Portland City Council
Chloe Eudaly: http://www.chloeforportland.com/
Steve Novick: www.novickforportland.org
1. What racial/cultural/ethnic identities do you claim
Eudaly – European-American
Novick – My background is Ashkenazi Jewish and Scotch-Irish, and I identify as white. Culturally, I identify as a leftist.
2. What are the root causes of racial inequities in Oregon?
Novick – Racial inequities in the United States are the cultural legacies of colonialism and imperialism, carried out through the reproduction of white supremacist economic, sociocultural, and political institutions.
The root cause of racial inequities in Oregon is the consolidation of power and resources among historically over-represented community members in positions of authority and leadership (ex. white, upper and/or middle class, able-bodied and/or cis-gendered men).
Having overrepresented community members in positions of authority and leadership alone has not caused Oregon’s racial inequities. These inequities have deepened and solidified after generations of leadership protecting their power by creating, using, and strengthening systems and institutions of oppression and privilege.
Eudaly – White supremacy and institutional racism.
The City of Portland’s last published Procurement Services Annual Report from 2013-2014 indicates that it contracted 3% of all construction contracts with minority-owned businesses and 1% with women-owned businesses. Those statistics are an example of how white supremacy, racism and sexism persist in local government.
3. There are over 800,000 People of Color in Oregon, and growing. Generations of racial exclusion, exploitation and divestment have historically marginalized communities of color from the political process. What steps will you take to engage communities of color?
Eudaly – I strongly support the Open and Accountable Elections Act proposed by City Commissioner Amanda Fritz and supported by Color PAC and other organizations representing communities of color. I support funding the program and instituting it without referring it to voters for approval, unlike my opponent.
Novick – First and foremost, I will continue to participate in trainings and discussions to hear directly from community leaders how to best engage with those most directly affected by my work. Engaging in opportunities to hear from community leaders, along with creating a position for an East Portland liaison with a social justice background, has helped build strong relationships between traditionally underrepresented communities and City Hall.
I would continue to advocate for a Diversity and Civic Leadership program that fully realizes its racial justice mission so that all underrepresented communities of color are represented, in particular API communities. Create and maintaining a pipeline of civic engagement and community leadership is key to engaging underrepresented communities.
I have also heard from many low wage, hourly workers how unpredictable schedules have had a negative impact on their ability to find child care, attend school, or care for an elder in the household. In addition, we know that many low wager workers in hourly positions are women of color and that expecting workers to constantly work on-call, with no guarantee of hours or pay, disproportionately affects traditionally underrepresented and exploited communities. I continue to look forward to the legislature acting on this issue in the upcoming session and passing a strong policy. I this does not come to fruition; I look forward to passing something locally.
Lastly, the Division HCT project has provided me with the opportunity to directly engage with riders in the proposed corridor and I look forward to continuing to strengthen our engagement efforts in all of our TOD projects.
4. What leadership actions can APANO count on you for in response to racism, sexism, homophobia, xenophobic and other comments that demonize and stereotype Oregonians?
Novick – At the very least, I will publicly denounce oppressive language and actions that I witness and, whenever possible, I will join community leaders in direct action responses.
As an ally, I understand the responsibility of speaking out and taking a leadership role when oppressive incidents occur against underrepresented communities, and will balance that with the supportive role necessary to continue to lift up communities directly impacted.
Eudaly – You can count on me to be an active voice for equity and inclusion. There is no place in civic dialogue for racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic and other comments that demonize and stereotype Oregonians. I have dedicated my life to promoting voices of inclusion through my bookstore. I strongly believe that Oregonians are capable of overcoming the voices that intend to divide us by powerfully expressing and acting on our love for one another.
5. Asians, Pacific Islanders and communities of color are historically under-represented in civic life. What would you do to create or expand culturally specific (i.e. Asian/Pacific Islander, African American, Native American, Latino/a, etc) leadership and civic engagement programs?
Eudaly – I’m most interested in expanding culturally specific outreach in areas where Asian, Pacific Islanders and communities of color are experiencing disparities. For instance, any effort to reform our criminal justice system that does not include and respect input from the communities that are overrepresented in the criminal justice system is unlikely to be successful. Similarly, increasing MBE and WBE utilization rates in city contracting needs to be guided by effective oversight and direction by the communities most affected. The current Portland City Council has not effectively engaged communities of color in these two particular areas. These two areas are symptomatic of the City’s inability to date to come to grips with persistent, pervasive institutional racism.
Novick – I am glad that through the Diversity and Civic Leadership program, the city has helped to enable NAYA, The Urban League, IRCO, and other organizations build capacity. I have advocated for APANO to be added to the list of DCL partnerships, which has become a priority of mine not only to build capacity for the organization, but also to combat the exclusionary impact of the “model minority myth.” I agree with Commissioner Fritz that the DCL programs should be provided at least as much funding as neighborhood associations. I welcome your thoughts on what steps we ought to be taking.
6. What are your solutions to the Housing Crisis facing Oregonians?
Novick – My priorities include middle housing, improving tenants’ rights, creating more shelter beds and building more affordable units, improving Portland’s inclusionary zoning policies, and advocating to the legislature to lift preemptions around rent control and just cause evictions.
Eudaly – I support a multi-pronged response to the housing crisis.
- The City of Portland needs to exercise its regulatory authority to stabilize rents and end no cause evictions to stem the tide of people becoming homeless (particularly families with young children and elders).
- I support the Yes for Affordable Homes campaign, measure 26-179. I view it as a down payment on digging Portland out of its shortfall of 25,000 units of affordable housing.
- I support the development of new, creative financing tools like property assessed financing to help finance affordable housing.
- I support changing zoning and development regulations to make it easier to develop affordable housing.
- It is important to advocate for lifting state preemptions of local government authority to address the housing crisis, but advocacy for lifting preemptions should not serve as an excuse for inaction now.
7. Communities of color have identified a significant lack of culturally specific centers in neighborhoods where they are concentrated. What steps would you take to support new investments in culturally specific community spaces and infrastructure?
Eudaly – The Portland Mercado and Micro Mercantes Kitchen may provide a model for how to develop culturally specific centers in neighborhoods where communities of color are concentrated. Providing infrastructure that not only serves as gathering places for cultural activities, but also provide economic opportunity makes both dollars and sense.
The Portland Development Commission should focus its work on this type of culturally specific development. It has the resources and the knowledge of real estate and the development process required to help develop culturally specific centers.
PDC needs to reorient its mission to support communities of color instead of supporting projects that fuel displacement and gentrification.
Novick – My commitment to investing in culturally specific community spaces and infrastructure in communities of color can be seen through the investments I have advocated for and secured during my time as transportation commissioner, including:
- A special appropriations request for the JAMS community space in the heart of the Jade District. I look forward to continuing to work with the Jade District and APANO community to secure additional resources for a permanent space.
- Economic development and housing displacement mitigation measures as part of Metro’s High Capacity Transit project along Division. Investments like hiring local contractors, incentivizing affordable housing along the corridor and consistent station area place making are all key to complimenting the transit project so that current residents and business owners have the opportunity to benefit from the new infrastructure improvements.
For more information on these candidates, please visit their website:
Chloe Eudaly: www.chloeforportland.com
Steve Novick: www.novickforportland.org
To get involved in APANO’s civic engagement work, please contact Kathy@apano.org or call 971-340-4861.