Even though they're politicians and activists, they can still be HOT! Check out the dreams and schemes of the cuties who make our city tick!

Erik Sten:
"I want this to be a city that is as good for everyone as it is for the wealthy. Perhaps the best legacy would be making sure there are people ready to carry on the fight when I'm gone."

Occupation: City Commissioner

What made you want to work in politics? I care deeply about the city, the issues, and the people, and I love the action.

What advice do you give to someone who wants to be a politician? Go for it! We need you. Speak your mind, but no matter how strongly you feel you are right about an issue, don't forget that you might be wrong.

What is your biggest challenge?
Getting people to see the connection between city politics and their lives.

Do you have any heroes? Anyone who can think boldly enough to create art and be relevant to the struggles of the day. The writer James Baldwin comes to mind.

Favorite Animal: The wolf

Pets: One fat, happy Labrador named Marley

Laura Bridges:
"Only three out of 10 vote and we wonder why politicians don't listen to us!"

Occupation: Vice-Chair, XPAC. On the first Wednesday of every month, XPAC holds monthly coffee and beer forums for Gen-Xers to talk about political issues.

Sign: Scorpio

Does your sign effect your political decisions at all? I don't think so.

What is XPAC doing to prepare for this year's elections? We have a website [www.xpac.org] where you'll find some interesting questions answered by candidates. We asked questions that really got to the core of that person, questions that were really humanizing. We asked what their favorite cereal was.

What was your favorite answer? One candidate said he eats Coco Puffs when his wife isn't around.

What's your favorite cereal? Coco Puffs.

Laura Nobel:
"Are we active enough? Well, if serious problems still exist-- like domestic violence in families, pesticide run-off into our streams, and the continued disrespect towards the earth we live in--then we are not yet 'active enough.'"

Occupation: Editor and publisher of The Dirt!, a weekly calendar for environmental events.

How did the idea first come to you? The idea for The Dirt! grew out of my search for "environmental" information when I was new to the area. I was frustrated because even though I considered myself to be an interested individual, I still had a hard time finding out what was going on in the environmental community here.

What's the one thing you would change about this community? More bikes, less cars and a fast, reliable mass transit system to match.

Is there any candidate you believe will bring the environmental issues to the table--nationally or locally? I'm a pretty disillusioned voter, but I always hope things will change and that we will have more people elected to office like Elizabeth Furse who have the strength to stand behind their convictions.

Jackson Wild:
"If you're holding your nose while voting for Gore now, what are your hopes for 2004?"

Works with: Oregon Food Bank and Growing Gardens

What is Growing Gardens? Growing Gardens builds gardens. All sorts of gardens--neighborhood gardens, gardens in people's homes and gardens in apartment complexes--so people can grow their own fresh vegetables.

What's the philosophy of Growing Gardens?Growing Gardens strives to ensure low-income families, seniors, and people with disabilities have the resources to support and create sustainable food gardens.

What about politics? Any local candidate you are particularly excited about? Lloyd Marbet for Secretary of State and Whitney Smith for Oregon State Senate in district 8. I'm not in Whitney's district, but I've heard him speak twice now and he's really inspiring. I think one way that people who are too afraid to vote for Nader can show their support is by voting Marbet for Secretary of State.

Do you have any views on Ralph Nader--are you concerned he may be a spoiler? I voted for him in 1996 and I'm doing it again this year. Nader needs 5% of the popular vote nationwide to get federal funding for the Greens. That's my vote. If we don't to it now, we'll be in the same position in another four years, stuck without a real choice.

Ryab Deckert

"The political system responds to loud voices--our vote is our voice. There is a reason we hear so much about prescription drugs and not enough about investing in our educational infrastructure."

Occupation: At the age of 25, Ryan became State Rep., District 8.

Current Status: Candidate for State Senate, District 4

Future: Governor?

Political Platform: Full-day kindergarten and returning arts and music to our schools, cleaning up our rivers and streams, and campaign finance reform.

Favorite color: Green and yellow. The Ducks. On our way to the Rose Bowl!

Favorite food: Cracker Jacks

Embarrassing moment: Junior high

Favorite Animal: Chickens