AGAINST the measure that would eliminate an opportunity to vote for a write-in candidate in future November General Elections when a candidate does win a majority in the May primary.

not impressed by Posey 03.May.2004 14:41

pdx resident

I would vote for Posey over Francesconi, but I would vote for Potter or Busse (and probably many of the smaller candidates) before Posey. He's for repealing corporate taxes and is not supportive of gay marriage in my opinion (he says anyone should be allowed to get married but it goes against his beliefs). Potter is much more supportive of gay marriages. Potter also disbanded the special units when he was police chief, something that needs to happen again here.

If people want to find out more about Potter's role with the police check this out:

I would agree that Posey is fairly honest (certainly they all stand out next to Francesconi) but I haven't liked his statements and would not be at all surprised to see him back Francesconi (which will make the green party look ridiculous).

Anyway, I haven't decided but Busse and Potter are both still under my consideration (as are several other candidates), Posey is not (at least at this stage).

If you have any info about Potter's dealing with illegal police files that would be good to information to share.

a police chief as the indymedia candidate? yikes... 03.May.2004 14:57


Busse actually commutes by bike, he doesn't think a bike ride is so special as to hold a press conference each he peddles down the street. Phil's the only candidate who has announced his intention to refuse the chaffeured (sp?) car, provided at taxpayer expense.

Of course, you should vote for someone... even if it's (cringe) Jim Fransesconi, the $$$MILLION$$$ DOLLAR MAYOR, please just VOTE! Especially if you are young. We gotta get the 18-24 year olds to represent!

But I think those who browse this site would be more apt to rally behind Phil's platform than the other candidates. Check out his ideas at  http://www.meformayor.com and see if you agree. Unlike most of the mayoral sites he's posted lots of information about his stance on the actual issues rather than a bunch of PR.

busse at pcc cascade monday april 10 @11am 03.May.2004 15:25


I am concerned about busse's take on business in portland so i am going to ask him questions at PCC cascade- find out how he plans to accomplish his top 100 list. Which he has atleast put out.

I also want to comment on the ex- police chief vs. small business owner in north portland

(as i dont want franseconi in office)

hate to say it but i want to vote for someone who has a serious idea of what portland could look like.

not concerning only business.

i want someone who will protect all rights and has the potential of readdressing the police department in a an effective manner.

Posey's stance on gay rights frightens me- and i do not wnat to see repressive politics at work in oregon!

GROSS disinformation! 03.May.2004 16:30


The secret files were kept from the sixties to the eighties. Tom Potter was police chief for 2 or 3 years in the early nineties. The files were taken home by the freak who kept them in 1986. He was part of what was a fringe group in the police force by the eighties. The files were not in the police department when Tom Potter was police chief.

There is NO EVIDENCE that links Tom Potter with those secret files.

See more details here:

Your choice 03.May.2004 17:54


First off, I am a member of Tom Potter's campaign staff so I leave it to the good judgement of the readers to believe or not what I have to say -- but I just wanted to pass along some of my own comments re: the guy I work for.

Yes, Tom was a cop for 27 years, and yes it is part of who he is. One of the main reasons I am working on his campaign is because I believe he is the only candidate (and perhaps the only person) in this city who can reform the police bureau (as for the secret files mentioned above, it was Tom who helped bring it to the public's attention). He's done it before and he'll do it again.

If you want to know what kind of person Tom is and what kind of mayor he'll be, put the news articles, gossip and propaganda aside and just talk to someone in the community who's worked with/knows Tom (there's a lot of them). Hear what they have to say.

*If you want more specifics about Tom you can check out our website ( http://www.tomformayor.org) or just stop by the campaign office on Belmont St. One of the drawbacks of having so many candidates in this race is that no forum or debate allows any candidate the time to get specific. Even though some candidates may have printed lists of dozens of ideas, not all of them are good ones (some are down right dangerous -- although ideas for free wi-fi rock!) Be sure to look past the superficial.

Anyway, 'nuff said but if you care to inform yourself about this election, I think you'll see why I've chosen to support Tom. Happy voting.

i'd like to tell you why i am voting for 'extremo the clown' 03.May.2004 19:04


after taking a good long look at the 'top-tier' candidates for mayor of portland, i have decided to vote for extremo the clown. i truly believe that he could do at least as good a job as any of the other candidates. as many of you know, extremo is always out among the people in his tripped-out bronze mazda 626 with about 500 things attached to the exterior, including a 5 foot tall buddha-like bust and a bunch of skulls.

by the way, i also voted for kendra james for district attorney as a write-in.

francesconi must not win 03.May.2004 19:10


i saw jim francesconi's campaign commercial the other day. what a snoozer!! in it, jim touts his creation of after-school programs and a jobs-for-gang-members initiative. he closes slightly incongruously by saying that his goal is to keep portland safe. while jim is smiling the whole time and pretending to engage with 'troubled teens' in the commercial, i think his message is a not-too- clever attempt to frighten portlanders into supporting his campaign. maybe his next round of commercials will explain why portlanders must be protected from homeless and poor people. better that they live out of site under a bridge somewhere than make autonomous decisions for themselves without asking for the opinion of the paternalistic soup kitchens and outmoded and inadequate shelters.

i wonder if the city is any safer with portland police officers trained to shoot first and ask no questions later during 'routine', i.e. racially-based, traffic stops. i agree that is lamentable when young black men must turn to dealing drugs to make a buck in an all-white town, as jahar perez is alleged to have done, but i think it is incomparably worse when the penalty for this is instant death on the street.

officer jason sery claimed during the joke of an inquest that he knew perez had a gun and shouted for perez to get his hand out of his pocket. when perez began to pull his hand out of the pocket, in compliance with sery's commands, sery shot him three times. how's that for a catch-22? fail to comply and your dead. comply and your still dead. as everyone knows, there was never any gun.

maybe jim is working on a campaign commercial that shows him slapping backs and glad-handing his friends in the portland business alliance. they could include a scene where jim and his buddies kick the shit out of some street kids down near pioneer square, with huge smiles on their faces.

the commercial could close with the announcer saying, "jim francesconi. making portland clean and safe for upscale shoppers and tourists."

Francesconi's after school claim 03.May.2004 21:45


After reading Jayson's comment above, I thought I might point out that the afterschool program (SUN Schools) that Francesconi claims he created and is the centerpiece of all of his ads -- wasn't even his project. SUN Schools is a county program and Francesconi only rubber-stamped funding (along with several other elected officials) for the program. The guy has three accomplishments to point to from the last eight years and at least one them is bogus. What a piece of work.

I stand corrected 05.May.2004 20:03

John disaray80@yahoo.com

Thanks for the source, so and so. I was wrong about the Potter-activist file connection. Memory can't be trusted at my age.

Still, I'm wary of a grandfatherly mayor full of rhetoric and no talk or a real son of a b***h, a businessman with no real stance on anything but criticism, and a strapping guy with 100 ideas and no experience.