October 19, 2011

Jed Rathband: New voice, a business focus

By Jason Singer jsinger@pressherald.com
Assistant City Editor / Online

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AGE: 39

ADDRESS: 9 Everett St.

PERSONAL: In a relationship with Isa Ferguson

EDUCATION: B.A., New College of California

OCCUPATION: Founder of Stones Throw Consulting


WEBSITE: JedForMayor.com


• Improve Portland schools' gifted/talented program to attract innovative families.

• Attract out-of-state businesses to Portland.

• Reduce waiting time for building permits.

• Better promote local industries in the creative economy and professional services such as design, finance, health care and legal.


JED RATHBAND will answer questions from Press Herald readers during an hourlong live chat with the candidate starting at noon today. Go to www.pressherald.com to participate.

Rathband's transition to candidate after being the leader of the "Elect Our Mayor" campaign hasn't sat well with some people. At two mayoral forums, residents asked him why he didn't make it clear that he would want the mayor's job when he took the position running the campaign.

Rathband said he didn't realize until he began the "Elect Our Mayor" drive how much Portland residents wanted new leadership. "It wasn't until I started going door to door and heard these cries for a new voice that I decided to run," he said. "That's what inspired me."

Earlier this week, City Councilor Ed Suslovic, a Brennan supporter, said Rathband had "possibly run the best campaign." Numerous people have noted that Rathband had lawn signs out before anyone.

But ultimately, Suslovic said, he would still vote for Brennan because of his experience and success as a former state senator, and Rathband's relative inexperience.

"I think Jed has a lot of potential; I think Markos Miller has a lot of potential," Suslovic said. "But if you're using a sporting analogy: If you have a seasoned veteran at the peak of their game, that's who I'm going to tap, as opposed to a rookie who has a lot of potential but hasn't done it a long time."

In a recent interview at his Everett Street home, Rathband said previous leaders of Portland have been "reactive instead of proactive." Current city leaders, he said, wait for developments and business to come, instead of actively seeking opportunities.

He said he wants to promote the city's professional services such as design, finance, health care and legal work, partly by pursuing conferences at venues like Forefront, the $105 million development proposed for Thompson's Point.

Those are cluster industries where the city can grow, Rathband said. He also said his ideas for the out-of-state calls and gifted-and-talented school program would fundamentally change he city's approach toward business.

"Right now, we have 20th-century government," he said. "In the 21st century, you've got to go out and seize opportunities. We've got to be proactive, and that's what I bring."

Staff Writer Jason Singer can be contacted at 791-6437 or at: jsinger@pressherald.com


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