As the Metro Council is preparing to finalize the project list for its November 2020 regional transportation ballot measure, it is being pressured by alternative transportation activists to make it harder to pass.
Public opinion polls have consistently shown that most voters believe such a measure should include a mix of road, transit, bike and pedestrian projects. Metro staff has prepared a preliminary list of projects totaling $3.1 billion that is heavy on transit but includes some road improvement projects. But a coalition called Getting There Together is threatening to oppose the measure if it has any projects that improve roads for drivers.
"The coalition will continue to advocate for a multimodal transportation system that makes our streets safe and accessible for people of all ages, abilities and backgrounds, and we will only support projects that do not add additional roadways or widen existing roadways for increased vehicle capacity," the group said in response to the release of the preliminary list.
Wheeler won't take taxpayer campaign funds
Mayor Ted Wheeler's campaign has announced that he will not attempt to qualify for the city's taxpayer-supported public campaign finance system to fund his reelection campaign.
He now must decide whether to restrict contributions to the $500 limit approved by Portland voters, even though a Multnomah County Circuit Court judge has struck down the limit for violating the First Amendment free speech rights in the Oregon Constitution.
Portland voters approved the limit and other campaign reforms at the November 2018 general election. The court upheld some of the reforms, but struck down the limit in June. The court also has struck down similar Multnomah County limits. The issue is headed to the Oregon Supreme Court, where campaign finance reform supporters hope the limits will be upheld.
Wheeler's campaign has $35,000 in the bank after donating $16,000 in previous contributions from Portland hotel owner and European Union ambassador Gordon Sondland to eight local nonprofits and MoveOn.org, which is supporting the impeachment of President Donald Trump. Sondland recently recanted his testimony regarding Trump and communications with Ukrainian officials.
Eudaly says she's running
Portland City Commissioner Chloe Eudaly has confirmed to Willamette Week that she will run for reelection, although she has not yet taken the necessary official steps.
Eudaly's political action committee is still registered for the 2016 elections. It has not received any contributions this year and is more than $2,000 in debt, including loans yet to be repaid.
In the meantime, four candidates have registered committees with state elections officials for the May 2020 primary election. Two of them, former city employee Mingas Mapps and elections reform advocate Seth Wooley, have applied to qualify for city public campaign funding.
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