Big news tonight in Portland city races: AFSCME Local 189, the largest city employee union with 940 members, has endorsed Jefferson Smith for mayor and Mary Nolan for city commissioner.
From the press release (with paragraphs re-ordered):
"Jefferson has been working with us in the legislature to move a progressive agenda protecting voting rights and creating transparency in government. Additionally, he carried the bill that directed state agencies to cut middle management and direct the budget to go to front line services. With potential cuts on the horizon at the City, this resonates with our members," said Local Vice President, Mark Gipson
"As a State Representative Jefferson Smith has a proven track record of consensus building, without compromising on important issues such as protecting voting rights, and creating transparency in government. He has shown through his work to limit middle management and focus budgets on front line services that he is willing to challenge the status quo."
"Eileen is an interesting candidate... many of our members liked her. In the end we felt she was untested ..."
Members also appreciated that Charlie Hales was willing to reach out and participate in the endorsement process have conversations with them. However, many of the members were seeking a change in leadership...
On the city commissioner race:
Mary Nolan was chosen over the incumbent, Amanda Fritz, for her experience working at the city, her work on Ways and Means at the State Legislature and her consistent record of standing up for all working families. Although many of the members working at the Bureau of Emergency Communications and Office of Neighborhood Involvement were supportive of Amanda, the call for change at City Hall combined with Mary's record of support for working people was ultimately persuasive.
AFSCME Local 189 also endorsed Steve Novick.
A final important note from the press release: "Local 189's endorsement paves the way for AFSCME Council 75 to endorse."
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And The Portland Mercury.