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government | neighborhood news oregon elections 2006

Local Portland Neighborhood Site Issues Endorsements

News4Neighbors.net announced their endorsements of candidates in 4 key local Portland area races today. Portland City Council Candidates Erik Sten and Amanda Fritz recieved endorsements along with Multnomah County Commissioner candidates Lew Frederick and Ted Wheeler.
CC from upper left: Erik Sten, Ted Wheeler, Lew Frederick, Amanda Fritz
CC from upper left: Erik Sten, Ted Wheeler, Lew Frederick, Amanda Fritz
David Pool writes "Ballots have begun arriving in residents' mailboxes this week for what may prove to be the most important local elections in a generation. With the possible exception of the mayoral race of 2004 between Tom Potter and Jim Francesconi, no recent local elections have provided such clear options for the future of our region.

In addition to hosting our own debates, as an Editor I have made an effort to learn about the candidates at other debates, in interviews and by reading other local press accounts and blogs.

What did we find? We found that across our region we have strong, well-intentioned citizens who are willing to fight hard for what they believe in. We may not be that different from other regions in this respect, but as a region we are different and this is an important moment as we elect leaders who will define and defend what we stand for in the 21st century.

News4Neighbors Endorsements:

Lew Frederick for County Commissioner District 2  http://www.vote4lew.com/

Lew Frederick is simply the best qualified candidate running in this election period. We'd have endorsed him for County Chair, for City Counsel, or for Governor of the State. Lew Frederick is simply that good. While Lew's opponents in this race, Jeff Cogen and Xander Patterson are good people and would do a good job for our county, our county needs Lew Frederick.

If there is one thing the current County leadership has made clear, it is the need for coordinated leadership. The bickering, whining and complaining that have become business as usual over at the County are clear signs that both the County Chair and the other commissioners need to know how to work together. This was the first debate question asked by an N4N reader, and Lew Frederick showed himself as the voice of an elder statesman and diplomat:

 http://www.news4neighbors.net/comments.pl?cid=716&; sid=1900&tid=1

Lew is a black man, he's a geek, he's a teacher, he's a reporter, but most importantly, Lew Fredrick is a man of character and integrity, a man who can work together with other people productively. We need Lew now more than ever.

Ted Wheeler for County Chair  http://www.wheelerforcountychair.com/

Ted Wheeler is the only endorsement we are making who also received the endorsement of the Portland Tribune and the Oregonian. The County needs Ted and Ted needs the County. We need a new approach at the County. The gridlock and bickering of the current team has been embarrassing to watch and unproductive to boot.

Ted brings the fiscal skills, progressive politics and raw energy and determination our region needs. While climbing Mt. Everest is a footnote in Ted's campaign literature, it is indicative of the determination and effort we can expect from him on our behalf. If Diane Linn is faulted for not making the effort to reach out and engage her fellow board members (and she is), then Ted Wheeler is just the man to cross the chasm. In our earliest coverage of his campaign launch, Candidate Wheeler vowed to eliminate liaison positions to the other commissioners, saying he would become that liaison. Clearly Ted Wheeler has something to prove, and we are a region in need of having something proved. Ted Wheeler is the right person at the right time.

Amanda Fritz for City Council  http://www.amandafritzforcitycouncil.com/

Amanda Fritz is a candidate of the people. She is a candidate with support across the neighborhoods of Portland. She is one of us, yet more so. She has taken on the task of an ordinary citizen, she has sat on budget advisory committees to the City, she has attended meetings as a volunteer that most citizens would find too boring to tolerate. And she has done it all with energy, determination, humor and an indomitable will.

While her opponent, sitting Councilman Dan Saltzman has done a fine job over the years, his pledge to bring more energy and focus to the job if re-elected, doesn't match the energy, focus and perseverance Amanda Fritz brings to her work every day.

Amanda has extensive training and experience as a nurse on the psychiatric units of our local hospitals. Amanda has years of real world experience in managing difficult personalities and identifying delusional thinking patterns. We can think of no better skill set to inject into City Council at this time, and no better person, man or woman, than Amanda Fritz.

Erik Sten for City Council  http://www.erikforportland.com/ We can find no clearer case for the soul of Portland than the clear choice presented by Erik Sten and Ginny Burdick in this race. Indeed, this race has become a referendum on what's right about Portland vs. what's wrong about Portland, and for Erik the question is whether what's right it more important than what is wrong.

Ginny Burdick seems like a fine enough candidate personally, don't get me wrong. But to challenge a Portland icon through heavy corporate funding while trying to undermine voter owned elections and depose the leadership of a new generation ... it's just not the Portland way.

For one thing, it's just galling to see Burdick's attempts to lead on school funding. Her campaign literature touts school funding as though it was the City Council, not the State Senate's job to solve this problem. To my eye, the City has done more than they should have been asked to do. If Ginny Burdick had wanted to save schools, she should have done it when it was her job in Salem.

The Burdick literature also faults Sten for his battles with PGE/Enron. Anyone who has seen the movie "The Smartest Guys in the Room" knows that Enron raked California over the coals for huge corporate profits while helping set up a new Republican governor. While Erik Sten fought Enron to a draw over PGE, Burdick's firm was working for Enron. I can't believe that Portland's soul is on the side of Enron.

Again, Burdick has tried to frame the first stumbling steps of Voter Owned Elections (VOE) as a failure. While nationally, corporate owned elections are protected as free $peech, in Portland, VOE is the best chance for citizens like Amanda Fritz to enter public life and public service. At an estimated cost of 30 cents per Portland citizen, VOE is the best spent use of my tax money that I can remember. For a free and fair election, untainted by the rich and the powerful, I'd easily spend a whole dollar and consider it a great deal.

Erik Sten is a young, energetic Portland prodigy who is coming into his most productive years. A leader from Generation X, Erik represents the hopes and aspirations of an entire generation who have been waiting for their turn. While the old school tactics of corporate candidates play out on the national electoral stage and all too often in Salem, in Portland we've supported innovative local options.

Certainly, Portland has invested some money in Erik's education. He's one of the few local politicians who has actually learned the dangers of proprietary software during his experience with the Water Bureau's billing software. Erik's cautious interest in open source software options represents a balanced approach to an opportunity that this region needs. While reluctant to jump in feet first, Erik's research and outreach to this local industry cluster is the mix of encouragement and skepticism required for important IT decisions.

Whether the issues are framed as an Internet age issue, a corporate vs. voter owned election issue, or an affordable housing issue, Erik Sten represents the hopes and values of the progressive movement. For our city and for the soul of the nation, Erik Sten deserves your vote one more time as a vote of confidence in everything that Portland represents."

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