The New Year is here — and with it arrives a new Portland City Council.
On Jan.1, incoming Commissioners Mingus Mapps and Carmen Rubio will officially step into their new roles in City Hall. Mapps is a former city employee and political science professor, who unseated outgoing Commissioner Chloe Eudaly. Rubio is the former executive director of the Latino Network and will take the seat previously held by Commissioner Amanda Fritz, who is retiring after three terms on the council.
With the new commissioners poised to come on board, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler announced over the holidays how the management of the city bureaus would be distributed among the commissioners. Under Portland’s unusual form of government, each council member runs a portfolio of bureaus assigned to them by the mayor. Wheeler gave Mapps the bureaus that oversee drinking water, environmental services, waste and stormwater, and emergency communications. Rubio will be in charge of the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability and the Parks & Recreation bureau.
On her website detailing priorities for her first term, Rubio said her goal is to expand the parks “to increase access to Black, Indigenous, other communities of color, working families and East Portland communities”
“As a longtime nonprofit executive director, I have seen firsthand how parks programming enriches the lives of Portlanders and makes an important contribution to the health of this community,” she wrote.
Both incoming commissioners have announced their new teams. Mapps is bringing on his former campaign manager Katie Meyer as his chief of staff. Shannon Carney, a former analyst with the city’s budget office, will serve as his financial policy advisor and Matt Glazewski, an environmental studies and policy professor at Portland Community College, will be his senior policy advisor.
Rubio has tapped Adriana Miranda, former executive director of Causa Oregon, to be her chief of staff and Ricardo Lujan-Valerio, former director of advocacy at Latino Network, as policy director. Cynthia Castro, who had worked under Commissioner Fritz, will come on board as her senior policy advisor, and her former campaign manager Mona Schwartz will serve as her policy advisor.
The new commissioners’ first official city council meeting will take place on Jan 6.