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.  

Sam Adams, running for City Commissioner, Position 4

“I offer the insight that comes with actual hands-on experience and a track record of getting tough stuff done in tough times.”

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

When I first entered the election for City Commissioner Position Four I sent a survey out to my email contacts. Overwhelmingly they agreed that the number one issue facing Portland houselessness and affordable housing. It’s time for City Council to start treating houselessness and affordable housing like the crisis it is.

What I bring to the table is experience. As Mayor, I led Portland through difficult times, working together with colleagues and regional leaders to find actionable solutions. Currently, I am the only candidate in my race to offer actionable response plans to move Portland forward in affordable housing, houselessness, job creation, and small business relief. Take a look at them on my website, I welcome your feedback.

How would you define a successful term in office? 

Success for me has always been defined by protecting and improving the lives and livelihoods of all Portlanders.

I was sworn in as Portland Mayor in 2009 at the start of the great recession. Portland was one of the hardest-hit regions. I led our city to one of the strongest economic recoveries of any city in the country. Our efforts included local job programs, homeless and affordable housing resources, new investments to help neighborhoods and small businesses assistance that put people back to work.

I don’t have all the answers or even know all the questions. What I do offer is the insight that comes with actual hands-on experience and a track record of getting tough stuff done in tough times.

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

Here are a few:

1) My partner, Peter, and I have been together for 11 years.

2) I hold passports from both the United States and Ireland.

3) I once entered a talent contest with my ‘talent ‘ being ironing a dress shirt on stage. I won, I think. Maybe.

4) I love a bowl of frozen Oregon blueberries and whole milk. A lot. 🙂