When the national political climate is as poisonous as it currently is, we look to our local offices as those that might make more of an immediate positive impact on our lives. Local offices should be attainable, accessible and available for community members who want to make a difference and represent the local population.

When the cost to run a local campaign reaches tens of thousands of dollars or more (per campaign finance reports on the city’s website), the accessibility to participate as a candidate reduces. Parents, retirees, workers, veterans, students, disabled adults – it is so important for all of these community members to have representation in local government, yet they are too often priced out of the running because they can’t compete with the wealthy political machines.

Fair Elections Portland is working to create a public campaign fund, similar to the statewide Clean Election fund, that will make it easier for average people to run for office. To find out more about this campaign, go to fairelectionsportland.org.

April Fournier


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