No Woman of Color Has Ever Served on Portland City Council. This Election Could Change That.

Meet the contenders in this historic race

April 2018, Portland Monthly

In any other modern-day Portland election, the entrance of a vaguely liberal 30-something white guy into a city council race might have elicited a shrug. But last October, when former Oregon Public Broadcasting newscaster Spencer Raymond announced on social media his pursuit of outgoing Commissioner Dan Saltzman’s seat, the response was anything but muted.

“Spencer, do yourself a huge political favor and don’t run,” state Rep. Diego Hernandez, a Portland Democrat, wrote on Facebook—in one of the milder comments.

The backdrop for this backlash? Something the city of Portland has never seen in its 167-year history: when voters fill out ballots in May’s city council primary, a woman of color is likely to come out on top. It’s very possible two women of color will face each other in a November runoff, and a national midterm certain to evoke heated passions will also bring a Portland milestone.


Oregon Is a Bastion of Lady Political Power—and Is Challenging the DC Frat House

From the State House to Portland City Hall, meet the politicians and power brokers of this pantsuit posse.

April 2017, Portland Monthly

Right now, five women serve as governors in the United States. Let that sink in: five out of 50, a paltry 10 percent. But one of those women—get ready to pat your own back—is Oregon’s Gov. Kate Brown.

As one of just two female Democratic governors, Brown finds herself a newly minted “shero” to the American left—a petite, progressive antidote to the raging testosterone of President Donald J. Trump. (You may remember that the president toasted US governors and their “wives” at a February dinner.) Dubbed “America’s radical feminist governor” by the New Yorker in a flattering recent profile, Brown has lots of female company atop Oregon’s power structures.

From the State House to Portland City Hall, female politicians and power brokers are turning Oregon into a West Coast foil to a DC landscape roamed by self-styled alpha males.