City & Government

Elections: Springfield City Council Q&A

Editor’s note: In a runoff race, Kori Rodley and Johanis Tadeo vie for the Ward 3 spot on Springfield City Council held now by Sheri Moore. Both the council and mayor positions are four-year terms. 

Rodley (left) and Tadeo (right).

Q: What will your top priorities be going into 2021 and why? 

Kori Rodley: My priorities for 2021 are going to be a combination of the ongoing challenges of affordable housing, creating and maintaining living wage jobs and thriving business communities, and addressing service delivery for the City of Springfield – with the added realities of a shifting budget due to the impacts of the recession and the realities of the state and city general funds; increased pressure to address public safety and police brutality; increased homelessness; and increased transparency, function, and accountability for the Springfield City Council. The pandemic and recent events have exposed existing disparities and are showing how years of ignoring the growing diversity and not acting boldly to lead Springfield through the growing pains and transitions must end. I am committed to being a working, collaborative, and creative public servant. 

Johanis Tadeo: My priorities will be to: (1) Enhance public safety by building bridges between communities and the police. (2) Promote expansion of shelters for unhoused residents as well as development of affordable housing for low-income residents. (3) Expand the Springfield economy by providing incentives to new small businesses. (4) Improve the city’s infrastructure to make transportation options accessible and safe. (5) Increase civic participation by underrepresented communities so that all voices are heard. Focusing on these priorities will enable the City to make great strides toward recovery and revitalization and towards making Springfield a city that is thriving, welcoming, and safe for all of our residents.

Q: How will you help Springfield businesses and residents recover from the pandemic? 

Rodley: Springfield city staff have already created a Springfield Economic Recovery Strategy anticipating the increased challenges and stress on our economy and with a goal of supporting businesses through the trials of the pandemic recession and into recovery. I believe it is important to support and retain as many of our businesses as possible and to help foster resiliency into recovery and beyond. For the city of Springfield, this looks like providing access to resources (special grants, reduced or eliminated fees, partnership opportunities) and looking for creative ways to help businesses thrive (expanding use of outdoor space, investing in infrastructure). It is going to be increasingly important for the city to advocate for the health and wellbeing of local businesses and leverage regional, state, and federal partnerships to bring new economic partners and developers into Springfield. We cannot wait to see where the future takes us, I want to dig in, focus, and strategize for a strong economic recovery.

Tadeo: Everyone must have access to information about all available relief funds and receive support as needed in knowing how to apply. The City could offer helpful short videos in English and Spanish, with a commitment to reaching the most vulnerable community members. The City should explore offering incentive grants to small businesses to help them back on their feet. I strongly believe that grassroots efforts where people come together to help one another, and then reach out to create partnerships, make a huge difference. Springfield Alliance for Equity and Respect, the CALC program I direct, began food distributions on a volunteer basis at the Arc of Lane County in April. That led to a partnership between the Arc, Food for Lane County, CALC/SAfER and Escudo Latino. Now there is a CARES Center at the Arc, open three times a week, offering food, household goods, clothing and information.  

Q: What is the current state of public safety in Springfield? What changes will you advocate for and why?

Rodley: With heightened awareness of the challenges and strains on public safety, many of our longtime issues have bubbled to the surface again. Protests following the murder of George Floyd and the issues exposed by the $4.55 million wrongful death lawsuit awarded to the family of Stacy Kenny have raised awareness and inspired many Springfield residents to get more involved with reforming our public safety. There is so much room for improvement – from reinventing police oversight (we currently have a toothless citizen advisory committee with minimal diversity), creating budget and funding accountability, requiring training and support to shift the current “warrior” culture that contributes to police brutality, supporting and funding strong crisis, mental health, domestic violence, and addiction resources, and, ultimately, diversifying public safety in Springfield so that every resident can feel safe – regardless of age, race, ethnicity, and gender. I was a loud voice in support of body-worn cameras as a member of the city budget committee and will continue to dig into shifting the culture and improve accountability for public safety in Springfield.

Tadeo: Lawsuits against the Springfield Police Department and expensive settlements have drastically increased City insurance costs, and there is currently an external investigation of police use of force in Thurston. There is widespread concern about disparate treatment by the police of racial justice protestors and right-wing counter-protestors, many of them armed. Rebuilding public trust in law enforcement is urgent and requires transparency, communication, accountability and visible, tangible policy change. Residents shouldn’t feel intimidated by the police or afraid to call for help. The mission of the police must be to protect all community members, including underrepresented groups. Training is needed in de-escalation tactics, cultural competence, implicit bias, trauma-informed responses and restorative justice. A portion of resources currently allocated to public safety should be directed instead to programs such as CAHOOTS, mental health and substance abuse services, and to the Springfield Library, which offers a welcoming, safe space for everyone.

Q: Do you utilize Springfield parks and businesses? Where are your favorite places to spend time at and why?

Rodley: We are members of Willamalane and utilize the pools, gym at Bob Keefer Center, and exercise classes; as well as every day park and bike trail use. I value and prioritize Springfield businesses, and we do most of our shopping in Springfield – from nearby Jerry’s Home Improvement, to groceries and restaurants, to coffee at Crema and Bloom, to my visits every three weeks to Bri Clement at the Nail Niche near our home. I love taking in the changing seasons on walks at Doris Ranch or the relatively new Thurston trails. My favorite restaurants in Springfield are The Busy Bee Cafe’, the Washburne, Bartolotti’s Pizza Bistro, and Coburg Pizza. I also spend a fair amount of time perusing our many great antique and consignment shops for treasures, and am addicted to Little Red Farm Nursery for the best garden plants, trees, and roses.

Tadeo: When I was young, my older brother, who is now deceased, used to take me to Kelly Butte to look at the lights. He would tell me: “The bright lights are opportunity. The dim lights are past experiences. Don’t let the dim lights drag you down.” So Kelly Butte is a special place. I’ve enjoyed playing basketball with my nephew at Maple Elementary, and walking my dog at Clearwater Park. I patronize Springfield businesses such as Copy Rite Printing and like meeting for coffee at Washburne Café. I enjoy letting people know about businesses owned by members of underrepresented communities, such as Erica’s Meat Market, El Kaiman, El Angel and Buen Taco. I’m looking forward to the creation next summer of a mural representing the Latinx Community on the exterior of Memo’s Restaurant, and am excited about the civic and community support for this project.  

Q: What does the roadmap to equity look like in the city, and how will you lead Springfield in being an inclusive City? 

Rodley: We can no longer ignore that our city and beyond have not been built on racist and inequitable policies and practices. As a person who has worked for many years to support diversity, equity, inclusion, and access; I am inspired that what was once considered a taboo subject has now become part of our everyday effort in our workplaces and government. While the City of Springfield has an internal diversity committee, we are coming a little late to intentional equity work from our leadership. My experience with this hard work informs my commitment to 1. Normalize training and ongoing efforts on equity and inclusion 2. Organize within our government and our community to increase accountability, change expectations and provide programs, education, and support to change structures and systems and 3. Operationalize – we need to create a new way of looking at issues, policies, systems, and challenges with an understanding of barriers and all the ways people have been excluded. All this means we bring more diverse people to all decision-making tables, and build bridges to marginalized communities.

Tadeo: Elected City leaders and City personnel need to go out into the community, and meet people, especially members of under-represented groups, where they live and work. Listening to their issues and concerns firsthand is essential. City leaders need to ask themselves repeatedly, who is included and who is missing. As someone who has grown up in Springfield’s Latinx community and who cares about the total community, I am already a bridge-builder and I know how to bring people together to engage with each other. I will promote training for city personnel in cultural awareness and enhanced efforts to hire and retain a diverse workforce. I appreciate the City’s Diversity and Equity Committee and think the City needs to look to its diverse members for direction. I believe the City needs to provide translation services so that the voices and perspectives of non-English speakers can be heard.

Q: What steps will you take to tackle Springfield’s housing crisis?

Rodley: The availability of affordable housing, and housing inventory at all income levels; as well as record numbers of unhoused neighbors, was an issue and a crisis BEFORE the pandemic – now we are in deep need of committed leaders and a solid plan. The first step is for the City of Springfield to develop an updated economic and housing analysis taking into account the current recession and the impact of the last several months on our households. It is imperative that we leverage partnerships and work with the county and the state to get creative in leveraging public land, maximize urban renewal districts (Glenwood), and develop special financing and incentives to attract private investment and development partners. If we do this well and right, we will not only create housing for all income levels, we will also create family wage jobs and support for our small businesses as we work out of the pandemic recession.

Tadeo: There are three aspects to this crisis. 1. Some longtime Springfield residents completely lack shelter. 2. Many low-income residents are vulnerable to displacement; the pandemic has increased their vulnerability. 3. There is a lack of low and middle-income housing. Regarding homeless residents, we must support groups already serving this population, such as Carry It Forward. The City could work with local businesses to allow safe shelter options on under-used properties. I will urge the City to explore models for tiny home development, such as offered by Square One Villages, and insist upon protecting existing low-income housing, as in mobile home parks. Homeless numbers would increase dramatically if these parks, populated by the elderly and by marginalized communities, are not secured. I’ll encourage the City to remove barriers for developers of low and middle-income housing, and promote public/private partnerships, as well as strengthened collaboration and creative thinking among Team Springfield members.

Read more:

Creswell mayor race – click here

Creswell City Council race – click here

Cottage Grove mayor race – click here

Cottage Grove City Council race – click here

Springfield City Council race – click here

Chinese Astrology: The Candidate Series – Ivan DelSol

Chinese Astrology: The Candidate Series – Jeff Gowing


Candidate columns:

Chalice Savage – Cottage Grove City Council candidate

Shelly Clark – Creswell City Council candidate

Kori Rodley – Springfield City Council candidate

Ivan DelSol – Cottage Grove mayor candidate

Kevin Prociw – Creswell mayor candidate



View this profile on Instagram


The Chronicle (@thechronicle1909) • Instagram photos and videos