Meet the First Dozen Portland City Council Candidates to Throw Their Hats in the Ring

Half of them filed to run in District 3.

Angelita Morillo. (Allison Barr)

District 1

Steph Routh

Age 47. Longtime advocate for bicyclists, pedestrians and public transit. Current member of the Portland Planning Commission, which advises the City Council on zoning and land use. Served in leadership roles for various transportation groups and worked for a time at the Portland Bureau of Transportation. Among her top priorities are transportation projects, traffic safety and affordable housing.

Timur Ender

Age 33. Currently works as a transportation planner. He formerly worked on transportation policy under City Commissioner Steve Novick. Ender says his top priorities are affordable housing and building economic opportunity by supporting living-wage jobs.

David Linn

Age 41. Board member of the Centennial School District. Linn has worked for more than a decade as an executive assistant at the Oregon Board of Examiners for Speech-Language Pathology & Audiology. His top priorities are restoring public safety and increasing the availability and affordability of middle-income housing.

District 2

Debbie Kitchin

Age 67. Owner of Interworks, a construction contracting company. Served as chair of the Portland Business Alliance’s board of directors and as president of the Central Eastside Industrial Council, one of three enhanced service districts in the city whose members pay for bolstered city services such as trash cleanup and security patrols. Served on the 20-member Portland Charter Commission that crafted the new form of city government. Her top priorities are restoring public safety and combating homelessness and climate change.

David Burnell

Age 43. Serves on the Government Transition Advisory Committee, which advises city leaders on the two-year transition to the new form of government that’s well underway. An alcohol and drug abuse counselor who formerly helped write policy for the Oregon Health Authority. His top two priorities are public safety and family-centric economics.

District 3

Robin Ye

Age 29. Chief of staff to progressive state Rep. Khanh Pham (D-East Portland). Member of the 20-member Portland Charter Commission that crafted the new form of city government. Formerly worked as political director of the nonprofit APANO. His top priorities are transportation safety and combating climate change.

Angelita Morillo

Age 27. Progressive policy adviser for Hunger Free Oregon. Formerly worked as a constituent relations staffer for City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty. Has a successful TikTok account (29,000 followers) where she makes explanatory videos about local policies. Her top priorities are addressing homelessness and improving transportation.

Chris Flanary

Age 36. City employee at the Portland Housing Bureau since 2013. Longtime union representative for American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees Local 189, which represents about 1,000 workers at the city. Their top priorities are increasing wages for city subcontractors and stable, affordable housing.

Jesse Cornett

Age 47. Board member of Oregon Recovers, an addiction recovery nonprofit. Former campaign aide, or “body man,” to Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders. Longtime legislative staffer. His top priorities are relieving homelessness and improving public safety.

Sandeep Bali

Age 40. Pharmacist. In 2022, he ran against incumbent City Commissioner Dan Ryan, receiving 8% of the vote. Ran on a platform of banning tent camping, and he’s running on it again. Two other priorities he notes are “cleaning up the city” and “restoring public safety.”

Daniel DeMelo

Age 26. Chairs the Joint Office of Homeless Services Community Budget Advisory Committee, which, in theory, helps ensure Multnomah County uses its homeless dollars effectively. Says the county has largely circumvented those efforts. Attended Lake Oswego High School, where he fought against standardized testing.

District 4

Tony Morse

Age 42. Current political director for the addiction recovery nonprofit Oregon Recovers. Former lobbyist for that group. Before joining Oregon Recovers as its political director earlier this year, Morse worked as a real estate agent (he’s trained as a lawyer). His top priorities are better addressing addiction and providing more treatment options and transitional housing for addicts.

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