Candace Avalos

Portland City Council, Position 1

My name is Candace Avalos and I am a first generation “Blacktina” from the east coast that transplanted to Portland in 2013. I come from a family of Guatemalan immigrants that came to the United States in the 1960s seeking a brighter future, fleeing violence, poverty, and a lack of opportunities.

These roots have taught me to appreciate the value of the vote, as my grandparents faithfully cast their vote in every election cycle seeking leaders that will continue to support their success. This sparked my interest in government accountability and serving the needs of its constituents.

After finishing my Masters of Education at James Madison University, I have called Portland home. For the last six years I have been working at Portland State University, mentoring and cultivating students in civic engagement, on campus and in their communities. As a product of a vibrant college campus that engaged me in social and civic activities, I have continued that passion in helping the next generation of student leaders to find their voice as an educator and advocate. Through my time at PSU, I have seen that the issues facing our students – namely, houselessness and housing instability – are similar to the core issues facing the city of Portland.

I decided to start investing more of my energy in seeking ways to engage with the city to address some of these issues, practicing what I preach to my students every day in their advocacy for change. That’s why I serve on a city commission to increase transparency, accountability and public confidence in law enforcement. This work has taught me that we can do better in Portland city government by engaging with our unique communities in creative ways, bridging together the great work of community leaders and organizations, and finally, by addressing the outdated commissioner system of government that keeps holding us back as a city.

As your next city commissioner, I am committed to bringing my experience as an educator and change management facilitator, relational leadership, innovative constituent engagement strategies, and determination to fight passionately for the people of Portland to city hall.

Most of all, I am prepared to champion the effort to decommission city council and bring district representation to Portlanders. As this city continues to grow and change, our leaders must grow and change with it. We need bold leadership today, because Portland deserves a better tomorrow. I believe in our future, and with your vote, I will fight for it as your commissioner.

View Candace's response to the Candidate-Platform Alignment Questionnaire:

Candidate comments (optional)

III: Education
I started my career as a K-12 teacher in English as a Second Language, and now I’m an educator at Portland State University, teaching classes on civic engagement and leadership. Schools are the lifeblood of a community—when we invest in our children, we are investing in our future. I want Portland to be a place where our children can grow up in a nurturing environment, rich with resources and opportunities for growth, and that they can invest their talents back into the city as they get older. I believe when our schools get adequate funding, they lift up the communities they serve by giving young people a path towards upward mobility. As an educator for over a decade, I know first hand the lack of resources and support teachers receive. Our only way forward as a society is to invest in education that uplifts all our communities, and I want to ensure all of Portland’s kids have the same opportunities. I will use my position of power on Portland City Council to support funding for schools whenever and however I can.

X. Economy
As we prepare for life post COVID-19, it’s going to be so important that our government step up and put in the safety nets that we’ve been asking for and deserve as the people, and make sure that the voices that are helping decide our future are including those that have been left behind. A big reason I am running for office is because I represent a generation that has been left behind by our economy and left out of the conversation. One of the first things I will advocate for is a publicly-owned municipal bank to keep Portlanders’ tax dollars circulating locally. Collecting thousands in tax revenue each year and then parking that money in commercial banks that choose the projects and industries in which to invest the city’s money doesn’t put our priorities first. Portland could benefit greatly from having the banks’ priorities set by voters and run by civil servants to benefit local taxpayers. This is one part of a larger vision for the recovery of our economy in the aftermath of the pandemic. Additionally, we will need to find flexible funds in our budget to deeply invest in small businesses to help reboot our economy. As we continue to see the impact of a changing society and workforce, it’s important that on the local level of government we make decisions that give Portlanders equitable access to growth opportunities. This includes prioritizing local businesses, creating more apprenticeships for young people to learn trades, and investing in local labor on major city projects. A more equitable Portland is not possible without addressing the urgent need to unionize labor and combat growing wage inequality. The affordability and livability of our city needs to be a cornerstone for how we continue to grow.

I. Basic Rights
We call on our state legislators to pursue universal publicly funded health care for the state of Oregon.
We call for all members of Oregon’s Congressional Delegation to co-sponsor and actively work for the passage of expanded and improved Medicare.
We support the continuation and expansion of Medicaid.
Agree
We recognize that there is a housing crisis in our local communities and across the state. We direct Multnomah County and the City of Portland to develop affordable housing for individuals and families with zero to moderate incomes. Agree
We strongly support women’s rights to reproductive freedom of choice including unfettered access to reproductive health care services regardless of their ability to pay.
We oppose any legislation that would defund Planned Parenthood.
Agree
Comments (optional)
II: Natural Resources Protection and Recovery
We support passage of state legislation to change our goals for economy-wide reduction of Oregon’s Greenhouse Gas emissions to net zero by 2050 and at least 50% reduction by 2035. Agree
We support the development and passage of legislation to provide mandates and incentives to:

• Expand public transportation systems; Advance an early transition to electric and zero-emission vehicles;
• Advance weatherization and structural improvements in existing buildings; Support implementation of solar energy production;
• Advance new net-zero-energy buildings and methane-free new construction; Incentivize energy efficiency in Oregon’s industries;
• Improve tree canopy and rooftop plantings where possible in all urban areas to reduce heat island effect;
• Require that electricity be produced entirely by renewable sources by 2040 and require net zero carbon building codes by 2030.

Agree
We support the development and passage of a Forest Protection and Restoration Act that will:

• Eliminate clear-cut forestry on all publicly held and managed lands and maximize climate resilient management;
• Eliminate all tax incentives to industrial forests not employing climate resilient management practices that re-establish multi-species and multi-aged forests, including protecting riparian areas that will lower stream temperature for fish habitat, restore intact functioning watershed areas, reduce landslides, protect municipal water supplies, and restore floodplain functioning to Oregon’s rivers and streams;
• Maintain incentives and subsidize independent landholders who engage in these practices;
• Reduce roads in forests; Develop and implement treatments to restore healthy forest soils;
• Accelerate programs to reduce and eventually eliminate forest stream passage barriers in Oregon;
• And re-evaluate the property tax structure for Oregon’s commercial forests.

Agree
We support a ban for any new fossil fuel infrastructure. Agree
Comments (optional)
III: Education
We call for legislation compelling large corporations to pay their fair share of taxes toward full funding to ensure the future of Oregon education Agree
We support public funding of a full-day, full-year, universal public preschool program for children age 3 to 4 in Multnomah County that is high quality, playbased, culturally responsive, and developmentally appropriate for young children. Agree
We recognize that poverty is a systemic problem embedded in society at large and believe that schools can be responsive in addressing poverty-related traumas, including the effects on highly mobile students. Therefore, we recommend that funding be invested in PreK-12 wrap-around services including mentoring, after-school programs, counselors, culturally relevant curriculum and instruction, and critical race theory initiatives, and other programs that have been proven effective in assuring student success. Agree
Comments (optional)
IV: Equity
We call for proactive educational programs for all law enforcement personnel and for all local, city, county, and state government personnel to safeguard black and brown lives and protect them from race-based law enforcement actions that far too often end in death. Agree
We demand equal pay for equal work for women from all employers in Multnomah County. Agree
Black Lives Matter. We call for legislation that provides meaningful protection for African Americans at all levels of the justice system Agree
Comments (optional)
V: Tribal Sovereignty
We call for universal, publicly funded health care to close health disparities exacerbated by Congress chronically under-funding Indian Health Service. Agree
We demand compliance with treaties between the United States and Tribal nations and hold the federal government to their trust responsibility. Agree
We support legislation that fully funds teams of investigators to work in consultation with Tribal authorities to respond to each murder and disappearance of Native American persons anywhere in Oregon. Agree
Comments (optional)
VI. Historical and Ongoing Anti-Blackness in Oregon
We call on the Oregon State Legislature to immediately assess the Black correctional populations at the county, city, and state levels.
We also demand that there be review of punishments (bail amounts, sentence lengths, amount of time served before parole) being levied at unfairly high levels on Black Oregonians. This is particularly important for disparities based on gender and race for similar crimes to other racial/ethnic groups.
We demand there be significant Criminal Justice reform in the form of investment into counseling, alternative sentencing, job training, and rehabilitation for Oregon’s over-incarcerated Black population.
Agree
We call on the Oregon State Legislature to authorize bank audits to expose patterns of racial discrimination in lending and require these banks to extend loans to Black businesses and Black institutions. Wells Fargo and Umpqua received bailout from taxpayers and owe a debt to all taxpayers regardless of race. Additionally, Wells Fargo has a long and storied history of using predatory schemes to extract wealth from Black communities. Increasing SBA loans to Black businesses would be an excellent way for banks to begin to redress the past harms they have inflicted on Black communities. Agree
The Oregon State Legislature must create a law that mandates public schools in the state teach students about America’s original sin of slavery and the Jim Crow era that followed, with an emphasis on the state of Oregon.
The legislation should also incentivize the training, hiring, and retention of Black American teachers to teach the aforementioned subject matters. This will help address the Black teacher shortage in Oregon.
Agree
Comments (optional)
VII. Justice
We call for the repeal of all mandatory minimum sentencing in Oregon, substituting Guidelines in its place, and allowing a judge to have discretion in all cases. Agree
We call on the State Legislature to pass pay equity legislation for Public Defenders and Prosecutors and their staffs. Agree
The Oregon Legislature should do away with cash bail, which discriminates against poor people, who are disproportionally people of color. Agree
We believe that the voters of Oregon should abolish the Death Penalty and life without parole sentencing. Agree
Comments (optional)
VIII. Election Integrity and Legislative Alignment
We demand campaign finance reform.
We demand that the state Attorney General challenge corporate personhood, and that state and federal legislators pass laws and a constitutional amendment clarifying that corporations are not people and money is not speech
Agree
We encourage voters to pass an Oregon constitutional amendment to allow the state to regulate political contributions and expenditures.
We call for Oregon state legislation to set limits on contributions by individuals, PACS, corporations, and unions to candidates, candidate committees, political party committees and any other political committee
Agree
We support legislation that requires voter-verifiable paper ballots in all elections, and tabulation software that is open source, non-proprietary, and available for public scrutiny and analysis with source code that is verified using a public method by qualified third parties independent of any political party or vendor, and that guarantees secure chains of custody so there can be no modifications after certification. Agree
Comments (optional)
IX. Media
We support a comprehensive net neutral public utility to provide state of the art internet access to serve all end users. Agree
We support the full funding of Public Broadcasting stations and networks, possibly supplemented by small donations from the public, to eliminate the inhibition of investigative reporting of sponsoring entities.
We support the development of ways to assure stable funding well-protected from political interference.
Agree
We support corporate responsibility with the management of our personal data. We demand internet media companies pay individuals for use of their personal data, and if there is a data breach to pay for all damages. Agree
Comments (optional)
X. Economy
We support breaking up monopolies, starting with barring Internet common carriers (i.e. Google, Facebook) from competing with businesses that use them. Agree
We support the creation of a public bank in Portland/Oregon Agree
We support the creation of either a cap-and-trade program or a carbon tax with dividend to recognize the need to eliminate fossil fuel use as one means to fight global warming. Agree
Comments (optional)
XI. Labor and Workers’ Rights
We call for the decriminalization of paid sexual acts between consenting adults and legislation allowing sex workers to organize. Agree
We oppose all legislation that diminishes workers’ rights to organize. Agree
We support legislation requiring retraining of displaced workers. We call for state and federal legislation to provide transition plans as technology and innovation change the workplace Agree
Comments (optional)
XII. Immigration
We call on the Federal Government to never take immigrant children away from their detained parents and to reunite families that have already been separated. Agree
We call on every member of the Oregon Congressional delegation to cosponsor and actively work for the passage of the Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors (DREAM Act). Agree
We call on the State and local governments of Oregon to adopt policies that protect immigrants from unlawful enforcement of immigration laws. In addition, we call on the institutions to not participate in the enforcement of Federal immigration laws Agree
Comments (optional)
XIII. Infrastructure
We support legislation to promote and implement high-speed rail or other high-speed technology, including monorail, within Oregon and along the West Coast. Agree
We support construction of renewable energy facilities or facilities that include carbon sequestration technology. Agree
We support public funding for electric vehicle infrastructure throughout Oregon. Agree
Comments (optional)
XIV. Abuse of Power
We support efforts to stipulate that corporations are not people, and money is not speech. Agree
We call for responding to drug addiction with treatment not imprisonment. Agree
We support legislation holding law enforcement personnel liable for inflicting harm through the use of excessive force. Agree
Comments (optional)