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.
Ted Wheeler, running for Mayor of Portland
“I want to help build a Portland that is safe, inclusive, and livable for every, single person.“
What’s the most pressing problem facing Portland and what are you going to do about it?
Even our quirky, beautiful Portland is not immune to the challenges of division and extremism. I want to help build a Portland that is safe, inclusive, and livable for every, single person. I believe that we all share a desire for positive and lasting change for our families and for our city. I also believe that we must come together as a City and as a people if we are to overcome obstacles such as homelessness, housing affordability, and climate change.
As Mayor, I will continue to focus on bringing communities together around shared goals, and on building powerful coalitions with my fellow council members. We have taken a community-centered approach toward tackling the biggest issues confronting our City, and will continue to do so. Moving forward, I know that we will make the most tangible and sustainable progress when all voices are counted, and when we work together.
How would you define a successful term in office?
A successful term in office is not defined solely by legislative accomplishments, but by the ability to enact careful, intelligently planned policy that works on behalf of all Portlanders, especially our most vulnerable neighbors. I am so proud that we have succeeded in doubling our shelter capacity over the past five years, and built over 1,400 new units of affordable housing. We have taken over 84% of homeless families off the street, and committed our city to 100% renewable energy by the year 2050.
Challenges such as housing, homelessness and climate change continue to define our time as one where resilience, innovation and hope have never been more needed. Being the mayor of today means anticipating the problems of tomorrow. I will continue to face these issues with you, every day, with strength, tenacity and most importantly, the prevailing knowledge that a thriving future is possible for all citizens.
What’s something that people would be surprised to know about you?
I’m a huge heavy metal fan!