Historic vote greater than the sum of its parts
filled out our ballots amid the COVID-19 crisis that has upended our lives and wrought widespread economic damage, primary voters lived up to the challenge Commissioner Fish left for us. Giving us renewed hope for the future.
The process of rebuilding an economy that benefits everyone in our community will require unprecedented collaboration between the public and private sector for years to come. Across the board, voters clearly prioritized candidates they believe have the leadership ability to rise to the moment.
Mayor Wheeler, despite missing the required 50% threshold for an outright win, by just a few hundred votes, received a clear vote of confidence for his strong leadership during the pandemic.
Candidates Loretta Smith and Dan Ryan emerged from a crowded field to advance to the runoff to replace Nick. Both have proven track records of bringing different sides together to solve real problems.
Our community elected Carmen Rubio, the first Latinx person to be elected to the Portland City Council. Carmen, who served on Commissioner Fish’s staff and built one of the most diverse coalition of supporters in Portland history, received the final endorsement ever issued by Nick. The Portland Business Alliance was pleased to endorse her, too.
History was made again when voters overwhelmingly approved the Metro homeless services measure. This effort was led by perhaps the largest coalition ever built to support a regional ballot measure, with more than 400 organizations including the Portland Business Alliance.
When writing about the measure’s victory, Willamette Week wrote, “business groups and nonprofits that serve the homeless became unbeatable allies.” I could not have said it better.
And Portland Democratic voters overwhelmingly re-elected Rep. Rob Nosse to the Oregon Legislature. Nosse, another pragmatic progressive, faced a challenge from a far-left candidate who was heavily backed by the public employee unions. The challenge was simply because he supported a compromise in the 2019 Legislative Session, which paved the way for $2 billion in new school revenue and meaningful PERS reform.
Vanessa Sturgeon is chair of the Portland Business Alliance board of directors and is president and CEO of TMT Development.
We won! Join HereTogether in celebrating the passing of the regional homeless services measure! Tonight, we united to end our homeless crisis. Tomorrow, the work continues. Thank you to everyone who stood with us to prove we are ALL here, together. #WeAreHereTogether pic.twitter.com/pVIJV1aJLM— HereTogether (@HereTogetherOR) May 20, 2020
I am personally thrilled that our community has made a decision to turn a corner on our homelessness crisis together, across our region. Thank you the members of @PDX_BizAlliance and the team of @HereTogetherOR. Now the real work begins to make this best run measure possible. https://t.co/OCRMf1SDHr— Andrew Hoan (@AndrewHoan) May 20, 2020