Sarah Iannarone, the two-time Portland mayoral candidate, will become the new executive director of The Street Trust, the Portland active-transportation nonprofit previously known as the Bicycle Transportation Alliance.
"The Street Trust has always geared toward community, advocacy, and the intersection of transportation and social justice," said Thomas Ngo, board member of both The Street Trust and its advocacy arm, The Street Trust Action Fund, in a statement. "Iannarone brings the global expertise, commitment to equity, and passion for the work these times demand."
After finishing third in the 2016 mayoral race behind Ted Wheeler and former Multnomah County Commissioner Jules Bailey, Iannarone pushed Wheeler hard in 2020, losing to him by little more than 5 percentage points in a November runoff in which write-in candidates, led by Teressa Raiford, took 13% of the vote.
Under the leadership of departing executive director Jillian Detweiler, The Street Trust has been a consistent advocate for better cycling, pedestrian and transit conditions. The group's engagement on those issues, as well as on social justice generally, will provide Iannarone a platform for some of the ideas she embraced as a candidate, as well as give her continued visibility should she choose to run for office again.
"Residents of our region are hungry for mobility that makes sense," Iannarone said in a statement. "The choice is ours as a community whether billions in transportation investments keep us stuck in the past or move us toward our climate and equity goals with the urgency this moment requires. The Street Trust can and must be a pivotal leader in this work, and I am honored that the board and staff chose me to lead the organization at this critical time."
The Street Trust, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit, recorded revenues of about $1 million a year for the past two years, according to its tax returns, and paid Detweiler just under $94,000 in salary.
Detweiler worked at TriMet and served as a senior aide to Mayor Charlie Hales before taking over The Street Trust in 2017. Iannarone also has close ties to the Hales family, having worked for Hales' wife, Nancy, at First Stop Portland, where Iannarone became immersed in public policy.
One of Iannarone's key backers in the 2020 election, City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty, recently took responsibility for overseeing the Portland Bureau of Transportation. In that capacity, she will be hearing regularly from Iannarone.
"I believe in the power of advocacy to create a more just future," Hardesty said in a statement. "Sarah is the perfect person to lead The Street Trust and help bring Portlanders together for safer streets."