PORTLAND, Ore. - State Rep. Mary Nolan, who is running for the City Council seat now held by Amanda Fritz, says she is someone who can deliver results for Portland.
"People expect city leaders to find solutions and that's what I do, and I'm focused on that," Nolan told KATU's Steve Dunn on Sunday during "Your Voice, Your Vote," adding that she has delivered results "that have improved (the) lives for Portlanders and Oregonians for more than 35 years."
Among those accomplishments, she cited her leadership on environmental initiatives, building clinics that serve low income families and for being a volunteer on school levy campaigns.
Additionally, she says her background in the private sector, starting an electronics company focused on new technologies in aviation, and the public sector, including being Portland’s director of Environmental Services, has given her the skills to help businesses prosper in the city.
"I have great relationships around the business community," she said. "In fact, I've spent the last six months listening to local business leaders about what can City Hall do for them."
She said she’s learned that businesses want the city to quickly make decisions that affect them, like on land-use issues and permits. She also said they want clear rules from City Hall.
She sees Portland as the city that leads the rest of the state to prosperity, and having a desire to be part of that leadership pushed her to run for a seat on its City Council.
"For Oregon to revive itself, for our economy to come back, and for us to re-establish some leadership on progressive values of environmental stewardship and good education and livable neighborhoods, Portland has to provide the leadership for that," she said. "Our largest city has to set the tone and the direction and kind of reach for big dreams."
Like Fritz, if elected, Nolan wants to be in charge of the water bureau and said she'd be open to having outside auditors take a look at the books to ensure the city is making decisions that "are in the best interest of the water system."
Additionally, she said she wants to look at ways to reduce costs by ensuring equipment and crews are used efficiently and work with other agencies to "share services and not duplicate them" in much the same way she did while working for a subsidiary of PacifiCorp.
She has taken a few swings at Fritz throughout the campaign, including at a point of pride for her opponent. Fritz has limited contributions to her campaign to $50 per person per year. But it has resulted in her having to largely fund her campaign with her own money. Nolan said that's a sign she doesn’t have broad support from voters.
"On the other hand, I have over a thousand individual contributors to my campaign from all corners of the city. From people who own and operate downtown office buildings and from the janitors who clean those buildings," she said.
She says that proves that she has the support from people who may not agree with each other but have given their support and money to her, knowing she will work to find common ground.
Amanda Fritz appeared on "Your Voice, Your Vote" last week. Watch her interview here.