Teressa Raiford

Teressa Raiford is a fourth-generation resident of traditional village sites of Multnomah, Clackamas and many other tribes currently known as Portland, Oregon.
A BIPoC Led Grassroots Community Organized Write-In Campaign For Teressa Raiford

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Teressa Raiford is a fourth-generation resident of traditional village sites of Multnomah, Clackamas and many other tribes — currently known as Portland, Oregon. 

She is the founder of Don’t Shoot Portland, a non profit that advocates for families affected by gun violence, provides no-cost legal support and develops social change movements for youth and vulnerable communities. 

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Teressa Raiford DO WRITE PDX PDX MAYOR 2020


First 100 Days

In the first 100 days, Mayor Teressa Raiford will review audits of all city programs and departments. Audits expose the relationship of how we enact and propose policy by identifying where resources are needed most. Teressa has demanded and conducted past audits that have shown the disparities of Portland’s current city inadequacies. Her policies are rooted in the outcomes of audits and years of community engagement since the beginning of her campaign in 2017. These policies come from the people, by the people, and for the people of Portland.


As Mayor, Teressa will

  • Ensure ADA is complied to every measure and press for further progress in City Hall.

  • Ensure that city council meetings, agendas, and city forums will be accessible. Ensuring that ASL and language interpreters will be present and live streams. 

  • Uplift marginalized people of Portland often left out of the picture through increased access to City Hall. 
Cannabis Tax Reform

As Mayor, Teressa will

  • Divert Cannabis Tax from PPB to fund expungement clinics and other Second-chance Programs.

  • Fund Black neighborhood development through reallocated Cannabis Tax.

  • Form a Black Cannabis Counsel — taking a lead from what the Black community needs and wants. 

  • Establish an Employment Council for transitional workers re-entering society by working with Oregon state legislators.

  • Divert cannabis taxes to social programs they were intended for and where they are needed. 
Civic Participation

As Mayor, Teressa will

  • Invest in open spaces, opportunities for healthy recreation and community connection-building.

  • Host city halls in our most marginalized communities — as they are often left unheard.

  • Close the loopholes that prevent civic participation like inaccessible times for working people and parents, inaccessible locations and lack of outreach of informing the public.

  • Host Summer youth programs for civic leadership preparation.

As Mayor, Teressa will

  • Seek full rent cancelation for individuals by working with the city council and state officials. 

  • Work with the Portland City Council to pay the Property Taxes of businesses until the curve has flattened. 

  • Extend the eviction moratorium until our State of Emergency is declared over.

  • Start the process of Portland participating in a Universal Basic Income pilot program.

As Mayor, Teressa will

  • Endorse the Preschool for All initiative to ensure that this is fully funded for children and parents.

  • Create an official committee to empower marginalized students to hold Portland Public Schools accountable. 

  • Create paid internships for BIPOC students and student unions to have a larger voice in the city government. 

  • Work with PPS to ensure our education is comprehensive and adequately funded — prioritizing students that do not benefit from the current curriculum and invest in social service positions. 
Green New Deal

As Mayor, Teressa will

    • Ensure a path to Trimet’s transformation of energy systems to 100% renewable energy by 2030.

    • Prioritize environmental justice for Black, Indigenous and Persons of Color Communities located near fossil fuel production sites, landfills, industrial factory-farming, and in sites most vulnerable to natural disasters worsened by climate change.

    • Stop Zenith expansion. Revise and expand city code; hold Zenith financially accountable for their environmental damages done to our city — requiring full insurance in the event of an oil spill. 

    • Enact a car-free downtown area in Portland.

    • Expand the current Bicycle Plan for 2030” and ensure safer bike lanes for cyclists. 

    • Divest from fossil fuel and private interests, invest in solar panels on city buildings and permaculture modifications.

    • Increase city standards and oversight of city sustainability practices, by enforcing Portland’s Declaration of Climate Change Emergency with clearer mandates.
Housing for All

As Mayor, Teressa will

  • Invest in affordable housing and audit existing programs.

  • Uplift intergenerational housing needs and stop the demolition of Portland.

  • Center a preservation over gentrification policy, demanding transparency from real estate interests and developers, beginning with audits. 

  • Demand real estate leaders educate clients that this is stolen land through land acknowledgements. 

  • Seek Publically-funded, percentage-based rental development units.

  • Ensure easier access to these resources for our houseless communities.
Intergenerational Community

As Mayor, Teressa will

  • Invest in Intergenerational support projects.

  • Ensure that our older generations in Portland have access and adequate funding to resources such as community centers.

  • Identify and support community needs, regardless of age.

As Mayor, Teressa will

  • Denounce ICE for their human rights violations and violence towards our immigrant communities and citizens. 

  • Work with congressional representatives to remove ICE from Portland. 

  • Require that all personnel at PPB are not aiding ICE, protecting Portland’s sanctuary city status. 

  • Provide ESL resources and legal support at no cost to our community members. 
Living Wages

As Mayor, Teressa will

  • Seek Universal Basic Income with Oregon State Legislators.

  • Demand a living wage, beginning with at least $15 dollars an hour. 

  • Make it easier to form and join a union through national mandates, protecting the Right to Organize (PRO) Act (H.R. 2474).
Mutual Aid

As Mayor, Teressa will

  • Invest in food security in Portland food deserts by supporting programs like PDX free fridge.

  • Invest in BIPOC land stewardship programs and farmers.

  • Empower community engagement to uplift marginalized community members by making local politics more accessible. 
Police Justice

As Mayor, Teressa will

  • Commit to disbanding the Portland Police Bureau, beginning with defunding at least by 50% and continuing after her terms as mayor are over.

  • Open PPB data to the Portland City Council for independent oversight.

  • Invest in a community-led People’s Budget platform.

  • Invest in proven community-based gun violence community coalitions and invest in alternatives to calling the PPB. 

  • End qualified immunity and create a public Police Excessive Force Database to ensure accountability.

  • Increase racial and implicit bias training, until the PPB is dismantled.
Public Safety

As Mayor, Teressa will

  • Invest in safe transportation infrastructure based on the recommendations of audits conducted in the first 100 days. 

  • Partner with Trimet to advocate for a fare-free transit. 

  • Expand the Street Response Team, currently led by Street Roots. 

  • Invest in programs to support families dealing with trauma associated with public safety inadequacies.
Racial Justice

As Mayor, Teressa will

  • Protect people over property. She will listen to the demands of the people and uplift their freedom of speech and healthy civic engagement. 

  • Never approve permits to white supremacist rallies or organizations. 

  • Audit and terminate PPB members found to be coordinating with white supremacist groups, including, but not limited to, the Proud Boys and Patriot Prayer.

  • Expose Portland’s racist past. Educate the city that Portland is built on stolen land, by stolen people.

  • Work with the Oregon legislature to begin the process of reparations for our Indigenous community and Black community members.

  • Remove statues of colonists around the city and urge schools to rename their campuses.


Events Calendar
Date Event Time Link
11/03 7PM Election Day 7PM
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Is this going to end up just being a vote for Ted?

No way!

Ted has been rapidly losing popularity after too many undeniably harmful decisions he’s made. A recent poll indicated nearly 2 in 3 Portland voters shows unfavorable viewings of Ted Wheeler. A June 24th poll shows ⅓ of Portland voters unsure who to choose for Mayor. 61% Uncertain of Sarah and 35% left undecided. 

Teressa purposefully has been doing the work to successfully sue Ted Wheeler instead of campaigning all in an effort to protect Portland protesters against the harmful effects of tear gas.

The fact is, Ted didn’t win the election! The run off with Sarah as a contender was determined by her getting only 24% in the primaries. Since then, Teressa Raiford has become the most viable candidate to beat Ted Wheeler.

Not only are we going to win, we’ll be sending a clear message to the establishment! No more status quo! 

Is the write-in campaign divisive to the movement” and actually just sabotaging Sarah as our best chance? Shouldn’t I just pick the lesser-of-two-evils?

This campaign is about amplifying Black voices and Black Women. If Sarah believes Black lives matter, she’d understand the implicit message when running against qualified Black women instead of elevating them. We don’t owe anything to Sarah, but we owe hope to her supporters who are looking for a substantial and non-wavering candidate. Teressa offers that.

The lesser-of-two-evils” rhetoric is an argument oppressors use to prevent systemic change. When the victims begin to simply do the right thing and show up for themselves, the dynamic starts to shift. We are not the ones sabotaging anything as Sarah is not representative of any movement. Moreover, many marginalized Portlanders don’t believe Sarah’s Portland is the lesser-of-two-evils. Sarah panders to the status quo while also trying to appeal to progressives because she’s pursuing a self-serving career in politics. It’s a performative, violent, and true sabotage. Again though, our specific campaign is not about Sarah — it’s to amplify Black voices. 

Can we really win a Write-in campaign?

Legally, yes, we just need the most votes for a single candidate! See ORS 254.500 & ORS 254.505.

Realistically? Also yes. Not long after the May 19th Primary, months of protests have highlighted the exact issues that were at the core of Teressa Raiford’s campaign. Portland is listening now. 

Teressa didn’t get much coverage or raise as much money in the primary. Why isn’t Teressa campaigning?

Teressa campaigned through the primary and is dedicated to protecting her community regardless of title. This campaign is now ours to fight and we are doing this because we are empowered by her leadership. Also, protecting and uplifting our community is campaigning even, if it’s not traditional.

We have to strip down the systems that have purposely excluded folks outside the status quo. The implicit nature of raising money in a predominantly white community — specifically from a Black-led campaign — is not lost in how people blame Teressa and not upheld systems or the blatant media blackout for lack of coverage or money raised. This rhetoric is invested in downplaying and ignoring Portland’s long upheld systemic racism.

Despite the commonly held misconception, raising the most money doesn’t equate more popularity, validity, or chances of winning. Instead, it largely equates to wealth and proximity to existing power structures. Campaigning is an extremely time-consuming and financially straining activity — two things that marginalized folks looking to represent themselves can rarely accommodate. 

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