City Council Race 2024

Here's Who's Running for Portland City Council in 2024

As the city gears up for a new government structure and a 12-person council, candidates are kicking off campaigns for a pivotal 2024 election.

Portland 2024 Mayoral Candidates

Here's who wants to be Portland's next mayor.

Dan Ryan Will Run for City Council in District 2

While his colleagues run for mayor, Ryan is aiming to continue serving as a city council member.

Portland City Council Candidates: District 3

These candidates are running in the district located mostly in inner Southeast Portland.

Former City Commissioner Steve Novick Eyes Return to City Hall

Novick is running to represent District 3, after a former stint on Portland City Council.

Portland City Council Candidates: District 1

These candidates are running in the district encompassing East Portland.

Dan Ryan Rules Out Running for Portland Mayor

The city commissioner will decide whether to run for a council district by late January, as speculation swirls over who might challenge Mingus Mapps in 2024 race.

Rene Gonzalez Holds Sizable Fundraising Lead in Portland Mayor’s Race

With the city's Small Donor Elections program facing a budget shortfall, campaigns may have to adjust their strategy ahead of a pivotal election.

Portland City Council Candidates: District 4

These candidates are running in the district composed of Portland's west side and some Southeast neighborhoods.

Carmen Rubio Enters 2024 Portland Mayor's Race

The city commissioner is the third person on council to launch a campaign for mayor under Portland's new form of government.

Portland City Council Candidates: District 2

These candidates are running in the district located in North and Northeast Portland.

Rene Gonzalez Announces Bid For Portland Mayor

Known for his conservative policies, Gonzalez is the second on council to announce a 2024 mayoral campaign.

Updated: December 26

This page will be updated as new candidates file for election.

Thanks to a charter reform measure passed by voters in 2022, Portland is getting a new form of government, and it will come with a brand new districting system. In November 2024, Portlanders will vote for City Council members in one of four districts across the city, with three councilors per district.

Here's who's running in District 3, which is located primarily in inner Southeast Portland but includes some Northeast neighborhoods as well. (Find the list of candidates in District 1 here, District 2 here, and District 4 here.) 

District 3 Candidates

Matthew Anderson

Matthew Anderson

Matthew Anderson, 56, is an Air Force veteran with a mechanical engineering and IT background, currently wrapping up a master of teaching program at Warner Pacific University. Anderson lives with his family, including two children, in Portland's Madison South neighborhood. He previously taught algebra at McDaniel High School and before that, he ran a small candy business for three years, selling his Andy Adams unique concoctions at the Portland Saturday Market.

Anderson says he became a parent late in life, and it informed his perspective and outlook on the future and city leadership.

"I believe all parents feel connected to the future. Coming to parenthood late in life, I believe I truly recognize how close the future really is," Anderson says. "Portland has tremendous issues, problems, and opportunities which must be addressed.  In order to make progress, we must recognize that the road to 'hell' is paved with good intentions, misunderstanding, and mistakes. And in that recognition, find mutual respect and enough common ground to move forward."

Anderson says his diverse background, which has seen him travel and live all over the world, allows him to "see the good intention in all people" and overcome misunderstandings and differences. 

He cites the redevelopment of 82nd Avenue as a top concern.

"Portland as a whole, and the 3rd District in particular, needs to be more than a sum of [its] parts," Anderson says. "I intend to do the hard work and put in the hours - and shoe leather - it's going to take to weave all the existing people, experiences, and interests of the 3rd District into a coherent polity, able to make decisions and affect change. The same is true for the new city as a whole."

Anderson says he'd strive to build coalitions, both within the district and across districts, "even if politics aren't aligned."

Sandeep Bali

Sandeep Bali 

 

Sandeep Bali is a pharmacist who lives in Portland’s Laurelhurst neighborhood. He ran for City Council in 2022 against current Commissioner Dan Ryan. 

Bali founded nonprofit Next Level, which provides scholarships to Pacific University students seeking a career in health care. Bali faults current Portland leadership for “ubiquitous homelessness, record-breaking violence and crime,” as well as “shuttered businesses and piles of trash” that he says have come to embody Portland. The District 3 candidate says the current Council hasn’t been tough enough on homelessness and drug use, despite recent policies that seek to criminalize both. 

(Read more about Bali here.) 

Rex Burkholder

Rex Burkholder

 

Burkholder is a longtime Portlander who lives in the Sunnyside neighborhood and is a strategist with The Oxalis Group.

Burkholder previously served on the Metro Council for more than a decade. He's got deep roots in nonprofits and coalitions, having started Portland based nonprofits like the Bicycle Transportation Alliance and the Coalition for a Livable Future. He currently serves on the Oregon Sustainability Board, as well as the boards of Unite Oregon, which organizes and trains leaders in immigrant and refugee communities, and the Mt. St. Helens Institute, which offers environmental education and science-based adventures.

"Being engaged in my community for 40 years, I was lucky to work with many fine and visionary leaders," Burkholder says. "They helped me find my own way to contribute. I am most proud of helping found and lead the Bicycle Transportation Alliance, successfully launching the bicycle revolution in Portland (which sorely needs resurrecting), bringing climate change and equity into regional decision making at Metro, winning funding to restore Outdoor School for All in Oregon (and Washington), and helping great organizations get better and getting good people elected to office."

Burkholder says he's keen on collaboration, which will be essential for Portland's new district-based City Council, and says the city's next council "has the potential to provide the leadership and accountability we need to overcome our current challenges."

 

Jesse Cornett

Jesse Cornett 

 

Cornett has run for office before and worked on the last two presidential campaigns for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. State records show Cornett currently works for ADP, a payroll software company. 

Cornett has also served as an adjunct instructor at Portland State University, teaching political science courses, and is on the board of addiction recovery nonprofit Oregon Recovers. 

Cornett points to what he calls a disjointed relationship between the city and county and says building stronger social safety nets for those in need is key to fixing Portland’s addiction and homelessness crises.

(Read more about Cornett here.) 

 

Daniel DeMelo

Daniel DeMelo

Daniel DeMelo (formerly Daniel Vogel) 26, lives in Kerns and chairs the Joint Office of Homeless Services community budget advisory committee, as well as the county's main budget advisory committee. DeMelo refers to himself as a "queer, car-free" Portlander who was raised in the city and became politically and civically engaged at a young age.

"I’m of the lockdown generation, the mass shooting generation, the generation that can’t afford a home in which we might choke on the smoke of a burning planet," DeMelo says. "I aim to be the youngest ever elected to the Portland City Council, not for the achievement, but because, for far too long, the voices of young Portlanders have been sidelined while our political establishment has made our city unclean, unsafe and unengaged."

DeMelo says he's inspired by the fervor of Gen Z on issues like the climate crisis and racial justice. While this is his first run for office, DeMelo says his work on county budget committees led to calls for the county to prioritize public input on the its overall budget and greater oversight of county spending in the Joint Office of Homeless Services. DeMelo has publicly called for more effective management of taxpayer money at JOHS, which he says the county failed to provide a roadmap for.

"While Portland prides itself on being 'The City That Works,” my neighbors in District 3 too often see it as 'The City That’s Working On It. Enough is enough," DeMelo says. "I’m ready to take decisive action to end homelessness, resolve our housing affordability crisis, and commit to ensuring our streets and other public places are clean and safe. I’m committed to ensuring we make real progress on our progressive commitments."

Chris Flanary

Chris Flanary

 

Chris Flanary lives in the Montavilla neighborhood and has been a longtime staffer at the Portland Housing Bureau. Flanary is also the elected organizer for AFSCME Local 189, the union representing Portland’s municipal employees. 

Flanary cites a “people first” policy approach that emphasizes livability and affordability, with a mission to ensure living wages, and to encourage small business entrepreneurship. 

(Read more about Flanary here.) 

 

 

 

 

Tiffany Koyama Lane

Koyama Lane 

 

Tiffany Koyama Lane, or “Teacher Tiffany” as she’s known to her students, is a Portland Public Schools teacher and union organizer who currently lives in the Sunnyside neighborhood. Koyama Lane, 37, has two children and says public schools are a “mirror for our society,” noting existing disparities are painfully clear.

“Working in public schools quickly reveals who has access to food, clothing, housing, transportation, medical care, mental health support and more,” Koyama Lane says. “The role of an educator expands beyond academics and far beyond the classroom walls. In a classroom, you can’t pick favorites. Everyone who walks through the door deserves to be there, and you have to find solutions that work for everyone and center the dignity of all. In education, there are no disposable people.”

That approach is one that’s needed in city government, Koyama Lane says.

The school teacher has spent her entire professional career in education, earning her bachelor’s and master’s degrees in education at the University of Oregon.

Outside of her time in the classroom, she’s organized for the local teachers union, having served on the Portland Association of Teachers bargaining committee, and also canvassed and collected signatures for Measure 26-214, Multnomah County’s Preschool for All measure passed by voters in 2020. She’s also a founder and administrator of Raising Anti-racist Kids PDX, a local community group.

Koyama Lane says she’s running for Portland City Council to ensure a just future for all Portlanders.

“My ‘why’ is connected to the importance of dignity for all. I am Yonsei, a fourth-generation Japanese American, and my family members were forced into the WWII Japanese incarceration camps,” Koyama Lane told the Mercury. “My grandparents and great grandparents had their lives upended as their privacy, dignity and rights were taken from them during this time in history. This history lives within me and grounds me in one of my most foundational values: dignity. Through public policy, we show our community who is deserving of dignity. We need city councilors who are willing to fight for dignity as a basic human right for every single Portlander.”

Angelita Morillo

Angelita Morillo 

 

Angelita Morillo, 27, lives in the Buckman neighborhood and works as a policy advocate for Partners For a Hunger-Free Oregon. Morillo also serves on the city's Rental Services Commission. She previously worked for former Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty.

Morillo moved to the United States from Paraguay as a young child and grew up in Portland, attending Lincoln High School before studying political science at Portland State University. She was homeless for a brief stint and says her lived experience motivated her to run for office.

"The day that Portland City Council approved extremely expensive and inefficient mass encampments when houseless advocates told them how dangerous those encampments would be, I knew we needed new leadership," Morillo says. "As someone who has been homeless myself, I just thought that this cruel, costly, and inefficient system cannot possibly be the only way."

Morillo also denounced the council's "sabotage of successful programs" like Portland Street Response (PSR), and Commissioner Rene Gonzalez's policy decisions to halt the distribution of tarps and tents in February, right before a snow storm. 

"He later tweeted that it was an acceptable loss that Portlanders living on the streets could lose fingers because of frostbite," Morillo said. "During a moment of crisis, this is how our City Council responded to the needs of Portlanders."

Morillo says the city needs leaders with policy knowledge and "people who know how to convene community and listen to them, not people who hold backroom meetings with wealthy donors and decide for everyone else what needs to be done."

Steve Novick

Steve Novick with "Barley"

Novick, 60, lives in the Sellwood neighborhood. He served on Portland City Council from 2013 to 2017. He lost his reelection bid to Chloe Eudaly in November 2016. 

Novick, an environmental attorney who worked for the US Department of Justice and the Oregon Attorney General’s Office, wants to return Portland to its glory days. 

The former politician has a familiar refrain: he’s among the dozens of council candidates eager to restore the city to a version that feels lost to many residents.

“It's been a rough few years in Portland, but we can’t give up on our city,” Novick said in a campaign announcement. “I’ll work like a dog to help bring Portland back.” 

Novick cites homelessness, crime, and the housing crisis as top priorities, suggesting the city reevaluate its developer fees on affordable housing projects that typically go toward funding parks.

 “We won’t truly solve the homelessness crisis until we solve the affordable housing crisis. As long as we have tens of thousands fewer affordable units than we need, there will be some people who can’t find homes at all,” Novick says. “But that doesn’t mean we need to allow unlimited, unregulated camping until we have built all those affordable units, which will take years. We need to get people off the streets and into places that are safe, even if they aren’t permanent homes. Places like the sleeping pods in the Safe Rest Villages.”  

Read more about Novick's track record and campaign here.

Robin Ye

Robin Ye

Robin Ye, 29, lives in Montavilla and currently serves as chief of staff to Oregon Rep. Khanh Pham. 

Ye also served for two years on the Portland Charter Review Commission and was a field director for Portland United for Change, the ballot measure that brought about charter reform. This is Ye’s first run for office.

Ye says he’s running to “fulfill the voters’ vision for an improved council” that focuses on legislation and oversight, with a collaborative approach to policy making for “Portlanders who deserve better.”

“We can’t afford more years of dysfunction – we have one shot at a fresh start,” Ye said.

“From issues as large as our housing and climate crisis to the crumbling state of our local roads, Portland needs results,” Ye told the Mercury. “I am committed to delivering a city government that Portlanders can be proud of.”