Candidates for Council Position 1 / Corinne Patel

1. East Portland is home to 25% of the city’s population, yet has historically been allocated a smaller share of city resources than other areas of town. How will you support equity for East Portland in city investments in transportation, parks, housing and economic development?

I believe in changing at large commissioners to 6-7 district commissioners (N, E, NW, NE, SE, SW/S). Equity begins with a seat at the table. This would yield roughly 17% representation but at least begins with East Portland being recognized as its own district within the city.

 

2. East Portland lags behind the rest of the city in personal incomes and job opportunities. What will you do to increase the number of family-wage jobs in East Portland?

I would begin by reaching out to the residents of East Portland and specifically asking what they want and need. I would then work to collaborate those needs with needs throughout the city. Bringing new jobs also requires an investment in infrastructure and public transit to better connect East Portland with the rest of the city.

 

3. Portland is experiencing a severe housing crisis, and East Portland residents are particularly vulnerable to displacement. What tools will you implement to prevent involuntary displacement of low-income people from East Portland?

I believe property ownership is vital to personal investment. I would like to see rent-to-own, First option to buy, and other investments in individuals to make ownership feasible, affordable, and attainable. I support deconstruction for existing old homes and would like to see this method applied to all demo regardless of age (I prefer renovation but sometimes buildings cant be saved).

 

4. What is your strategy to bring East Portland’s street infrastructure up to the standard of the rest of the city?

Begin by realizing we have under invested in this portion of the city and many residents/politicians still carry the bias of East Portland being separate from the rest of the city. The whole city deserves the same standard and no area of the city should be viewed as lesser. This means we need to invest more in East Portland (also some areas of N, SE, and NE) for a few years to bring it to the same standard. East Portland is Portland and deserves equity with the rest of the city.

 

5. If you are elected, what is your vision of East Portland a decade from now? What is your strategy to get us there?

I view it as a vibrant center of life and commerce similar in many ways to areas like Sellwood and St Johns. Many areas of the city and parts of the populace need someone to scream from the roof tops for them. It starts by listening to what the people of the area need and it continues by someone fighting for those residents. I believe its not about what I want. I believe it is about representing the people of my city. My strategy may not be the same or what is wanted by those residents. I believe in listening closely, not superimposing my own wants, and speaking up for those who don’t have the ability. I believe in checking white savior-ism and not leaping to my own conclusions without the input and collaboration of the community I represent.

 

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