Vote for a homegrown leader for the future
The Portland Observer has endorsed Jefferson Smith, a homegrown leader and experienced lawmaker representing East Portland in his election for mayor of Portland. We also endorsed Amanda Fritz in her campaign for re-election.
The May 15 vote-by-mail primary election has some excellent candidates for Mayor and City Council, but there are several reasons why Smith and Fritz stand out.
We see Smith as a person with the right energy, passion and sincerity to bring people together and address the needs of the city as mayor. He is uniquely qualified to help bring equity to residents east of 82nd Avenue, where there are growing disadvantaged and minority populations with unmet needs, along with unpaved streets and sidewalks.
Smith proved he is a leader for the future by starting the Bus Project, a grass-roots political movement that nurtured young new leaders and increased voter turnout. He has addressed the housing crisis with initiatives to stop foreclosures.
Smith is an articulate leader with a record as the most progressive of the three leading candidates for mayor.
He has supported the African-American community by standing with the Albina Ministerial Alliance in its efforts to make the Portland Police Bureau more accountable on issues of racial profiling, police shootings and gang prevention. He also fosters a relationship with rank-and-file police officers to re-build community and trust.
Smith knows we need a cultural shift within the police bureau, but realizes you can’t accomplish this by just attacking the Police Bureau.
Amanda Fritz has also earned our support for her independence on the City Council. She looks out for the interests of those who are not political power players. She is accessible to the public, answering her own emails and telephone calls. She has taken the lead on the initiative to start an Office of Equity in city government.
As they say in the hit TV show American Idol, if you don’t vote, your favorite may not make it into the next round. Don’t pass up the opportunity to vote for Smith and Fritz.