Chris Shorr is a working-class Mainer, and a Green Party candidate running for City Council in Portland Maine.
Check out his candidate questionnaire and learn more about why he's decided to run for office with the Maine Green Independent Party.
If you'd like to run for office yourself, be sure to sign up so that we can be in touch over at our Candidate Recruitment Page!
General Candidate Questionnaire
Christopher Shorr (facebook page)
Office you wish to seek:
Portland City Council at-large
Are you currently a registered member of the Maine Green Independent Party?
Why do you wish to hold this position?
There are a number of reasons why I wish to serve on the City Council. My biggest motivation for running was my frustration with the current Council's lack of responsiveness to the wishes and needs of Portlanders, particularly in regards to our homeless, marginalized, and immigrant communities. Improving opportunities and quality of life for all of Portland's citizens should be the utmost focus for our Councilors. The focus seems to be too much on attracting new people, talent and business from away when it should be on cultivating what we already have and providing more opportunities for current Portlanders to advance their careers, improve their livelihoods, and raise well supported families.
Why do you feel you are qualified to run?
I feel that I have certain abilities and skills which have helped me thus far in the campaign, particularly when it comes to inter-personal communication and public speaking, but I don't think one needs to be especially talented or accomplished to be a viable City Councilor. I feel that my qualifications lie in my love for Portland, my understanding of the social and economic issues that divide our city, and my steadfast conviction that great communities are built from the bottom up not the top down. I feel that my values are reflective of a life lived in Portland and that hopefully my candidacy (and possible Councilorship) will help to enourage more people like me to run in future elections.
What is the most important issue you feel needs to be addressed?
We need to address housing from all angles. Our "affordable" housing is too expensive, we have too many current and planned luxury apartment and condo developments which further gentrify Portland and drive the "market rate" up higher
when it needs to be lowered, property taxes are too high and are causing a mass exodus of young families, our shelters are perpetually over-run because we don't have enough rapid/temporary re-housing. People should not have to work multiple jobs just to make rent in a small apartment. Young couples who grew up here should not be forced to move away to start families. Overflowing shelters should not be ignored when we are giving away millions of dollars in tax breaks to corporations.
The lack of housing in Portland should not be viewed as an economic issue, it should be viewed as a social justice issue. If elected I would do all that I could to improve the quality of life for all Portlanders, across the board, by way of lowering the cost of living- starting with lowering rent prices and residential property taxes.
Will you agree to NOT accept contributions from corporations or corporate PACs?
Yes, emphatically, passionately, and absolutely.
Please briefly describe any other relevant experience you have had, including employment, working on other political campaigns, or other volunteer efforts:
In the 2011 Mayoral race I helped to campaign for Mayor Brennan. I didn't do a whole lot, just made about 100 phone calls for him. I've also worked for the Maine People's Alliance as a phone organizer raising money and awareness for various causes.
Have you ever worked for a political campaign? Please describe your experience.
Only Mayor Brennan's.
Have you previously run for and/or held a public elected office?
How would you describe your current base of support, and what is your plan for growing support for both your campaign and the Green Party?
The amount of support I've received has been incredible. The Maine League of Young Voters gave me their endorsement, and I've had all kinds of people jump on board and offer up advice and assistance. Many of the folks who've helped me out are prominent Greens such as Tom MacMillan, John Eder, and Holly Seeliger.
I think that momentum for my campaign is really building, and that if I focus on creating connections with Portlanders for the remainder of the campaign I should have a really good chance at winning.
Regardless of the outcome of the election- moving forward I will be a vocal supporter of the Green Party and the ideals with which is stands for.