For a guy who wants to take over city hall's third-floor mayor's office—and who wants to assign bureaus, oversee the city budget, run a few bureaus, and provide overall leadership for the city—Sho Dozono's campaign has been woefully short on specifics.
On May 2, the day ballots went out—and months after he started campaigning—Dozono released his "commitment to you for my first 100 days in office," upping the ante in the mayor's race.
The new campaign specifics were a useful distraction for Dozono, who had a week of bad press surrounding the more than $18,000 in back rent, taxes, and fees that his downtown restaurant Bush Garden owed the city (following a bizarre and clumsy press conference on April 30 where Dozono blamed the city for his business woes, his company paid the debt).
Dozono made 10 pledges, including filling 92 vacant maintenance positions in the city's Department of Transportation, dedicating "three of my staff to economic development and business creation," and sitting down with East Portlanders.
A few of his pledges mimicked ones that his opponent, Sam Adams, has been making for months, like creating scholarships for "higher education and trade industries," an idea ripped right from Adams' three-point platform. And Dozono's East Portland pledge drew from Mayor Tom Potter's recent opposition to Adams' Sauvie Island Bridge reuse proposal: Dozono talks about making "good on the promises... for sidewalks, paved streets, sewers, and programs that can provide a future for everyone, instead of advantages for the few."
Two of Dozono's pledges take direct aim at Adams: His call for a $50 million rainy day fund (Adams supports a rainy day fund, but has so far floated a $5 million figure), and a promise to "stop the Burnside-Couch couplet," a project Adams is pushing.
In less wonky election season news, several campaigns are reporting problems with stolen lawn signs.
This weekend, says city council candidate Jim Middaugh, "there was definitely an uptick in reports from our supporters" that signs had been taken. "I was biking the other day and someone pulled up alongside me and said 'my sign was taken,'" says Middaugh, who pulls a bike trailer adorned with signs. Earlier in the campaign, a Dozono banner on the City Liquidators building near the Morrison Bridge was reportedly torn down.
Robert Wilson, a volunteer answering the phones at Amanda Fritz's campaign office, says they've had a few signs swiped as well. "We kind of chalk it up to people stealing to get the metal" for scrap, he adds.
But Jeff Towle, who lives at NE 33rd and Knott and had planted a Sam Adams sign in his yard, says someone tore it apart, taking the plastic sign but leaving the metal frame behind. "I talked to the Adams campaign, and they've said that dozens of signs have gone missing," he says.
In Linnton, Dan Dishongh was on the treadmill on the third floor of his home, when he saw a man walk up to the two signs on his property and "he just grabbed the sign and wadded it up and put it in his pocket," also leaving the metal behind. "It's pretty lowdown and dirty."