Why vote for Amanda Fritz? Because of what she has done for Portlanders.
* Amanda Fritz won election in 2008 using public campaign financing, so she knows she was elected to represent regular voters, not special interests. That's why she's not accepting any contributions greater than $250 in her re-election campaign, and limited donations to $50 in the primary. One reason she was able to save Water ratepayers $6 million per year starting in 2009, was because she didn't have to consider whether doing so would annoy past or future campaign donors.
* Amanda has never accepted corporate donations, and never will.
* Amanda is the voice for common sense on the Council.
* Amanda is fiscally responsible, and speaks up for regular Portlanders.
* Amanda pays attention to details about projects and spending taxpayers' money wisely.
Amanda's positions on issues:
I was given the Community Alliance of Tenants' Low Income Housing Champion award in 2009, and I'm endorsed by housing leaders City Commissioner Nick Fish, County Commissioner Deborah Kafoury, and former Commissioner Gretchen Kafoury.
* On the Columbia River Crossing and other transportation issues, see my responses to the Walk-Bike-Vote questionnaire.
* On Labor issues, see my responses to questions posed by AFSCME Local 189
* On family issues, scroll down to find my responses to questions posed by Omamas.
The Oregonian recommends: "Fritz, who ran as a neighborhood activist, is a trustworthy voice on the City Council and a consistent voice for fiscal prudence and common sense. She is also more of a representative than a politician, which is intended as a compliment. It shows in her independence on issues and her responsiveness to constituents. Voters looking for someone who listens, and who is more beholden to the public in general than to specific interest groups, should re-elect Fritz."
"The accent" is because I was born and raised in England, up north in Yorkshire. My father was an engineer who worked in a copper tube factory. My mother was a dental hygienist who was evacuated to Connecticut as a child, escaping the London Blitz in WW II. She instilled in me the knowledge that the United States saved the world by entering the war after Pearl Harbor, and an early, enduring love for this country.
When I was 12, I read my mother's ancient copy of the American Red Cross First Aid Handbook cover to cover. It fascinated me, knowing that ordinary people can learn to help others when they need it most. From that time on, I knew I wanted to be a nurse when I grew up.
I attended the state schools in England, won admission to Cambridge University at a time when fewer than 15% of the students were women from neighborhood high schools, and graduated with a degree in Biological Sciences.
I met Steve, my soul-mate and the love-of-my-life, while we were both working at a Salvation Army children's camp in New Jersey in 1977. The day after I finished finals at Cambridge in 1979, I left England to live in the United States, first as a "Temporary Resident Alien", then as a Permanent Resident before taking the oath of citizenship in 1992. I mailed my Voter Registration card as I left the courthouse. Steve and I celebrated thirty years of marriage this past May.
I went to nursing school in Pittsburgh, PA, and lived in Rochester, NY for four years while putting my husband through medical school. We lived below the poverty level, in an area where the local convenience store owner kept a shotgun on the counter to deter crime. The nearest laundromat was two miles away -- we couldn't afford a car for two years, so I schlepped the laundry on the bus. We moved to Portland in 1986, driving cross-country with two cats and most of our worldly belongings in a Chevrolet Chevette that died a few weeks later.
In my career as a Registered Nurse, I worked in inpatient psychiatry at OHSU for 22 years. I was a union steward for the Oregon Nurses Association and a proud survivor of the 56 day OHSU nurses strike in 2001-2, which gave nurses a living wage and stopped hospitals from laying off staff and endangering patients' lives. I know what it's like to do back-breaking work for eight, twelve, or even sixteen hours, then go home and make sure the kids' homework is done and the dishes are clean. I don't waste your time asking you to give your opinion, if what you say doesn't matter because the next multi-million dollar expenditure is already a done deal. In City Council sessions, I ask the questions you want answered. Questions like, "How much does it cost?", "Who is going to pay for it?", "Who benefits from this?", and "What won't get done if we spend this money on this big-ticket item?"
As a nurse, I was trusted to help vulnerable people and promote health. That's what I've done on the City Council. I work hard to spend taxpayers money wisely, and my priority is for taxes pay for basic services rather than projects with "grandeur".
My husband and I chose to move to Portland two months before the birth of the first of our three children – over 25 years ago – and we plan to stay here forever. Our children attended our neighborhood Portland Public Schools, with our oldest, Luke, currently working at Madison High School in Open Meadow's Step Up program. He worked at Marshall High School until it closed, having completed teacher training at Lewis & Clark College after graduating from Western Oregon University. Our younger son, Maxwell, graduated from Princeton University in 2010, completed teacher training to become a middle school math teacher, and due to the lack of teaching jobs is working in the stock market in Chicago. Our daughter Ali graduated from Willamette University two days before the Primary Election Day, majoring in Theatre. All three graduated from Wilson High School.
Having put three children through college, you can be assured I understand the challenges of affording tuition, and the value of quality preparation for college and the workforce in Portland's public schools. I was an active member of the PTA for 17 years. Promoting excellence in Portland's seven public schools districts is something I've lived and breathed since Luke started kindergarten in 1991. I am proud that in the past three years, the City Council has played a greater role in creating the partnerships that will achieve that goal, establishing a County-wide coordination team and funding community college scholarships for high schoolers all over Portland. Every family deserves to live in a pleasant, safe neighborhood with an outstanding public school.
In 2005, I was the first candidate to file, first to qualify, and only community member to succeed in using Portland's innovative Public Campaign Finance Fund properly, in the May 2006 primary. I'm proud of that accomplishment. I was the first to qualify in 2008, too, and I remember every day in City Hall that every taxpayer and ratepayer helped fund my election campaign. Even though Public Campaign Financing is no longer available, I remain true to its principles. Citizens shouldn't have to wonder or worry about the motivation of their elected officials. Neighbors should be able to expect that their government leaders will consider their concerns, needs, and requests as carefully as those of people with lots of money. If together we win this election, I will be the only Commissioner ever elected to the Portland City Council who has never accepted more than $250 in cash contributions for an election from anyone in Portland, with not one donation from a corporation or other entity that isn't an individual human being..
Your turn! Introduce yourself by emailing Amanda to tell why Portland is special to you, and what you want to see accomplished over the next four years.