Adam Burk, left, and Tae Chong, victors in Tuesday’s election, greet a voter as he makes his way to the polls at the Italian Heritage Center Tuesday morning. Michael Kelley / The Forecaster

PORTLAND — Voters in District 3 Tuesday elected Tae Chong to the City Council and Adam Burk to the Board of Education.

Tae Chong and Adam Burk

Chong won a five-way race for the District 3 City Council race, capturing 1,790 votes (43%),  besting Ed Suslovic  with 1,050 votes, restaurant owner Andrew Volk with 857, Andy Graham, 256, and Layla Kargar, 199. District 3 City Councilor Brian Batson did not seek re-election.

With 2,422 votes, or 70%, Burk easily defeated challenger Sam Rosenthal, who had 1,037 votes, for the District 3 seat on the Board of Education. Burk replaces Laurie Davis, who has been serving on the school board since 2010, but decided not to seek another term in order to spend more time with her family.

Both Chong and Burk will take office following a swearing ceremony at City Hall Dec. 2.

“It’s been an amazing race,” Chong said Tuesday night as the results were trickling in. “I’d like to thank all my competitors for a good race. At the end of the day, everyone who ran will continue to make Portland a better place.”

“I hope we can all work together as neighborhoods and make Portland a better place for all people,” he added.

Chong said as a councilor he would work to bring more investment into District 3 neighborhood centers by making them more pedestrian-friendly, with public art and centrally located bus shelters.

“If you have a pedestrian-friendly, traffic-friendly area with public art, you can begin creating a sense of place,” he said, citing Woodford’s Corner as a good model.

Voters in District 3 took to the polls and elected Tae Chong and Adam Burk to represent them on the council and school board, respectively. Michael Kelley / The Forecaster

Chong,  the manager of social enterprise and job development for Catholic Charities, said increasing housing stock in the city also is important. The city, he said earlier this fall, has to incentivize developers to build off the peninsula, alter zoning and find solutions that work for each of the city’s individual neighborhoods.

“Everyone knows housing is an issue, but if we don’t build more of it, prices won’t go down. That is just simple supply and demand,” he said.

On the campaign trail, Burk, who couldn’t be reached Tuesday night before The Forecaster’s print deadline, said he wants to make sure that programs that work are being offered to all students in all schools and schools are getting the proper funding. He said he is also concerned about making sure the schools provide nourishing, quality meals. With the overall mental and emotional health of students, he also argues there are not enough social workers in the schools.

“I’m passionate about kids and learning in Portland, and I am a big fan of where the Portland Public Schools are trying to go,” Burk said. “It’s important that our schools are transforming, nurturing and welcoming” to every student.

A community development and leadership consultant, Burk said he understands that people have real concerns about annual increases in property taxes to support the schools. That’s why he would like to see the district pivot to pursuing more public-private opportunities.

Chong and Burk were not the only councilors and board of education members voters tabbed at the polls. Pious Ali won re-election in his uncontested bid for his At-large City Council seat. In uncontested school board races, At-large member and board Chairman Roberto Rodriguez and At-large member Anna Trevorrow earned another term.

 

 


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