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VOTE411 Voter Guide

Portland City Council At Large

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Ranked Candidates


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    Justin Costa

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    April Fournier

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    Ronald Gan

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    Laura Kelley

Biographical Information

What are your top priorities for 2021?

What else would you like voters to know about you?

Campaign Phone (207) 522-2004
Campaign Email
Campaign Website
Finance Type n/a
Addressing the pandemic and economic downturn, dealing with systemic racism, housing affordability, homelessness, addiction and mental health, and climate change are the top issues that we're facing right now.
I've served six years on the City Council and six years on the School Board. I sponsored Portland's minimum wage increase, sponsored the creation of the Community Support Fund to help asylum seekers, and have worked to expand job training and workforce development programs.

I also worked tirelessly to make sure that our elementary schools were renovated. I was the Finance Chair of the School Board when the initial proposals were brought forward in 2013, continued to push the issue as a Councilor, and now co-chair the advisory group that is overseeing the construction projects.

I'm also the only Hispanic member of the Council.
Campaign Phone (207) 332-6764
Campaign Website
Twitter @portlandfor
Finance Type Traditional because Portland does not yet have Clean Elections for municipal races.
From a climate perspective I would like to enact municipal curbside composting, more robust and inclusive recycling education and protect our water by updating our water treatment plant and creating an environmental impact fee for cruise ships. From an education perspective I would like to work with Portland Schools to fulfill the Portland Promise by implementing universal Pre-K with transportation and ensuring students have equitable access to resources. From a social justice perspective we must create more inclusive opportunities to engage citizens in our city business-postcards in multiple languages, interpreter access at city meetings and relationship building with community leaders. From a homeless and housing perspective I believe that housing is a human right and I am committed to expanding access to Housing First programs, collaborating with affordable housing developers, and working on removing barriers to accessing basic services that help people out of poverty.
I am a strong resilient indigenous woman. I am a mother, a wife, an educator and a passionate advocate for what I believe in. My life experience has influenced my education and created opportunities to have many different perspectives. I believe that my experiences and education make me uniquely qualified to serve our community in a time of great change. I am an avid advocate for inclusion in all aspects of my life and work, as I believe that those most suited to develop solutions to problems are those most impacted by them. We need more voices sitting around our tables and it is our responsibility to invite them in and make space for them.
Campaign Phone (207) 233-3753
Campaign Email
Campaign Website
Housing is critical for our city to thrive. There cannot be real change towards our social goals without that level of security. Long term we should be thinking about more ways to create home ownership and not more shelters. The city desperately needs revenue if we are going to stabilize our current short fall and also be serious about addressing our social needs. We have stagnant growth and our current land use policies, which govern everything we do, are outdated and irrelevant. We have to create a substantial amount of new attainable housing(that is housing at every economic level), but concentrated on the middle and down. The best way to start is by using city land. We can build as many hotels as we wish. We have the land and the zoning. What we can't do is build housing for the hotel and restaurant workers. We don't have the proper land use polices for that. Looking at it all thru the lens of the pandemic is where we have to go and now is the time for change.
I've played music professionally, all around the united states, Europe and Mexico. Blues and nothing but the blues. Still playing hockey, can't out-skate anyone now, but am still a force in the corners. I used to be a chef and still make a pretty mean pizza in my outdoor oven on Washington. All the candidates have policies that are necessary, what we don't have are the mechanisms to enact those ideas. My skill set is creating housing and economic development and that is exactly what we need on the council right now.
As Councilor At-Large Laura will prioritize bringing data-driven solutions aimed at solving the roots of Portland's most pressing problems. As a scientist and a physician, Laura will put health and well-being at the center of every decision, foreground truth and transparency to voters, and work to build consensus around our shared values to make meaningful changes which promote the common good. Dr. Kelley's top priorities are public health, literacy and education, local economy, child welfare, sustainability and equity in planning and Infrastructure, and unification and consensus building.
Laura is not a traditional politician. As a retired pediatrician, she brings a clear point-of-view to policy-making. Her positions are built on the fundamental belief that all policy is health policy. Informed by her background in science, expertise as a primary care doctor, and experience in successful legislative advocacy, Laura believes that upholding individual and community well-being as our primary goal in all policy-making will lead to better, more equitable, more sustainable outcomes. At a moment when Portland finds itself at the intersection of unprecedented public health, economic, and social crises, Laura is prepared to be an accessible, thoughtful, conscientious city councilor with a skill set that is uniquely relevant to the times. It’s time to lift our faces from the problems at our feet and focus on a future in which all individuals may flourish. Dr. Kelley is prepared to serve the people of Portland by doing that meaningful work.