Updated: Sept. 11
This page will be updated as new candidates file for election.
Come November 2024, Portlanders will be asked to choose among what's likely to be a crowded field of City Council candidates.
The 2024 General Election will see Portland elect a new 12-person council—more than doubling the current size of five—with voters using a ranked choice system to select candidates in order of preference. Three people from each of four districts will be elected, in addition to a mayor voted on, citywide. Portland's next mayor will have limited voting power, but maintain administrative authority over some aspects of City Hall.
Instead of city commissioners serving as bureau leaders, a new city administrator will be hired.
With Portland's new voting districts confirmed, a bevy of candidates are already kicking off campaigns.
A lifelong Portlander, Linn has lived in various neighborhoods across the city, mostly in East Portland, and he currently resides in the Centennial neighborhood. He is currently serving in his third year as an elected school board member for the Centennial School District. Linn has also served as the chair of the Centennial Community Association, and was on the Montavilla Neighborhood Association when he lived in that neighborhood. "Community organizing is my passion in life," Linn told the Mercury.
Linn holds a Master's of Public Administration from Portland State University with a specialty in local government. He works for the state of Oregon, currently serving as the executive assistant for the state Board of Speech-Language Pathology & Audiology.
He said his campaign was "spurred by the excitement about the new team of district representation."
"East Portland has experienced years of community frustration about the lack of communication, lack of accountability, and lack of transparency from City Hall," Linn told the Mercury. "I plan on making my campaign about representing East Portland. That means showing up in all 13 neighborhoods and listening to the stories and opinions of the people living here. This is about getting Portland on a new positive path working along with 11 other city councilors."
Routh is a longtime community organizer and advocate for transportation and education reform who lives in East Portland's Lents neighborhood. Her past roles include leading nonprofit Oregon Walks as its first executive director, co-directing the Portland Underground Grad School, and heading the campaign for the Fixing Our Streets gas tax measure, which voters re-approved in 2020.
Routh is currently an adjunct instructor at Portland State University’s School of Urban Studies and Planning, and she started her own consulting firm, Steph Routh and Team, to advise on community involvement, organizational development, and communications strategy. Routh is also a member of the Portland Planning and Sustainability Commission.
Ender, 33, is a resident of East Portland's Hazelwood neighborhood. The son of Turkish immigrants, Ender grew up in Raleigh, North Carolina, before relocating to Portland to complete a law degree at Lewis & Clark College. This will be his first time running for political office.
Ender is known in Portland's transportation advocacy community for his work as a transportation policy advisor for former Commissioner Steve Novick, as well as for his time as a planner at the Portland Bureau of Transportation. Ender is also on the board of transportation safety non-profit Oregon Walks.
Ender said he thinks our current City Council is "spending a lot of time and money chasing the downstream effects of issues" facing Portland, such as gun violence, climate change, traffic safety, health inequities, and economic development.
"We need to pay greater attention to how the built environment shapes health outcomes and do more to provide people with upward economic mobility," Ender told the Mercury.
A longtime City of Portland employee, Ender said he "understands East Portland and knows how city government works."
"As we transition to a new form of government, one skill I bring is knowing the funding sources the city deals with, how project delivery occurs, where the pinch points are, and how contracting can accomplish some of our shared goals," Ender told the Mercury.
But, he said, community comes first.
"The things that have brought me the greatest joy have been working on the ground in East Portland with community members," Ender said. "I love talking to people, hearing great ideas, and working together to make things happen."
Sherman ran for Seat 4 on the Portland Public Schools Board of Education in 2021, losing in the general election. He worked on Teressa Raiford's 2020 write-in campaign for Portland mayor. More information about Sherman is forthcoming.
Burnell, 43, is a North Portland resident who has lived in the city on and off for 20 years. Burnell works in mental health and substance abuse treatment: He is currently a certified alcohol and drug substance abuse counselor for clients in the Portland metro area, and he was the co-chair of Oregon's 988 Suicide Hotline initiative. He also contributed policy writing to the Oregon Health Authority's Adult Suicide Intervention and Prevention Plan.
Burnell has also been involved in the Multnomah County Democratic Party. He told the Mercury from that political vantage point, he decided he wanted to get more directly involved in local politics.
"Our city deserves to see leaders that will make policies and changes that will let our city thrive, while listening to the people and not just have politicians try to solve problems for political gain or pull moves to stay in power," Burnell said.
Burnell co-chairs the Government Transition Advisory Committee, an appointed group overseeing the Portland government's transition to a new charter.
"The voice of the voters has not been heard in City Hall, and it is time for everyday Portlanders to get involved in our city’s management," Burnell said. "I believe it is fundamentally important for everyday Portlanders to have a seat at the table, and not allow our city to be run only by big names and big money. I believe that Portland can prosper as a city with the right people in government."
Sandeep Bali is a pharmacist who lives in Portland’s Laurelhurst neighborhood. He ran for City Council in 2022 against current Commissioner Dan Ryan.
Bali founded nonprofit Next Level, which provides scholarships to Pacific University students seeking a career in health care. Bali faults current Portland leadership for “ubiquitous homelessness, record-breaking violence and crime,” as well as “shuttered businesses and piles of trash” that he says have come to embody Portland. The District 3 candidate says the current Council hasn’t been tough enough on homelessness and drug use, despite recent policies that seek to criminalize both.
Cornett has run for office before and worked on the last two presidential campaigns for Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders. State records show Cornett currently works for ADP, a payroll software company.
Cornett has also served as an adjunct instructor at Portland State University, teaching political science courses, and is on the board of addiction recovery nonprofit Oregon Recovers.
Cornett points to what he calls a disjointed relationship between the city and county and says building stronger social safety nets for those in need is key to fixing Portland’s addiction and homelessness crises.
Daniel DeMelo (formerly Daniel Vogel) 26, lives in Kerns and chairs the Joint Office of Homeless Services community budget advisory committee, as well as the county's main budget advisory committee. DeMelo refers to himself as a "queer, car-free" Portlander who was raised in the city and became politically and civically engaged at a young age.
"I’m of the lockdown generation, the mass shooting generation, the generation that can’t afford a home in which we might choke on the smoke of a burning planet," DeMelo says. "I aim to be the youngest ever elected to the Portland City Council, not for the achievement, but because, for far too long, the voices of young Portlanders have been sidelined while our political establishment has made our city unclean, unsafe and unengaged."
DeMelo says he's inspired by the fervor of Gen Z on issues like the climate crisis and racial justice. While this is his first run for office, DeMelo says his work on county budget committees led to calls for the county to prioritize public input on the its overall budget and greater oversight of county spending in the Joint Office of Homeless Services. DeMelo has publicly called for more effective management of taxpayer money at JOHS, which he says the county failed to provide a roadmap for.
"While Portland prides itself on being 'The City That Works,” my neighbors in District 3 too often see it as 'The City That’s Working On It. Enough is enough," DeMelo says. "I’m ready to take decisive action to end homelessness, resolve our housing affordability crisis, and commit to ensuring our streets and other public places are clean and safe. I’m committed to ensuring we make real progress on our progressive commitments."
Chris Flanary lives in the Montavilla neighborhood and has been a longtime staffer at the Portland Housing Bureau. Flanary is also the elected organizer for AFSCME Local 189, the union representing Portland’s municipal employees.
Flanary cites a “people first” policy approach that emphasizes livability and affordability, with a mission to ensure living wages, and to encourage small business entrepreneurship.
Angelita Morillo, 27, lives in the Buckman neighborhood and works as a policy advocate for Partners For a Hunger-Free Oregon. Morillo also serves on the city's Rental Services Commission. She previously worked for former Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty.
Morillo moved to the United States as a young child and grew up in Portland, attending Lincoln High School before studying political science at Portland State University. She was homeless for a brief stint and says her lived experience motivated her to run for office.
"The day that Portland City Council approved extremely expensive and inefficient mass encampments when houseless advocates told them how dangerous those encampments would be, I knew we needed new leadership," Morillo says. "As someone who has been homeless myself, I just thought that this cruel, costly, and inefficient system cannot possibly be the only way."
Morillo also denounced the council's "sabotage of successful programs" like Portland Street Response (PSR), and Commissioner Rene Gonzalez's policy decisions to halt the distribution of tarps and tents in February, right before a snow storm.
"He later tweeted that it was an acceptable loss that Portlanders living on the streets could lose fingers because of frostbite," Morillo said. "During a moment of crisis, this is how our City Council responded to the needs of Portlanders."
Morillo says the city needs leaders with policy knowledge and "people who know how to convene community and listen to them, not people who hold backroom meetings with wealthy donors and decide for everyone else what needs to be done."
Robin Ye, 29, lives in Montavilla and currently serves as chief of staff to Oregon Rep. Khanh Pham.
Ye also served for two years on the Portland City Charter Review Commission and was a field director for Portland United for Change, the ballot measure that brought about charter reform. This is Ye’s first run for office.
Ye says he’s running to “fulfill the voters’ vision for an improved council” that focuses on legislation and oversight, with a collaborative approach to policy making for “Portlanders who deserve better.”
“We can’t afford more years of dysfunction – we have one shot at a fresh start,” Ye said.
“From issues as large as our housing and climate crisis to the crumbling state of our local roads, Portland needs results,” Ye told the Mercury. “I am committed to delivering a city government that Portlanders can be proud of.”
Stephen Hall lives in Southwest Portland's Hillsdale neighborhood. Born and raised in Oregon, Hall says Portland is in "a critical moment" as it undergoes government transition amid a rise in political extremism and recovery from the pandemic.
Hall, 41, has worked as a pastor in various Portland churches for the past 15 years. He lists himself as a self-employed communications consultant on campaign committee filings. The longtime Oregonian says Portland has a lot to offer, but we need to right the ship.
"For years we have been throwing millions of dollars at the matrix of issues surrounding substance abuse disorder, mental illness, and houselessness, only to see these problems become larger and seemingly more intractable," Hall said, citing "a vacuum of leadership at city and county levels."
"Our city needs leaders that have a sense of urgency and are willing to take action to solve the humanitarian crisis unfolding on our city streets rather than point fingers and blame shift," Hall told the Mercury. "Portland is an incredible city, but we must return to the basic civic work of caring for victims, deterring crime, building up our green spaces for all to enjoy, and incentivizing our creative class to take risks and build more of the small businesses that have always made our city so uniquely beautiful."
Tony Morse, 42, lives in Woodstock, near the District 4 boundary. Morse, a policy and advocacy director at Oregon Recovers, says addiction recovery is a hallmark of his campaign and policy priorities.
Morse, who has a diverse background in both law and real estate, said Portland needs "a champion for recovery."
"We have an addiction crisis that impacts every part of daily life, from homelessness and community livability, to public safety and the reputation of our city," Morse told the Mercury. "Portland needs someone with the lived experience and policy expertise necessary to help center and elevate recovery as we work to solve our city’s interconnected challenges."
Morse previously worked as a field organizer for the Democratic Party of Oregon and was a real estate agent for eight years. He also worked in law, having served two and a half years as a judicial law clerk in Multnomah County Circuit Court and working with drug treatment courts.
"I grew passionate about the importance of good government in law school, and as an attorney I practiced complex civil litigation," Morse noted.
Oregon State Bar records confirm Morse was admitted in 2008, but doesn't currently practice law.
Despite having worked on several political campaigns, this is Morse's first run for office.
Moses Ross lives in Southwest Portland's Multnomah neighborhood, and chairs the Multnomah Neighborhood Association. He runs M.J. Ross Group Inc., a political consulting business that largely assists Democratic candidates.
A single father, Ross has volunteered with his local PTA and has been involved with Democratic Party organizing at the county and state level. Ross has served on the Multnomah County Community Budget Advisory Committee since 2018. Prior to that, he served on the county's Charter Review Committee in 2015 and championed a county campaign finance reform measure that passed with overwhelming voter support.
In 2017, he ran for a seat on the Portland Community College Board, but lost to Valdez Bravo.
Ross says leading his neighborhood association gave him "a front-line seat to the impact of houselessness and the addiction crisis happening within Portland neighborhoods."
"The quality of life in every neighborhood in District 4, as well as Citywide, has been affected in some way. I hear it every day," Ross says. "Folks are frustrated with the City and they feel unheard and disrespected by our City leaders. I think we need to hold each other accountable and elections are how we do that."
Ross said it's no surprise Portlanders voted for a charter change that will reform the city's governance.
"I'm running because I believe that we in Portland's neighborhoods are the heart and soul of this city. We are alive and well, open for business and visitors. I want us to thrive and make sure this new City Council supports us. I KNOW that what is currently wrong with Portland can be corrected by all that is right with Portland."
Mingus Mapps is a current city commissioner. He oversees Portland's Bureau of Transportation (PBOT), the Portland Water Bureau and the Bureau of Environmental Services. Mapps studied political science at Reed College, and has a Ph.D. from Cornell University.
In a recent interview with the Mercury, Mapps underscored the need to shore up funding for PBOT and demand more accountability and transparency from Multnomah County—which the city partners with on the Joint Office of Homeless Services.
He's maintained a largely centrist platform, noting the need to provide shelter to every unhoused Portlander, while also voting to support the city's prohibition on homeless tents and sleeping bags in public spaces during daytime hours.
Durell Kinsey Bey
Durell Kinsey Bey, 29, lives in Portland's Centennial Neighborhood with his wife and children. Kinsey Bey works with the David Douglas School District as a youth essentials coordinator for REAP- a multicultural youth leadership and development program.
He says he became interested in a political run in 2015, when he discovered the American Descendants of Slavery (ADOS) Advocacy Foundation and started watching YouTube videos and learning about the importance of politics.
Kinsey Bey has no prior political experience. He briefly considered a campaign for a Congressional seat in Washington against incumbent Congressman Dan Newhouse, but says he ended his campaign before he filed for election, when he met his future wife in Portland. Since moving to the Rose City, Kinsey Bey said he's learned about the "good, bad and indifferent waves of its history." He said Portland's moral compass has been lost and insists radical change is needed to "take back the dignity of this city!"
"It isn't about the seat itself, it is about what can be done within the seat," Kinsey Bey said of his decision to run for mayor, rather than a city commissioner seat. The candidate emphasized the power of the mayor, but under Portland's new form of government, the mayor will only vote on City Council decisions when needed to break a tie. Instead, the next mayor's role will largely be administrative, working in tandem with a new city manager.