It may seem early, but candidates are emerging in the 2020 Portland City Council races.
Carmen Rubio, the executive director of Latino Network, said today she will run for the seat on the Council now held by Commissioner Amanda Fritz. Fritz has said she won’t seek another term in 2020.
Rubio says she wants to create economic opportunity for families living on the margins. Her priorities include affordable housing and homelessness.
Rubio was born and raised in Hillsboro in a migrant family and has personal experience with not having a stable place to live.
“Before I turned 14, my family had moved more than 10 times. And so I have that lens that I bring with me,” she said. “I just want to make sure there are opportunities still here in Portland for families to make a life for themselves.”
Rubio has led Latino Network for the past 10 years. She hasn’t held elective office before but worked in City Hall and local government for many years.
She’s previously worked for former Multnomah County Commissioner Serena Cruz Walsh, former Portland Mayor Tom Potter and Portland City Commissioner Nick Fish.
Rubio said she’s lined up dozens of early endorsements from former employers, local leaders and colleagues in the nonprofit world.
“She would be a great addition to Council,” said Fish, who is endorsing her “enthusiastically.”
Rubio is planning to opt into Portland’s new taxpayer-funded campaign finance system. It offers matching funds to candidates who agree to only take small contributions from individual donors.