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Emmons kicks off campaign, Novick touts endorsements

UPDATE: Civil rights activist to announce Wednesday


Architect and community activist Stuart Emmons kicked off his campaign against Commissioner Steve Novick on Tuesday with a website and YouTube video claiming that City Hall is not working fast enough to solve Portland's problems.

Among other things in the video, Emmons said it can take three years to complete affordable housing programs, calling that too long for people living on the streets. And he deplored the low graduation rates of children of color in Portland schools, even though the City Council does not have an official role in local education.

"I want to bring the voice of the community into City Hall," Emmons says in the video. "I want to solve problems effectively."Emmons is well known as the co-founder of Friends of the Memorial Coliseum, a nonprofit organization trying to restore and preserve the landmark spectator facility. Although Novick has proposed tearing the Coliseum down and replacing it will affordable housing, Emmons says that is not the reason he has entered the race.

"I am delighted to officially announce my candidacy for Portland City Council - Position 4. I am fired up and excited about this opportunity to help Portland. I know my background and ideas, at this time in Portland's history, will make me a great fit for City Hall," Emmons said.

A short time later, Sue Stahl, a civil rights activist, announced she will enter the race Wednesday. Stahl has served on numerous board and commissions, and represented those with disabilities on the committee appointed by Novick that laid the groundwork for allowing Uber to operate in Portland, despite not committing to transporting all disabled passengers — something that helped her decide to enter the race.

Perhaps anticipating the official start of Emmons campaign, Novick's campaign released a list of endorsements earlier in the day. They included: the United Food and Commercial Workers union; singer Storm Large; Jordan Menashe, vice president of Menashe Properties; Michael Hannah, vice president of AFSCME Council 75; State Representative Rob Nosse (D-Portand); Portland Public Schools Business Manager Erica Meyers; Gang Violence Prevention Specialist Roberta Phillip-Robbins; and Andy Miller, executive director of the Human Solutions nonprofit organization.

"Commissioner Novick is a strong supporter of workers, and has championed a number of issues important to our members,” UFCW 555 Secretary-Treasurer Jeff Anderson said in Nick;s release. “Steve is our courageous voice on Portland City Council. He always seeks out solutions that fit with our progressive values while being conscious of the financial impacts to working Portlanders."

Emmons lists dozens of endorsements on his website, including businessman and philanthropist Jordan D. Schnitzer and Lisa Schroeder, owner of Mother’s Bistro.

Novick has raised over $160,000 for his campaign compared to just around $20,000 so far for Emmons. Other candidates in the race include Michael Durrow, Shannon Eastbrook and Joseph Puckett. The election could be won in the primary if any candidate receives more than 50 percent of the vote.

Novick is also preparing to campaign in support of a four-year 10-cents-a-gallon Portland gas tax ballot measure. Emmons supports the measure but faults Novick the protracted and divisive street fee process that dominated much of his fist term.

For more information on Emmons campaign, visit www.stuartemmons.com.

For more information on Novick's campaign, visit  www.novickforportland.org.