Andrés Portela is an Afro-Latino activist running in the August 3 Democratic primary for the Tucson City Council to represent Ward 6. If elected, he would be the first African-American on the City Council since 1980
Andrés spoke about building community through prioritizing our H.O.M.E.
- Housing: helping families avoid evictions, placing the homeless in housing and installing a public advocate to fight predatory landlords. At one time Andres had to live in his car, but today he is married and owns a house.
- Opportunity: Using the city Office of Equity to analyze data to use race and social economics and turn it into police. Andres would establish an office working group on poverty, would expand into new industries but prioritizing employing locals and expand public health resources to more
- Mobility Justice: decoupling the police from traffic safety, using traffic engineering to fix roads in neighborhoods, focusing on bus transit, and establishing cooling centers with power generators.
- Environmental Justice: establishing sustainable electric and storm water infrastructures, writing a green master plan to reduce the heat island effect, and reducing reliance on cars.
He spells out his steps in a 100-day plan.
On broader topics, Andres said he is in favor of raising water rates on suburban homeowners. He plans to meet with Regional Transportation Authority officials to reduce public reliance on cars and not expand new roads, and change transportation priorities in favor of mass transit and bicycling.
Andrés is a New American Leader, Monzon institute fellow, and the Deputy Director of Arizona Coalition for Change and Our Voice, Our Vote Arizona.
Andrés was raised in Sierra Vista. He found home and community in both Tucson as his mother is 3rd generation Black Tucsonan.
He was a policy intern for Congressman Ron Barber during his time at the University of Arizona. After graduating, Andrés worked for SWFHC as a Regional Marketing and Community Development Director, which earned him the distinction of National Fair Housing Alliance Emerging Leader in Civil Rights.
He worked for Council Member Santa Cruz as a Senior Policy Advisor, when he created the Commission on Equitable Housing and Development, the Office of Equity, and the ordinance to denounce white supremacy.