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City Council Candidates Respond to OMPA Survey

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CANDIDATES FOR COMMISSIONER, POSITION NO. 2

Nick Fish – see responses below

Julia DeGraw – no response

Nicholas Sutton – no response

Philip J. Wolfe – no response



CANDIDATES FOR COMMISSIONER, POSITION NO. 3

Andrea Valderrama – see responses below

Jo Ann Hardesty – no response

Felicia Williams – no response 

Loretta Smith –  no response

Stuart Emmons – no response

Lew Humble – no response


 

Nick Fish, Portland City Commissioner, Position #2

1. Please give an overview of your economic development plan. What part does media production play in Portland’s economy?
I am proud to serve as the City’s Arts Commissioner, and as Council liaison to the small business community. Portland is a small business town, proud of its reputation for creativity. The City should focus its resources on the unique needs of employers who have 20 or fewer employees. The television and film industry is at the intersection of two issues I care deeply about: small business and the arts. The industry employs local workers, supports local businesses, generates significant tax revenues, and burnishes our brand as a creative place. I am also excited about the world-­‐class and growing animation community which calls the Portland region home. Laika in Hillsboro, as well as Hinge Digital, ShadowMachine, House Special and Bent Image Labs in Portland. They are creating original content on a regular basis and strengthening our reputation as a destination for animation. That’s why I have been a champion for the incentive programs administered by the Oregon Film Office. I would like to see a significant boost to the annual cap for the state’s film and video tax credit. It’s also why I have been working for the past year to ensure the long-­‐term viability of the Portland Film Office. The Film Office provides concierge services to film productions -­‐ on the tight timelines the work requires. We must have a permitting entity in the City that understands the unique challenges that a film production faces, and is able to expedite delivery of permits and other accommodations necessary for this sector to thrive.
2. What is your general opinion of the Oregon Production investment Fund (OPIF) and the indigenous Oregon Production Investment Fund (iOPIF)? How would you direct city sources to support these programs?
I strongly support these programs, and would be open to a conversation about investing city resources in these and similar programs. We are a magnet for smaller productions like independent movies, music videos, commercials, documentaries, YouTube, Netflix, and other streaming services. In these small productions, a modest amount of money can be the deciding factor in a company deciding whether to bring a production to Portland. We have historically depended heavily on the Oregon Legislature and the Oregon Lottery. I am open to new ideas and creative ways to leverage resources -­‐ both public and private -­‐ in support of this industry. Over the next year, my main focus on the film industry in Portland will be to finalize plans for the long-­‐term financial sustainability of the Portland Film Office.
3. What would you do to streamline the city permitting process for media production projects? What other steps can Portland take to facilitate media productions?
As I mentioned previously, I have been working for the last year to develop a plan for long-­‐term financial sustainability of the Portland Film Office. Portland Parks and Recreation and the Portland Bureau of Transportation play critical roles in the permitting process. I have brought them to the table to explore ways of streamlining the permitting process. In the future, the Film Office will provide one-­‐stop shopping: a concierge service; a single, universal permit issued directly by the Office to productions; opportunities for expedited delivery; and simplified processing for minor permits like b-­‐roll and filming on sidewalks or in plazas. Finally, I want to be intentional in structuring the Film Office. We should consider whether it should expand into other areas such as workforce development, production grants, networking opportunities, and direct recruitment of projects, with the flexibility to adapt to changes in the industry.
4. What steps you take to attract more media production projects to Portland?
I’ve heard from stakeholders that, more than anything, the film industry operates by word-­‐of-­‐mouth. When a film production has a positive experience in Portland, word gets around. As Arts Commissioner, I have visited the sets of production companies in the region, as well as corporate offices in Los Angeles, and looked for opportunities to express our thanks for the investments made in our community. I will continue to strongly advocate for expanding the state incentive programs, so we can compete for more productions.
5. Are you currently using, or would you be willing to use, a local production company for your campaign’s advertisements?
Yes. I am working with photographer Bruce Forster, Gavin Mahaley, Chris Stephens, Gyroscope Creative and filmmaker Jon Garcia.
6. Is there anything else you’d like to share with us that would be relevant to the members of our industry?
The film industry is in flux. The rise of streaming services like Netflix, YouTube, and Hulu have changed how people consume media. Smaller, more nimble productions and services are gaining market share. At the same time, big budget productions on major subscription networks like HBO are producing world-­‐class films available in one-­‐hour chunks available every week. This means that we must be flexible, adaptable, and ready to accommodate requests as they come -­‐ treating small, independent productions with the same professionalism and seriousness that bigger firms would get. Productions like Lean on Pete, Everything Sucks, American Vandal, Here Now, My Abandonment, Lace Up, and the many commercials filmed here in Portland view us as a serious place to do business. And it is worth noting that I have yet to meet someone who works in the film industry, from a location scout to a production manager to a lighting tech or a gaffer, who isn’t also pursuing her own craft. The film industry supports up-­‐and-­‐coming artists by providing good-­‐paying day jobs, allowing them to pursue art, music, writing, or performance in their free time. A double win for our creative community.



Andrea Valderrama, 
Portland City Commissioner, Position #3

 

1. Please give an overview of your economic development plan. What part does media production play in Portland’s economy?
As Portland grows, the need for family wage jobs will also grow. My economic development plan intends to promote job growth while also ensuring that Portland maintains its affordability. The current housing and homelessness crisis is an affordability crisis, and my experience at City Hall allows me to hit the ground running to help address this crisis and keep Portland affordable. My economic development plan focuses on the following priorities: local hiring, promotion of minority & women-owned small businesses, take necessary steps to stabilize housing prices and improve home-ownership opportunities. Portland’s media production industry plays a crucial part to accomplish these priorities. As a parent and member of the David Douglas School Board in East Portland, I am interested in leveraging Measure 98 allocated dollars can be allocated to develop a “cradle to career pipeline” of technically skilled trades and professions, expanding CTE opportunities beyond plumbing and construction to include skilled trades in the media production industry. I see an expanded opportunity for the media production industry to play both in Portland’s classrooms but also through increased internships, training opportunities, and career shadowing for both students and adults.
2. What is your general opinion of the Oregon Production investment Fund (OPIF) and the indigenous Oregon Production Investment Fund (iOPIF)? How would you direct city sources to support these programs?
I would leverage the City of Portland’s Office of Government Relations to leverage support for both the OPIF and iOPIF both during legislative session and also out of session to lobby with State leadership to ensure they continue to be excited to support production both in Portland and throughout Oregon. Offering rebates on both labor and goods and services on productions of at least $1 million via the OPIF is an excellent incentive for large-budget productions to come to Portland. Lowering this million-dollar floor for local productions provide breathing room, allowing local talent to establish themselves in a competitive industry. These Investment Funds have clearly achieved their intended impact, resulting in both a growth in the industry and commensurate job creation.
3. What would you do to streamline the city permitting process for media production projects? What other steps can Portland take to facilitate media productions?
Supporting successful industry growth is a critical responsibility of the Portland Film Office, requiring a streamlined permitting process. I am eager to explore opportunities for the Portland Film Office to work with other Bureau leadership and also, possibly, leverage the Office of Government Relations for expanded partnerships throughout the state to facilitate media production both in Portland and elsewhere. I want to ensure that top-level Bureau staff are excited and supportive of the Portland Film Office, helping ensure a top-down and vertical permitting process.
4. What steps you take to attract more media production projects to Portland?
My commitment to ensure Portland is both livable and affordable will help attract media production projects to Portland. For any industry to succeed in Portland, the city needs to attract and sustain workers. This occurs by not only having school districts with high-performing schools, but other amenities for a high quality of life including libraries, parks, and other recreational opportunities that are safe and healthy for all residents.
5. Are you currently using, or would you be willing to use, a local production company for your campaign’s advertisements?
Yes, absolutely. My campaign uses local photographers and videographers. In keeping with my campaign platform, I have hired and would seek to hire women and POC media producers, when able.
6. Is there anything else you’d like to share with us that would be relevant to the members of our industry?
I must admit I am more familiar with the inner-workings of City Hall and the budgetary process of various Bureaus than I am with Portland’s media production industry. That said, I have a proven track record of educating myself quickly on a disparate range of topics. I certainly recognize the thriving industry media production plays in the local economy, and as Commissioner I would be committed to ensuring that this industry continues to thrive.

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