What we accomplished, and what comes next.

We set out to show a better way of campaigning and governing. We lost the election, but we’re just getting started.

We came up short Tuesday night (aside: why do we vote on Tuesdays again?) and Councilor Duson won re-election. We congratulate Jill on her win and thank her for running an honest campaign.

But this campaign was always about more than the final vote tally. When I announced my candidacy in February, I vowed to myself and my supporters that this would be about much more than getting me elected. Instead I wanted this campaign to be a vehicle for highlighting the critical issues Portland faces and furthering new ideas.

And if that was the goal, we were successful beyond our wildest dreams.

  • In June, I moderated a book talk with the author of How to Kill a City (available for purchase from your local bookseller here), a new book about gentrification in American cities. Over a hundred people attended, and the topic was covered by the Portland Phoenix.
  • We helped created Portland’s first online, interactive city budget tool, to help Portland residents better understand how city government works.
  • We organized and hosted a mock Participatory Budgeting event, the first of its kind in Portland. Thirty people attended and learned about an alternative, more democratic way to decide how the city’s money is spent.
  • We kept the political conversation focused on affordable housing, gentrification and transportation.
  • Our campaign helped expose tactics that we do not want to take root in our local politics. We led by example with a campaign dedicated to strict ethics, transparency and honesty.
  • We were the first City Council campaign ever to refuse contributions from out-of-state bundlers, PACs, companies, and real-estate developers. We introduced the idea of municipal clean elections, to help get money out of local politics.
  • We ran an all-volunteer campaign that garnered 30% of the citywide vote with just a $13,000 budget, proving that you don’t need to take big money to reach voters. (In fact, we actually won the Peninsula in terms of overall votes, and won four out of five Peninsula precincts. At the fifth we placed second by just a handful of votes. That’s pretty cool.)
  • Perhaps most importantly, we brought together some of Portland’s most dedicated and intelligent activists and forged relationships that will bear fruit in the months and years to come.

The campaign may be over, but the work is not.

After we heard the results on election night, my supporters, my volunteers and I all agreed that the positive energy and activism we fostered must continue. We have some very exciting plans and you will be hearing more about those in the coming weeks and months. We’re just getting started.

Thank you to my family and friends who stood by me through difficult days. Thank you to my supporters for reading, sharing, listening, and speaking up. Thank you to the volunteers who worked countless hours on the campaign to spread our message.

And thank you, Portland, for giving me the opportunity to speak with you. It was an incredible honor.

— Joey