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Dan Saltzman won’t seek sixth term as Portland City Commissioner

City Commissioner Dan Saltzman officially opens a new bike route on the east side Thursday. (KATU Photo)

PORTLAND, Ore. – Commissioner Dan Saltzman said Tuesday that he will not be seeking reelection in Portland next year after serving nearly 25 years with both the city and Multnomah County.

Saltzman made the announcement on Facebook Tuesday, saying he hopes the open commissioner seat will bring “a new generation” into city leadership.

He said he will be leaving his duties as commissioner to work on “issues that truly motivate me outside City Hall” – including child welfare, foster care, and domestic violence prevention.

The commissioner said he will finish out his term in 2018, and still plans to lead the renewal of the Portland Children’s Levy next year.

“Serving my community as a commissioner at Multnomah County and the City of Portland has been both the privilege and the honor of my life,” Saltzman said. “I am proud of the many accomplishments we have achieved together over the last 25 years.”

You can read Saltzman’s full statement below:

As I have been talking to community members about campaigning for another term as City Commissioner, I have been humbled by the deep support and encouragement I have received. Indeed, that support has far exceeded what I have experienced in any of my past races. I believe that is because of progress made together on so many issues that have a real impact on the people and community we all care so much about. Just a few of these accomplishments include:

  • The initial passage and two subsequent renewals of the Portland Children’s Levy, which has over the past 15 years improved the lives of thousands of kids and families.
  • Passage of Portland’s first Affordable Housing Bond and leading an unprecedented response to Portland’s affordable housing crisis as Housing Commissioner. We made record investments, reforms and commitments that will result in thousands of units of desperately needed new homes.
  • The opening of the Gateway Center for Domestic Violence Services, a one-stop resource for survivors of domestic violence. I was also proud to have led new initiatives for combatting gang violence and the continuing effort to improve police accountability.
  • Improvements to fire and ambulance services that will save money and lives.
  • Reordering transportation priorities to focus on the basics, including accelerating the repair of potholes and other damage done by the winter storms of 2017.
  • Delivering the Big Pipe on-time and on-budget, fixing the Water Bureau billing system and reforming the Fire &Police Disability and Retirement system.
  • Always pursuing these and other goals with a sharp eye on protecting taxpayer’s dollars, while striving to make Portland a more just, equitable, sustainable place that provides opportunity for all.

Over the last few weeks I have reflected on that record of nearly 25 years of public service as a commissioner at Multnomah County and at the City of Portland. As satisfying as it might be to look back at accomplishments, what really counts is what comes next.

That reflection has led me to the conclusion that I can have the greatest impact on the issues that truly motivate me outside of City Hall.

I have enjoyed the myriad duties of City Commissioner, and I am very proud of my accomplishments and the relationships I have built while achieving them. But with respect to things I am passionate about, the items on my “to do” list largely have check marks next to them. Meanwhile, there is much more I wish to do in areas such as child welfare, foster care and domestic violence. I have come to the conclusion that I can accomplish more on those issues if they become my primary focus, instead of their having to share my attention. And I would enjoy working on those causes in a less scheduled life.

Therefore, I will not file for a sixth term as City Commissioner and will complete my term at the end of 2018. I will also lead the renewal of the Portland Children’s Levy in 2018.

It is my hope that an open seat will encourage a number of people to consider running: this is a great opportunity for a new generation of leadership in City Hall. I want to deeply thank all my staff members, supporters and community members that I have had the privilege of working with over these many years. I eagerly look forward to continuing to work together as we strive to make Portland an even greater place for all the people who share it – today and tomorrow.

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