July 31, 2020
Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler was once overheard saying he couldn't wait for the next 24 months to be over, and the end of his first term as mayor. That was in November 2018 after a health coalition forum where he was heckled.
Fast forward to today and being disrupted during a speech seems minor. Wheeler faces a global pandemic, an economic crisis rivaled only by the Great Depression, and nightly civil unrest on the streets following the killing of George Floyd. But now, he said he has no doubt he wants to be Portland's mayor for another four years.
"This is a leadership moment," Wheeler said. "This is a very tough time, being the mayor of the city of Portland is never particularly easy, but it is a privilege.
Being the mayor of this city has meaning." Wheeler joined host Laural Porter on this this week's episode of KGW's Straight Talk. He acknowledged the myriad of challenges facing the city, but called it a transformational period in history.
"We have an opportunity as a community and as individuals to write that history that decades from now, people will look back on as being a really important inflection period in our city and nation's history," he said.
July 24, 2020
Portland voters will decide between longtime political insider Loretta Smith and political newcomer Dan Ryan, who calls himself a change agent, as the next commissioner on Portland City Council. The winner in the Aug. 11 special election will take the late Nick Fish's council seat, Commissioner Position 2. Fish died in January after a two-year battle with stomach cancer. Smith, a former Multnomah County commissioner, and Ryan, the former executive director of the educational nonprofit All Hands Raised, were the top two vote-getters in the May primary between 18 candidates. Smith and Ryan joined KGW Straight Talk host Laural Porter for a modified debate as they pointed out differences they feel make them the better choice.
July 17, 2020
For the first time, Portland City Commissioner Jo Ann Hardesty said she is open to heading up the Portland Police Bureau.
Traditionally, the mayor has taken on that role, and Mayor Ted Wheeler currently heads the bureau. Hardesty, who is pushing for police reform, had said in recent interviews she had no interest in being police commissioner.
However, during this week's taping of "Straight Talk," Hardesty told KGW's Laural Porter she's warming to the idea of having the police bureau in her portfolio. She currently oversees three first responder bureaus: Portland Fire & Rescue, the Portland Bureau of Emergency Management and the Bureau of Emergency Communications.