Caleb or Saltzman? Saltzman!

Charlie Burr

The Portland Children's Levy absolutely would not have happened without Dan and the political capital he put into it.

As mentioned in another post, the Portland City Council race between Dan Saltzman, Nick Caleb, Joe Meyer, and Leah Marie Dumas has become more interesting than we might have thought. In part, credit should go to Caleb, who borrowed a page from a Seattle City Council race in focusing on raising the minimum wage to $15 for Portland. As raised early on, that would actually be counter to Oregon law, which preempts local jurisdictions from raising their wage floor higher than the statewide wage, but it's stimulated an important conversation that I hope continues no matter what the outcome Tuesday.

But to claim that Saltzman is simply a status quo incumbent or coasting into his endorsements simply on the argument of experience alone runs counter to reality.

Dan Saltzman is my choice precisely because he has never been satisfied with the status quo -- especially when it comes to making an impact in the lives of Portlanders.

As the author and continuing driving force behind the Portland Children's Levy, Dan delivered desperately-needed resources to help kids -- especially foster children -- succeed in school through early childhood education and mentoring, while fighting child abuse, neglect and hunger. The measure absolutely would not have happened with Dan and the political capital he put into it.

Dan is also making a difference in people's lives in his new role as Housing Commissioner. Almost immediately upon taking the assignment, Dan helped deliver $1.7 million to help people on the streets as a harsh winter approached. Moreover, he's committed to building more affordable units per dollar and helping drive affordable housing throughout the city so that people can have actual choices about where they want to live.

Speaking of housing and the built environment, I hope people realize Dan's leadership in supporting our green building industry with the creation of the Office of Sustainable Development more than a decade ago. Sure, today green buildings are a dime a dozen, but there's no doubt that Dan's work helped Portland get ahead of the curve on climate change, energy efficiency and better building design.

When it comes to creating more opportunity for people around the city, Dan has been making a difference LONG before the campaign. He joined Portland Community College Board more than 25 years ago, helping make it one of our community's most important institutions in giving people a shot at economic opportunity and a better life. Dan insisted on a living wage for Civic Stadium as a condition for city help and has long been a supporter of a strong minimum wage. And Dan has helped victims of domestic violence and their children with the Gateway Center for Domestic Violence Services to ensure their safety and address their long-term needs.

Dan is also the least likely Commissioner to accept the argument "that's just the way things are done." He's not flashy, but Dan's the one making a difference for those who really need it.

This is an easy call. Vote Dan Saltzman for Portland City Council.

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