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Council Position 6 incumbent fights for safe neighborhoods, economic growth

COURTESY PHOTO: JANINE GLADFELTER - Councilor Janine GladfelterA Gresham resident for nearly two decades who has spent her career advocating for neighbors and businesses is looking to reclaim her seat in city leadership.

Janine Gladfelter, 56, is running for reelection to Council Position 6 against challenger Amanda Orozco-Beach in the upcoming November general election. Gladfelter was first elected in 2018, and has served on the Finance Committee and Community Development Block Grant Committee. She was council president in 2020.

Gladfelter has worked for U.S. Bank for 18 years as a business banking relationship manager.

The Outlook reached out to all of the candidates running in the November general election. Here are Gladfelter's responses, edited for space:

Outlook: Why are you running for Gresham City Council?

Gladfelter: "My passion for improving our beautiful city drives me to continue serving as a leader that will fight for safe neighborhoods, clean streets, and economic prosperity for all. As a business leader myself, I have a first-hand understanding of the big city problems Gresham is facing and I have a clear vision for how we can work together to solve them and improve the community around us."

O: What solutions do you have for public safety?

G: "Our police need to be properly funded so they can keep our community safe and combat the crime wave we're experiencing. We need to bring staffing levels up, work to bring our specialty law enforcement teams back and create a long-term sustainable financial plan. This expansion of our police force should include violence prevention programs for our youth, ongoing community engagement, and enhancement of the police behavioral unit to ensure Gresham's police force is made up of individuals the community can continue to count on."

O: How concerned are you with historic levels of crime?

G: "The spike in crime is the chief concern for all of us and it's my highest priority to bring about solutions as quickly as possible. The bedrock of a thriving and well-run community lies with our ability to address this crime wave head on. As councilwoman, I will continue to support expanding resources to police and our first responders as well as initiatives to prevent crime through youth programs, addiction recovery support, and expansion of mental health services."

O: How would you support the business community?

G: "Our small businesses and the jobs they create are vital to the future of Gresham. As councilwoman I have a strong record of supporting our businesses through the COVID- 19 shutdowns and through support of incentives and other programs to bring more businesses and jobs to Gresham."

O: Do you have ideas to bolster parks and youth recreation?

G: "Parks are a great resource for recreation in our community and they must be well maintained for the benefit of everyone. I support the expansion of our parks and recreation department as our city's general budget allows. They're an important amenity that helps businesses thrive and (attract) top talent to our city. Growing our parks program will be a city and community partnership that helps to support a longer-term solution we can all be proud of."

O: What needs to be done around homelessness and livability?

G: "I believe we must address homelessness with compassion while keeping our streets and sidewalks clean and safe. That means expanding funding to the Homeless Services Team and for mental health while enforcing statutes that keep Gresham beautiful. Gresham's Homeless Services Team does incredible work and I'll continue to be an advocate for expanding the resources available to help combat homelessness in all its forms.

O: What other issues are important to you?

G: "(The) Fire & Rescue Department — we must ensure emergency services are well staffed and funded for their vital mission. It is the hallmark of a well-run community when its citizens can count on the fire trucks to be there when the seconds count. (Also) economic development and housing — I will continue to be a strong voice for job creators and supporting policies that will strengthen and empower Gresham's small businesses to succeed."

O: What sets you apart from the other candidate?

G: "I see my leadership role on the city council as one of a public servant. I'm not a politician and I have no plans to ever seek higher office. For over five years it has and will continue to be an honor and a privilege to serve my community. My core values and judgment for the community are grounded in common sense and due diligence. If re-elected, I will continue to work hard to bring common sense leadership and decision making to Gresham's city council."

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