Charlie Hales would be the strongest Portland Mayor for the environment

By Josh Alpert, Rep. Jules Bailey, Scott Fogarty, Scott Pratt and Zari Santner. Josh is the former director of Oregonians for Water, Parks and Wildlife. Jules is a Democrat that represents inner Southeast and Northeast Portland. Scott Fogarty is the executive director at Friends of Trees. Scott Pratt is an attorney and environmental activist. Zari is the former director of parks and recreation at the City of Portland.

Broad-based, coordinated efforts to protect our natural environment have helped make Portland the city we love today. Our next Mayor must continue this legacy, and expand the work to maintain our natural areas and green spaces. Our Mayor must aggressively protect and improve natural habitat, waterways, green infrastructure, the park system, and the funding needed to support these programs. We believe Charlie Hales would be the strongest Portland Mayor for the environment.

As Mayor, we know Charlie would prioritize:

Serving as a Mayor requires thoughtful action and bold leadership at every opportunity, every day. It means leading the City Council and the city’s residents towards specific environmental goals. It is more than legislating, and more than voting yes when the opportunity arises.

That’s the difference with Charlie. Charlie has delivered on behalf of the environment in our City– over and over. He led the efforts to expand public transportation, getting more cars off the road and lowering gasoline emissions. Charlie made the case for, and led passage of, the City’s first major parks measure in 50 years. Charlie fixed existing parks, built new ones in underserved areas, and constructed and restored neighborhood community centers for family recreation. Charlie raised private money for neighborhood parks and has planted hundreds of trees as part of Friends of Trees. He has made environmental protection a centerpiece of his campaign for Mayor.

Charlie believes it’s time for the city to begin cleaning up the Willamette River superfund site. He knows our use of coal is short-sighted, and he will push federal agencies to prohibit coal trains in the Portland area. Charlie supports local laws that protect natural areas from development and that put new business and industry into existing areas of need rather than fringe areas that may harm farm and forestland. He will guide more efforts to connect parks and natural areas through a trail system that provides public access and protects wildlife.

Charlie knows how to work with people to get things done and he knows that the Mayor is first among equals on the City Council. He knows that he must lead other Commissioners to accomplish common goals. We are confident that, with Charlie in charge, our unique environment will always be at the forefront of city priorities.

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    Smith's flip-flopping on the coal issue aside, Charlie Hales has a proven track record of championing the very projects that make Portland a green city. Where Jefferson talks about balancing the urban and natural landscapes, Charlie has actively supported parks by pushing through the first substantial bond measure in the city in over 50 years. He has helped Portland avoid the urban sprawl that erodes precious natural spaces by making sure that our city has mass transit and adheres to smart growth principles. In addition, Charlie is a coalition builder: he works from a broad base of support and is not beholden to one interest group over another.

    Charlie is a long-time supporter of green NGOs like Friends of Trees and spends his free bicycling, hiking and backpacking in wilderness areas. In other words, Charlie values the environment. His position isn't theoretical and it's not driven by political maneuvering; it's personal and unwavering.

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    let's recall, Jules Bailey endorsed Eileen Brady early in the campaign, last summer. that's because he knew she was the strongest environmental candidate for mayor. Sen Jackie Dingfelder & former Scty of State Bill Bradbury shared that assessment; both enthusiastically endorsed Brady.

    however, politics being what it is, Bailey has now decided to endorse one of the two finalists.

    but Charlie was not his first choice.

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    Seems to me it would be useful to hear either from Jefferson, or from one of his staff members, on each of the bullet points listed above, so that people can compare and contrast the positions. I would guess that they may not be that different, but would like to know.

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      to be fair, he has a 10-year record of elected office, which is more than twice Jefferson's. and the promotion of rail is working in sustainability (i love trains). so we do have a bit more than Charlie's words.

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    "As Mayor, we know Charlie would prioritize:"

    The answer is whatever benefits Charlie.

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    Give back the dirty coal money. That would increase the local perception that you're actually serious about the issue.

    It just doesn't leave a good taste in the mouth of people when you take lots of money from the coal guys, THEN call for campaign finance limits, and THEN criticize the other guy for not going far enough on coal.

    This sequence of events is just to unbelievable to be real. Except that we live in America, so it's the kind of stuff we've come to expect. "Just because I take money from interests doesn't mean they'll get special favors." Uh huh...

    Give the $ back and say it was a mistake. Otherwise, your words mean next to nothing.

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    You mean an alternative to transportation like a bike path to Astoria over a railroad right-of-way that the railroad says isn't going to happen?

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    I no longer live in Oregon and have no skin in this game, just an idle curiosity. But I chuckle as I read this. Am I so old that I am the only one left who remembers that Charlie Hales resigned from his City Council seat before the end of his term? That's all I would need to know if I had the misfortune of having to vote in this pathetic race for mayor. Portland, was this the best you could do? Go ahead Blue Oregon peeps, start trashing me.

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    This looks a lot like Friends of Trees, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, endorsing a candidate for office. FOT might want to double-check this couldn't be construed as electioneering.

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      The Executive of that organization is making the endorsement and not the organization. Mr. Fogarty doesn't lose his right to free speech just because he runs a non-profit.

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        This has nothing to do with "free speech." The Constitution protects individuals' rights to speak, against government restriction; private entities can restrict it, and most would expressly prohibit their executive directors from taking stands on issues that could be mis-construed as the organization's view.

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        Mr. Fogarty certainly has his right to free speech, but when his by-line specifically identifies him as the Executive Director of Friends of Trees and there is not a whiff of a disclaimer that he is speaking for himself, the implication is that Friends of Trees is behind the endorsement. To me, that looks very bad -- every training I've ever taken about 501(c)(3)s (from the Alliance for Justice and the Nonprofit Association of Oregon) has emphasized the impropriety of that kind of thing. It reads like Friends of Trees and Mr. Fogarty are trying to have their cake and eat it too.

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