Event to Honor Bud Clark to Be Held Just Before May Primary

Organizers hope the memory of Portland’s beloved mayor will restore civic pride and help the city shake off its malaise.

Two days before this month’s primary election, old friends and staff to Bud Clark plan to hold a “remembrance and call for civic commitment” to honor the beloved former mayor, who ran Portland from 1985 to 1992.

The event will be held May 15 at Pioneer Courthouse Square. The Mel Brown Quartet, MarchFourth Marching Band, Thomas Lauderdale, Kathleen Saadat, and the Portland Youth Philharmonic will appear. Salt & Straw will serve ice cream.

Clark died earlier this year at age 90.

Jack McGowan, who worked as Clark’s press secretary, said the event is nonpolitical. He and other organizers are holding it close to the election because Clark made history in the 1984 primary by beating incumbent Frank Ivancie. Clark, a political newcomer who owned the Goose Hollow Inn, got 54.7% of the vote, dodging a runoff.

“The message is: Get out and vote, but also roll up your sleeves and do something for Portland and for Oregon,” McGowan, 73, said in an interview. “Collectively, we can bring this city back.”

SOLVE, the nonprofit that rallies volunteers to pick up trash on Oregon’s beaches and Portland’s streets, will hold a special cleanup on the same day as the event.

Clark was well known for his handlebar mustache and for a 1978 poster in which Clark opened his trench coat to “expose himself to art” in front of a sculpture in downtown Portland.

Clark served two terms, leading the development of the Oregon Convention Center, expanding the downtown transit mall, and implementing community policing, making Portland one of the first cities to do so.

When his tenure ended, he returned to the Goose Hollow Inn, which his family still owns and operates (and which serves a terrific Reuben). He was an enthusiastic cyclist, a raconteur and, above all, a staunch supporter of Portland who enlivened conversations with his verbal signature, “Whoop, whoop!”

Related: Portland will never see another mayor like Bud Clark.