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.  

Tim DuBois, running for City Commissioner, Position 1

A success would be to solidify a stable and sufficient housing pipeline.

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

Portland has a housing affordability problem. Regulations have made it less enticing for developers to build much needed housing. San Diego, whose home prices began to drop in early 2019, achieved a healthier marketplace by reforming middle-income housing – focusing on those who do not qualify for low-income housing, but still struggle. Their new policies include loosening regulations and expedited permit approval. It also allows developers who voluntarily dedicate at least 10% of projects to low and middle-income housing to build 35% more units than zoning normally allows, among other perks.

The federal housing voucher program, while a solid step in the right direction, is impeded by a lack of landlord participation. West Marion County has offered to cover security deposits, damages, and up to one month’s rent in order to sway landlords. Creating a more inviting space for developers is our most efficient path to housing reform. 

How would you define a successful term in office? 

A success would be to solidify a stable and sufficient housing pipeline, which among other things will lead to a reduction in homeless residents. It will be a healthy and sustainable fiscal outlook for the city budget. It will include voting and charter reform, with a ranked choice system and city manager system with district representation implemented. 

Most of all, a success would be to create cleaner air for all Portland residents, who are in the worst 1% of U.S. counties for breathing diesel particulate. I have been addressing this directly through my work with Portland Clean Air, where I am going to negotiate directly with our most unregulated polluters. I have been addressing this directly through my work as a board member with Portland Clean Air. I am currently in communication with 25 Portland neighborhood associations to directly negotiate with our cities most dangerous, unregulated industrial air polluters. 

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

It took me 35 years of challenging the laws of physics – and denying those laws applied to me – before I finally broke a bone while running to base. It was first base. I was out.