Teressa Raiford is a native of Portland whose family has lived in the city for generations. In addition to being an entrepreneur and consultant, she is a long time community organizer and police accountability advocate whose work around the issue of gun violence led to a meeting with First Lady Michelle Obama in 2013. Raiford began organizing around ending violence in 2010 after her nephew was shot and killed in Old Town.
In 2014, in the wake of massive nationwide outcry over the killing of unarmed black people by police, Raiford formed the group Don’t Shoot Portland. This community action plan focuses on ending police violence and oppression, and creating positive change in our community. In the fall of 2016 the group boldly and publicly criticized the new police union contract negotiated by then Mayor Charlie Hales, as well as the accompanying City Hall closures and police brutality that was ordered by Hales and encountered by citizens engaged in the process around the approval of the contract in public city council meetings.
Throughout all the work that Raiford and Don't Shoot Portland have done, her community organizing has centered youth empowerment through art, community engagement, feeding and clothing those in need in our community, and relationship building that is vital to create strong and resilient communities with a foundation in equity and justice.
Our current Mayor, Ted Wheeler, is more of the same old corporate politician. He continues to fail to provide humane and effective solutions to the houseless crisis. He has done only the bare minimum for renters' rights with a series of temporary ordinances that still allow rents to raise too much for people to keep up. And he has done nothing and seems to have no plan at all to help create any real racial justice in our city. Instead he just keeps throwing more and more money at police to continue the same racist policies that have led to black people in Multnomah County being more than 300% more likely to be charged with a crime after being arrested, 500% more likely to serve time in jail, and 600% more likely to be sentenced to prison.
It is with her life's work as a community organizer, educator and advocate, and with the continued failures of the mayor's office in mind, that Teressa Raiford has decided to run for Mayor of Portland in 2020.
Help us build a community of real equity and justice here in Portland. Join us and help us elect Teressa Raiford for Mayor in 2020!