Neighbors and friends, my name is Brandon Mazer. This year, I’m running for an at-large City Council seat and wanted to get in touch, introduce myself and speak about why I’m running and why I’d really appreciate your vote Nov. 2.

The short version is that I’m running to help you.

We live in a world-class city that should be more affordable, livable and fair. It should be so much easier for current residents to enjoy their time here, and it should be so much easier for good people to come here and put down roots.

People here should feel safe – not discriminated against. Not attacked for their background or their beliefs – political, religious or otherwise.

I serve as chair of the Portland Planning Board, which has given me some extremely useful insight into what works (and what doesn’t) when we’re talking about issues like housing affordability and access, property taxes, public transportation and more.

Our housing situation is a serious problem. I’m well positioned to address it given my experience. I’ve been clear throughout this campaign about some of my ideas to start attacking this issue on day one – including increasing housing supply, allowing more multi-use housing projects and incentivizing denser development.

Our property tax situation is also a serious problem. Too many residents of this city have been unfairly hit by property tax increases and have lost out on opportunities to save money because of poorly communicated programs.

Here’s how I’d handle the property tax situation: I won’t pass huge increases in property taxes. I also want to support  tax deferral programs for our seniors to make it easier for them to stay in their homes. And I’ll make sure the revaluation process doesn’t hurt Portland residents like it did this year.

Let us also not forget the problems we face in improving our education system. We have a serious inequity problem, and it will take all hands on deck to fix it.  We are spending more money per student with poorer results than some of our surrounding communities. We also need to do a better job protecting our kids from COVID while they’re at school – school employees should all be vaccinated, but some members of the school board blocked this policy. Kids are still incredibly vulnerable and can’t choose to avoid adults, so the adults need to step up.

Of course, we’re all still dealing with the horrible impact of the pandemic – some more than others. It’s clear that the vaccine and aggressive public health actions have saved the lives of countless Americans. We need to make sure that the most vulnerable among us have a clear path to health and financial recovery. We also need to make sure that our city’s economic engine recovers as quickly as is safe.

I also have a role at a number of nonprofits here in town, including having served as president of Friends of the Eastern Promenade. I feel passionate about both protecting and improving our city’s special character.

Portland is an amazing place to call home, but the recent divisiveness of the city’s politics has made it difficult to solve our most pressing issues. I’m committed to listening and taking on our challenges so that everyone has the opportunity to live, work and prosper in Portland. We need to work together to solve these problems and many more.

I would like to take this opportunity to ask for your vote this fall, whether you plan to vote early or in-person.

Please contact me with questions at brandonmazer.com or on Facebook at Mazer for Portland. I want to hear from you!


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