June 15, 2016


MYC facilitators with the three candidates selected by the youth attendee's
May 13, 2016

Contact: Andrea Marquez; Erika Molina Rodriguez


503.823.1848/ 503.933.1984

Local Candidates Vie for Youth Vote

PORTLAND, OR – On Wednesday, April 27th, youth from across Multnomah County congregated at Benson Polytechnic High School in Northeast Portland for the Multnomah Youth Commission’s 2016 Youth Candidate Forum, the latest of its initiatives aimed at fostering civic engagement in local youth. The forum, organized to coincide with the upcoming May 17th primary election, included City of Portland Mayor candidates Sarah Iannarone, Bim Ditson, Deborah Harris, Patty Burkett, Eric Calhoun, Bruce Broussard, Sean Davis, David Schor, and Steven Entwisle; City Commissioner, Position 1 candidates Amanda Fritz, David Morrison, Ann Sanderson, Sara Long, and Lanita Duke; City Commissioner, Position 4 candidates Michael Durrow, Fred Stewart, Shannon Estabrook, Stuart Emmons, and Chloe Eudaly; Multnomah County Commissioner, District 1 candidates Brian Wilson, Marisha Childs, and Mel Rader; and County Commissioner, District 3 candidate Jessica Vega Pederson.

Mayoral candidates Jules Bailey and Ted Wheeler and County Commissioner, District 1 candidate Eric Zimmerman were unable to attend, but sent representatives to speak in their stead.

The evening began with brief personal statements from each of the candidates, and then transitioned into small, intimate rotating discussion groups segregated by city or county positions. This setting provided an opportunity for uniquely candid interaction between the youth and their future elected officials, as well as between the candidates themselves. Recurring themes in the discussions included housing, transit justice, gentrification, accountability to non-voting populations, and education equity. The forum concluded with a raffle, closing statements, and finally, a mock vote to reflect the youth voice. This youth vote was crucial; more than any other part of the proceedings, it allowed youth formally excluded from the voting process to air their views publicly and be heard.

The results of the vote** were as follows:

Portland City Candidates

  • Sarah Iannarone secured a 41% plurality of the votes for Mayor of Portland, followed by Ted Wheeler (15%) and Bim Ditson (13%).
  • Amanda Fritz won City Commissioner, Position 1 with 53% of the votes, while Lanita Duke and Sara Long each got 30% and 10%, respectively.
  • City Commissioner, Position 4 was won by Chloe Eudaly with 46% of the votes, with Stuart Emmons earning 28% and Shannon Estabrook earning 18%.

Multnomah County Commission Candidates 

  • District 1 race saw Brian Wilson winning 57% of the vote over Eric Zimmerman’s 23% and Marisha Childs’ 9%.
  • District 3, Jessica Vega Pederson won unanimously.

**The results of the 2016 Youth Candidate Forum DO NOT represent an endorsement by the Multnomah Youth Commission or its parent organizations, Multnomah County and the City of Portland.

About the Multnomah Youth Commission

The Multnomah Youth Commission, housed under the City of Portland’s Office of Neighborhood Involvement and Multnomah County’s Office of Diversity and Equity, engages in youth policy work primarily corresponding to its three committee focuses: Sustainability, Youth Against Violence, and Education/Youth Voice. To learn more, please visit www.ourcommission.org.