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By Helen Silvis of The Skanner News
Published: 09 January 2013

Portland's new mayor and city commissioner are settling into their offices in City Hall, and they're bringing a whole new set of staffers with them.

So far, both Charlie Hales and Steve Novick are going light on staff; Hales has hired 13, Novick, three. That's compared to former Mayor Sam Adams, who had 25 people working for him. Here's the who's who of the new faces at Portland City Hall.

Charlie's Wranglers

Chief of Staff:  Gail Shibley

With a degree in politics from the University of Oregon, a law degree from Lewis and Clark College and a certificate in Environmental studies from Harvard, Shibley is not only one of the best educated political operatives in town, she's also one of the best connected. Under Earl Blumenauer, she headed up Portland's Transportation Bureau, before winning election to the Oregon Legislature and becoming the state's first openly gay representative.

Gail Shibley

Shibley has national political experience at the federal departments of transportation and labor. Closer to home, she worked for Gov. Ted Kulongoski's political campaign. Shibley made a Portland City Commissioner bid in 2004, but lost to Jim Francesconi. Hales describes her as a "nice mixture of smile and steel."

Executive assistant to Mayor Hales: Cevero Gonzalez

Gonzalez knows his way around City Hall since he worked in the Adams administration. A Pacific Lutheran graduate, he previously worked for Harvard Business School and a Portland law firm.

Executive assistant to Gail Shibley: Lauren King

King, a lawyer who is leaving a job in Portland's Office of Management and Finance, spent three months as an intern with the city, and helped write the ordinance banning plastic bags.

Policy director: Joshua Alpert

Yet another attorney in the house. Alpert was a policy advisor to Hales when he was a City Commissioner and ran for Hales vacated City Commissioner seat in 2002. Hales endorsed him, but he lost to Randy Leonard. He's been a strong supporter of women's reproductive rights (NARAL and Planned Parenthood.) Most recently he was the Northwest Conservation Strategies Director with The Trust for Public Land. Just don't light up around Alpert. He once worked for a Nonsmokers Rights organization.

Communications director: Dana Haynes

Haynes is a 20-year veteran of Oregon newsrooms—where he was a reporter, columnist and editor. He then went to Portland Community College where he was Public Affairs Manager for four years. But in addition to his high-profile jobs, Haynes is a successful author who has written five thrillers. Let's hope working at City Hall doesn't drive him to Breaking Point. His next novel, Ice Cold Kill will be out this year.


Policy director: Baruti Artharee 

Baruti Artheree co-hosting the comedy "Let's talk Church"

Organizational development, management and diversity consultant, Baruti Artharee has held high-profile positions at Coast Janitorial, the Portland Development Commission and Providence Health.  He will join Hales' staff in February. In 2011, Artheree co-starred in "Let's Talk Church" produced at Portland's Winningstad Theatre. Will his experience acting in a comedy help him rise above the fray at City Hall?

Policy director: Ed McNamara

McNamara is a property developer who has worked in both the private and nonprofit sectors for the last three decades.  His Turtle Island Development Company builds affordable, energy efficient rental housing close to public transit. In 2009, the former executive director for REACH Community Development was chosen to develop controversial projects in Lents town center. "This is a (developer) who can calm these people down," Lents area resident David Hyde told the Daily Journal of Commerce.

Grace Uwagbae, (left) with Chabre Vickers and Blake Dye at an Urban League Young Professionals event in 2011

Constituent relations manager: Grace Uwagbae

 Staying on after working for Mayor Adams, Uwagbae will be Hales first point of contact with the public. She is a native Oregonian who attended Grant High School, earned a degree in Politics from Lewis & Clark College, and has been active in the Urban League of Portland's Young Professionals. In 2011, when a senior citizen had a tax problem with Portland's revenue bureau, Uwagbae sorted it out in no time, says Skanner News editor Lisa Loving. She also likes to tweet. Follow her on Twitter at @GracieO_says

Policy assistant:  Matthew Robinson

Robinson most recently worked as a policy associate with the housing nonprofit Portland Community Reinvestment Initiatives Inc. He is a University of Texas law school graduate.

Policy director: Noah Siegel

Siegel is another holdover from the staff of Mayor Sam Adams, where he was international relations director. A Tufts University graduate, he previously worked for the Foreign Service at the U.S. Department of State. Siegel's excellent policy credentials include this zinger, broadcast on Twitter: "You should never say "amazeballs." Ever. http://slate.me/TsbuZv" Are you listening Grace Uwagbae?

Policy assistant: Chad Stover

Stover also worked in international affairs for Mayor Sam Adams. The Portland State University graduate formerly taught Japanese language in the U.S. Navy.

Front desk receptionist: Rachael Wiggins

Wiggins come to City Hall from the schools nonprofit All Hands Raised, where she was a team coordinator.

Director, Office of Youth Violence Prevention: Antoinette Edwards

One of the many stunning  looks of Antoinette Edwards

A 2009 Gladys McCoy award winner, Edwards came to the position after the sudden death of Rob Ingram in 2011. Previously she was Director of Public Safety for Mayor Adams. Under Edwards the office has increased collaboration among the uneasy coalition of agencies that work with troubled youth.

Policy manager, Office of Youth Violence Prevention: Tom Peavey

A former police officer with a deep knowledge of Portland's efforts to reduce gang violence, Peavey has a track record of putting in that extra mile.

Turning to Commissioner Novick here are:

Portland City Commissioner Steve Novick

Steve's Sidekicks

Chief of Staff: Chris Warner

Warner joins Novick's team after serving as Chief of Staff to Multnomah County Commissioner Loretta Smith. He started out as a UO Journalism graduate, but for 20 years he has worked in politics and policy. As Transportation Advisor for Gov. Kulongoski, he helped pass the state's largest-ever transportation initiative in 2009. He also directed Kulongoski's Economic Revitalization Team. Warner also has worked for Sen. Ron Wyden, Rep. Peter DeFazio, former Rep. Elizabeth Furse and former Secretary of State Phil Keisling. D'ya think he's a Democrat?

Policy Director: Katie Shriver

Katie Shriver has a master's degree in Urban and Regional Planning from Portland State. Her career so far includes advising Oregon Democrats on health care and housing as well as economic development and transportation. She's worked for the Oregon Legislature, Metro, the Oregon Community Foundation, and the U.S. House of Representatives. From Ohio, Shriver is a fan of running, hiking and cycling.

Bryan Hockaday

Scheduler and Policy Advisor: Bryan Hockaday

A UP Politics graduate, Hockaday managed the Ron Herndon Scholarship Fund and the Scholarship Writing Workshop Series at the Black United Fund of Oregon. His career includes working for the Oregon Bus Project and Multnomah County's Summer Youth Connect program. Hockaday volunteers with Portland African American Leadership Forum and the Urban League of Portland Young Professionals.

Correction: This post originally mixed up left and right when identifying Grace Uwagbae in the photo above. Apologies.

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