On January 26, RACC collaborated with several partners to host a candidates forum on arts and culture. Since that time, several other people have filed for the May, 2016 primary election. In March, RACC distributed a questionnaire to all official candidates for Portland Mayor and City Council. The questions were:
(1) In what specific ways have you supported arts and culture in Portland?
(2) Artists and arts organizations add measurable value to our region’s economy, our education system and our quality of life, and yet there are a number of pressing needs in our community that often compete for attention and investment. What is Portland’s proper role in supporting arts and culture in the region?
(3) The region’s affordability is a serious concern for all of us, including artists and arts-related businesses. What are your plans for making housing and creative spaces more affordable?
(4) Are there other unmet needs when it comes to shaping Portland’s arts and culture policy for the future? If so, what steps would you take to help ensure those needs are met, and how should they be funded?
(5) The Arts Education & Access Fund, or arts tax, has delivered on its promise of providing arts specialists for all K-5 schools in Portland, but the fund hasn’t generated enough revenue to support as many grants for arts and culture organizations as envisioned. If elected, would you take any steps to modify the arts tax, improve administration of it, and/or fulfill the voters’ vision of supporting arts education and access through other means?
The candidates are listed below, and each person’s response will be posted as it is received.
For Mayor of Portland:
Steven J. Entwisle Sr.
Eric Alexander Calhoun
For Portland City Commissioner, Position 1:
For Portland City Commissioner, Position 4:
James Bernard Lee