Four City Unions Endorse Nolan and Novick for Council, but Hold Off on Mayor's Race

Portland Mercury:

In a convincing and somewhat unusual display of labor solidarity, leaders from four local unions stood outside Portland City Hall and announced their picks in two city council races next year: State Representative Mary Nolan and former U.S. Senate candidate Steve Novick. The picks came from the Portland Police Association and the Portland Firefighters Association, and locals from the International Brotherhood of Electrical Workers and the International Longshore and Warehouse Union. The announcement, wrapped in language about creating middle class jobs in Portland, appeared to also come down to who would most support city workers (and pensions) at a time of big budget cuts and presumed layoffs. "This is the first time these unions have stood together" and announced a joint pick like this, said Jeff Smith of ILWU's Local 8. The unions pointedly did not offer an endorsement in the mayoral race and said they would still welcome a fourth candidate alongside New Seasons co-founder Eileen Brady, State Representative Jefferson Smith, and former City Commissioner Charlie Hales. "We have yet to see any real tangible things we consider as strong evidence they support the working class," said Joe Esmonde, of IBEW's Local 48, later adding that the Columbia River Crossing remains the "number one" issue as the trade unions weigh that race. Without it, he said, there won't be tax revenue "to build all those bike lanes. There's a direct correlation." (Smith might otherwise be the labor darling in the mayor's race, but he refuses to toe the line on paying big bucks for a boondoggle like the CRC.) [ Subscribe to the comments on this story ]

Read the full article here. Discuss below.

  • (Show?)

    I'm really disappointed in Esmonde's statement that they have seen no evidence that these candidates "support the working class." What he meant to say, I believe, is that they had 1 candidate -- Jefferson Smith -- who is clearly champion for the working class, but the union will not endorse him because he is not willing to rubber stamp a $3.6 billion project with a questionable funding mechanism, and whose costs are likely to run a whole lot higher.

    Jefferson is demonstrating actual courage on that issue, and I suspect that the city's voters will reward him, even if some political bosses do not.

connect with blueoregon