10/19/2011

Occupying Portland

On October 6th, 2011, Occupy Portland officially began. As a mayoral candidate, I’ve been asked all about it since it started. I love being asked about it. It is something that really hits home for me. From my understanding and to save time from going into a long dissertation on what Occupy Portland is about, I’ve summarized it into a short sentence that I feel is representative of my campaign:
“Getting big money out of politics.”
Perfect, I love that. That’s what I’m all about. Let me explain and share my thoughts on this subject. First off we need to bring public financing back to elections. Regardless of what anyone says, it allows the people a chance to get their voice and ideas out there. Something different than what we have right now: corporations “buying” politicians and reaping the profits from getting their “guy” into office. Or, buying their way into office. Public financing (or Voter Owned Elections) allows the city to get some fresh ideas into an old system that is not working anymore. We get different ideas in place, by giving a chance to grow for the average citizens, not just to grow the pockets of the wealthy. I have such different ideas than the others who are running. They are all the same; either they don’t have a person’s vision for the city or just want a full-time job with influence over city government towards corporations or developers. Or they want to continue to do the same old things that are not helping Portland grow for the future. Recently some of the “other” candidates have stated, like Hales’ idea “by reducing Business License for B corporations certified companies by 50%”. There is nothing new with that statement. We are already giving these big corporations tax breaks, it’s not working. While to other two dodged the occupation issue completely. I’m the one with big ideas, and a vision of Portland. I may sound like a broken record but what we are currently doing is not working.  
Making short sale investments that only put a bandage on the problems that exist, such as high unemployment, is one of the main reasons the 99% are rallying. We need to invest money in infrastructure and in the city in order to get Portland growing towards the future. Forget the bandage, let’s fix what’s wrong and go for the surgery that will help us heal and be healthier for our future. We cannot give big business tax breaks and let the little guys die out, let’s help the community grow and keep Portland money in Portland. Make Portland an attractive place to live.
Let’s make a change, a real change. Why should we elect someone who does not have a vision for the city they want to run? Why should we continue to do the same old thing in government? It does not appear to be working out so well. Special interests are getting in the way of our city’s progress for the average person.  Why should we elect someone who is just looking to get a higher paying job? We need to elect someone who wants to make a positive change to help create working wages for people. Someone who will listen to the people, and use their ideas to help Portland grow. One main proposal that I am bringing forward is the city leaders don’t need upper management in city departments to tell City Council where the cuts need to be made. Let’s ask the workers directly, the front-line workers who do those jobs to tell us how to run the city more efficiently. Elect someone who is a team player, who knows the limits of his players, and works around those to make this city improved for average people and families.  No one person can know everything and think that they know best. I’m the guy who can deliver these things, I do not dodge tough questions that make my opinions stand out from the rest. Politicians should not be robots that don’t want to take stances on the tough issues that face us.
We may not have all the answers, but, hell, that is why we have teammates. Like in baseball, you have a job to get done, but you can’t do it alone. I won’t beat around the bush, I’m not afraid to put my ideas out there. I will stand up for what I believe in and say it proudly. Calling people out when they’re wrong, finding the truth, informing people and finding solutions to help the majority of average citizens.  I don’t care what others will say: I’m out to make a change and a difference. Being mayor won’t just be another job for me. I’m out to change the old system we are living it, making it so we have a future in Portland. The only way I see I can do that is by starting at the top.