If you thought the upcoming mayoral election was set to be a snoozefest, WOHM has other news for you. Occasional local rapper and long time activist Jesse Sponberg is officially running for mayor, in a move many have expected for the last ten years. By throwing his name into the hat, the liberal progressive challenges the de facto frontrunners of Ted Wheeler & Jules Bailey, and is expected – at least – to change the course of the political conversation. Current mayor Charlie Hales is not seeking re-election.

Sponberg’s camp released the following press release, and it looks like Wikipedia has already been updated. Yep, it’s on!

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE.: Jan 19, 2016 – Portland, Ore.


It’s being touted as the worst kept secret in Portland. Controversial local community organizer, and 800 pound gorilla in the room, Jessie Sponberg officially declared for office last week. He chose to pay the $50 filing fee, and immediately declared himself the frontrunner.

“It makes sense that I’m the front runner. Look out your window. The world is waking up. The last thing this city wants is another career politician. Do you think more than 51% of this city is scared about what the next 4 years will look like? It’s a devastating failure by the local media to convince the people of Portland that there are only 2 choices for this office. Especially when they are both career politicians who are currently receiving a tax payer salary for remarkably un-noteworthy careers,” quipped Sponberg.

While Sponberg has been proactively greasing the wheels of his machine since 2006, the timing of his filing coincided with a lunch date with iconic former Mayor Bud Clark, at Tom’s Restaurant on SE Cesar Chavez and Division. “Hanging out with Mayor Clark was cool because it reinforced the idea that he really was just a normal person who came to the rescue of the City at a time when he was needed the most. I feel like there are so many parallels between our circumstances that it was important for us to chat. People are more valuable than money, so a person-to-person campaign like he ran seems like a perfect fit for today.”

The location is highly indicative of the type of campaign Sponberg plans to run. “I grew up in East Portland, I lived in several houses that had gravel roads. And when I go back to visit those houses they still have gravel roads. Meanwhile the good people out here in East Portland pay taxes to a City Hall that doesn’t serve them whatsoever. Then some developers get money together, cut down your trees, raise your rents and THEN we get paved roads? The system is broken, and if we can’t fix the system we could at least put an honest man into the office that oversees that system.”

Sponberg (l) Leads City Hall Protest with Pitchfork, Torches. (via Al-Jazeera America)
Sponberg (l) Leads City Hall Protest with Pitchfork, Torches. (via Al-Jazeera America)

Sponberg is no stranger to local politics, although his view of it is usually from the testimony desk, ranting against what he perceives to be obvious shady dealings behind the scenes at City Hall. “Everything wrong with this city can be traced back to a shadowy meeting between a privileged special interest group and a career politician. These things are destroying our city and the people in charge don’t care because we are just a notation on a resume for another career politician.
Have we had enough special interests?
Have we had enough secret meetings?
Have we had enough career politicians?”

He is most acknowledged for his role in the Occupy Portland movement, the fight against fluoride, the marijuana legalization efforts, the struggle to serve the houseless community, saving the giant sequoias, bringing torches and pitchforks to City Hall, and the much beloved DONATE YOUR CHALUPA program. A quick Google search of Sponberg’s charitable efforts translates into Japanese on page 63.

Sponberg officially announces his campaign on February 1st at Mount Tabor Reservoir No 6. and will be joined by a variety of outstanding community activists whom he plans on acknowledging for their efforts, as a symbol of the anticipated change of culture at City Hall.

Event Link: https://www.facebook.com/events/656610267775818/

For more information visit:


For interview opportunities email at: sponbergformayor@gmail.com