All Three Candidates for Oregon Governor Say They Would Declare a State of Emergency on Homelessness

Would any of their plans meet Ted Wheeler’s standards?

The tents lining Portland streets will play a large role in deciding Oregon’s next governor.

New polling by DHM Research for The Oregonian shows 9 in 10 voters statewide see homelessness as “a very big problem.” Suburban candidates seeking legislative seats say the issue is top of voters’ minds when they come to the door. “They perceive Portland to be out of control,” says state Rep. Ken Helm (D-Beaverton).

This morning, The New York Times published a sweeping appraisal of the tight governor’s race. Among its revelations: Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler demands to hear a detailed plan for addressing homelessness before he issues a gubernatorial endorsement. Wheeler, who is planning to debut a ban on unsanctioned street camping, says he’s open to picking Republican Christine Drazan or unaffiliated candidate Betsy Johnson over Democrat Tina Kotek if their plans shows greater attention to detail. (Why any candidate would want his stamp of approval is a question the Times does not address.)

This week, WW asked the three candidates to outline their plans. What’s most interesting about their responses: All three say they would declare a homelessness state of emergency upon taking office.

Watch their full answers below.