PORTLAND, Ore. (PORTLAND TRIBUNE) — All Portlanders are invited to remember the Mayor, J.E. “Bud” Clark during a free celebration of his life at 1:00 p.m. on Sunday, May 15 in Pioneer Courthouse Square.
Clark, who served as mayor from 1985 to 1992, passed away on Feb. 1 at the age of 90.
The event — which is being planned by family, friends, and former colleagues and employees — will include personal remembrances and performances by The Portland Youth Philharmonic, Pink Martini founder Thomas Lauderdale and Kathleen Saadat, the Mel Brown Quartet and the MarchFourth Marching Band among other personal remembrances. An “Ice Cream Social” complimentary provided by the local business Salt & Straw will follow the presentations.
“My dad would be so pleased that the citizens of Portland are coming together to celebrate his legacy — which by extension is celebrating his favorite city! He loved Portland deeply and showed through his actions how participation in community building is perhaps an individual’s most important act,” said Clark’s daughter Rachel.
A “Bud Clark’s City” volunteer downtown cleanup will be coordinated by the non-profit SOLVE and precede the event, is also intended as a call for civic recommitment.
“Deep inside our current challenges, Portland is still a good and caring city. We want all citizens to come to Pioneer Courthouse Square on that Sunday, not only to celebrate the life of one of Portland’s great mayors, but to come together to remember the Portland that once was and can be again,” said Jack McGowan, Mayor Clark’s former press secretary, who went on to direct SOLVE for many years. “This is our city, our present and future depends on us rolling up our collective sleeves and working together. This can be Bud’s and our legacy.”
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Clark, the owner of the Goose Hollow Inn, rocketed to international fame when he unexpectedly defeated Mayor Frank Ivancie at the May 1984 primary election with 54.7% of the vote. The concept of a tavern-owner-turned mayor led to an appearance on the Johnny Carson Show, numerous pieces in the New York Times, and coverage in many domestic and foreign television and radio broadcasts, newspapers and magazines.
But Clark also brought a business sensible to the City Council, focusing public financing during tough economic times while also backing economic and other development projects, including the Oregon Convention Center and expanding the downtown Transit Mall. As Police Commissioner, he supported community policing and famously fired Police Chief Jim Davis at the Fat City Cafe in Multnomah Village for challenging the analysis of his proposed Portland Police Bureau budget.
“I hope that all of Portland gets a proverbial shot in the arm from this memorial and will be emboldened to get out there now and be the best we all can be — as individuals, families, businesses, and neighborhoods: Coming together to honor my dad will remind us that we can make a difference. So, come one, come all, dressed as you please!” said Rachel, who manages the Goose Hollow Inn, which she owns with her brothers Nic and Jason.
Organizers include former mayoral employees McGowan, Chuck Duffy and Dan Steffey. Many event expenses are being donated and hard costs are being offset by individual and business supporters of the former mayor. An account to help cover “Celebrate Bud Clark” expenses has been established at US Bank. All surplus funds will be donated in Clark’s name to non-profits Meals on Wheels People and Portland Audubon Society.
To make a contribution, please send checks payable to: Charles P Duffy, “CBC,” P.O. Box 998, Beaverton, Oregon 97075
To learn more and register for the downtown cleanup, go to www.solveoregon.org.