The Dozono team hadn't counted yet, but Sho was sho they would reach the 1,500 signatures and $5 donations needed to qualify for public financing for the mayoral race by the time the signature-gathering event at Grant High School in Northeast Portland ended today.
A characteristically nonchalant Sho Dozono said he planned to hand over the signatures to the city by next Friday, almost a full week before the Jan. 31 deadline. In the meantime, he thinks the signatures will keep flowing in—“there's over 8,000 blank forms out there,” he said.
With the signature situation seemingly under control, the emphasis at Grant was on the election itself, not qualifying for it.
“It feels good to connect with my roots,” said Dozono, who taught at Grant High School in the '70s. “I'm very pro-education,” he said, stressing that this election is really about the future of Portland, and that the future hinges on the schools.
The Azumano Travel owner also spoke about the importance of his experience in both the public and private sectors, pointing out the need for collaboration between the two. “I don't know when the last time was we had a mayor with a long business career,” he said.
Speaking of his long and experience-filled career as another plus, he joked, “Many of my former colleagues are retired.”
He added, “I don't feel like I'm old, but I think part of this is that I'm older. I've worked for six mayors and five governors.”
Dozono has also been to North Korea three times as a sort of citizen ambassador, and he expressed concern about issues outside Portland like the war in Iraq. He made sure to reaffirm his interest in the welfare of minorities, and, so to speak, their interest in his.
He seemed genuinely pleased with what he perceived as an outpouring of support from citizens over the past few weeks.