Monday Digest: December 27, 2021

We may get a ruling on Kristof’s eligibility for governor soon

Gubernatorial candidate Nicholas Kristof finally formally registered as a candidate for the 2022 Democratic primary. That means the Elections Division of the Oregon Secretary of State’s office gets to review his paperwork to determine whether Kristof actually qualifies as a candidate for governor. Lydia Plukchi, a compliance specialist with the Secretary of State’s office, has already requested additional documentation and evidence of Kristof’s residency.

Oregon’s constitution requires candidates are only eligible to be elected governor if they’ve been residents of the state of Oregon for at least three years. Given that Kristof registered to vote in New York in 2020, a plain text reading suggests he’s not eligible. But Kristof obviously disagrees, along with a few past Oregonian secretaries of state.

Community groups ask for action on the Portland Harbor Superfund site

Portland Harbor, a 10-mile stretch of the Willamette River running from Sauvie Island to below the Fremont Bridge, was listed as a Superfund Site by the EPA in 2000. In January 2017, the EPA issued a record of decision ordering that those responsible for contaminating the river must clean it up. The polluters had two years to submit plans to clean up contaminants. Since then, the EPA has received designs for most sections of the site, with the exception of Cathedral Park, but little additional action has been taken. Community groups (the Portland Harbor Community Coalition, Willamette River Cleanup, Willamette Riverkeeper, the Audubon Society of Portland), are pushing for movement from the city of Portland, the state of Oregon, and the EPA. When you talk to candidates running for leadership positions in both city and state elections, consider asking what actions they intend to take to speed up the clean up of Portland Harbor.

Warming shelters remain open; requests for volunteers continue

While county and city responses to the current cold snap are better than what we saw during the heat wave six months ago, Multnomah County is struggling to find volunteers to staff warming shelters, especially volunteers able to take overnight shifts. In the short-term, consider signing up for a shift if you have time. You just need to complete a short online training and then pick out times you can volunteer. Long-term, though, we need to talk about why the city and county can afford to fund substantial police forces but can’t pay to staff shelters necessary to keep Portland residents alive. With the acceleration of life-threatening weather, we’ll only see more need for warming and cooling shelters — and volunteers cannot continue to fill these needs. Volunteer burnout was a problem pre-pandemic and the past two years have accelerated it. These systems are unsustainable, but can’t be changed without diverting financial resources from policing and other overfunded efforts.

By Thursday Bram

Thursday Bram founded PDX.Vote after making numerous zines, newsletters, and other media about politics in Portland, Oregon. Thursday has also written for publications ranging from to Entrepreneur Magazine. You can find more of Thursday's work at