Spencer Burton: Building a strong foundation

By Spencer Burton of Portland, Oregon. Burton is a candidate for Portland City Council and is a professional stone mason. Learn more at Spencer Burton For Portland.

Over the holidays, I decided after a long internal debate, to back off my quest for 1,000 signatures and the matching $5 donations it takes to qualify for public funding, for my campaign, for Portland City Council this year.

Running for office as a working man is a challenge. Why? Because you have to earn a living. I'm a stone mason by profession. Last year wasn't a good year for me and my brother masons. Twice last year I spent my last two bucks. Twice last year I had to go to California to work, for a few weeks, because I couldn't find work here. I didn't know how I was going to earn a living during the election campaign. But I had faith that the universe would support me. I decided to run. On 9/9/09, the day I filed my papers for City Council, I got confirmation on a stone project in Eastmoreland. The first decent project of the year. But then I had to build it: over 600sqft of hand chiseled, three tiered Basalt stone walls. I tried to campaign and do stone work at the same time but it's hard to get into a rhythm as a first time candidate. So I pulled off the campaign to finish the stone project. It took me two months.

It was difficult initially to get comfortable asking people to sign a petition and give me $5 and make my pitch for Portland City Council. It took me awhile without contacts to figure out the best way of gathering signatures that works for me. Going from living the life of an educated independent stone mason to a vision of leading a city is a process of constant growth, refinement and operating outside of one's comfort zone. Then you got the winter and the holidays and the January 29th, deadline looming and I decided after a long internal debate that the ground wasn't right this year for me to make the push for public financing. I'm at peace with that. I know how to do it now.

I am committed to public service. I am making the connections, learning what I need to know to build a strong foundation and coalition for the change I wish to see.

I believe in public financing of campaigns. It gives a working man or woman an opportunity to be heard. I hope Portland will vote, in November, to keep the option of public financing available so that candidates with diverse back grounds, but with limited access to big money, can give voice to their hopes and dreams for our city. We need a champion of the common man and woman in government representing us at City Hall. Public funding of campaigns makes that dream a possibility.

I am and will continue to be a candidate for Portland City Council. We need new energetic leadership, to wake people up and gather people together to solve our problems collectively. We need a sense of urgency to put "visions into actions" and people back to work building the city we imagine it can be, with your hands and my hands, together you and me.

Help support a working man with a vision. I will be accepting campaign contributions at: Spencer Burton for Portland, P.O. Box 10883, Portland, OR 97296

  • Zarathustra (unverified)

    So, is your vision to take care of the day to day decisions in a more data driven way, and let order show itself, or do you have a macro plan for addressing different issues? Which issues, if so, do you consider the most pressing? What do you like the most and the least about the council you would be replacing? What do you consider your greatest strength?

  • Daaaaave (unverified)

    I'm confused. What is it you do for a living?

  • rw (unverified)

    It looks like we have one person doing a huge amount of comment spam under lots of different names.

  • Zarathustra (unverified)

    That's the same idiot that posts to Jenson's pieces always starting with "Comrade". That's why its such a priv to be banned/edited by BO. They leave crap like this- this one has been doing if for a year and a half- so when you have to be edited, you know you've hit paydirt.

  • Donnie (unverified)

    That is quite debatable theme. But as you have to become informed concerning strong foundations or receive a well done paper associated with it, you have to deal withprofessional essay writers

  • Zarathustra (unverified)

    See, "can I sell you an essay"? No edit. I post an image of a photshopped SC license plate, and it's edited inside 10 minutes.

    Gotta have your priorities, I guess.

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