It's common for elected officials to endorse candidates in other races, but City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty, elected with a strong mandate last year, is taking that process to new levels.

Hardesty has formed an initiative called Rise Together, with advisers who include Katrina Holland of the Community Alliance of Tenants, the Rev. LeRoy Haynes of Allen Temple Christian Methodist Episcopal Church, and former House Majority Leader Mary Nolan (D-Portland).

Hardesty will use Rise Together to help her issue endorsements and direct campaign contributions.

"We need candidates ready to rise to the challenges of improving our democracy through access, supporting policies that reverse the impacts of climate change, solving the housing crisis with bold and creative ideas, and more," Hardesty said in a statement.