As a registered nurse and a citizen’s rights advocate, city council candidate Amanda Fritz knows a thing or two about helping people. After running for Portland City Council in 2006, she is back on the campaign trail. This spring she is vying to win the Portland City Commissioner No. 1 seat, replacing Sam Adams, who is running for mayor instead of re-election.
As a registered nurse and a citizen’s rights advocate, city council candidate Amanda Fritz knows a thing or two about helping people.
After running for Portland City Council in 2006, she is back on the campaign trail. This spring she is vying to win the Portland City Commissioner No. 1 seat, replacing Sam Adams, who is running for mayor instead of re-election.
Over the past 18 years, Fritz has been involved in several projects around Portland. She has had seven years of service on the Portland Planning Commission and led a 13-year long fight to get a park established in her west Portland neighborhood.
Fritz said Portland is a city that she loves.
“This is greatest place ever,” Fritz said.
Her approach to local government is centered on the idea that citizens should frequently interact with their government.
“Participating is what makes Portland, Portland,” Fritz said. “There needs to be a partnership between citizens and government to make things happen.”
Her passion for local government began in her days studying at Cambridge University, where she was vice-president of the student union and in charge of the school store. She prides herself on the fact that in her first year she raised the store’s 15 percent deficit to a 10 percent profit.
In 1979, soon after she finished college, Fritz moved to the United States to begin a new life.
“I thought the people were rich and it was like Disneyland all the time,” she said.
After living in New Jersey and getting married, Fritz moved to Portland and got a job as a nurse at OHSU. It was there, up on the hill, where Fritz said she had her first taste of standing up for what she believes.
In 2001, Fritz said OHSU decided to start a business plan that would slash labor costs dramatically. She and 1,300 other nurses hit the picket lines and, after 56 days of striking, OHSU gave in.
Fritz said that the strike saved Oregon health care and had a tremendous impact on Oregon nursing to this day. This experience proved to her that she was capable of making a difference.
One of her main concerns is with basic public needs for Portland’s local neighborhoods. For 13 years, she and hundreds of other volunteers worked to successfully get a park, Holly Farm, built in her neighborhood. Fritz said this kind of public needs project was an example of a current issue that should be addressed in the city council.
“It doesn’t make much sense for me to talk about global warming when a child can’t walk to school,” Fritz said, describing several Portland neighborhoods that lack sidewalks.
She said she is also concerned with the rising cost of living in Portland, especially for college students who are unable to rent or own a house.
“People should be able to rent or buy a house before they’re 50,” Fritz said.
Portland State has not gone unnoticed by Fritz.
If elected, she said she wants to meet with student government to discuss issues, challenges and whatever the student body wants to address. She is angered by many of the fees that students are spending each term on top of their tuition.
“That’s not the Portland I value,” Fritz said.
The Portland that Fritz said she values is one in which people care about each other and participate in their community and government to make a difference and a positive change.
These are the kind of qualities Fritz said she hopes to bring to the city council if elected.