Index

Our team sent a questionnaire to each candidate, asking questions that would provide positions on issues of importance to Fair Elections Portland. Candidates answered each question with "yes," "no," "unsure," or "decline to answer." The responses have not been altered or changed in any way.

KEY:

The Candidate responded with a YES to the question.

The Candidate responded with a NO to the question.

The Candidate responded with an UNSURE to the question.

The Candidate declined to respond.

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William Baileyis running for at large.

 

Declined to respond.

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Zack Barowitzis running for District 3.

 

Supports Municipal Clean Elections.

"Yes, this would broaden the range of candidates and diminish the role of special interests. There are numerous clean elections programs, I would opt for one that provides adequate funding so I would start with the proposal from the LWV which I believe is based on the state model."

Supports Municipal Citizen Initiatives.

"I support the process as is. I would like to see it more like the state process where the language of the question needs to reflect the title of the initiative. I think this will strengthen not undermine the process."

Supports greater public input at City Council meetings.

"Three minutes of testimony is often enough but sometimes is not. So when an applicant has unlimited time and access to present materials via a slide show/video, citizens ought to be able to give greater input."

Supports Citizens' Rights Ombudsman.

"In addition the ombudsman ought to take up cases where citizens have legal standing against a city decision or policy. Currently only large organizations or interest groups have access to legal council to sue the city."

Supports improving voting processes and access.

"Early voting should be made easier as it was done in the laster November election. I would also like to see the Mayor elected in the Presidential year election not the off-year."

Supports measures to assess and remediate structural racism within Portland government and city services.

"Police: Citizen Review board; allow it take citizen complaints & a budget. Housing: Stop Exclusive Zoning practices. Edu: One way to enhance equity is through teaching Trades, they are a gateway to electrical, mechanical, & structural engineering."

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Brian Batsonis running for District 3.

 

Declined to respond.

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Charles Bryonis running for District 3.

 

Unsure about Municipal Clean Elections.

"I support the idea of clean elections and believe we should work to eliminate private interest in elections. I do not believe it is fair or appropriate to use a taxpayer’s money to support a candidate they may not align with politically. Running and financing a campaign should be based on the merit of your ideas and engagement. I would rather see caps on spending and on donations from personal wealth or third-party contributions."

Supports Municipal Citizen Initiatives.

"I support the right to use citizen initiatives provided there are legal requirements outlining "plain language" to ensure that issues are clearly stated and understood. I believe charter amendments should go through a charter commission."

Unsure about greater public input at City Council meetings.

"Yes, but within reason."

Supports Citizens' Rights Ombudsman.

"Yes, within a limited mandate and in coordination with the elected mayor."

Supports improving voting processes and access.

"I support any effort that improves voter access, participation, and convenience provided these efforts are transparent and follow state law."

Supports measures to assess and remediate structural racism within Portland government and city services.

"Structural racism should be assessed and remediated. I look forward to discussing different processes and options to achieving this goal."

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Em Burnetthas withdrawn from the race but will still appear on the ballot.

 

Supports Municipal Clean Elections.

"I strongly support a municipal clean elections program in Portland. It's important that we level the playing field for all candidates, so that wealth and connections aren’t the primary means to being elected. It's also key that this program is well-funded."

Supports Municipal Citizen Initiatives.

"Absolutely. We must protect the democratic rights of our residents."

Supports greater public input at City Council meetings.

"Yes - and let's go even further. Let's bring residents into the process much earlier, so that what input we do give actually has a meaningful effect on the final outcome."

Supports Citizens' Rights Ombudsman.

"I think this is a great idea, and I hope we also can make recommendations that get at the structural issues (systemic racism, classism, etc) which necessitate the dire need for this kind of position in the first place."

Supports improving voting processes and access.

"Absolutely. Let's make it as easy as possible to vote."

Supports measures to assess and remediate structural racism within Portland government and city services.

"Yes. Addressing structural racism and our governmental legacies of systemic violence and exclusion is the single most important work we must collectively do as a city right now."

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Catherine Buxtonis running at large.

 

Supports Municipal Clean Elections.

"Running for office can be prohibitive for working class people and people with limited means/access to generational wealth, especially people of color. A clean elections fund will diversify candidates and ensure they are spending time engaging with voters, not fundraising and appeasing donors."

Supports Municipal Citizen Initiatives.

"I support the citizen referenda process, and hope to write structures for public processes to get better representation for city resident so they do not need to lean on the referenda process because policy demands are so infrequently met."

Supports greater public input at City Council meetings.

"I would like to explore not only how to increase input, but to ensure it is more diverse and representative of impacted communities. I would also like to build multi-modal means of collecting input and explore the idea of neighborhood assemblies."

Supports Citizens' Rights Ombudsman.

"I strongly support this important and independent bridge between city and citizens."

Supports improving voting processes and access.

"Anything that makes voting easier and more accessible to more people."

Supports measures to assess and remediate structural racism within Portland government and city services.

"Yes--there are so many ways we could address this, from racial impact statements to independent police review, to investing in DEI staff, evaluating public comment based on identity, funding a department of public safety from police budget & more."

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Marpheen Channis running at large.

 

Supports Municipal Clean Elections.

"We can help level the playing field and lower barriers for people, especially BIPOC people, who want to run for office and help chart a brighter future for Portland. The Commission ought to explore the best ways to implement a clean elections programs that is sustainable and accessible, especially if it can be established as part of the existing Maine Clean Elections program."

Supports Municipal Citizen Initiatives.

"Support citizens' initiatives, or direct democracy, on broad policy matters. And I believe we need to refine and improve the process. I believe Democracy is better served when citizens are fully informed through a robust, public, inclusive and participatory process that allows for all Portlanders to be involved – not just special interest groups. Direct democracy works when citizens are informed, in plain language and terms voters can understand, of the implications and consequences, good or bad, of a particular decision they are about to make. When we present very technical issues with pages of legal language, we do not do Democracy justice, especially for voters with busy lives, children, and other time constraints."

Supports greater public input at City Council meetings.

"Yes, I believe we can always improve our public processes and meetings in a way that is inclusive and allows for more voices at the table. I believe one way we could accomplish this is to hire staff for the council and mayor, perhaps through the creation of an “Office of Constituent Service,” who will assist the council and mayor with outreach, public meetings and hearings, and community relations."

Unsure about the Citizens' Rights Ombudsman.

"Rather than creating another position, the Charter Commission should look at refining and improving what we currently have by limiting when executive sessions, expanding freedom of access, and streamlining and improving how FOIA (Freedom of Information) requests are handled."

Supports improving voting processes and access.

"I would like to explore with other Charter Commissioners ways to improve and make voting easier, including through drop boxes and early voting opportunities. I would also like to see the Clerk’s Office work better with ECBOs and the immigrant community on providing ballot, election, and voting information in multiple languages."

Supports measures to assess and remediate structural racism within Portland government and city services.

"I believe we should make structural changes that allow the city to make progress on these issues. Portland is a welcoming, diverse and vibrant city that has led the State of Maine in issues such as civil rights and LGBTQ rights. But as someone who works in human rights, diversity, inclusion and equity, I’m aware that we can do better."

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Lawson Condreyis running at large.

 

Supports Municipal Clean Elections.

"I'm in favor of creating increasing representation smaller districts, which would make campaigns inherently cheaper."

Supports Municipal Citizen Initiatives.

"Yes with a caveat - I don't think charter changes should be done by referendum."

Supports greater public input at City Council meetings.

Unsure about the Citizens' Rights Ombudsman.

"Not sure - would this be a staff position? A committee of volunteers to review on an ongoing basis?"

Supports improving voting processes and access.

Supports measures to assess and remediate structural racism within Portland government and city services.

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David Cowieis running for District 1.

 

Supports Municipal Clean Elections.

Supports Municipal Citizen Initiatives.

Supports greater public input at City Council meetings.

Supports Citizens' Rights Ombudsman.

"I support this initiative, but when government is working and accessible - an ombudsman may not be needed."

Supports improving voting processes and access.

Supports measures to assess and remediate structural racism within Portland government and city services.

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Steven DiMillois running for at large.

 

Declined to respond.

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Anthony Emersonis running at large.

 

Supports Municipal Clean Elections.

"A clean elections program would make it easier for working class people to run a for office in Portland."

Supports Municipal Citizen Initiatives.

"Absolutely. I will always fight to strengthen democracy in Portland."

Supports greater public input at City Council meetings.

Supports Citizens' Rights Ombudsman.

"Navigating political landscapes is hard for average people. I absolutely support offering them every bit of assistance we can."

Supports improving voting processes and access.

"Absolutely. I also think we should increase the number of polling places in the city — Grace Baptist Church is hard to get to from where I live!"

Supports measures to assess and remediate structural racism within Portland government and city services.

"Absolutely. Portland is at a crucial crossroads — the time is now to fight for equity in our city."

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Ben Grantis running at large.

 

Thoughts on Municipal Clean Elections:

"I support creating a public financing system in the Charter, and I support the Council fully funding the program. However, I don't believe this type of budgetary decision should be made mandatory in the Charter. We have a lot of important progressive priorities in Portland that are competing for the same dollars."

Thoughts on Municipal Citizen Initiatives:

"Yes, I support the referendum process for the purpose of enacting ordinances. I am less sure about the same process for Charter amendments, since we already have a citizen-led process to amend the Charter."

Thoughts on greater public input at City Council meetings:

"Yes. There must be a way to increase participation and also to make participation easier.

Thoughts on the Citizens' Rights Ombudsman:

"This sounds like a good idea, but I would want to know about how the position would be 'independently' appointed. By the Mayor? The Council? It might fit in with a larger role for an Ombudsman, so I don't think I would confine it to just access. "

Thoughts on improving voting processes and access.

"Yes, I support making voting as accessible as possible. Drop boxes and expanded early voting make sense and I would support each.

Thoughts on measures to assess and remediate structural racism within Portland government and city services:

"Yes, this is important analysis that is long overdue, and I support it. As a model, I would look at the measures the Legislature recently took to require racial impact studies of proposed legislation."

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Mony Hangis running for District 5.

 

Declined to respond.

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Ian Housealis running for at large.

 

Declined to respond.

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Marcques Houstonis running for District 4.

 

Supports Municipal Clean Elections.

Supports Municipal Citizen Initiatives.

"The people of Portland showed up at the ballot box and overwhelmingly voted in support of Municipal Clean Elections. I believe it should be part of the Charter Commission's review process to honor the people's voice."

Supports greater public input at City Council meetings.

Supports Citizens' Rights Ombudsman.

Supports improving voting processes and access.

Supports measures to assess and remediate structural racism within Portland government and city services.

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Cheryl Leemanis running for District 4.

 

Declined to respond.

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Ryan Lizaneczis running for District 5.

 

Supports Municipal Clean Elections.

Supports Municipal Citizen Initiatives.

Supports greater public input at City Council meetings.

Supports Citizens' Rights Ombudsman.

Supports improving voting processes and access.

Supports measures to assess and remediate structural racism within Portland government and city services.

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Robert O'Brienis running for District 2.

 

Supports Municipal Clean Elections.

"Absolutely. I think fundraising is a critical barrier to political new-comers. It also presents a substantial disadvantage to poorer or working-class candidates. Private donations buy access to a candidate. They just do. Let’s get moneyed influence out of politics."

Supports Municipal Citizen Initiatives.

"I support preserving the referendum process including prohibiting the council from altering a referendum after it passes. I also support requiring a council hearing on a referendum topic once it collects a certain number of qualifying signatures."

Unsure about greater public input at City Council meetings.

"I agree with the sentiment but I need to hear specific proposals in order to respond to them."

Supports Citizens' Rights Ombudsman.

"I support a public advocate position with the powers to investigate city services, fulfill constituent inquiries, and respond to FOIA requests."

Supports improving voting processes and access.

Supports measures to assess and remediate structural racism within Portland government and city services.

"Eliminate at-large seats so districts are smaller and more responsive. Hire a public advocate to investigate city services. Enact a Citizen Public Safety Review Commission to oversee emergency response services and report findings to city council."

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Nasreen Sheikh-Yousefis running at large.

 

Supports Municipal Clean Elections.

"I support clean Elections for all municipal races."

Supports Municipal Citizen Initiatives.

Supports greater public input at City Council meetings.

Unsure about the Citizens' Rights Ombudsman.

Supports improving voting processes and access.

Supports measures to assess and remediate structural racism within Portland government and city services.

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Karen Snyderis running for District 1.

 

Supports Municipal Clean Elections.

"This should be the primary action addressed by the Charter Commission. The Charter was opened up because of the City's decision to not put the Clean Elections referendum on the ballot in 2019. The City stated that the Charter Commission must address clean elections because it was constituted a fundamental change to the balance of power in the city."

Supports Municipal Citizen Initiatives.

"In certain cases, citizen initiative processes such as referendum is the only way to actually represent citizen's intent if the City is influenced by special interest groups."

Supports greater public input at City Council meetings.

"A true form of democracy is where citizens have access early on in the City processes. This is not the case with executive meetings that are closed to the public or when developers meet with the City years in advance prior to permit application."

Supports Citizens' Rights Ombudsman.

"I believe the "executive" meetings need to cease or at least be transparent to citizens. There should not be in backroom meetings within City Hall or off-site which includes City employees or elected officials with outside special interest groups."

Supports improving voting processes and access.

"To increase voting access doesn't necessarily mean increased spending. A simple and effective way to increase voting access would be to have a voting day holiday where all citizens are off from their work to allow them to vote on election day."

Supports measures to assess and remediate structural racism within Portland government and city services.

"Assessment is needed to see where structural racism lies within City processes."

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Shay Stewart-Bouleyis running for District 1.

 

Supports Municipal Clean Elections.

Supports Municipal Citizen Initiatives.

Supports greater public input at City Council meetings.

Supports Citizens' Rights Ombudsman.

Supports improving voting processes and access.

Supports measures to assess and remediate structural racism within Portland government and city services.

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Patricia J. Washburnis running at large.

 

Supports Municipal Clean Elections.

"Publicly funded elections open the door to candidates of moderate to low income and help improve representation in municipal offices."

Supports Municipal Citizen Initiatives.

"The voters are the decision-makers."

Supports greater public input at City Council meetings.

"In particular, I support allowing comments and questions from voters attending remotely. This will expand access to city government for people with disabilities and family responsibilities that make it difficult for them to attend meetings in person."

Unsure about the Citizens' Rights Ombudsman.

"I think this may not be the right solution to this issue, but am willing to learn more."

Supports improving voting processes and access.

"Yes, I support anything we can do to make it easier for voters to exercise their rights, within the limits imposed by state and federal laws."

Supports measures to assess and remediate structural racism within Portland government and city services.

"This is one of the most important things city government can do and I particularly support efforts that center the voices of communities of color."