Charter Commissioner Candace Avalos Announces City Council Candidacy

Joining her in the race are a city engineer, a young East Portland advocate and a former city policy director.

Candace Avalos. (Blake Benard)

The latest person to vie for one of the 12 City Council seats in Portland’s new form of government next year is Candace Avalos, who’s executive director of Verde, a climate justice nonprofit, and who served on the 20-member panel that crafted the ballot measure that is set to overhaul the city’s governance structure.

Avalos, 34, is the third member of the Charter Commission to announce their candidacy for City Council next year. Avalos, who will run in District 1, which covers Portland east of Interstate 205, joins fellow commission members Robin Ye, 29, and Debbie Kitchin, 67, in the race. Kitchin will run for a seat in the North Portland district and Ye will run for a seat in the district that covers Southeast Portland west of I-205.

Five others joined the ever-growing list of candidates within the last week.

They include a young advocate based in East Portland, an engineer that works for the city’s Water Bureau and a former policy director at the city of Portland.

Deian Salazar is 23 and will run in District 1. Salazar, who is Latino, serves on the Oregon Commission on Autism. (Salazar has autism and says one of his top priorities is advocating for people with disabilities.) In 2021, he ran for a position on the David Douglas School Board, but fell short of a win. He’s involved with the Multnomah County Democrats, serving as a district leader and a precinct committee person.

Jamie Dunphy, 39, a former policy director for late City Commissioner Nick Fish, is also running in District 1. Dunphy works at the American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network as its Oregon government relations director. He also sits on the board of MusicPortland, a nonprofit that supports small music venues and local artists.

Sarah Silkie, 49, an engineer for the Portland Water Bureau for a decade now, is running in the westside District 4. She’s attending the Oregon Labor Candidate School Training and is a member of the Professional & Technical Employees Local 17 union.

Brooklyn Sherman, 21, is running for a spot in District 2, which spans most of North Portland. He ran unsuccessfully for Portland Public Schools Board as a recent graduate from the district in 2021. Sherman is currently a bus driver at the school district and helps run a walking tours business that his family operates.

Sixteen candidates so far have registered with the city’s Small Donor Elections program, which matches small campaign contributions with taxpayer dollars.

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