Francesconi, Leonard win NOLC backing

The Northwest Oregon Labor Council (NOLC) has endorsed Jim Francesconi for mayor of Portland and Randy Leonard for City Council.

Delegates of the council voted March 22 on a host of political recommendations referred by NOLC’s Executive Board.

Francesconi is leaving his seat on the non-partisan Portland City Council after two terms to run for the open mayoral seat. Incumbent Vera Katz is not seeking re-election after three terms in office. Also vying for mayor are former Portland Police Chief Tom Potter, contractor and activist James Posey and 20 others.

Leonard, a former president of Fire Fighters Local 43, is running for re-election against a coalition of six opponents.

Most of NOLC’s attention, however, was directed at the race for Francesconi’s vacant council seat. Two men are in a heated battle for the post — labor attorney Nick Fish and former Katz aide Sam Adams.

Fish has endorsements from most of the union locals with members at the City of Portland, including Portland City Employees Local 189, Fire Fighters Local 43, the Columbia-Pacific Building Trades Council, Teamsters and Laborers Local 483, to name a few. He also had a recommendation for endorsement by NOLC’s Executive Board.

But a few unions have endorsed Adams, including United Food and Commercial Workers Local 555, the Steelworkers Union and the Association of Flight Attendants.

A key issue in the debate was a $500 campaign contribution Fish accepted from Oregon Steel Mills two years ago when he ran for another open seat on the City Council. At the time, Oregon Steel was involved in a bitter labor dispute with the Steelworkers Union in Pueblo, Colorado.

It takes a two-thirds majority vote to endorse a candidate and, after lengthy debate, a motion to endorse Fish was defeated. The “no action” taken by the labor council doesn’t affect the other union endorsements.

In other political action, NOLC endorsed Rod Monroe and Carl Hosticka for re-election to Metro, the regional government that oversees land-use, transportation and other services in Multnomah, Clackamas and Washington counties; Craig Roberts for Clackamas County sheriff; Lisa Naito, Maria Rojo de Steffey and Lonnie Roberts for re-election to the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners; Martha Schrader for re-election to the Clackamas County Board of Commissioners; Doug Van Dyk for re-election as a Circuit Court judge in Clackamas County’s Fifth Judicial District, and Rosemary Lohrkey for Columbia County Board of Commissioners.

Delegates also forwarded several recommendations for State Senate and House seats to the Oregon AFL-CIO’s Committee on Political Education. See that report.


Teachers, police back Francesconi for Portland mayor

The Portland Association of Teachers and the Portland Police Association announced their endorsement of Jim Francesconi for mayor of Portland.

“I’m gratified that the people who are on the line every day in public safety and in our schools have responded favorably to my commitment to make safe neighborhood and education two of my top three priorities if I’m elected mayor,” Francesconi said.

In addition to the Portland Association of Teachers, Francesconi has obtained individual endorsements from all seven members of the Portland School Board.

“I welcome the endorsements of unions representing workers in the city, and I’m also honored to have endorsements from many of the city’s small business owners, who provide most of the jobs in the city,” Francesconi said.

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