On Nov. 3, the election for mayor of Portland isn’t just going to be about my record over the last four years. The campaign Ethan Strimling is running against me is about something larger – whether or not Portland truly wants the type of mayor it voted for in 2010.

The choice could not be clearer. I offer leadership in the form of bold action, a record of successful initiatives and the changes at City Hall that Portland residents wanted when we voted to adopt the charter in 2010. Mr. Strimling offers a return to the old system of a passive mayor serving as merely a spokesperson for the City Council.

I believe I have used the position of mayor just as the voters intended: to address major policy issues facing the city. That this has ruffled some feathers should come as no surprise – that’s exactly what Portland voters demanded when we replaced the old system.

Mr. Strimling envisions the job of mayor now as merely “Listener in Chief” – a person who runs the meetings like a chairman of a board, and tries to mediate among the other councilors.

If Mr. Strimling’s model sounds familiar, it should. That’s the style of mayor that Portland had for over 80 years – and the style that Portland voters decided needed to change. But, the voters don’t have to judge this debate solely on philosophy. I have had four years to show what a new kind of leadership means for the city, and the simple fact is that by many measures, Portland is better off today than it was four years ago.

Unemployment is down, businesses are thriving and hundreds of millions of private-sector dollars have been invested in development projects. The city routinely appears in national “Best Of” rankings – everything from “Best Places to Start a Business” to “Best Places for Families.” People are drawn to Portland from all over the world for the opportunity to live in a beautiful, safe and vibrant community.

I have launched three far-reaching, unprecedented collaborative efforts: Growing Portland, Portland ConnectED and the Mayor’s Initiative for a Healthy and Sustainable Food System. Each of these efforts has brought dozens of stakeholders together from all sectors of the city to chart a new direction for our economy, to strengthen our education systems and to marry our thriving food industry with the nutritional needs of the city.

Portland is also better off today because of the things I was able to accomplish in Augusta working with our legislative delegation and a coalition of mayors from all across Maine. Through the Legislature, we were able to secure:

$3 million to dredge Portland Harbor to support our working waterfront industries.

 $9 million to complete rail service to the International Marine Terminal.

 $20 million in state dollars to rebuild Hall Elementary School, saving Portland property taxpayers the cost.

 $1 million to repair the Portland Fish Exchange.

$2 million to prevent over 800 families and children from going homeless.

 Provided property tax relief by expanding Homestead Exemption.

Gov. LePage has attacked Portland at every turn, and standing up to him successfully has been one of my most important achievements as mayor. Portland rarely had this kind of effective voice in Augusta under the old system. In fact, Gov. LePage so dislikes my record in Augusta that he has publicly stated he would prefer Mr. Strimling to be Portland’s mayor.

Of course, our success and growth comes with many challenges, including affordable housing and providing adequate services for those who are struggling. A significant challenge we face as a city right now is whether or not we can continue to grow and at the same time maintain the character that defines Portland.

With that in mind, I led the effort to pass an increase in the minimum wage to $10.10 an hour for all workers in Portland. We passed an inclusionary zoning ordinance to create more affordable housing. I helped establish a workforce initiative that provides job training and job placement for close to 100 people. And I have released a forward-looking agenda to tackle problems like affordable housing, transportation and expanding broadband.

I was born in Portland, and my mother and father grew up here. I’ve raised a family here and my two sons graduated from Deering High School. I have been deeply honored to be your mayor. I have spent seven days a week for the last four years dedicated to making the city better.

I have worked close with the many different voices that define the city. If re-elected, I will be a voice for everyone as we move the city forward.