Portland architect says homelessness and the affordable housing crisis are his top priorities in Tuesday announcement.

CONTRIBUTED - Stuart EmmonsPortland architect Stuart Emmons announced for the City Council seat being vacated by Commissioner Dan Saltzman on Tuesday.

In a press release and video posted on his campaign website, Emmons said homelessness and the affordable housing crisis are his top priorities.

"More and more of Portlanders are homeless or in a housing crisis. Though our city has had record growth, homelessness and housing instability have increased, making it difficult or impossible for too many people to find a well-paying job, or keep a job, or to further their education or skills training, or take care of chronic health conditions," said Emmons.

The announcement brings the number of candidates running for the Position 3 seat to five. The others are Multnomah County Commissioner Loretta Smith, NACCP Portland Chapter President Jo Ann Hardesty, mayoral staffer and David Douglas School Board member Andrea Valderrama, and Northwest Portland neighborhood activist Felicia Williams.

Another candidate, former Oregon Public Broadcasting newscaster Spencer Raymond, dropped out of the race after being criticized for being a white male running aginst three minority women.

Asked how he would respond to such criticism, Emmons said, "I'm not running against anyone. I'm running because we have an affordable housing crisis, and I have experience building affordable housing. I'm running for the people living on the streets and at risk of becoming homeless."

Emmons ran against former City Commissioner Steve Novick in 2016, finishing third behind bookstore owner Chloe Eudaly in the May primary election She went on to defeat Novick in the November runoff election.

Emmons, who started the Emmons Design architecture and planning firm, is also known as co-founder of Friends of the Memorial Coliseum, which is seeking to preserve the iconic Portland spectator facility.

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