Wednesday Digest: December 29, 2021

Metro Council District 6 applications close next week

Metro Councilor Bob Stacey resigned from the Metro Council in October due to health reasons. When a councilor resigns, the Metro Council has ninety days to fill the seat — so they have until January 13, 2022 to appoint a successor from District 6. The successor’s term will last through the beginning of 2023, so any prospective councilor wanting to hold the office through 2024 will need to run in the May 2022 primary. The Metro Council is accepting applications for the position until the close of business on January 3, 2022 and will hold a public hearing to conduct interviews on January 11. The council is expected to vote on candidates during that meeting. Why so close to the deadline? The Metro Council wanted the new districting maps in place before selecting a new councilor, so they could guarantee whoever takes the seat actually lives in the new district.

Two candidates have announced that they intend to seek the seat: Duncan Hwang and Robert Liberty. Liberty was previously elected twice to the Metro Council and resigned in 2011 to take a job with the University of Oregon. Barbara Roberts (previously governor of Oregon) filled the seat after Liberty’s resignation until Stacey was elected to his first term on Metro in 2012. Liberty has said that he doesn’t plan to run in the May primary. Hwang is the interim co-executive director of APANO and has been with the organization for over eight years. During that time, Hwang has focused on creating safer streets, especially in east Portland. Hwang plans to run in May for the District 6 seat.

Johnson brings People for Portland founders on as campaign consultants

Betsy Johnson, the independent gubernatorial candidate whose already brought in over $3.4 million from donors, officially brought on Dan Lavey and Kevin Looper as consultants for her campaign. (If you hit a paywall on The Oregonian’s site, you can also read their article on MSN News.) Johnson has been working with the two on a less formal basis since Johnson started considering a run for governor last summer. Lavey and Looper are both experienced campaign consultants, but you might know them better from their work as the founders of People for Portland.

People for Portland is an anonymously-funded lobbying campaign to force homeless Portlanders off of the streets and further funding Portland police. While not all the backers funding the $500,000+ spent on lobbying the city of Portland just in the third quarter are known, both Columbia Sportswear CEO Tim Boyle and real estate investor Jordan Schnitzer are donors. Both Boyle and Schnitzer have donated to Johnson’s campaign.

New toxic hot spot map from lists multiple sites in Portland

Journalists at Pro Publica analyzed EPA data on cancer-causing industrial emissions and built out a tool to show what hot spots are located near a given address. The latest data available is from 2018. While Portland doesn’t have a danger level high enough to merit Pro Publica diving into our local data, there are a cluster of facilities emitting cancer-causing chemicals in North and Northeast Portland. This matches a larger pattern Pro Publica explored of certain neighborhoods turning into “sacrifice zones.” When broken down by census tracts, tracts that are home to more residents of color face significantly higher industrial air pollution than nearby tracts that are home to more white residents.

El artículo está en español también.

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