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.
Diana Gutman, running for City Commissioner, Position 2
“Homelessness is an immediate threat to the individual’s well-being.“
What’s the most pressing problem facing Portland and what are you going to do about it?
We are in a housing crisis and this has a major effect on our community, especially our homeless community. Homelessness is an immediate threat to the individual’s wellbeing. My idea is utilizing “zombie” lots to create supportive housing because right now it’s just wasted space not serving the community.
Let’s use these lots and serve our community. Designating these lots for specific transitional needs, whether you are from the homeless community, are a Survivor of abuse trying to flee an abusive situation, or whether you are a student. Students are at risk for homelessness because they’re paying so much in debt to go to school, to have an education to be part of our community. I do believe that if we were to come up with programs to further help our community partners it would bridge that gap and create something more sustainable so that our city can thrive.
How would you define a successful term in office?
I believe that working with our community partners and advocates is a key part to a successful term. By working with community partners we can work towards a city that is inclusive and sustainable. I seek to continue the work that Commissioner Fish has started, such as stewardship of the land and water cleanup.
Using renewable resources and materials on city projects and giving small businesses the opportunity to work with the city. Creating more jobs in our city and bringing awareness to the community so that those who are looking for work or ways to get involved will have first priority.
What’s something that people would be surprised to know about you?
I’m a painter. I’ve always loved art and after I was honorably discharged from the Army I started painting. I paint from the heart and believe art has a way of bringing people together. When I’m finished with my paintings I give them away to my friends, family, and people in our community. This past year for Christmas surprised my family with personal paintings from me. I love giving gifts from the heart.