What Do We Need in a Mayor?
Does the mayor need to be someone with a history of success in helping businesses? We need to bring living wage jobs to Portland and health care to workers. Therefore, success in helping businesses is helpful. The work of Jerry Adams has been recognized by USA Today as among the top ten innovations to help small businesses in the United States. However, having helped businesses should not be a requirement for the position of mayor.
Does the mayor need to be someone with a history of success in making government more efficient? We have a crisis of confidence in government in Portland. The public does not trust government to spend its money efficiently and said so by voting down Measure 30. Therefore, a history of success with improving government is helpful. Jerry Adams has such a history. He has been Director of a state agency, served as an advisor on a dozen state and national advisory boards, evaluated and improved over 100 government and education programs, and has a very diverse background in helping government at a local, state, and national level. However, having helped make government more efficient should not be a requirement of the position of mayor.
Does the mayor need to be someone who has succeeded in improving education? Half of our income taxes and half of our property taxes go into education. Therefore, success in improving education is helpful. Dr. Adams has had extensive experience in improving education from kindergarten through college level. His company's Web site has been rated as the #1 site for "K-12 education" (out of four million) and it averages over five million visitors per month. Dr. Adams has led the evaluation of over 100 programs and has provided national leadership in the evaluation of teaching in order to improve it. He has a doctoral degree in program evaluation for education and other programs. However, having improved education should not be a requirement for the position of mayor.
Does the mayor need to be someone with a clear vision for Portland's future and a specific plan for our realizing that future? We seem lost now, with high unemployment rates, national recognition as one of the worst places to do business, neighborhoods with high crime rates, and police who are becoming ever more feared than trusted. We have insufficient funds to hire and train the police, teachers, and other core workers to ensure a good quality of life for our people. Money is being spent in ways that seem to place a higher priority on supporting vested interests and corporations than on meeting the needs of neighborhoods. Therefore, a clear vision and a clear plan are helpful.
Jerry Adams has a vision and a specific plan for Portland. This Web site is introducing highlights of his campaign's vision and specific plan, including Five Bold Steps into the Future. However, a clear vision and a specific plan should not be a requirement for the position of mayor.
What, then, should define a good mayor?
A good mayor should be defined, not by how well he or she talks, but how well he or she listens. A good plan is only a good plan if each neighborhood is actively involved in deciding how to adapt the plan to the neighborhood's particular needs.
A good mayor should be defined, not by how much money he or she can raise, but how much integrity he or she has in rejecting donations from inappropriate sources. All but one of the mayoral candidates have made a strong commitment to reject donations that are a conflict of interest. Only one candidate for mayor has accepted large donations from land developers and others who have no business buying influence from the mayor. It is not (yet) illegal, but it shows a lack of integrity to accept such donations. Such donations are a violation of the public trust.
The job of mayor should be defined by integrity, as well as competence.
Watch for television version of KPSU interview on cable.
"Discussion For Change" on Channel 30 TV 9:30pm
Presentation on Channel 22 TV 7-7:30pm.
"Discussion For Change" on Channel 11 TV 8:00pm
K-Lite 106.7 Radio spots at various times
"Discussion For Change" on Channel 30 TV 8:30am & Channel 21 TV 11pm
Mayor's Forum MCTV 7-8pm
Presentation on Channel 23 TV 9:30-10pm
"Discussion For Change" on Channel 23 TV 12 noon & Channel 30 TV 7pm
"Discussion For Change" on Channel 22 TV 12 noon & Channel 30 TV 7pm
"Discussion For Change" on Channel 30 TV 3:30pm
"Discussion For Change" on Channel 23 TV 12 midnight, Channel 21 TV 3pm, Channel 30 TV 9:30pm & Channel 21 TV 11pm
"Discussion For Change" on Channel 30 TV 12 noon
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