As a young person who grew up around Portland in its less trendy days, I am constantly amazed by the changes in the city that accelerate year by year.

I love that new businesses are opening and that my friends from out of state can’t wait to move here. I’m scared, though, that gentrification, unchecked, is bleeding away what I love about Portland. I can just barely afford to live here now – how can I plan to have a family and start a business here?

And if I – with all the privilege of a white Mainer with a steady professional job, a good education and family support – am worried if I fit into the future of Portland, how many people with fewer advantages have already lost out?

I support Joey Brunelle for an at-large seat on the Portland City Council because he understands that Portland is facing a stark choice about its future. We need his voice on the council as a young gay Mainer, and as a community leader who has fought for affordable housing and to preserve the India Street clinic.

He has a deep understanding of the policy challenges the City Council must decide – and even more importantly, he feels the urgency of action. It isn’t too late for Portland to thrive by including us all, and Brunelle can lead the city to take action now.

Anna Kellar