Will Portland's next mayor leave a sustainability legacy?
By Christina Williams
Sustainable Business Oregon editor
Christina Williams is the editor of Sustainable Business Oregon.
Mayor Sam Adams fell short of getting the Oregon Sustainability Center built, abandoning the project last week after it got mired in politics.
Mayor Adams has a few other clean economy achievements to hang his hat on — the creation of the Portland Sustainability Institute, the successful snatching of SoloPower from Wilsonville, and flurry of agreements with cleantech startups and countries around the world to work together on sustainability issues.
But like many of you, I'm thinking about Portland's next mayor and what they might leave as a legacy.
Last night at the Bagdad Theater, mayoral candidates Jefferson Smith and Charlie Hales, along with City Council contenders Amanda Fritz and Mary Nolan, got to have some fun with the topic at a Jeopardy-style quiz show put on by Solar Oregon and the Northwest Chapter of the Association of Energy Services Professionals.
Much of the proceedings were very much tongue in cheek. There was some mention made of sustainable underwear. Each candidate was also asked what energy efficiency measure they would like to be. Smith chose a smart power strip and Hales picked LED light.
But there were some interesting nuggets among the silliness. Asked about a vision for Portland's recycling and composting programs, Hales gave a pitch for more upcycling, giving a shout-out to Portland-based Looptworks. In response to a question about green jobs training, Smith talked about his vision for Portland Summers, a program to use summer break to offer vocational skills training to kids, exposing them to some of the city's renewable energy companies and the jobs they provide.
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