Jim Middaugh: Why I'm Running

By Jim Middaugh of Portland, Oregon. Jim is a candidate for the Portland City Council.

I’m Jim Middaugh, and I’m running for Portland City Council Position 2 because I’ve got the experience, independence, creativity and history of getting things done for Portland that we need to make our city even better than it is today.

I helped create a community grants program to strengthen our schools. I partnered with business to cut red tape at South Waterfront. I cut my own budget by more than a million dollars while bringing salmon back to Portland. I helped find new resources for housing and the homeless. I teamed with our universities to search for local solutions to global warming.

I serve on the Columbia River Gorge Commission, where I’ve stood against proposed development that would scar our scenic area. I was co-chair of my neighborhood. I volunteer in my kids’ schools. And, I’ve served Oregon on behalf of two members of Congress – Jim Weaver and Peter DeFazio. I’ve consistently demonstrated the candor, courage and creativity needed to make our city greater. My independence, experience, and passion for Portland will allow me to deliver results on the day I take office.

Our city is great because we agree about our values. We value things that are green, progressive, affordable and open to all. We value the voices of regular Portlanders just as much as the voices of the rich and powerful. We’ve succeeded in maintaining these values largely because we’ve had a string of bold visionaries who turned them into policies that work. It’s one thing to want to be a leader on the environment or affordable housing. It’s another thing entirely to navigate multiple layers of government and business and to get your colleagues to agree with you. To be the Portland we want to be, we need elected leaders who are committed to our values, and who have the practical experience, independence and creativity to turn them into action. I will be that leader.

But don’t just take my word for it. Ask Erik Sten, Peter DeFazio, Jim Weaver, Elizabeth Furse, the Oregon League of Conservation Voters, Stand for Children, SEIU, NARAL, BRO, the Multnomah County Democratic Party, the Portland Mercury, the Northwest Examiner or any of the hundreds of other people who are listed as supporters on my web page – www.jimforportland.com. You can also ask any of the 1,700 people who contributed $5 and their signatures in record time to get my campaign up and running. I’m the only publicly financed candidate in this race, which means I’ll never answer to anyone but the people of Portland.

I know that there are a lot of important races in this election, and you have a lot of decisions to make on your ballot. I hope that you will decide to vote for me, Jim Middaugh, for Portland City Council position 2.

  • Blake C Hickman (unverified)

    Already voted for ya! Good luck!

  • (Show?)

    This was a fun video to watch.

    I think it would be fabulous if we had video of all candidates at the door.

  • (Show?)

    This video is vintage Jim Middaugh--a dedicated Portlander, good neighbor, big thinker and all-around nice guy. We'd be well-served to have him on Council.

  • Logan Gilles (unverified)

    Jim: Good luck, vote's in the mail (as they say).

    BlueO folks: Were all candidates for this race offered an opportunity to post here?

  • joel dan walls (unverified)

    I would have answered "Why I'm Running" here along the lines of "because my good buddy Erik Sten tipped me off and then timed his retirement REALLY carefully so that I would be the only guy who'd have an easy time qualifying for public financing." But then I'm obviously a bitter white guy.

  • Kathleen Gardipee (unverified)


    I have known Jim for years and I can attest that he is nothing if not honest. He has a lot of integrity. I've seen him tell the truth when the truth is the last thing people want to hear.

    The reason he was able to qualify for public financing is because he has an incredible network of friends and supporters.

    Take my word and move on from this "distraction." He will make a great City Commissioner.

  • the other kevin (unverified)

    joel dan walls, not so much a bitter white guy, more of a slandering opportunistic assweed. the lies that you just offered up have been refuted, and evidence of jim's signature collecting and the time in which it was accomplished are transparent and available to anyone interested in the truth. i realize that a groundswell of grassroots support may seem unlikely to a humorless dimwit, but it actually happened.

  • (Show?)

    But don’t just take my word for it. Ask Erik Sten, Peter DeFazio, Jim Weaver, Elizabeth Furse, the Oregon League of Conservation Voters, Stand for Children, SEIU, NARAL, BRO, the Multnomah County Democratic Party, the Portland Mercury, the Northwest Examiner or any of the hundreds of other people who are listed as supporters on my web page – www.jimforportland.com.

    Jim, the endorsement from the Multnomah County Democrats included a stipulation that in publicizing it you would indicate that it was part of a multiple endorsement. I see that some of the others listed above are listed on your website as dual endorsements or green lights, rather than as sole preferences expressed by the respective organizations. (You even list one "duel" endorsement.)

    Please correct your post as regards the Multnomah Democrats.

  • (Show?)

    Jim's also supported by Bike. Walk. Vote.

    Jim's an incredibly smart, progressive, experienced guy who will do a great job once we make sure he's elected.

    Go Jim!

  • joel dan walls (unverified)

    On Thursday, April 3rd, city council candidate for seat #2, Jim Middaugh, offered a candid insight into his political aspirations. Middaugh knew his boss Erik Sten was going to resign "around Thanksgiving." He shared this during a videotaped candidate interview at the Willamette Week, in front of his opponents, and WW editorial staff.

    It seems that the city auditor may have known well in advance, too.

    Sten's public announcement came after the winter holidays. There was practically no time for any aspirants to collect signatures to qualify for public financing. But as Middaugh had been tipped off weeks earlier...no problemo.

    If this is Sten/Middaugh ethics, I want to stay as far away as possible.

    And no, I don't work for Fish.

  • Deborah Kafoury (unverified)

    As I spoke with Erik Sten about the possibility of running for his open City Council seat in the beginning of January, and he offered me his support if I chose to do so, I really don't believe that Jim had already decided to run at that time.

  • Jim Middogg (unverified)

    I'm Erik Sten's Chief of Staff, and I'm running because he asked me to, and he made it possible for me to fund my campaign with $230,000 of your tax dollars. Even though I knew he was going to quit, I didn't decide to run for office until my boss notified the media, because that wouldn't be fair.

    I like to ride my bike, and help salmon, and homeless people and everything green. I haven't lived in Portland very long, but I'm a short-distance carpet bagger.

    I hate George Bush, and Enron, and bottled water, and Hummers (the car kind), and people who drive to work.

  • Mary Carroll (unverified)

    I've been volunteering on Jim's campaign and it's been great seeing a wide network of supporters from all over Portland get involved in this race. From the 1700+ people who each gave $5 and a signature, to the bikers who did the bike canvass, the volunteers who call senior citizens every day, and the friends of JIm who are doing the visibility on the bridges during the week. This is a classic grassroots campaign on behalf of a candidate who will be responsive to constituents, and who will great on affordable housing, the environment and sustainability.
    Boo to the pitiful conspiracy cretins.

  • Jay Ward (unverified)

    To Middog, I don't know what you consider to be very long, but I've known Jim ever since he came to Portland, which if memory serves was around 1992.

    While I only knew Jim casually at that time, I did end up getting to know him better when we served on the board of a conservation group starting in 96.

    If you've ever served on a board, you know that much of the board's work is pretty mundane stuff, hiring executive staff, development work, budgeting, strategic planning.....well, you get the idea.

    In the 2 years that I served with Jim, I found him to have very sharp mind, an eye for detail and a tendency to study the hell out of an issue before weighing in. That, and a very dry sense of humor.

    Since our board service together, we have occasionally crossed paths, and everything I've observed leads me to the conclusion that he would be a fantastic addition to the Council.

    At a recent Q and A I attended, he was as versed in the challenges facing Portland's schools and neighborhoods as he was the minutiae of the Columbia River Crossing project. From his time working with Portland's endangered species program, he's developed a deep and nuanced understanding of the problems facing the lower Willamette Superfund site, and had some innovative proposals for moving past our current gridlock so that the river can be safe for people, commerce and wildlife.

    While his chief opponent is a good Democrat, with significant downtown connections, I have no doubt whatsoever, that Jim would be a superior commissioner, and that Portland would be better off with Jim in City Hall.

    Which is probably why I voted for him last week.

  • Dina (unverified)

    I'm voting for Jim, but I've gotta say that seeing one of his supporters publicly call those who question what admittedly looks like convenient timing, to say the least, "pitiful conspiracy cretins" doesn't elevate the discourse, address the concerns, or flatter the candidate.

guest column

connect with blueoregon