Local 189 Announces Local Election Endorsements

The general elections in November will present Portland voters with a once-in-a-century opportunity to completely re-make Portland City Council, from the ground up.  That's because the Councilor positions to be filled are all brand-new jobs.  While some candidates may have served in similar, or similarly named, offices in the past, no one has ever before been a Portland City Councilor in Portland’s new form of government.  It will be the first time since 1913 that there are no incumbents (because the office is newly created) and will be the only time, at least until the next Charter Reform, that all 12 City Councilor seats are to be filled in a single election.  This unique opportunity to set the pattern for future Councils, combined with new ranked-choice voting and small donor matching fund opportunities, resulted in an electoral race which has drawn an extraordinary number of candidates, from a wide range of backgrounds, approaching the role with an equally wide array of visions for what the role is and will become.  Likewise, the changes to the role of Portland Mayor has attracted a broader range of candidates than we've seen in quite some time.  In fact, of all the elected offices in Portland city Goverment, only one--the office of Portland City Auditor--is unchanged as a direct result of Charter Reform.   

It is in this historic moment that Local 189 has primacy over AFSCME Locals' endorcements in that race.  From a field of nearly 90 candidates, our task was to identify and endorse a small handful whose demonstrated values and priorities most closely align with those of AFSCME and its AFL-CIO siblings who live and work in Portland.  A multi-phase process was designed to ensure, to the extent possible, that all candidates seeking our Local's endorcment for the same office were treated equally by our process and that the in-common needs, interests and priorities of our members were the central focus at every step of the process, and first and final consideration for each and every endorsement. 

At the July 9 General Membership Meeting, AFSCME Local 189 members chose the following candidates to endorse.  

For the office of City Auditor:  Simone Rede.

For the office of Mayor of Portland:  Carmen Rubio.

For the office of Portland City Councilor, Council District 1: Candace Avalos, Jamie Dunphy, Timur Ender, and Steph Routh.

For the office of Portland City Councilor, Council District 2: Elana Pirtle-Guiney, Jonathan Tasini, and Nat West.

For the office of Portland City Councilor, Council District 3: Jesse Cornett, Chris Flanary, Tiffany Koyama Lane, and Steve Novick.

For the office of Portland City Councilor, Council District 4: Mitchell Green, Tony Morse, and Sarah Silkie.  

It should be noted that, with so many exceptional pro-union candidates in the race, it was not possible to offer endorsement to every candidate who demonstrated a strong pro-union position.  Hard choices had to be made.  The absence of any candidate's name from our list of endorcements should not be interpreted to mean that that candidate failed to demonstrate AFSCME values or awareness of our members' needs.  It simply means that they were not among our members' top picks for endorcement. AFSCME Local 189 wishes to thank each and every candidate who participated in our process for their time and interest in collaborating with our Local in creating a Portland where workers in every industry can raise healthy families and partcipate in triving communities because they are safe, valued, nurtured and respected in their worklives.