Portland City Commissioner Dan Saltzman is retiring. After 20 years on the city council, Saltzman’s seat is up for grabs. Five people are running on a variety of platforms for a chance to take that seat. This month, voters take the first step for choosing Saltzman’s eventual replacement with the primary election.

To get a better sense of who these five candidates are, why they’re running and what they stand for, OPB’s Amelia Templeton sat down for one-on-one interviews with each of them. Below are the links to the interview highlights and audio recordings:


Portland City Council candidate Felicia Williams

Portland City Council candidate Felicia Williams

Courtesy of the campaign

Felicia Williams, 40, is a business manager for Aronora, a Portland biotech company. Williams is a veteran of the U.S. Air Force and downtown neighborhood association president. Williams spoke with OPB about budget reform, evictions and her management experience.  

Portland City Council candidate Andrea Valderrama

Portland City Council candidate Andrea Valderrama

Courtesy of the campaign

Andrea Valderrama, 29, is a senior policy advisor to Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler and a member of the David Douglas school board. She’s also worked under former City Commissioner Steve Novick. Valderrama spoke with OPB about speed limits, housing policy and more.

Portland City Council candidate Jo Ann Hardesty

Portland City Council candidate Jo Ann Hardesty

Courtesy of the campaign

Jo Ann Hardesty, 60, is a consultant and activist. She served in Oregon’s House of Representatives from 1995 until 2001, worked as a policy analyst for Multnomah County and has chaired the Portland chapter of the NAACP. She also carries a copy of the latest audit of the Portland Police Bureau in her purse. Hardesty spoke with OPB about a proposed ban on luxury housing, who she voted for in 2017 and how she would like Portland’s growth to benefit communities of color.

Multnomah County Commissioner and Portland City Council candidate Loretta Smith

Multnomah County Commissioner and Portland City Council candidate Loretta Smith

Courtesy of the campaign

Loretta Smith, 53, has been a Multnomah County commissioner for the past seven years. She’s backed by a big name in Democratic politics in Oregon, U.S. Sen. Ron Wyden. She worked in his office for more than 20 years. Smith spoke with OPB about housing, equity and allegations that she bullied women on her staff.

Portland City Council candidate Stuart Emmons

Portland City Council candidate Stuart Emmons

Courtesy of the campaign

Stuart Emmons, 64, is an architect and urban designer. This is his second run for a Portland City Council seat. Emmons spoke with OPB about homelessness, inclusionary zoning and his decision to run.