Rep. Jefferson Smith (D-East Portland) is polling his mayoral campaign volunteers about what they should do next.
Smith, who lost the Portland mayor's race to Charlie Hales in November and whose legislative term ends January 13, is holding a meeting tonight at Hollywood Bowl to discuss finding a political issue his volunteers might shift toward.
"Jefferson and I and a handful of others wonder what the historic grassroots network we built on the campaign might still do for Portland, and for our region," says a recent email a campaign aide, Amanda Caffall, sent to campaign volunteers.
The meeting and survey suggest Smith is mulling a return to the political organizing that made his name. He is best known for co-founding Oregon voter-engagement group the Bus Project.
Smith's ground game of passionate volunteers was a central reason why he finished ahead of businesswoman Eileen Brady in the May primary.
The survey offers a swath of possibilities for what they could do next.
"Do any of the following issue areas interest you?," it asks. "Select all that apply."
~Environmental leadership (like fighting coal)~East Portland & equity (engaging, advocating, and awareness-raising)~Economic gardening & small business development (like training and CEO mentorship)~Election & campaign finance reform (enough said)~Future-worthy transportation (like calling the CRC into question)~Enhancing public engagement in government (modernizing access and providing real input)~Community involvement (like plugging people into ongoing projects in their community)~Strengthening the public interest voice in traditional and social media (like KPOJ or new formats)~Responsible banking & foreclosure relief (like public funds in credit unions and local banks)~Education (like the summer gap)