Carmen Rubio

Portland City Council, Position 1

My name is Carmen Rubio, and I am running for Portland City Council, Position 1.

I grew up in a hard working Mexican family that instilled strong values of taking care of each other and respect for hard work. These values inspired me to work in public policy for local progressive leaders, and eventually to run one of the leading Latino community-based nonprofits in Oregon, serving more than 7,800 youth and families a year. Early in my career as a young policy staffer, I saw firsthand the difference it made for everyday people, and the historically marginalized or those who don’t have a voice, to feel truly understood and represented by their elected leaders. People deserve to be treated with dignity, to be heard and not dismissed because of who they are, where they live, how much money they make or what language they speak. I am running because I believe that true representation means that all people including workers and marginalized communities in every part of this city deserve equity and should have a voice on City Council, not just those who can afford access or have power. Here are a few of my priority areas:

  • Housing and Homelessness. Leaders must look beyond their jurisdictions, bureaus or their own priorities and work together on THE priority which is our housing shortage and homelessness crisis. We need housing affordability at all levels, eviction prevention and
    rent assistance for those who need it. We also need mental health, substance abuse treatment and other support services for the chronically homeless.
  • A more representative government. It’s time to change Portland’s form of government to one where there is geographic representation, so that when you look at City Council, you see your neighborhood and your community reflected back at you.
  • Jobs and Affordability. Every person who wants to live in Portland should have the ability to build a life here, and should be able to afford to do so. People should be able to find good jobs with fair wages and benefits so they can provide for their families.
  • Environmental and Climate Justice. We should live in a city that invests in a healthy environment, moves us toward renewable energy, invests in a climate resilient infrastructure and community, with accessible parks and services.
  • Community-Centered Development. City investments in businesses, street and sidewalk infrastructure, and community development isn’t just about downtown, it’s also about east of 82nd Avenue, North Portland and Cully. It’s about all our neighborhoods.

As a nonprofit leader of a growing organization, I have managed and led large scale projects and organizational growth, overseen multi-million dollar budgets and understand the importance of a supportive workplace culture of workers carrying out our mission. I have the experience, the relationships and the commitment to get things done as a City Commissioner.

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

Candidate comments (optional)

As a lifelong advocate for justice, each and every one of your platform articles are critical issues to me. Immigration, justice, education, and labor and workers’ rights are areas I’m especially passionate about and where much of my work has been. I was born and raised in Hillsboro, and my grandparents and father (mother was born in Texas after my grandparents immigrated) came to this country as migrant workers. Growing up the struggles and challenges my family faced sparked a fire for justice in me that led me to a career in public service and advocacy. It led me to work in policy for progressive local elected officials, and for the last ten years to lead a growing Latinx community-based nonprofit serving and advocating on behalf of immigrant youth and families. In my life and work I’ve witnessed countless examples where our communities were discounted or overlooked by leaders elected to represent their interests. It drove me toward building power in our Latinx community through education and advocacy. And right now our communities are marginalized and literally under attack. Black and brown people, womxn, LGBTQ2sia, low-income people, and other communities of color deserve to have a voice in policies and decisions that impact their lives. Representation means all communities in every part of this city deserve equity, respect, and a voice on City Council, not just those who have traditionally held power. I am eager to support communities’ building power, equity, and self-determination, and to be meaningfully engaging community voices and wisdom in decision-making. In this race my top priorities are housing justice and economic justice. Elected leaders must look beyond their own jurisdictions and interests to boldly take on the income gap, displacement and gentrification, and the homelessness crisis that has been exacerbated under this oppressive and dangerous Presidential administration.

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.
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.
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.

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.

We support a ban for any new fossil fuel infrastructure. Agree
Comments (optional)

We need to advance climate, energy and transportation policy that prioritizes the needs of low-income people and people of color and tribal communities. I support efforts to center people of color and tribal people in decision-making roles in our state’s natural resource agencies, these have been missing for too long. I also support ramping up our state’s environmental justice efforts by elevating environmental justice as a lens for decision-making and increasing capacity for such decision-making.

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.
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.
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
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
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.
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)