Five months after a poll showed a slight majority of likely Portland voters would support a temporary 10-cent gas tax to improve local streets, some donors are hoping cash will lock that lead in for the May election.
Backers of a local gas tax have so far pledged $17,000 for the effort, campaign strategist Stacey Dycus said Tuesday.
“We’re going to ask some local electeds to help chip in,” Dycus said. “We’re going to ask businesses to chip in. We’re looking for help from organizations. … Hopefully organizations and businesses and individuals are going to step up and help us tell the story.”
The Fix Our Streets campaign is expected to announce a committee of supporters Thursday. We’ll update this story with the full list of committee members once it has been made public.
Dycus, who has specialized in smaller-budget campaigns, said that though this one might raise enough for a targeted mailing or two, she didn’t think they’d be the best use of its money.
“I’m not convinced that mail is the best way to have impact on a small-budget campaign,” she said. “We’re going to be really counting on earned media, digital and social media.”
Dycus said the campaign has hired her frequent collaborator Jef Green of Polity Group as its fundraising consultant. She added that Mayor Charlie Hales, who isn’t running for re-election, has promised to help the campaign raise money, and that it’s welcoming people who’d like to volunteer to host house parties or recruit volunteers.
“It’s obvious that the petroleum industry is gearing up to fight this; they filed a ballot title challenge in court yesterday,” Dycus said. “Small contributions count, because this is a grassroots campaign. We have to have the support of folks who just want to help us get the word out.”
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