Click the 2018 City Council Scorecard cover below to see how the mayor and city council voted, or click here.
The goal of the Progressive Portland scorecard is simple: to provide Portland voters basic information about their councilors’ voting records. This information is critical to help voters be able to evaluate their councilors’ performance and to be able to hold them to promises they have made in the past or are making for the future. This transparency is critical to a functioning democracy.
We recognize that not everyone will agree with our view of what the progressive position is on every vote. That’s okay. You can read through the votes and decide for yourself which councilors best represent your views.
The scorecard has tremendous civic value. It does what our city staff should be doing for us: making councilor votes transparent, accessible, and easy to compare, so the voting public can hold our elected officials accountable to the promises they make during their campaigns. I save and refer to mine year after yearKate Sykes, Deering Center resident
In 2018, the city council achieved a major milestone in banning the use of synthetic and bee-killing pesticides, joining South Portland and a growing list of local communities around the country.
On the other hand, the city council took only very modest action on affordable housing, one of the most pressing issues facing the city. For instance, the council put $1 million in the Housing Trust Fund, money that can be used to build new affordable housing. However, the council did nothing to protect tenants from unreasonable rent hikes and 30-day evictions—and actually made the housing crunch worse by raising the limit on the number of short-term rentals in the city.
On public education, the city council went head-to-head with Superintendent Xavier Botana, threatening to cut as much as $4 million from his budget for Portland Public Schools. After an outcry from the community and a revised budget from the school board, the council still voted to cut $1.2 million from the school budget, leading to fewer elementary school teachers and larger class sizes, fewer days of instruction, and an administration that is cut to the bone. That said, the $5.8 million increase in the school budget was the largest in years. And, after Superintendent Botana, the school board, and Protect Our Neighborhood Schools all backed the final budget, voters overwhelmingly supported it at the polls in June, passing it with 80 percent of the vote.
Being an educated voter is essential, and having easy access to city councilors’ votes makes that possible.Abigail Fuller, North Deering resident and USM professor
The average voting records of councilors declined this year to 57 percent, which is on par with the average score of 57 percent in 2016, after a one-year up-tick to 75 percent in 2017.
Mayor Ethan Strimling received the first-ever 100 percent score on the Progressive Portland Scorecard. Councilors Pious Ali and Brian Batson achieved the next highest scores, 86 percent and 73 percent, respectively. The lowest score in 2018 was 36 percent for Councilor Jill Duson. Over the three years of the Progressive Portland scorecard, Councilor Belinda Ray has the least progressive score at 47 percent.
I love the Progressive Portland scorecard! It always answers the questions on each councilor that I am looking for. It’s a great tool. It saves me a lot of time and helps me understand who supports issues that I believe are really important for Portland.Mary Ann Seidler Gordon, India Street neighborhood association
Past City Council Scorecards
Click the 2017 City Council Scorecard cover below to see how the mayor and city council voted, or click here.
Click the 2016 City Council Scorecard cover below to see how the mayor and city council voted, or click here.