Candace Avalos, an advisor of student affairs at Portland State University, has announced her campaign for Portland City Commissioner with a platform of ending the city's commission form of government.
Avalos is Vice Chair of the Citizen Review Committee, which seeks to improve police service and accountability. She says that her work there and with students at PSU motivated her to start campaigning.
A first-generation immigrant from Guatemala, Avalos launched her campaign with a message of unity. "When looking out at Portland, many see division and tension, but I am hopeful," she wrote. "I see diversity of thought, diversity of lived experiences as our strength and our path forward."
Avalos wants to end the commission form of government—also known as a "weak mayor" system, in which five commissioners, including the mayor are elected citywide. Instead, she wants elections by geographic district, a reform backed by the City Club of Portland. She pledges to "address the outdated commissioner system of government that keeps holding us back as a city."
She is one of two women who wants to replace Commissioner Amanda Fritz upon her retirement.
The other, Carmen Rubio, is the director of the nonprofit Latino Network and was an early contender to fill Fritz's seat. Rubio, who announced her campaign earlier this month, has over 70 endorsements.
The candidates will compete in next year's May primary.