Spotted in Portland: Star Trek George Takei’s With Nick Fish at Waterfront Park
Wednesday, August 05, 2015
Takei and Fish are pictured here with Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center Executive Director Lynn Fuchigami Longfellow.
Says Fish, “I was thrilled to meet George Takei, civil rights pioneer and Star Trek's original Mr. Sulu.”
Takei is an ardent supporter of civil rights for all people. His family’s story (they were wrongfully imprisoned alongside other Japanese Americans during World War II) will soon appear on the Broadway stage. “Allegiance,” starring George Takei, is a musical with music and lyrics by Jay Kuo and a book by (former Portlander)Marc Acito, Kuo and Lorenzo Thione.
Banner photo: Curtis Suyematsu of Reflections Photography LLC
Related Slideshow: Slideshow: 10 Ideas to Help Fix Portland City Hall
GoLocalPDX spoke with over a dozen longtime Portland political experts who have worked inside and outside City Hall, and asked them what could be done to fix politics downtown. Here are some of their ideas.
Admit There's a Problem
The first step to fixing a problem is admitting that it exists. The Mayor and City Council don't have to publicly say they are off track, but beginning to accept that things could be better if there were more cooperation would be the first step in making improvements.
Short of a major shift in political sentiment, Portland probably isn't going to get a political system in which a mayor or city manager runs the entire administration.
That said, the city still needs to be led by a mayor who is both a strong-willed leader and someone who works consistently to bring others over to the mayor's side of the issue.
Some have said that if City Hall used Oregon's executive session rules more often, relations with the city's press corps might change.
Executive session rules allow reporters to sit in on meetings with public officials but prohibits them from asking questions or directly using the information from the meeting in a story. Some feel if commissioners invited more reporters into executive session meetings, barriers between the press and City Hall might come down.
Breakfasts, Lunches or Cocktails
Some say there is not enough socializing between members of the Council when they are not on duty. Some commissioners meet with one another for informal breakfast meetings. But there is not much mingling after that.
Because Portland's commissioner system is so heavily based on relationship-building, getting together a little more to socialize as colleagues a might not hurt.
Build a Coalition
The reality is if you can get three votes on the Council you can get things done. It's been a long time since there was a governing coalition at City Hall. Building one would be the short path to getting things done in a hurry. An alliance between Novick, Hales and Saltzman might be the most likely option, but even that seems like a longshot at the moment.
"Work sessions" are city council sessions in which no public testimony is taken and no votes take place. The council essentially meets and works on issues in public. Work sessions don't happen very often these days. But they might be a useful tool to get commissioners back together in the same room and working alongside each other when major votes and the pressure of public presenations aren't hanging over their heads.
Work the Second Floor Night and Day
The Mayor, and all the commissioners for that matter, should be campaigning for their ideas at all times. The Mayor and commissioners should be working one another all the time to build support for their own agendas. For City Hall to work, the Mayor and commissioners have to be more engaged with one another, and that often starts with simply walking down the hall.
An Inspiring Agenda
Portlanders love to love Portland. Mayor Hales has taken up an agenda of refocusing city government on basic services. He's made some admirable progress there. But it's a slate gray agenda to stump for day in and day out. While Hales doesn't need to embrace frivolous ideas, picking up a colorful project that will make Portlanders feel good about their city helps rally the troops when times get tough--which is most of the time.
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