Mingus Mapps

Portland City Council, Position 4

Some folks decide to join civic life because they are molded to follow in their family crest while others see themselves as conduits for change through public engagement. It was somewhere in the magic of life’s winding road that I found my calling. I do feel that I was called to serve.

I grew up spending my summers exploring and playing in the majestic rivers and woods of the Pacific Northwest. Portland was a second  home to me, laying ground to my fondness for fresh air, kindness in strangers, creative artisans, and an engaged community.

In the 70s and 80s there was a push for universities to open admissions to students otherwise ignored. This opened doors for people like my uncles and two of my aunts. They became part of a generation that was able to benefit from this new found upward mobility. Their successes led to possibilities that otherwise would have been unimaginable.

Once I landed at Reed as a young eager student, I knew that my life would change forever. And it did. I made lifelong friends and a zest for political science. My first job out of Reed was with the Commissioner Gladys McCoy. But it was under the mentorship of Beverly Stein that I actualized myself as a civil servant. I knew that while Portland had an incredible foundation, it needed a lot of work to be inclusive and equitable. There was too much economic disparity and too much cronyism. This was a city of neighborhoods. This was a city of heart. It deserved to have a government that represented both.

It is from this desire, this commitment that I am running. After many years of splitting my time teaching urban politics at schools such as Harvard and Brandeis and working as a public servant in Portland, I landed in City Hall. I helped manage the City of Portland’ Neighborhood Association and the Crime Prevention Program.

Folks, it is just what you imagined it to be. Dysfunctional and ineffective. This is the time, now more than ever with COVID-19 changing the economic landscape for all of us, for us to make sweeping changes to our city government.

My sons, Langston and Coltrane, just like your children, your parents, your brothers and sisters, your friends and neighbors, deserve to be represented in the decision making. I want to fight for you. I am called to fight for you. I will be a bridge for you in a city of bridges.

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

Candidate comments (optional)

Equity: I believe in and support all of the Planks of the Multnomah Democrat’s Platform Article IV-Equity.

As an African American man I experienced first hand the results of inequity. Portland is a mecca for progressive ideals and people. We must recognize, however, that this was not always the case. Therefore, I believe we have to look at all issues through an equitable lens and make sure we are inclusive on gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, race and ability to name a few. Portland is a tolerant city by nature and we must ensure the safety of all citizens; hate crimes and violence have no place here.

As the father of two young African American boys, I am teaching them the values of inclusion and diversity. My candidacy is in part to guarantee that Portland remains a beacon and safe space for them, and all the children of Portland, as they mature and explore their identities. Portland is a better place because of the multi-faceted diversity we nurture.

Equity will only be achieved when everyone has a seat at the table, and is able to use that seat with a powerful and respected voice. Having a seat, but being neutered in that seat is not enough. We must ensure this happens not only through our laws, but by our practice. As Democrats we have the opportunity and responsibility to lead by example.

As a person of color, I have first hand experience of what happens when you don’t have that seat at the table.I believe in intersectionality as it is the only way forward for all people to achieve equity. One marker of equity is achieved by representation in government. I will make sure that in my own sphere of influence all decisions and policies are viewed through a lens of equity and inclusion.

Article III- Education
I support the planks of the Multnomah Deomcratic Party’s Platform Article III-Education

Education, and especially public education, is a fundamental right. For far too long, we as a society have downplayed its importance. Here in Portland we are faced with decaying and aged school buildings, classrooms that are underfunded and over-enrolled. Our teachers are having to spend their own resources to provide aids in the classroom. We need to provide safe schools, not only for our students but for the staff. In addition, we must ensure that all educators are paid appropriately. All teachers should be able to live in the community they work in.

As a dad, I have seen the lack of supplies and technology in Portland Public Schools. The current public health crisis has shown us what will happen if we must vacate the classroom for virtual learning. How are students who can not afford a chromebook able to learn? Does PPS have enough to go around? Why, in 2020 in a technologically centered city like Portland, is this still an issue? These, and more, are critical questions which must be addressed by all accountable elected officials.

Elementary education and reading is important to me. Studies have shown that children who are not reading to grade level by around the third grade will have life long impacts. Are we doing enough to encourage this? A study at one Portland school showed that most of the students of color were reading below grade level. In addition, the books in the library did not show children of color. This is not ok in 2020. If we don’t provide students with early year tools for success how can we expect them to excel not only in latter grades, but in life.

We must demand that public schools receive the proper funding, treatment and care. I oppose efforts that will weaken public education.

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. Disagree
Comments (optional)

My goal is to transition Portland to a green economy and away from fossil fuel.

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)