Portland City Council Testimony 3-10-10

My name is Richard Ellmyer. I am a candidate for the North Portland House seat.

Candidate for city commissioner Sam Adams acknowledged that you can’t make good public policy without good public data. He supported Equitable Distribution of Public Housing.

City commissioner Sam Adams twice asked HAP for statistical data, voted against a HAP nominee who opposed revealing HAP statistical data, supported mayor Potter’s announcement to gather HAP statistical data and, as mayor elect, instructed commissioner Fish to provide him with HAP’s Public Housing statistical data. In EVERY case Sam Adams FAILED to obtain the data and shrugged off the rebuffs to his authority. Adams failure to follow up on any of these efforts demonstrates his disingenuous and dishonest commitment to a public policy of Equitable Distribution of Public Housing.

Mayor Adams has the singular authority to nominate persons to the HAP board. Mayor Adams has never vetted a nominee with regard to the most important policy issue. Do they support Equitable Distribution or UNLIMITED neighborhood concentration of Public Housing? Mayor Adams has instructed his staff not to inform Richard Ellmyer of HAP nominations lest he embarrass the mayor with public testimony challenging the unvetted nominees.

Oregon law gives singular control of HAP through the power to dismiss board members to the mayor of Portland. This power REQUIRES that the mayor of Portland, Sam Adams, monitor and hold accountable the HAP board for every policy decision and the annual spending of their $80,000,000 budget. In this JOB REQUIREMENT mayor Sam Adams has miserably failed.

Despite the fact that HAP claims 33,000 public housing clients that are defined as passing a means test, getting a government subsidy and signing a rental agreement, mayor Sam Adams denies that public housing exists in Portland.

This political malfeasance has consequences in North Portland where Public housing is a major political issue.

Elections are about making choices. In the North Portland House race for the May primary the choices are clear and dramatic. Richard Elllmyer supports Equitable Distribution of Public Housing and demands Public Housing Statistical Data from HAP to discuss the issue with voters. Tina Kotek supports mayor Adams endorsement of the covert policy of UNLIMITED neighborhood concentration of Public Housing and declines, like Adams, to press for any Public Housing Statistical Data and engage in any conversations with voters on the matter.

Mayor Sam Adams betrayal of his oath of office and the voters of North Portland is profound and dangerous. 

Richard Ellmyer

Candidate for the North Portland House seat in the May 18, 2010 Democratic primary.