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PCC-Cascade hosts city's first mayoral debate
Photos and Story by James Hill
Issues of critical importance to Portland’s African American community will be front and center during the first mayoral forum of the campaign season. Six candidates for Portland’s top office will weigh in on matters like education, jobs, gentrification and more at the forum, set for 6 to 7:30 p.m., Friday, March 14, in the auditorium of the Moriarty Arts and Humanities Building, Cascade Campus, 705 N. Killingsworth St.
The forum – presented by PCC Cascade Campus and the Urban League of Portland, and sponsored by the African American Alliance, the African American Chamber of Commerce and the Portland branch of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People – will give Portland voters their first opportunity to see the candidates together on one stage. Admission is free, and light refreshments will be served at a reception following the event. The radio station KBOO, 90.7 FM, on Friday agreed to broadcast the forum.
“There are persistent disparities in health, education, housing, economic opportunity, employment and livability in Portland between African Americans and the general population,” said Urban League President and CEO Marcus C. Mundy. “Our community will want to be assured that the candidate they vote for to lead the city will make elimination of these disparities a top priority.”
Participating candidates include Sam Adams, Sho Dozono, Craig Gier, James B. Lee, Beryl S. McNair and Chris Rich. Ken Boddie, reporter and anchor for KOIN-TV, will moderate the evening’s proceedings. Each candidate will have a chance to introduce him or herself to the audience before fielding questions from the moderator. Questions from audience members will be posed to the candidates toward the end of the forum.
“It is important that candidates for the top position in the city are given the opportunity to address how they will move Portland forward with the well-being of all of our citizens in mind,” said Cascade Campus President Algie Gatewood. “By placing issues of importance to African Americans and other communities of color before the candidates and the voters right out of the gate, we hope to help set the tone that matters of diversity and inclusiveness are critical to the health of our city.”