Practical Business Experience Versus Erik Sten

Eastside Guy, featured in Brainstorm Magazine

Yesterday evening I announced my candidacy for the Portland City Council position number two. The incumbent is Commissioner Erik Sten. Portland’s city charter looks to the city commissioners to fill the role of both legislators and administrators. City commissioners are required to manage the city’s bureaus. Unfortunately, our city council is hobbled by a lack of private sector experience. Because of this the city has lost fifty thousand jobs over the last few years and increased taxation is often viewed by the leadership as the solution to the problem. I’m a native of Portland. When I graduated from Cleveland High School in 1972 this community was replete with opportunity. We had a thriving industrial base and there was a multitude of entry level jobs that started at well above the minimum wage. We had excellent schools. We had excellent infrastructure. We had a thriving middle class. Thirty years later this city is a mess. Ambitious, educated people are attracted to our community for the wonderful lifestyle only to find that there are no jobs. MBA’s are waiting tables. If someone is able to start a successful business venture, they must relocate once they became profitable because of our uncompetitive tax structure. The current city leadership is unable to deal with this problem; they simply don’t have the experience. What housing is affordable without a job? I’ve managed or owned a small business in Portland since 1980. I know what it is to make and stick to a budget. I know what it is to meet a payroll. I am absolutely convinced that the only way out of this mess is to revitalize our local economy by giving small business, the true job creation engine, an environment in which they can be competitive. With your help, I think we can make that happen. I’d be proud to have your support.

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Posted by at 09:06 | Posted in Measure 37 | 12 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • Who needs those stinking jobs anyway. Just bulldoze industry and build million dollar, tax exempt, condos.

    We can all work for the government.


  • Dave A,

    A perfect example of City Hall’s incompetence is the foolish OHSU Tram Projetc that has now ballooned into a 55 million dollar project that noone knows who is going to get stuck with the bill for at least 15 million of that cost. Want to bet the City taxpayers get the pointy end of the stick on that.
    As a small business owner here for over 17 years, I’ve concluded that the Portland City Council is run by fiscal IDIOTS. NONE of these people – especially Sten, Leonard, and that ASSHAT Potter have any clue how to deal with a budget. And yet the morons in Portland keep on electing these same clowns year after year.
    Fortunately, I am planning to retire to Nevada in the next two years and can hardly wait to leave!

  • To quote Dave from last night’s Executive Club …

    “We’re going to give Sten the business experience he asked for.”

    Go get ’em Dave!

  • rickyragg


    Tell me more.

    Political philosophy? (short version)
    Insider connections?

    I’m interested. Not on the “anybody but Sten” level, but I think that the city council is lacking more than private sector “experience”.

    It’s a start, though.

  • Hey Rickyagg-

    Dave’s campaign literally just got started. Check back to his website ( later for the answers to the questions that you’re asking about.

    As far as my personal experience with Dave … he’s written one posting on transportation (!.html#extended) for OregonCatalyst and several comments about local government (City council, pdc, and metro) meetings that he’s attending. I’ve found him to be a vocal and passionate … 2 characteristics that make a great leader.

  • !!!Go Dave Go!!!

  • Thank you all for the encouragement. We should have full content up on the website by Monday. The response last night was overwhelming and I am grateful.


  • rickyragg


    Tell DL to fix the title of his post.



    Don’t give them free throws.

  • rickyragg

    Dave Lister,

    I look forward to seeing the website next week.

    Just have somebody spell check it.

    You know how they are.

  • Lee

    Dave: Please use the tram as a symbol of Stens thinking as well as the rest of the Council. The tram thinking permeates throughout so many of the 12 years of Stens years on the council. You might have heard some of the comments, etc. Eric has made in the past 12 in regards to North Macadam and the Tram. Delighful.

  • Lee

    Forgot to include: Urban Renewal, and the city’s misuse of statutes in that regard, is a major campaign issue that needs to be discussed earnestly in your campaign. There are several UR districts in Portland that demonstrates the misuses.

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