There are a record four open seats on city council this year, including for mayor, and we interviewed almost every candidate running to fill them. This is one in a series.
NOTE: all of these interviews were conducted before the Covid-10 outbreak.  

Mingus Mapps, running for City Commissioner, Position 4

The most efficient way to reduce homelessness is to prevent people from losing their housing in the first place. 

What’s the most pressing problem facing Portland and what are you going to do about it? 

Portland must do better at preventing and ending homelessness.   The most efficient way to reduce homelessness is to prevent people from losing their housing in the first place.  In addition, we must help get the mentally ill and those in need of medical care off the streets and the help they need. We cannot police our way out of the homelessness.  Instead, we need smarter and more humane solutions that address the myriad of challenges to our housing crisis.

Solutions must include:

  • Increased funding for short-term rent assistance programs
  • 1,500 units of city-subsidized supportive housing for chronically homeless people, who are also disabled, mentally ill, and/or drug addicted.
  • Community led, non-police outreach to the homeless community. 
  • 29,000 more units of low-cost and affordable housing.  

How would you define a successful term in office? 

  • 10% + decrease in the absolute number of Portlanders who are chronically homeless.
  • 10% + increase in the supply of affordable housing.  (50% of media family income)
  • 10% + decrease in poverty.
  • 10% + increase in usage of electric vehicles.
  •  Diversify city staff and deliver city services equitably to all Portanders.
  • Reform the charter to elect members of City Councilby district
  • Hire City Manager to coordinate services across bureaus.
  • Reform City code to modernize neighborhood and business associations systems
  • Cut the number of staff vacancies at PPB by 25%
  • Free public transit for PPS kids
  • Decrease traffic congestion and reduce the number of  traffic deaths 
  • Establish an annual “carbon budgets” for each City Bureau. Bureaus are held responsible for tracking, managing and reducing CO2 emissions.
  • 60% + of Portlanders agree with this statement “Portland’s city government is on the right track.”

What’s something that people would be surprised to know about you? 

I don’t own a car. I am raising my boys to understand the value of public transportation, biking, and walking inside your community and city. It is on the bus or the MAX that I get the incredible benefit of meeting fellow public travelers and hearing about what they want out of our city. While I am actively participating in reducing my carbon footprint, I am using my own dollars to support union jobs, public service funding, and underserved communities to have access to transportation.