Longtime Legislative Director, Neighborhood Chair and Event Technician Join Portland City Council Race

Twenty-seven people so far have signaled to the city that they will seek a seat on the 2025 City Council.

City Council candidate Olivia Clark. (c/o Olivia Clark)

A new round of Portlanders have joined next year’s crowded race for Portland City Council. Among them: a longtime legislative director and bureaucrat, the board chair of a Southwest neighborhood association, a software engineer, and a health care nonprofit employee.

Twenty-seven Portlanders so far have filed notices of intent with the city that they intend to run for the 12-member City Council next year.

Olivia Clark is a longtime legislative director and bureaucrat who’s worked for various government entities for decades. Clark worked as the city of Salem’s legislative director under three different mayors, then for the Oregon Department of Environmental Quality as its legislative director, then as a top aide to Gov. John Kitzhaber, and finally went to work for two decades at TriMet, first as its legislative director and then in public affairs. Clark, 69, has also served on a number of community advisory boards.

Moses Ross, 57, is board chair of the Multnomah Neighborhood Association in Southwest Portland. For over a year, that neighborhood association has worked alongside the city to form a good neighbor agreement for a tiny pod village funded by the city.

A 34-year-old software engineer named Joseph Emerson (no, not the off-duty pilot who tried to shut off the engines on an Alaska Airlines flight yesterday and is now being charged with 80 counts of attempted murder in Multnomah County Circuit Court) has also filed his notice of intent with the Small Donor Elections Program, as has a 45-year-old event engineer technician named Michael DiNapoli. Chris Olson, 32, is a recent Oregon transplant; he moved here in 2020 and works in communications for a health care nonprofit called Neighborhood Health Center. Thomas Shervey, 34, works in administration for Multnomah County’s Department of Community Justice and prior to that worked for almost a decade at the Gateway Fred Meyer.

Ross, DiNapoli and Clark are all running in District 4; Emerson and Olson are running in District 2; Shervey is running in District 1.

Candidates cannot officially file for office until June of 2024.

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