Below are The Skanner News' midterm election endorsements for Oregon, Portland, and Multnomah county. Ballots must be submitted by 8 p.m. on May 19, 2020. Drop sites are listed here.
Use the return envelope included with your ballot and mail back by May 14, 2020. No postage is required. If you have any questions, you can contact the elections office at 503-988-3720.
US REPRESENTATIVE, DIST. 1
Bonamici has done an excellent job representing Oregon in Congress. She is a member of the climate action plan, has fought to reduce student debt and for lowering college costs. She voted to raise the federal minimum wage, introduced legislation to help workers by securing funding for workforce training. Bonamici is an advocate for early childhood education, paid family leave, and she wrote and passed the older Americans act that supports programs like meals on wheels. She will continue doing a great job for this state.
VOTE YES FOR BONAMICI.
US REPRESENTATIVE, DIST. 3
Blumenauer is a respected and experienced member of congress and is passionate about all the important issues facing Oregonians. Be it economic justice, expanding access to the ballot, gun violence legislation, affordable health care, he is on the leading edge. On housing he wants a tax credit, believes renters should pay no more than 30% of their income on rent, and is fighting for doubling funding for implementing the fair housing act. He works hard for his constituents and keeps in touch with them. He is a frequent and welcome presence in the community.
VOTE YES FOR BLUMENAUER.
U S REPRESENTATIVE, DIST. 5
Schrader has been an advocate for veterans’ rights: he is against home foreclosures, wants access to in-home care, and protects their retirement pay. He is a proponent of keeping dreamers in the U.S., expanding new skills education so people can get living-wage jobs and is a sponsor of the farm workforce modernization act that would allow legal residence in the U.S. For agricultural workers. He supports increased funding for pell grants and head start, and has supported lowering prescription drugs.
VOTE YES FOR SCHRADER.
OREGON STATE SENATOR, DIST. 14
As chair of transition projects, Lieber works tirelessly for solutions to housing for homeless people. She is also an educator who would bring an experienced voice to the legislature for people whose circumstances prevent them from being heard.
VOTE YES FOR LIEBER.
OREGON STATE SENATOR, DIST. 18
Ginny Burdick has been an effective leader in the Oregon Senate since 1987. She leads the fight for gun safety. She passed a bill to protect tenants’ rights, which capped rent increases, and helped pass the student success act, securing resources for Oregon's public schools. Burdick has been a leader on climate change and health care.
VOTE YES FOR BURDICK.
STATE REPRESENTATIVE, DIST. 46
A former Multnomah county chair, who was forced to resign after his controversial affair, while married, with an employee was discovered, and who recently recovered from a stroke, Cogen is making a bid for the legislature. He has worked for affordable housing, health care, and has considerable expertise on infrastructure improvement. He was appointed by two governors to work on promoting clean, renewable energy by increasing electric cars and buses. Cogen knows how to bring people together to solve problems, as he did working with Multnomah county and east county addressing the needs of African Americans who were moving outside of Portland. He deserves another chance.
VOTE YES FOR COGEN.
SECRETARY OF STATE
Hass has distinguished himself in the legislature with creative thinking and asking a lot of questions. His opponents, for this very important position, Jamie McLeod-Skinner and Shemia Fagan are also well qualified. Any of these three candidates, we believe, would be a strong secretary of state. But we are going with Hass. He is proposing to: replace the state’s out-of-date technology system, monitor websites and social media for disinformation, allow same-day voting, and reduce carbon emissions. He would appoint a child protection ombudsman to ensure the safety of children in foster care. A big advocate of education reform, he supports the student success act, which is projected to bring $1 billion per year for K-12 education. We are endorsing Hass because he has lots of new approaches to old problems. He has the knowledge and experience to be a strong secretary of state. That’s good news for Oregonians.
VOTE YES FOR HASS.
MEASURE 26-209 - Provides safety on our streets and roads, many of which are in dire need of repair. Vote Yes.
MEASURE 26-210 - This measure has good intentions, and we support the need for homeless services, however, with the coronavirus pandemic, the future is uncertain and there is no way to forecast the full impact this new tax will have on businesses and families. Many businesses will have to close or struggle to survive. Higher wage earners may have no jobs, which means no income to pay this tax. We recommend waiting until we have a better roadmap for the future. Vote No.
PORTLAND METRO COUNCILOR DIST. 5
Nolan is known to be a hard worker who knows the issues. She has a long history as a state legislator and has a history of volunteering for many community causes. Her background as a business owner and as director of Portland Environmental Services makes her the best choice for this position.
VOTE YES FOR NOLAN.
PORTLAND METRO COUNCILOR DIST. 6
Stacy intends to work for increasing homelesss services that shelter people long-term. He wants free transit for youth and replacing all of trimet’s diesel buses with electric ones. He favors laws that require companies to reuse packaging and products that are not recyclable. He is against plastics that are difficult to recycle. On transportation—he wants to avoid destroying homes and businesses in order to accommodate increased traffic. Stacey is a hard worker, has a history of service, and is widely known and respected in the community.
VOTE YES FOR STACEY.
CITY COMMISSIONER, POSITION 1
Rubio is the best choice for this position. She knows the community and has the experience, having been commissioner nick fish’s senior policy advisor, as well as working for other city and county officials. She has been outspoken on Hispanic community issues and will bring that voice to the city council. However, Rubio must remember she will be representing all the people, and she needs to reach out to African American community members and other minorities, as well.
VOTE YES FOR RUBIO.
CITY COMMISSIONER, POSITION 2
Loretta Smith has a broad range of experience in developing policy, community involvement, education, youth employment, and housing, and would bring those skills to the city council. She knows how to get things done, and is not afraid to speak out. People in the community know her and respect the work she has done on their behalf. She has lead the fight for homeless people, including mental health and drug treatment services. She is experienced in working on a national level to secure resources for local programs. Smith has been criticized for not being a team player, but she is committed to listen and act on behalf of all Portlanders. She will bring a strong voice to the council and will add a much-needed perspective.
VOTE YES FOR SMITH.
CITY COMMISSIONER, POSITION 4
Adams is the obvious choice for this position. He is a strong leader and was a popular mayor. He is accessible, decisive and executes quickly. He knows how to avoid ponderous procedures so typical in city government. Adams has a grasp on the issues and challenges that face Portland from a perspective none of his opponents can claim. He did make a serious mistake in his personal life by having a relationship with an intern, but the attorney general ruled it was consensual. And he regrets that error in judgment. As we look to the future, we believe Adams will bring innovative, big- picture thinking to the council, which is very much needed. Adams outstrips his opponents in experience, knowledge and his ability to get things done.
VOTE YES FOR ADAMS.
CITY OF PORTLAND MAYOR
Ted Wheeler has done an excellent job as mayor of Portland. He listens to the community, his office is always open. He can point to successfully balancing the budget without cutting services. He has worked hard on behalf of all Portlanders, but not all of his plans have been completed, he still has work to do. One thing he needs is experienced people in his office, employees who know policy and can follow up with the public in a timely manner. But overall he has the leadership qualities to execute future plans for affordable housing, provide housing and services for homeless people, and many other issues that need his guidance. Wheeler is thoughtful, sincere and dedicated, he deserves another term.
VOTE YES FOR WHEELER.
JUDGE CIRCUIT COURT, DIST. 4, POSITION 12
Ernie Warren is imminently qualified for this position. He has a 31-year distinguished track record as a criminal justice attorney, has provided indigent services, is a leading advocate for affordable housing, has successfully litigated and won a lawsuit against dominion capital representing 50 local citizens, and is admired and trusted for his leadership and fairness. Having tried over 100 cases, he founded and manages his own law firm. He is a dedicated volunteer, counseling youth, new lawyers, and the Portland gang violence task force. Warren will fight for the people. He will be a judge everyone can rely on for fair and equitable treatment. We enthusiastically recommend Warren as the best choice for circuit judge.
VOTE YES FOR WARREN.
DISTRICT ATTORNEY, MULTNOMAH COUNTY
Mike Schmidt has an impressive criminal justice background and believes the system is not working equitably. As director of the criminal justice commission, he can point to a record of advocating for youth in the criminal justice system, including reforming youth sentencing and preventing youth from being tried in adult court. He will address the specific issues of black and brown people, through new technology that will track how people of different races are treated in the justice system. The old way of doing things does not work—a new perspective is needed. Schmidt’s innovative approach would fund mental health, addiction services and invest in job training. He has advocated for education, elimination of mandatory sentencing and cash bail. We believe Schmidt will bring transparency and a new perspective to the da’s office. He is our choice for this important position.
VOTE YES FOR SCHMIDT.