Jesse Cornett: Why I'm Running

By Jesse Cornett of Portland, Oregon. Jesse is a candidate for Portland City Council. Learn more at JesseCornett.com

I’m Jesse Cornett and I’m running for the Portland City Council.

Many of you know me. I’m proud to have been one of the three co-founders of BlueOregon, along with Jeff Alworth and Kari Chisholm.

Why I’m running
I’m running for City Council because Portland deserves proactive leadership that ensures our great city is a leader in the nation. During these difficult times, City Hall needs to focus on education, jobs, and safe neighborhoods. My priorities:

And while every candidate talks about education, jobs, and public safety, here’s what we know: Electing the same people again and again isn’t a way to deliver on change. To change the direction of our city, we have to change the hands on the steering wheel. Now is the time to move Portland forward, and I am the right person to do it.

What else should you know about me?
I’m the first college graduate in my family; I also earned a Master’s of Public Administration from PSU in 2003. Right out of graduate school, I worked with Oregon’s Secretary of State Bill Bradbury where I oversaw the process to develop one of the most transparent systems of campaign finance reporting in the nation. Most recently, I worked for Portland State University, ensuring our students get a quality education at the lowest possible tuition.

Some of you also know that I was a co-founder of the Oregon Bus Project. From the initial planning meetings, to actively volunteering during the first election cycle, I was honored to have been a part of the Bus Project and have been a vocal supporter ever since. In the several years that the Bus Project has been active, thousands of young people have been engaged in the political process, and thousands more have been registered to vote.

If you’d like to read my full bio, please visit my campaign website. I’m someone who has been deeply engaged in action and I feel good about the work I’ve put into improving my community. I don’t just talk about what I’m going to do, I do it. From my involvement with the Army and National Guard to being a reserve deputy sheriff, I work hard to make a difference.

Now I’d like to roll up my sleeves and go to work for Portlanders, and improve our government at the city level. I know that with your help, this endeavor is sure to be a success.

How you can help
For my campaign to be a success, I need your help. I have until January 29th to gather one thousand $5 contributions in order to qualify for public financing. If you are a registered voter in the City of Portland, I hope you will consider making a contribution.

We’re throwing an event at the Lucky Lab this Saturday, January 23rd from 6-9 pm. Please come by and meet me, tell me what you think Portland should be doing, and take a moment to hear my thoughts. If you like what I have to say, I hope you’ll contribute $5 to help me qualify.

I look forward to talking with you, and together, we will move Portland forward!

Comments

  • (Show?)

    Editor's note: While we're proud of Jesse's role in helping found BlueOregon, we're following our usual practice -- and he's not a regular contributor to the site while he's a candidate in a competitive race.

    As we've done several times before, we'll offer each candidate in this race the opportunity to post a single "Why I'm Running" guest column.

    In addition, campaigns are always welcome to share their news or send along other proposed guest columns - and we'll evaluate those items in our normal content flow.

  • Supporting kids (unverified)
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    Supporting Saltzman.

  • Castlerock (unverified)
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    You look a lot like Kari, Jesse. Are you guys related?

  • northwest23rd (unverified)
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    Jesse, In order to be effective in Portland - you have to adopt the motto: "Keep Portland Weird"

    Randy has his solar-powered public toilets, armed water guards, graffiti walls.

    Dan has his sexual minorities round-table cause.

    Sam has the Boy Scout angle covered.

    Jesse - you need to find your Progressive cause - locate that inner weirdness that keeps Portland on the Map. I am not suggesting you break the law, but push the limits of Weirdness and socialism, that's what Portland is about. That's what keeps us on the Map.

  • mp97303 (unverified)
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    Jesse,

    Please elaborate on the reasons why you think Portland is NOT a good city for small businesses and elaborate on what you want to do to change that.

  • Logan Gilles (unverified)
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    I'll see you Saturday nite!

  • Robert Collins (unverified)
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    Jesse,

    You have fallen into the trap set by Dan Saltzman and all incumbent Portland city commissioners since Erik Sten dreamed up this public financing scheme.

    You cannot win!

    Even if you get the 150K in public financing, which is unlikely, Saltzman will say he will limit his campaign to 150K, but he will, whoops, how did that happen?, spend 160 or 170K on his campaign. That's half or less what he would have to spend if he had a challenger that was funded in the traditional fashion. And in an even money race the incumbent rolls right over you, and all others.

    And he will trounce you, and all other challengers.

    You are jousting with windmills, man.

    Erik Sten was possibly the brightest politician Portland has seen in the last couple of decades. He dreamed up this public financing scheme because he knew it would prevent any challengers from taking him out. The only reason he resigned mid-term is because of the legislature's new financial disclosure regulations. He had to get out quick, because of the skeletons in his closet, like maybe sweetheart deals with Walsh and Hoffman construction.

    The only opportunity for a publicly financed candidate to win a seat on the city council is for them to be going for an open seat.

    Save your energy and save yourself some stress. Forget about it for now. Wait until there is an open seat.

  • anon (unverified)
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    And for Kari Chisholm, who disclaims, "I designed every democratic politician's website but I am speaking only for myself", you are a disingenous opportunist who uses this site to shamelessly promote your own business. You should be ashamed of yourself. But I don't think that's possible, because you are without conscience.

  • (Show?)

    It sounds especially cynical to call this public financing system merely an incumbent protection racket when it allows for a tremendous amount of time for discourse.

    I'll be there on Saturday night, Jesse. I hope to see many of my fellow BlueOregon readers there, too.

  • Robert Collins (unverified)
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    Well, Ben D., we'll just see when the election results come in. Care to put any money where your mouth is?

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    Robert C - i've put my money where my mouth is: 5 bucks each to Jesse, Mary & Jason. i support the system, and all 3 candidates (to differing degrees). snark & cynicism may feel good, but their effect on the political system? dick. all the public financing does is get candidates money. they still have to run a campaign to win. that's why Jesse will be our next City Cmsr, retiring Dan Saltzman.

  • (Show?)

    Well, anon, you don't have to read it. Thanks for dropping by!

  • Tim McCafferty (unverified)
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    Hey Jesse; You have put on some weight since last I saw you. I hope your canvassing it off. I wish I could be out, and about knocking on doors with you, but I'm canvassing for WorkingAmerica as I was unemployed.

    I stand in support of Jesse Cornett for City Council because the man that knock on my door running for State Senate sparked an enthusiasm I wanted to be associated with, and a Progressive sensibility I could embrace.

    Happy Campaigning and Victory to you;

    Tim McCafferty

  • Mrs M (unverified)
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    Jesse,

    I don't know if I could support you or not quite yet. Your list of priorities sounds much like you may have just copied down an agenda from the same old template, then bulleted each of them for us.

    MP asked a great question above about expanding some about small business. I would suggest that you give much more detail on each of your listed talking points. For instance, of course we all want to reduce homelessness, but where is your plan on how to do it? Is it in print somewhere or will you be delivering this information during the upcoming weeks. If so, I would suggest some real specificity if you want to gain support.

    Thanks for running. It takes guts, and that is always a plus in my book.

  • Zarathustra (unverified)
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    Jesse and Mary for me. Give Jesse the kewpie doll for having actually done something progressive regarding campaign financing, at precisely the moment that we need such an example.

    As for Jason, his non-response to the sincere responses last time he posted here is exactly what I would expect from Dan the man or Sam the sham.

    Posted by: Kari Chisholm | Jan 21, 2010 4:38:12 PM

    Editor's note: While we're proud of Jesse's role in helping found BlueOregon, we're following our usual practice -- and he's not a regular contributor to the site while he's a candidate in a competitive race.

    I'll never get your editorial decisions. After proving the point over the last month that this is a blog and many kinds of objectivity don't enter into it, why go the other way? Two out of three posts for two months promote your position on the measures, but when a co-founder runs for office it's objective for him not to post? Besides, Jesse has said that he doesn't have managerial say on the blog, he's just another contributor. In fact the surest way for a guest contributor to get published here is to run for office. Just doesn't add up that it works the opposite for someone that once had a say in the day to day management.

    Of course that's entirely different from voluntary non-participation. I though Karol was smart not to post when her possible appointment was in play. Of course, she does have day to day control.

  • (Show?)

    Z, having a candidate for public office have direct access to our pages may put our legal status at risk. It's not an editorial choice; it's a legal one.

    I'm no lawyer, and we don't have a pricey law firm on retainer, so we act with an abundance of caution.

    As for the SD-22 appointment: when that was underway, all three candidates - Karol, Jo Ann, and Chip - were contributors... and we followed our rule then, too.

  • (Show?)

    Two out of three posts for two months promote your position on the measures

    Oh, and on that: BlueOregon doesn't have a position on the measures. Many of our individual contributors do, of course. BlueOregon is a collection of bits and pixels. It doesn't have political opinions. The humans who write in this space, of course, are welcome to discuss theirs at length.

  • Anon (unverified)
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    Jesse - your site is low on specifics, so I'm hoping you can answer some more detailed questions.

    • What specifically will you be coordinating in your approach to spur business development?

    • How will you make Portland known as a business-friendly city? Aside from quality of life, what would you use in your pitch for business enticement and retention?

    • How will you pay for cleanup of polluted sites?

    • With all this talk of business, do you know you're starting to sound like a Republican?

    • What would you do to increase cleanliness in a relatively clean city and safety in one of America's safest cities?

    • Why are you running against Dan Saltzman?

  • anon (unverified)
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    Gratuitous personal attacks removed. -editor

  • Bob Tiernan (unverified)
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    Where does Jesse Cornett stand on the subject of sports corporate welfare?

    Bob Tiernan Portland

  • Nick P. (unverified)
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    "Business" is always more important to Dems than workers. And people wonder why I don't vote for them.

  • Zarathustra (unverified)
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    How's the 1000 coming?

  • bellu (unverified)
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    GOOD job ,HAHA

  • James Cook (unverified)
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    If you're concerned about local jobs and development, why are you "holding office hours from 2-4" at Seattle's Best?

    I noticed that Jesse isn't responding to any of these posts, so I suppose I'm just addressing a wall anyway.

    ~ JC

  • Steve Marx (unverified)
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    "to focus on education, jobs, and safe neighborhoods"

    Besides spending a lot of time in school, what actual experience have you had with any of the above? You know like practical knowledge and not sitting on a committee parroting the same ideas of the current regime?

    I hate to say this, but Saltzman is looking better - At least he has had a real job once.

  • Zarathustra (unverified)
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    I noticed that Jesse isn't responding to any of these posts, so I suppose I'm just addressing a wall anyway.

    ~ JC

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