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 Chase, running for City Commissioner, Position 2

I will bring my track record of success and real solutions to City Hall.

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

The most pressing issue facing Portland is the lack of affordable housing and the resulting impacts, including the homelessness crisis.

I am the ONLY candidate for this position with deep experience in affordable housing and homeless services. I was hired by late Nick Fish to develop Portland’s first detailed affordable housing plan and worked for years in the non-profit sectors and at Metro to expand the scale and regional reach of housing and services. I will bring my track record of success and real solutions to City Hall. But you don’t have to take my word for it:  

“Sam Chase has the unique combination of experience and progressive values our community needs to address homelessness, safeguard clean air and water, and stand up for the rights of all people. We need him on Portland City Council!”

– Governor Barbara Roberts

How would you define a successful term in office? 

I championed passage of the nation’s first regional affordable housing bond; passed three regional packages protecting nature, air and water; and reformed exclusionary urban renewal policies to build more than 10,000 affordable homes–without raising taxes. I get what I say done!

I’ll transform our city by: 

  •   Funding affordable housing and proven solutions to match the scale of Portland’s homelessness crisis; I will provide job support; complete Nick Fish’s plan to build 2,000 units of permanent supportive housing; and build affordable housing and shelter for communities THROUGHOUT the region–including Washington/Clackamas Counties.
  •       Bringing back community centers, Columbia Pool, and parks and recreation programs; restore Willamette waterfront access, replace concrete hotspots with green landscape, and build on my Metro experience to revive and sustain Portland Parks and Recreation.
  •       Delivering free transit passes for all youth and reducing traffic congestion by making transit faster and more reliable.

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

As a teenager I lost my father to mental illness and drug addiction–conditions that affect many of Portland’s chronically houseless. I understand firsthand that the only way our chronic houseless neighbors, friends and families will succeed is with effective housing, services, and support. When they do, Portland’s quality of life will improve for everyone.

“Sam’s commitment to racial equity, social justice and advocacy for sustainable community engagement in all decision making processes at the City level strengthens his vision for livable wage jobs, affordable housing and clean air and water.” —  Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon (APANO)