Early returns for the May election saw two new Portland Public Schools Board members elected, and the lone incumbent on the ballot cruising to reelection.
Herman Greene, a minister at Abundant Life Church in North Portland, and Gary Hollands, who owns Interstate Trucking Academy, will both join the School Board.
“I am honored to have the support of the Portland voters, I thank my opponents for a great race and tomorrow I am ready to get to work for our kids,” Greene said.
Both Greene and Hollands had received the lion’s share of endorsements and were expected to win against less organized opponents. Both are Black leaders who ran on platforms of improving the school district’s performance with students of color. (Board members Rita Moore and Scott Bailey both served one term before opting not to run for reelection.)
Julia Brim-Edwards, a Nike executive, won a second consecutive term on the School Board.
“I want to thank Portland voters and the community for their vote of confidence in returning me to the School Board,” Brim-Edwards said in a statement, “and for also electing Gary Hollands and Herman Greene, two leaders who will bring needed perspective, experience, and deep community relationships to our work. We have huge challenges ahead, including safely reopening schools this fall and continuing our relentless pursuit of more equitable outcomes for all our students.”
Voters also opted to renew a five-year levy to fund the Oregon Historical Society. In early returns, Measure 26-221 was passing with 76% of the vote. The property tax levy provides $4 million a year in funding for the history museum, which received more attention this year than usual because anti-police vandals repeatedly smashed its windows.
In a statement, OHS executive director Kerry Tymchuk nodded to the museum’s emphasis on anti-racism and telling the stories of previously silenced people.
“Oregon’s rich history cannot be contained within a single story or point of view; reexamination and interpretation are necessary as shifts occur within our society and our understanding of our past,” Tymchuk wrote. “Renewal of this levy ensures the Oregon Historical Society can continue to do that.”