On March 10, Jules Bailey, Sarah Iannarone and Ted Wheeler addressed the social justice issues facing the city of Portland. Here are some of the positions expressed by the candidates at this forum:
What is the most important role of the mayor in reforming the police?
Bailey: To provide leadership and to hold the police accountable, also to push for more progress in implementing the DOJ settlement.
Iannarone: To rebuild community trust in the police, to change police culture to have the first actively anti-racist police force in the nation.
Wheeler: To change police force from law enforcement to a problem solving agency, to emphasize community policing and police accountability.
Will you negotiate to remove the 48-hour rule from the police contract?
Bailey: Move slowly away the 48-hour rule.
What is your vision of a city bureau that assists small minority business owners?
Bailey: Proposes a new bureau that brings together assistance offered from other development agencies.
Iannarone: Proposes a concierge service to help emerging businesses navigate small business services.
Will you support the work of the independently elected auditor?
How will you ensure that more city contracts go to minority contractors?
Wheeler: Use more community benefit agreements in city projects. Calls out the Portland Building project where only one percent of the contracts have been awarded to women and minority contractors.
What are you going to do about housing and homelessness?
Bailey: Open more beds for the homeless, link homeless services with mental health and transition services.
Iannarone: City needs housing plan that reflects needs, to invest in public housing and to support and empower intentional communities like Hazelnut Grove to solve their problems.
Wheeler: Increase Tax-increment financing to go to affordable housing, streamline the design review, permitting and inspection processes and change the zoning so it is more flexible.
Would you support a sidewalk ordinance that would not allow people to sit or lie on the streets?
What would you do to ensure that drug users and small time peddlers don’t end up in jail?
Bailey: The city needs to improve the network of care for those in crisis. More options for those who need behavioral health help.
Iannarone: The city needs to stop criminalizing poverty. We need to strengthen the social safety nets.
Wheeler: The city needs to have a robust mental health delivery system and to look deeper into addiction and mental health issues.
Would you support a safe injection site?
Bailey: Yes, if it was placed in a larger network of social services.
Wheeler: He would look at it, if it was backed by data, it should be pursued.
How would you address the disproportionate criminal justice treatment of African American people?
Bailey: Acknowledge racial bias and talk about White privilege, to have staff and bureau directors who reflect communities of color.
Iannarone: Acknowledge implicit biases, work to be an actively anti-racist city.
Wheeler: Work to correct implicit biases, hire police officers from the black community.