Steve Novick: Fixing Portland City Government

Steve Novick spent four tumultuous years on the Portland City Council before being unseated by Chloe Eudaly in November, but he’s not gone off into hiding as many would have done. He recently wrote a piece for Willamette Week about his ideas for fixing what he sees as broken at City Hall. The piece began, “In November, I became the first sitting commissioner to lose re-election in 24 years.”

That’s the frankness and honesty I’ve long admired about Steve, so I was excited to get to talk to him in person recently. I asked him about that election loss, Portland progressives, and asked him to share advice for Mayor Ted Wheeler. And of course we talked about what changes he thinks need to be made to city government.

Oh, and we also talked some baseball, but I’ve left most of that on the cutting room floor.

Jeanne Atkins: the DPO moving forward

“I was gonna do something.”

Two years ago, Jeanne Atkins had thought she was retired and done with public service. Then Kate Brown became Governor, and she appointed Jeanne to fill the remaining two years of her term as Secretary of State. Now Jeanne’s the new Chair of the Democratic Party of Oregon, the DPO. In the era of 45, she heads a party that is looking to maintain electoral dominance in Oregon, being pushed by grassroots activists to be more progressive, and seeking to be an integral part of the resistance.

I spoke with Jeanne about her past work in politics, which included working for Jeff Merkley when he was in the Oregon Legislature and then as his state director after he became a Senator. We spoke about the role of the DPO in candidate selection, the resistance, and helping to bridge the urban-rural divide.

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Rep Diego Hernandez: previewing the 2017 Legislature

My first guest in 2017, now that the Ice Age is behind us, is my new state representative, Diego Hernandez. This podcast will introduce you to the youngest member of the House of Representatives and a great member of our East Portland community. I began by asking him to give me a short bio, and then we moved on to talk about the upcoming legislative session.

Ted Wheeler: keeping in touch with Portland

My guest is Portland Mayor-elect Ted Wheeler. We got together, not to talk about policy or how he’d handle various issues and problems. I wanted to know something more basic: how was he going to maintain an effective, meaningful connection to Portlanders. I discovered he’s been thinking about that question a lot.

Michael Anderson: Transportation & livability

My first guest is Michael Anderson, one of the best journalists in Portland. His beat has covered transit, bicycles, housing and more. I always enjoy talking with or reading Mike’s work. He is the journalist I wish I could have been.

My secondary goal with this podcast is to learn: there is so much I do not know, and people like Michael Anderson have the knowledge and insight I need. I hope you get as much from these conversations as I do.