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.

Meet the 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.

Meet the 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.

Meet the 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.

Meet the 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: June 14

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.) 

Melodie Beirwagen

More information to come

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 previously worked for ADP, a payroll software company, but he now works as the interim policy and advocacy director for Oregon Recovers.

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.) 

 

 

 

Daniel Gilk

Dan Gilk

Daniel Gilk lives with his wife, newborn daughter and two cats in the Hosford-Abernethy neighborhood of Southeast Portland. Gilk, 36, is a software engineer who says he's re-focusing his priorities. 

"Most recently, I was working on "Trust and Safety" products at a company formerly known as Twitter until our team was canned by Elon," Gilk says. "Since then I have taken some time away from the tech world to be a dedicated husband and father (and cat-father), and it has really given me perspective on the more important things in life."

This marks Gilk's first run for public office. When asked what motivated him to run for council, Gilk cited the birth of his daughter and more broadly, the desire to build a better world for her and future generations.

"Portland has an amazing track record of thinking big and solving difficult problems, yet I see certain areas where the city has failed us," Gilk says. "We need to urgently address housing availability, urban encampments, police response times, and the opioid epidemic on our streets, and I simply don't see these problems getting better under current leadership."

Gilk believes Portland can be "a true thought-leader" as the city tackles climate change, economic disruption driven by the pandemic and work from home models, as well as AI and what Gilk calls "a general deterioration of the social fabric."

He's not a fan of the Portland Arts Tax, and has other ideas on property taxes and zoning. 

Theo Hathaway Saner

Theo Hathaway Saner is a property manager who works for Portland Community Reinvestment Initiatives (PCRI). Hathaway Saner, 46, works with low-income tax credit properties, developed for low-income residents. He's also on the board of directors for WeShine, a Portland-based nonprofit that builds and manages micro villages as transitional housing to get people off the streets and eventually, into stable housing. 

Hathaway Saner lists affordable housing, homelessness, mental health and addiction as top priorities.

He says he was motivated to run for a council seat largely due to "the urgent need to address the growing number of houseless people camping around our city and the lack of effective solutions from our current government."

"In my work in property management, I’ve seen firsthand how easily someone can end up living outside due to a series of uncontrollable events," Hathaway Saner says. "It's shocking to me that so many in our community can ignore such a significant crisis."

The candidate also sees the potential for more action and solutions, with stronger support from city hall. 

Hathaway Saner, who studied community development and urban development at Portland State University, says if elected, he'll prioritize those who face the most hurdles.

"As a gay, progressive newcomer to politics, I am deeply committed to ensuring we care for the most vulnerable members of our community," he says. "Allowing individuals in need to fall through the cracks is a disservice to our society and an unacceptable failure. Together, we can build a Portland that uplifts everyone, leaving no one behind."

Kelly Janes

More information to come.

Philippe Knab

Philippe Knabb 

Philippe Knab has a robust background in law and community organizing. Knab, 44, lists a resume that includes stints as a trial lawyer, civil rights prosecutor, and program manager, as well as a community organizer. He previously worked as the supervising attorney for New York City's Human Rights Commission. He says his work is "all fueled by a deep commitment to equity, justice, and the idea that government should be a force for good."

"I began my legal career as an attorney representing tenants facing eviction and substandard housing conditions, and later in public defense," Knab says. "These roles provided me with a deep understanding of the systemic challenges disproportionately affecting vulnerable populations."

Knab was born in Mexico, before his family moved to New York when he was a young child. He currently works as the reentry and eviction defense program manager for Washington's Office of Civil Legal Aid. He lives in the Laurelhurst neighborhood with his wife and two children.  

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.

Ahlam Osman

More information to come

Jonathan Walker

Despite a name that conjures up high end scotch whisky, Jonathan Walker, 40, describes himself as "the most boring man in Portland."

Walker considers that a good thing.

"I believe we need to make Portland’s new city government boring. In other words, it should be so boring you never really need to think about it," Walker says.

He boasts a masters degree in public policy from Portland State University and a robust background in the public sector.

"For the past two years I have worked as the policy analyst at the Oregon Health Authority’s Office of Actuarial and Financial Analytics where I perform financial oversight for some of the largest organizations in the state," Walker says. "What I love about Portland voters is they never lack for good intentions or generosity. However, our local government has had problems turning those good ideas into reality. What I feel the city needs is someone with a deep understanding of policy design to focus on implementation. I don’t intend to offer big flashy ideas, but to work to fix the city. I picture my role on the council as a sort of systematic performance auditor, making sure our budget and programs align with our goals."

Luke Zak

Luke Zak is a Minnesota transplant who's relatively new to Portland. Zak cites housing and homelessness, public safety, addiction, and transportation as top political priorities. Zak's campaign is driven by the desire for "a future Portland that is livable and equitable for all."

More information to come.