Two Portlanders, Robin Ye and Angelita Morillo, have filed political action committees with the intent to run for Portland City Council next year. The City Council they’ll be running for will be a 12-member body, with three council members elected in each of four geographic voting districts that were cemented just last week.
Robin Ye currently serves as chief of staff to Rep. Khanh Pham (D-East Portland). Before that he worked at various nonprofits, including the Asian Pacific American Network of Oregon, where he served as the nonprofit’s policy director for three years. Ye, 29, also served for the past two years on the Charter Commission, which crafted the ballot measure passed in November that is set to transform the city’s governance structure come 2025. Ye oftentimes represented the faction of the 20-member commission (the strong majority) that supported the proposal that ultimately made it onto the November ballot.
Ye appears to be the first member of the Charter Commission to run for the new City Council that he helped design.
Angelita Morillo also filed a political action committee last week to support her run for City Council. Morillo serves on the city’s Rental Services Commission, which makes recommendations to city officials on rental policy. She also works in policy at the nonprofit Partners for a Hunger-Free Oregon. For a time, she was a staffer for City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty.
She may be best known, however, for her TikTok profile, where she discusses Portland politics. Morillo has more than 29,000 followers on the social media platform.
“Portland cannot serve its people when they’re not being heard,” Morillo said in a statement. “If we’re going to get our city back we need leaders who will meet people where they’re at and earn back their trust.”
Both Morillo and Ye are running in District 3, which covers most of Southeast Portland south of Interstate 84 and west of Interstate 205. Three candidates vying for seats in that district have already filed with the city’s Small Donor Elections Program: pharmacist Sandeep Bali, city Housing Bureau employee Chris Flanary, and longtime Oregon political insider Jesse Cornett.
Update, Monday at 5:30 pm: Daniel DeMelo, who chairs the Multnomah County Central and Homeless Services Community Budget Advisory Committees, says he is also running for District 3. He has not yet filed with the city’s Small Donor Elections Program, nor has he registered a political action committee with the state.
Ye says he’s running to “fulfill the voters’ vision for an improved council because I believe this system is the best for Portland.”
“Portland voters made it clear that our old form of government isn’t working, but there are some who want to roll back the charter reform before it even goes into effect,” Ye tells WW, referring to a recent attempt by two members of the current City Council to alter the charter reform approved in the ballot measure. “From issues as large as our housing and climate crisis to the crumbling state of our local roads, Portland needs results. I am committed to delivering a city government that Portlanders can be proud of.”
Transportation safety advocate Steph Routh, who recently filed with the Small Donor Elections Program, is running in District 1, which covers Portland east of I-205.