No mayoral candidate is perfect. Everybody has parts of their past that they would rather forget about. However, when it comes to supporting who I believe will help push this city forward, I like to look at the policies candidates bring out and how they get their ideas across. That is why I support Jefferson Smith.
Charlie Hales is a great guy, and I can tell he is passionate about this city, but whenever I listen to him on the radio or see him in a debate I never get a specific idea of what he wants to do. When I look for a mayor, I do not look for the candidate that I would most like to go fishing with. I look for the candidate who I think will be best for the city of Portland.
Throughout the race, Smith has pushed specific plans to change Portland for the better. Each plan includes clear steps and financial analyses. While Smith wants to improve the city, he also always considers the costs of such improvements.
One example of this is his view on the Columbia River Crossing. Smith has a much better handle on the inner workings of the project than his opponent, and he supports the Common Sense Alternative, which will cost over $1 billion less than the current plan. He has also made it very clear that freight mobility and seismic integrity are his top priorities, not traffic. Hales is much more vague on the topic, simply saying that he wants the project to cost less than it does now.
On the topic of the police bureau, Smith’s point-by-point plan to help change the bureau’s outlook toward the mentally ill is a breath of fresh air.
Speaking of fresh, when it comes to water fluoridation, I agree with Smith on view that the citizens of Portland should vote on water fluoridation. I want to have my opinion heard on issues, like fluoridation, that directly affect me, and I know Smith wants to listen.
I appreciate the fact that Smith looks for ideas that have worked for other cities, and that he wants to implement them in Portland to make the city better. I also like his enthusiasm about bringing new industries to Portland.
I want a leader who makes me excited for the future. That’s why I want Jefferson Smith for mayor.