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Tuesday night, mayoral candidate Sam Adams shared his vision for Portland - in video form.
Watch it here - or in full-screen form at SamForPDX.com.
If this vision includes more expensive streetcar toys, more Machiavellian schemes like the way Adams tried to foist a street-usage "fee" (aka tax) on us without a vote, and more stunts like descending a rope from the OHSU tram (can you spell "radical cost over-runs"?), I want no part of it. Let Sam Adams go back to running interference for Vera Katz. Maybe she needs some quiet time to write her memoirs.
Maybe I am just crazy, but I like being inspired to how great our comunity can be.
It is a little long, but carries a very powerful message that is worth the 5 minutes.
Oops - just fixed that headline. It's "early days of a better nation", not "better days of an early nation". Fixed!
The City is $4 BILLION in debt! Even if you pump liquidity into an economy with lots of borrowing, as the US and Portland have done, eventually business cycles trend down. What happens as borrowing costs increase and all of Vera Katz' variable interest debt adjusts higher?
Portland is special because it was founded in the midst of what would become spectacular tourist assets. Its success comes largely from being on the Pacific Rim. A rising tide floats all boats and Portland has risen along with Seattle, Sacramento, etc.
This doesn't appeal to me at all. Portland has been able to ride the economic swell and enjoy this pie-in-sky idealism, but it is ignorant to believe we are so special that the budget problems other cities are experiencing won't come here. All of these big projects are predicated on forecasts of growth, but prices are flattening and demand for downtown condos is way down. I wish somebody would talk about problems and challenges and solutions (with some real facts behind them).
Portland has risen along with Seattle, Sacramento, etc.
Have you BEEN to Sacramento?!?!
Great Video. Did anyone else notice the comment about "keeping your clothes on" when making a video for runnning for office. I wonder if Sam got that advice from the mayor of Arlington? Probably not!
[Oh, and I haven't said anything really meaningful, but I'll disclose for the disclosure purists: I built Sam Adams's website, but I speak here only for myself.]
And my disclosure is that I am the Campaign Manager for Sam Adams.
We were absolutely thrilled to be able to work with volunteers from NORTH on this video about Portland and Sam. It was a lot of fun and we are thankful they are a part of this City and this campaign.
Thanks for asking about substance, let's dig in.
Here are some links to click on during the current campaign:
The current campaign website
The Portland Mercury's weekly policy questions
Here is past policy work in the Commissioner's office:
All the Year-in-Review reports from 2005/2006/2007
We look forward to seeing all of you out at the debates and on the campaign trail. Please let me know if there are additional questions.
Sam is truly an inspiring individual who sees the big picture. He would be an exciting chapter in the history of a great city growing even greater. It seems pretty obvious that Portland's greatness is significantly attributable to its most daring and visionary leaders, and few North American cities compare in their success, not Seattle, and certainly not Sacramento. Perfect, maybe not, but far better than most, and with a vision to become greater. A visionary and iconic leader like Sam, minding his limitations, would be a great leader for this city.
Kari: "You have BEEN to Sacramento?!?!"
I'm not sure I get it. It's the only other inland port city on the West Coast (by river, thus fresh water), so it's a good comparison. It shares major Intel locations, location characteristics, size characteristics, business characteristics, etc. It's a nice place at the base of the Sierras and a short drive to San Francisco, one of the world's greatest cities. It's also the land where I was born, but I'm sure no insult was intended.
As for the "daring and visionary leaders" that "Unit" speaks of, I'd say that Seattle has double the economy of Portland and half the debt. Sacramento has double the growth and is another city that has invested heavily in a revitalized urban core. I'm not saying that Portland's accomplishments aren't noteworthy, but what is the final cost? If you knew that the aerial tram and SW waterfront project would put the taxpayers on the line for $100M+, would you have supported it? If Portland has to start closing parks and schools in the coming years due to budget problems, will it seem like a worthwhile investment? It's easy to save when times are good and negotiate from a position of strength when times are bad. It's harder to go into debt when times are good and ask for more debt when times are bad. The die is cast...
I am greatly concerned, in the latter half of the video Sam Adams is shown on his bicycle, at night, seemingly lacking proper lighting on his non-motorized vehicle. The makings of a scandal? I dunno, some frame by frame analysis may be needed.
I find it interesting there's no straight-forward "issues" page on his site. I would like to know what he plans to do for N/NE Portland, other than ride his bicycle through it and drink coffee in some yuppie hangout joint.
God, we are doomed! After 15 years of slumbering away as Vera's chief grind and a commissioner, now he has a plan to make this a better place - After he screwed it up.
Just keep watching this video as you drive thru potholes and collapsed sewers to pay your $200/month water/sewer bill. This is the only solution Mr Adams has.
Portland's greatness comes from its people and, once in a great while, an inspired leader. I find Sam Adams both uninspiring and uninspired. He's gay, works hard, and rides a bike. Me to--so big deal. Here are my suggested adds for his vacuous agenda:
Lead on the issue of fixing schools
Make and start executing a plan to bury all the f--king power, phone, and cable wires
Build, widen, or decongest a freeway in my lifetime
Repave roads that are disintegrating (like Holgate)
Outlaw studded snow tires or put a $40,000 permit fee on them.
Have police park their Crown Vic and walk down a street once a shift.
Build some more neat buildings and stuff that is fun to look at.
Be willing to roll over well-connected special interests once in a while when they are acting purely from self-interest (e.g. Burnside SHOULD be a 1-way couplet). Get a backbone, Sam!
(PS being crabby doesn't = a backbone)
Extra for pedantic prigs: please note that "me to" should be "me too".
I'm surprised he had the audacity to focus on a massive pothole. Patch and go. Problem solved.
Billions for light rail, but not one thin dime for neighborhood streets and sidewalks. You need to form a LID if you want to improve your neighborhood.
But OHSU gets a three year extension on their operating costs cap, in a backroom deal that wasn't even submitted to the full council.
Not to worry: Sam is raising his own eggs, and he even bikes to work in a tie. Life is good.
I loved the video. I've grown really tired of most political videos, but I feel like I really learned something about Sam Adams by watching this. I had already read about his policy positions, which are great, but the video conveyed something special. (although I do wonder this - can you really get away with shaving when you are already dressed without getting beard clippings everywhere??)
Seriously, Unit. On what measures has Portland done better than Seattle in the past quarter century? I don't mean this as a dig on Portland, but if you look at comparable figures, Seattle has done a lot better (e.g. quality of schools, level of unemployment, diversity of economy).
Property taxes are lower, corporate receipts are higher, higher education is superior.
Let's be honest, the creative/slacker class comes to Portland. The creative/entrepeneur class comes to Seattle.
I haven't heard anything from Adams's campaign that addresses that. It may not be on his agenda, but the way this economy is going, I wish it was.
I wonder if I called in all the potholes here in East Portland if they would be fixed anytime this century. Ugh...Sam unfortunately is just like the rest of them it seems to me.
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