Letter: Under-40 renters shouldn't be Portland councilors

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Pursuant to the Portland City Charter, the only requirement to be a city councilor is that an individual be a resident of the city for a period of at least three months. I find that irresponsible and unconscionable. An outsider could move to Portland and be elected with “outside money.”

The following should be required to become a city councilor: be a resident of Portland for at least five years, be a U.S. citizen, be a registered voter, be a home owner, not have any felony convictions, disallow “outside campaign funding” and most importantly, be at least 40 years of age.

It is extremely concerning having young and inexperienced people elected to the City Council. My city councilor is only 25 years old. Owning a couple of business suits and being “classroom smart” does not qualify an individual nor substitute for years of life experience. These young people vote on our $330 million combined budget and some don’t even own their own home. Every financial decision that is made affects every homeowners’ property taxes.

The City Charter needs to be changed with updated requirements to be a city councilor. Where are the quality experienced candidates like James Cohen, Nathan Smith, Jim Cloutier, Tom Kane, George Campbell?

Janet Daigle

  • David Craig

    Required to be a home owner? Really? Do you want to restrict voting to white male landowners, too?

  • GOPatriot

    It is a myth that apartment renters do not pay property taxes: in fact, they pay the property taxes for their buildings through their rent – landlords just write the check to the city.

    For commercial renters the tax payment can be more explicit: for instance, I have a triple-net lease on a building I rent in Portland, and pay the property taxes for the building directly to the city.

  • Chew H Bird

    So a person can be President of the USA at age 36 but not be able to run for election in Portland until they are 40???