Meet the Candidates: Stovall advocates for investment in police
This should be a relatively smooth election season for Gresham Mayor Travis Stovall, who is running for reelection unopposed after winning a tight race two years ago with the unexpected resignation of his predecessor.
Stovall, 49, has lived in Gresham for 16 years and is the founder of eRep, a talent selection and management technology company headquartered locally. He first took his seat with a bevy of experience — most notably serving on the TriMet board of directors from 2012-2020.
The Outlook reached out to all of the candidates running in the November general election, and more Q&As will be shared in the coming weeks. Here are Stovall's responses, edited for space:
Outlook: Why are you running for reelection?
Stovall: "Gresham is an incredible city that is still working on achieving its full potential. I believe there is substantial unfinished work that I can contribute to make Gresham one of the most livable cities in America."
O: What solutions do you have for public safety?
S: "I am very concerned about the historic levels of crime in our city, in our region and across the country. There are a number of things that have contributed to this rise in crime and it will take a multi-pronged approach to solve the issues. First we have to continue to drive a deeper partnership with our community. Next we have to continue to engage and support our law enforcement personnel. That includes making sure we have stable funding both now and well into the future. As a community we have to pass a measure to fully invest in our city."
O: How would you support the business community?
S: "Businesses are still struggling, and we need to continue to support those recovery efforts. We also have to ensure we aren't creating barriers for commerce within our community. We have to listen to our business community to best understand the ways we can appropriately respond to their concerns and to also make business resources available to all to want to start and run a business in our community."
O: Do you have ideas to bolster youth recreation and parks?
S: "We are completing our long-term financial stability plan which includes parks and recreation funding opportunities. We also need to continue to evaluate appropriate partnerships with education and business communities to be creative around access (like) a park play funded in large part by Wells Fargo Bank."
O: What needs to be done around homelessness and community livability?
S: "As other communities continue to reach out to Gresham to better understand how they can replicate our success we remain deeply committed to providing the much-needed assistance. Furthermore, we have to seek out additional funding solutions to expand our efforts across the housing needs spectrum."
O: What other issues are important to you?
S: "Economic opportunity (…) So much of a community's vibrancy comes from the ability of its members to contribute to the health of the community. That starts with having the economic capacity to do that. Assisting people in their desire to move from poverty to prosperity can only assist a community in achieving its full potential. (Also) recognizing the trades as a college degree equivalent is another important issue that doesn't get much press. This should be recognized as the similar equivalency as college degrees.
O: Why are you a good fit for Gresham?
S: "My education and experience has prepared me well to assist in the key areas that our city is wrestling with now and in the coming years. The financial challenges, the ability to plan and execute on the plan to cause the desired outcomes have been a hallmark of my past contributions to the organizations I have been a part of. As we move forward my lived experiences will inform some of the work that we have to struggle with during this time."
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