15 September 2016

[pdx_liff] Sittin' In With T.A. Barnhart and Ted Wheeler

Yesterday I had the exceptionally fine privilege of being in the same room with some pretty smart guys.

T.A., in the driver's seat.
To be most precise, I got a ringside seat to watching a good and smart friend and fellow local blogger, T.A. Barnhart, conduct a video interview with Portland mayor-elect Ted Wheeler for an upcoming project he's busy right now crafting. As experiences go, it was pretty peak. I got my first real up-close look at some video production with inspiring, driven people, and it was a real bracing education. I'm still busy processing the experience.

Ted Wheeler, as is no secret, is Portland's mayor-elect. He avoided runoff when he took more than 50 per cent of the vote in May, and I was an enthusiastic voter for him. I'm pleased and proud to say I had that chance. His campaign singularly impressed me that he was ready and eager to tackle the problems that the Rose City is experiencing right now.

What impressed me the most, and inspired me the most, was a really daring step, as campaigns go. He took his 'office' to the people, setting up a desk and talking and listening and hearing. Political animal that I am, I watched a lot of campaigns and a lot of styles. I've also followed Ted's story since he became Multnomah County Chair and then left, to my own chagrin (but the State of Oregon's benefit) to become State Treasurer. There was a kind of honesty and sincerity to it I've not seen before, and I fancy myself as cynical as they come.

The trip is as honest as it comes. I live in outer east Portland, Out 122nd Way, in the David Douglas community. This is an area which seems a beneficiary of a sort of benign neglect from the City of Portland. And I don't know how much change is in store. I think, with Ted, we're going to get a higher order of mayor than we've had: smart, engaged, open, and accessable.

More simply put, the Ted you saw on the campaign, based on my impression, is the Ted we're going to get. And that's going to be a good thing.

In the meantime, look forward to what T.A.'s putting together for us all. I know it's going to be good, but then, I saw the raw material. 

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