Two Tigard residents file for two open council seats
So far, two candidates have filed to run for seats on the Tigard City Council.
Jai Raj Singh works for an agency that promotes intercultural justice throughout Oregon. Yi-Kang Hu is a Tigard planning commissioner, lawyer and business owner. Both have filed their papers at Tigard City Hall for the Nov. 8 general election.
Singh and Hu are running for seats currently held by Councilors Liz Newton and John Goodhouse.
Newton has said she will not seek re-election to her position. Goodhouse has announced he will run for mayor, although city staff confirmed he has not yet officially filed for the position.
Both council positions expire Dec. 31.
Jai Raj Singh
A program director at Unite Oregon, Singh holds a bachelor's degree in environmental studies from Emory University and a master's degree in urban and regional planning from Portland State University.
Like Hu, Singh is a city volunteer, having served on Tigard's community engagement committee.
"I am running for Tigard City Council because I believe in its vision to be an equitable community that is walkable, healthy, and accessible for everyone," said Singh. "I am eager to help continue to cultivate a civically engaged and more climate resilient Tigard."
Singh is Indian American. At present, all five elected members of the Tigard City Council are white. But Tigard itself is just 72% non-Hispanic white, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Singh said he believes "it is time for Tigard City Council to truly reflect the diversity of the city and for its leaders to serve and engage all communities, especially those that have not traditionally been involved in local government."
If elected, Singh said he'd like to find ways to reduce barriers to civic participation and enhance the city's civic engagement process.
"Public service has always been an important part of my life, and in past years, I've served on boards and committees of multiple government and community organizations," Hu said, explaining why he is running for the council position.
Hu is currently president of the planning commission. In many cities like Tigard, the planning commission is often a stepping stone to a council seat, since planning commissioners get lots of experience dealing with community development, land-use and legal issues. Serving on the planning commission also gives volunteers a look at the inner workings of city government.
"I've worked with the city on hundreds of land-use cases as a planning commissioner, and serving on the City Council seems like a logical next step to continue my public service," Hu said.
Hu is a food and drug lawyer whose practice focuses on federal laws and regulations. He has a law degree from Lewis & Clark Law School as well as a doctorate in biochemistry and molecular biology from Oregon Health & Science University.
If elected, Hu said one of his focuses would be on Tigard's housing crisis, specifically policy and programs that promote more housing and housing options. As a planning commissioner, he helped developed Tigard's "lean code," which makes it easier for developers to get projects approved in the Tigard Triangle, the 500-acre parcel of property bounded by Highway 99W to the north, Highway 217 to the west and south and Interstate 5 to the east.
Hu and Singh could still see more competitors file for the two open seats. The deadline to file for a seat on the Tigard City Council is Aug. 8.
In Tigard, the top two vote-getters at each general election are elected as city councilors.
Meanwhile, no one has yet filed to become Tigard's next mayor, although two city councilors have said they are running.
Tigard Mayor Jason Snider is not eligible for re-election based on the city's charter, which doesn't allow anyone to serve 12 consecutive years on the City Council, as Snider was first elected to the council in 2012. In April, the council determined he would need at least a two-year break in his service not to be subject to the consecutive-years limit.
In addition to Goodhouse, Council President Heidi Lueb has said she plans on filing for the mayor's seat as well. Lueb's term as a city councilor is not up until Dec. 31, 2024.
The deadline to apply for mayor is Aug. 25.
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