Commissioner Nick Fish
Commissioner Nick Fish Portland Parks & Recreation

Portland City Commissioner Nick Fish died this afternoon from cancer.

Fish, a labor attorney, had been an active member of Portland City Council since 2008, where he fought tirelessly for affordable housing access and environmental protections. Fish, 61, was diagnosed with abdominal cancer in 2017, but didn't let his illness slow his final years on council. Fish ran a rigorous re-election campaign in 2018 and went on to tackle the Portland Parks Bureau's floundering budget in 2019.

On December 31, Fish announced that, because of his illness' rapid progression, he'd be resigning from City Council in 2020. In a lengthy public statement issued at the time, Fish called his career on council "the great honor of my life."

Fish was halfway through a four-year term. The city must now hold a special election to fill Fish’s now-vacant council seat.

In his December 31 message, Fish said this about the city's future:

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"Across the country, the last decade has seen a stark decline in civility. Portland has not been immune to the national weakening of civil discourse. And, as we grapple with the future of our country and our planet, we are becoming a big city, with our own growing pains. We can rise to this occasion and embrace inclusivity, sustainability, and shared prosperity for all. We must unite around these values and make them real through collective effort.

City Council can do its part by fostering diverse rather than divergent priorities. It is our obligation to find the common ground in order to advance the common good. I have seen the power of partnership, and I trust our community’s leaders to see that the people of Portland deserve our best."

He concluded his message with this statement: "I am privileged to have had the opportunity to serve the community I love for the past decade. Thank you for allowing me this honor, and for all that you do to make Portland special. The future is bright."

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