[Phew! Putting these endorsements together takes LOTS of hard work—and that's on top of our regular excellent reporting. Show your appreciation for the Mercury with a small contribution, please, and thank you!—eds

Casting a vote in a local election is not unlike the scientific method. (We know what you’re thinking—“SHUT UP, NERDS!”—but hear us out.)

It begins with an observation—something that you see happening in your community that catches your attention. Maybe it’s the lack of sidewalks in your neighborhood, maybe it’s the growing number of tents near your bus stop, maybe it’s the hours it took for a police officer to respond after someone broke into your home. Then, a question—usually “Why?” or “Who’s responsible for this?” and sometimes “What the actual hell?” The next step is a hypothesis. That’s where the Mercury Election Strike Force comes in.

The November 8 ballot gives Portlanders an opportunity to turn the knobs on city government, state leadership, and a wide range of policies in hopes of creating a community that genuinely addresses some of our deep-seated concerns. Annoyed by how hard it is to get a straight answer from city bureaus? Try a new form of government! Concerned that local politics are skewing anti-homeless? Pick a candidate who knows how to genuinely address housing issues! Pissed off that state legislatures keep storming out of the Capitol to stall votes? Support a measure that will make it harder for them to do so!

After hours of interviews, in-depth research, and internal debate and discussion, we have settled on an hypothesis to address our community’s collective ailments by electing certain politicians and passing specific ballot measures. There is a lot at stake in this election—at every level of bureaucracy—and we don’t take the responsibility to inform your vote lightly. 

It’s now on you to help us see the experiment through. Join us in pulling on a lab coat, rolling up your  sleeves, and tinkering with the current state of our democracy. It might all blow up in our faces, or it might produce just the solution needed to shed some of our shared anger at the status quo and find hope in the future of Portland and our state. 

Either way, we’ll be back here in a year or less to analyze the results (step five!) and continue to experiment with leadership, policy, and tax dollars to create a place we’re proud to call home. 

A note on our scientific process: There are a few races we are not spilling much ink over—like unchallenged state legislative races and federal competitions where folks we endorsed in the May primary election are facing off against Republicans (vote blue!). Check out our cheat sheet for all of our recommendations before you fill out your ballot. 




The Mercury Election Strike Force is News Editor Alex Zielinski, News Reporter Isabella Garcia, Arts & Culture Editor Suzette Smith, and Editor-in-Chief Wm. Steven Humphrey. Political advertisements on the Mercury's website have no influence over our endorsement decisions. BTW, if you find our endorsements helpful, please consider appreciating our hard work with a small $$ tip!