Teressa Raiford

Candidate for Portland Mayor

Letter Grade: B+

Overall Score: 66/75

1.) Would you be willing to call for a moratorium on evictions, a rent freeze, a contingency fund for rental assistance and legal aid, moratorium on utility shutoffs, and an end to sweeps during the coronavirus emergency?

Yes (2/2)

2.) Are there any additional emergency responses that you would call for other than those listed above?

More than just ending sweeps, we need to use empty hotels to house the houseless in a way that is safe and allows them to self-quarantine and maintain social distancing as readily as housed people are able to. We also need to put a moratorium on mortgage payments to help prevent an increase in displacement. (4.2/5)

3.) In your view, what are the main causes of the current housing crisis? 

The main cause of the housing crisis is greed, on the part of landlords and AirBnB owners as well as developers and banks. They have all taken actions and supported policies that have led to our current state of unaffordable housing. (3.2/5)

4.) Do you rent or own your residence?

Rent (2/2)

5.) Are you currently a landlord? If so, in what capacity?

No (2/2)

6.) Portland’s relocation ordinance currently kicks in at a rent increase at 10% or above. Would you favor lowering the amount that triggers relocation payments if a rent increase forces tenants to move?

Yes (2/2)

7.) If elected, would you work to overturn the state of Oregon’s preemption preventing local rent control measures?

Yes (2/2)

8.) If you answered yes to #6 and #7, how would you champion or advocate for the changes needed? What are your priorities and timeline?

We need to use our city's lobbyist in Salem as well as the public platform of the mayor's office to accomplish these goals by bringing together Portland area state legislators to strategize around our best and most effective possible plan, as well as building the movement in the streets that is always required to win big victories. Our priority needs to be lowering the relocation assistance threshold because this can be done at the local level by revising the local ordinance. And over the next year we need to build the movement in the streets that will be necessary to pressure the state legislature to lift he preemption law during the 2021 legislative session. (4.2/5)

9.) If elected, would you support the right of tenants to collectively bargain their leases and rent? 

Yes (2/2)

10.) Would you support an effort like the Tenant Opportunity to Purchase Act, that would allow tenants, delegated non-profits, or the City the first opportunity to buy a house or housing complex when the owner puts it up for sale?

Yes (2/2)

11.) If elected, would you support a requirement for tenant legal representation during eviction proceedings, including a mechanism to provide it?  Would you support allowing non-attorney advocates for tenants?

Yes (2/2)

12.) If elected, would you ask Portland Tenants United to participate in any community engagement process that involves tenant law or housing justice issues?

Yes (2/2)

13.) How would you ensure that policies and processes which affect tenants meaningfully include impacted renters, and reflect the diversity of the tenants affected?

When elected mayor, I will treat city hall as a community organizing space where tenants, tenant organizations, as well as organizations representing POC and other marginalized populations can come together to create and implement policies that will bring real and much needed change to our city. Impacted renters and groups reflecting the true diversity of Portland's renters will always need to be included. (3.6/5)

14.) Would you refuse or return campaign contributions from Multifamily NW's Equitable Housing PAC, The Good Landlord PAC, More Housing Now! PAC, or similar real estate industry PACs?

Yes (2/2)

15.) During the hearings for the Fair Access in Renting (FAIR) ordinances, MultiFamily Northwest led an information campaign based upon misleading, inaccurate, and racist claims. How would you hold landlord groups accountable when they spread dangerous misinformation?

The first and easiest thing that we can do is use the public platform the mayor's office has to publicly call out these landlord groups when they peddle false information, and use the mayor's office to respond with accurate information that will be helpful to renters. We can also refuse to engage with and bring to the bargaining and policy table any landlord groups who put out misinformation. (4.8/5)

16.) Landlords and lobbyists have often walked away from political processes if they didn’t get everything they want. How will you respond if landlords and lobbyists refuse to engage in good faith toward a tenant friendly solution to some housing crisis problem?

Those landlord groups and lobbyists who want to walk away because they aren't willing to compromise will be told they are welcome to leave, and we will show them the door. (5/5)

17.) Do you support maintaining and strengthening Portland's status as a Sanctuary City?  How will you work to protect tenants from discrimination or retaliation based on their immigration status? 

Absolutely. We have to make sure that everyone is truly welcome in our city, and our current Sanctuary City policy is too symbolic. We need clear lines that spell out specifically what local city workers and officials can and cannot do when it comes to working with ICE, in short, city workers and officials have no business ever working and collaborating with ICE. We need to pass a clear and strong ordinance that makes it illegal in our city to discriminate or retaliate against tenants based on immigration status, and we need an oversight agency tasked with holding landlords accountable when the violate that ordinance. (5/5)

18.) Environmental upgrades to old buildings is a necessary tool in the fight for environmental justice but could lead to displacement without strong tenant protections. Would you support strengthening the anti-displacement and tenant protection intention expressed in the Portland Clean Energy Fund ordinance by adding more specific enforcement measures to the ordinance and to similar future policies? 

Yes (2/2)

19.) What other tenant protections would you advocate? What would be your plan to enact changes?

We need to implement regulations limiting AirBnB in our city as AirBnB is a big part of the problem when it comes to rapidly increasing rents in our city. We need to work with tenants to build a movement to make this happen as well as work with the other city council members to get their support for this important regulation. (3.2/5)

20.) Are there other ways, besides those you have already mentioned, that you will champion housing affordability, expand tenant rights, and fight displacement?

The most important thing that we can do to win increased tenant rights and fight displacement is by building the movement in the streets. Politicians generally only agree to big and systemic changes when the people put them in a position where they feel like they have no other choice. Community organizing and movement building is the best solution to the housing crisis. (2.7/5)