Three Candidates Now Bidding to Unseat Portland Commissioner Dan Ryan

Avraham Cox, an unemployed 2020 graduate of Benson Polytechnic School, joins Brandon Farley and a more notable candidate in city housing official Jamila Dozier in the race to unseat Dan Ryan.

Three candidates have now qualified with city elections officials with bids to unseat Commissioner Dan Ryan next spring.

Ryan, facing immense pressure from homeowners, business owners and homeless advocates to swiftly erect six “safe rest villages” to house up to 300 people currently living on the streets, has had a difficult few weeks. He announced three of the safe rest village sites in late September, but within four days withdrew one of them, in Southeast Portland, due to its flood risk.

In the spring, he promised that six of the sites would be up and running by the end of the year, but the project has faced repeated setbacks, uncertainty and location hiccups.

The most established figure among the candidates running against Ryan is Jamila Dozier, a program coordinator with the city’s Housing Bureau who works primarily in East Portland. Dozier also runs a consulting business that provides racial equity training and resources to organizations. Dozier sits on an equity advisory board that meets regularly with city leaders to address racial equity and social justice issues, including policing, discrimination and homelessness. Dozier identifies as Queer and Afro-Latina and has a long history of involvement with social equity initiatives.

Another candidate who qualified with the City Elections Office on Monday, is Avraham Cox. In his filing, he lists himself as unemployed with no previous employment and no prior government experience. He graduated from Benson Polytechnic High School in 2020 and lists himself as white.

Brandon Farley has also qualified to challenge Ryan. Farley, a far-right videographer who has regularly filmed Portland protests, is known in some circles in Portland for compiling often unsympathetic videos and photos of homeless people who are under the influence of drugs or struggling with mental health crises. He dubs himself “Portland’s most viral videographer” on his campaign website, and uses the tag line “Make Portland Great Again.”

If nothing else, Farley’s candidacy will draw further attention to the city’s struggles to house its most vulnerable citizens.

Farley frequently posts on social media about his promise to enforce anti-camping rules. In one post, on Aug. 26, Farley wrote, “Upon the completion of my 1st term, there will be No More Unlawful Homeless Tents in Portland. {PERIOD} This is a problem that has bloomed out of control due to a damaging culture of progressive tolerance.” Two of his stated plans for ending Portland homelessness are paying for one-way tickets to cities with more shelter capacity and offering tickets to homeless people to reunite with their families in other cities.