We want to know your calculus about where your opportunity is to win. Is it younger people? Labor? People east of 82nd? New immigrants to the city? People taller than 6 foot 1?
That’s what it was. The essence of it was that I am bigger and faster and I think stronger than the other candidates in the race. And we did an analysis—I don’t know if you’ve seen Rocky IV, but I’m the Ivan Drago in this race.
Do I think I can hold my own in competing for certain endorsements? Yeah. Do I think I have any of them sewn up? No. Do I think that we can compete in attracting and working with and empowering volunteers in the campaign? Yeah. Do we have that sewn up? No. Do I think that this city has been a place that has sometimes been electrified by new energy and young people—not just young candidates, but sort of young energy? Yeah.
What are the most important issues facing the city that you’d confront as mayor.
An economy worthy of the city. Jobs. Two, a public-safety system that fits the city and addresses the whole city. And then third, working with the whole city, I’d sort of combine the civic engagement stuff and the east Portland stuff, making sure that the informal power of the city as well as the formal power of the city is connecting with the whole city and a changing Portland.
What do you do as mayor to “create an economy worthy of the city”?
Any politician—much less a city politician—who says that they are going to turn around the global economy is a liar.
Nonresident companies in Oregon [those with headquarters elsewhere] in the last 10-plus years have not grown jobs, they’ve lost jobs. The latter-stage companies, like 100 to 400-plus employees, have lost jobs, not gained jobs. That’s true of most states. What’s gained jobs is early-stage, homegrown, smaller companies.
And there are things we can do to help those. One is, some of the entrepreneurship stuff that the city’s doing right now with the seed fund, etc. Another is more access to capital, including partnering with the state on a state finance authority—[maybe] a way to use a small portion of pension dollars to be focused more on in-state investments. Third, I think there’s more we can do with technical assistance, on helping earlier-stage companies find new markets and find new customers.