America’s Next Top Candidates

Listen, we’re not mad at Jules Bailey for pulling out of Portland’s only youth-focused candidate forum. We’re just disappointed. It’s disappointing when somebody running for office decides that young voters are a lower priority than taking the night off. We agree with him that the Blazers are awesome (we will all be watching the game after our forum ends), but we’re bummed when any candidate writes off the young voters who form the backbone of our progressive city.

In the over ten years that the Bus has done mayoral candidate forums, the next mayor has always been onstage. Of course it’s wacky. Portland is wacky. The next mayor will have to deal with far stranger stuff than a talent show or haiku debate. But these wacky things serve a real purpose – politicians can change their positions on policy, but it’s harder for them to change their humanity, which is what candidates reveal when they step outside of their comfort zone.

​And their humanity is what voters, especially young voters, long to connect with. ​

We honestly doubt Portlanders want to vote for a candidate who can’t laugh at themselves.

It’s true Nathan Howard is our C4 Board Chair, who is also Ted Wheeler’s deputy campaign manager. We have board members supporting all the major candidates for mayor. None of those board members are or were involved in any of our decision-making about the mayor’s race or this forum. We don’t want any particular candidate to be elected mayor; we want young voters to be treated with respect. Which is why we put on this forum – to show where the candidates stand on issues that matter to young voters.


To avoid any appearance of being​ bias​ed​, we worked directly with Jules Bailey’s staff on program questions and run of program.

Our candidate forum begins at 6 and ends at 8 (probably about 15 minutes after tip-off). We hope folks who come to the forum will join us after to watch their Blazers finish off the Clippers & head to the second round. One thing we’re learning from the Blazers this year, you can make it to the second round if you show up and play hard.
We’ve seen some people using a negative hashtags about Jules Bailey. We are not encouraging this. We are, however, encouraging our members and folks attending to use #ANTC16 to discuss the candidate forum.  Because, at the end of the day this is about making sure the youth voice is heard tonight, not any one candidate.
When: Tonight. Doors at 5:30 Show starts at 6.
Where: McMenamins Mission Theater, 1624 NW Glisan Street, Portland, Oregon 97209
Tickets available at the door. 
This year’s America’s Next Top Candidate features candidates for Secretary of State: Brad Avakian, Richard Devlin, and Val Hoyle and five candidates for Mayor of Portland: David Schor, Jessie Sponberg, Sarah Iannarone, Bim, Sean Davis, and Ted Wheeler will all be attending.
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