Murmurs: Nick Kristof Files (but Not a Story)

In other news: Old Town cultural groups have had it.

KRISTOF FORMS PAC FOR GOVERNOR BID: New York Times columnist and Yamhill native Nicholas Kristof made his first official move to enter the 2022 Democratic primary for governor Oct. 12. Kristof filed papers to form a political action committee with the secretary of state, a move necessary to begin raising and spending money. Kristof, who has taken a leave from the newspaper, has been preparing to run for months, including securing a legal opinion that supports his contention that he meets the Oregon Constitution’s residence requirements, despite having voted in New York last year. Kristof will join a crowded Democratic field led by House Speaker Tina Kotek (D-Portland) and state Treasurer Tobias Read in the race to succeed Gov. Kate Brown, who cannot run again because of term limits.

OLD TOWN GROUPS DEMAND SAFETY: Cultural groups in Old Town sent a letter to city and county officials on Monday decrying rapidly deteriorating conditions in their neighborhood that they say threaten the health and safety of patrons and employees. The groups that wrote the letter are the Japanese American Museum of Oregon, the Lan Su Chinese Garden, the Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education, and the Portland Chinatown Museum. They demand “immediate action to safeguard our visitors, staff and volunteers.” Leaders of the institutions wrote that the city’s failure to manage conditions in Old Town is disrespectful to the cultural history of the ethnic and religious groups, which have a rich economic history in the neighborhood. They’re demanding a meeting with officials by Oct. 22 and requesting more police and the deployment of mental health professionals.

LEGENDARY AD MAN DIES: David Kennedy, co-founder of the Portland advertising agency Wieden+Kennedy, died Oct. 10 at age 82. Kennedy and his business partner, Dan Wieden, founded W+K on April Fool’s Day in 1982, far from the traditional advertising meccas of New York and Chicago. Today, the firm employs 1,400 workers in eight offices around the world. Kennedy worked on the “Just Do It” campaign for Nike and the ads that made Michael Jordan and Spike Lee synonymous with the brand. He also worked on the campaign that put singer Lou Reed on a Honda scooter, along with many other ads that etched themselves into popular culture. A prolific sculptor whose work is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art, Kennedy retired from the agency in 1995 to concentrate on his art and charitable work, although he still stopped by the agency’s Pearl District headquarters periodically. “David Kennedy’s heart and soul and neural pathways are etched deep inside Wieden+Kennedy,” Wieden once said. “It’s who we are, it’s what we do, and it’s why we do it.”

REPUBLICANS CHALLENGE CONGRESSIONAL MAP: Republicans have filed a legal challenge to the new congressional redistricting map that followed Oregon gaining a sixth seat in the U.S. House of Representatives after the 2020 census. The petition to Marion County Circuit Court—filed Oct. 11 by former Republican Secretary of State Bev Clarno, among others—argues that Democrats, who hold supermajorities in the state Legislature, drew a map that does not give state Republicans sufficient representation. “The result of this highly partisan process is a clear, egregious partisan gerrymander, as has been widely acknowledged both in Oregon and across the country,” the petition states. “Under the Democrats’ gerrymandered map, enacted as SB 881-A, the Democrats are projected to win five of the six congressional seats in Oregon in a typical year.” The challenge was expected; Democrats have disputed the GOP’s allegations and call the new maps fair.