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Fritz plans run for new City Council term

First-time commissioner won't be able to use public funds this time

City Commissioner Amanda Fritz said Friday that she will run for re-election in 2012.

Fritz made the announcement in a morning e-mail sent to reporters. She will formally declare her re-election intentions at a noon speech to the Oregon Nurses Association.

Although Fritz is only in the middle of her first term, her political future had been in doubt because Portland voters repealed the city's public campaign finance program at the 2010 General Election. Fritz won election as a publicly funded candidate in 2008 and had previously denounced private fund raising as 'soul destroying.'

No one else has announced a run for Fritz's council post. Two other council members up for election in 2012, Mayor Sam Adams and Commissioner Randy Leonard, have not yet announced their intentions.

Here is the text of Fritz's e-mail:

I have given assurances to those on the City Hall beat that I would not tell one journalist before others about my re-election plans, so I'm sending this message to many. I intend to include in my remarks on a lunchtime panel at the Oregon Nurses Association statewide convention at the DoubleTree Hotel Friday, April 15, that I will be running for re-election in 2012.

I am proud of my successes so far, and there is more to accomplish now I'm no longer a rookie.

I realize this isn't a typical press release regarding election plans, with a formal listing of accomplishments, campaign plans, and future agenda.

I'm currently working 15-hour days to do my best for taxpayers in this term, and I don't want to spend time on electioneering so far from May 2012. I will be making a formal announcement and begin fund raising later in the year, however the level of public and media speculation about whether my seat might be vacant in 2012 leads me to send you this now.

While I feel privileged to have been in the position in the first half of my term to save Portland ratepayers $500 million on water rates, strengthen the reforms on the Independent Police Review process, and guide the adoption of regulations allowing orderly sharing of downtown sidewalks (to name but three projects that give me great satisfaction), there is much more to do.

The Office of Equity is a particularly crucial initiative that I want to see firmly established and thriving before I leave service on the City Council. My participation will be important to guide and coordinate fiscal, social, economic and environmental responsibility in the Portland Harbor Superfund cleanup process.

I will keep pushing for a speedy variance to avoid building a UV treatment plant for Bull Run water, which would save ratepayers another $100 million. And my leadership is needed in coordinating with Multnomah County mental health services, the 9-1-1 bureau, Portland Police and others to reduce adverse outcomes when police are called to incidents involving people experiencing mental illnesses.

This last task is one of the reasons I am choosing to announce my plans for re-election at the ONA convention. As a former psychiatric nurse, now with two years' experience inside city government, I am uniquely able to contribute to resolving some of the systemic dysfunctions that lead to tragic outcomes in our community, particularly for people of color and people experiencing mental illnesses.

The problems have been building for decades, and I won't walk away from continuing to do my part to help fix them.

It is an honor to serve Portlanders on the council, and I will be asking voters to give me another term at the polls next year.

ONA will likely send out a formal press release, but I wanted to give you a heads-up ahead of time. I will be available for on-the-record comments this afternoon, and this evening at the OLCV annual dinner.

Please remember my staff are not allowed to comment on campaign issues on work time in the office.

- Amanda