Former Portland City Commissioner Steve Novick Will Run for City Council Next Year

Novick last served on the council in 2017. He wants to come back.

SteveNovick3_leather_ChristineDong Steve Novick (Christine Dong)

Former Portland City Commissioner Steve Novick, who served on the City Council from 2013 to 2017, is running for the council next year.

“I’m running because I think I can be useful,” Novick told WW on Friday morning. “We need to have a more honest conversations about the homeless and housing crises, and in a time when Portlanders are even more skeptical of government than before, we need to be careful to spend the limited resources we have as cost effectively as possible.”

Novick is running for one of the three seats in District 3, which covers Southeast Portland west of Interstate 205.

During his four years on the City Council before being ousted by Chloe Eudaly in 2016, Novick was a darling of progressives. He helped make hundreds of houses safer from earthquakes and convinced voters to pass a 10-cent-per-gallon gasoline tax to fund street repairs, but consistently warred with his colleagues and alienated enough voters to elevate Eudaly.

Following his City Hall tenure, Novick took a job as a special assistant attorney general in the Oregon Department of Justice. (Prior to his City Council term, he was an attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice and the Environmental Protection Agency.)

Novick says elected leaders “need to be ready to discuss the tradeoffs with people” of policy decisions. “I think I’m reasonably good at that,” Novick says.

When Novick served earlier, the council had just five members. But next year, he’ll be running for one of 12 council seats available, thanks to a charter reform ballot measure approved by voters in November 2022.

Novick said Friday he’s focus on spending public dollars effectively, among other priorities listed on his campaign website.

Novick is the only former city commissioner who has formally announced his bid to serve again in the new form of government.

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