Chris grew up in the Northeast, earned degrees in Computer and Systems Engineering and Business Management and started his career in the Boston area. He followed a job with Tektronix to the region in 1988. Instead of the two-year stint he was expecting he fell in love with the Pacific Northwest. Within a few years, Chris settled into the NW Portland neighborhood, attracted to the neighborhood’s lively, walkable character. He met and bought a home with his partner Staci Paley and took on the role of step-dad for Christopher and Alethea.
His love of the neighborhood led him to serve as as neighborhood transportation chair, which began a robust, lengthy tenure in public service that continues to this day. Chris’s interest in walkable neighborhoods led him to a seat on the Portland Streetcar board, the first of a mindboggling number of committees, boards and commissions centered around transportation and land use, including service on the influencial TPAC and MPAC committees at Metro, and over a decade of service on the Portland Planning and Commission. He has consistently been a voice for sustainable and equitable urbanism, walking, biking and transit.
Since his Tektronix division was acquired, his day job has been leading the technology behind Xerox websites. He is recently retired from Xerox.
Along the way he chaired the Board of Artists Repertory Theater, created the popular Portland Transport blog, worked on a number of candidate and ballot measure campaigns, served on two City Club studies and ran for a Portland City Council seat in 2008.
In 2012, he was the first public official to vote against the Rose Quarter freeway expansion and later helped found the No More Freeways campaign as part of his fight for a transportation system that will respond to the challenge of climate change. The campaign has successfully solicited thousands of community letters in opposition to the proposed billion dollar freeway expansion and enjoyed the support of numerous elected officials, public health advocates, and transportation experts.
While serving on the Planning and Sustainability Commission, he has also helped preserve 800 acres of habitat on West Hayden Island, fought off a propane terminal on the Columbia and enacted prohibitions on new fossil fuel handling facilities in Portland.
He can be seen riding around the district on a bright yellow eBike, his principal form of transportation. Chris and Staci still live in Northwest Portland with their dog Buttercup.
Chris Smith’s Civic Resume
2010-Present City of Portland Budget Advisory Committee
2009-Present Portland Planning and Sustainability Commission
2007-Present Ubiquitous Transit Appliance Project
Providing transit arrival screens in cafes, lobbys, hotels, etc.
2019-Present West Portland Town Center Advisory Committee
2011-2017 City of Portland Budget Advisor
2013-2014 Climate Action Plan Update Steering Committee
2012-2013 Barbur Concept Plan Advisory Committee
2009-2012 Mayor’s Transportation Cabinet
2008-2010 Bicycle Master Plan Steering Committee
2008-2009 Streetcar System Plan System Advisory Committee
2007-2008 Candidate for Portland City Council
Qualified for public financing and campaigned on making Portland a
model for sustainability.
2007 Safe, Sound and Green Streets Task Force
Find sustainable funding for maintaining transportation infrastructure and
2007 Project Homeless Connect – Transportation Lead
One-day event to connect homeless families with services
2007 Chair – Citizens for Accountable City Government
Ballot Measure campaign opposing change toward Strong-Mayor form of
2005-2007 Metro Policy Advisory Committee
Appointed representative for citizens of Multnomah County
2005-2006 Portland Office of Transportation Budget Advisory Committee
2005-2015 Launched and Published PortlandTransport.com
A blog on transportation issues in the metro area
2004 Mayor’s Roundtable on the Central City
2004 Burnside Transportation and Urban Design Stakeholders Advisory Committee
1991-Present City Club of Portland
2002-2006 – Member of Board of Governors
2002-2005 – Chair of Advocacy Board
2000 – Chaired Measure 6 Study Committee
1997-2000 – Member of Density Study Committee
1998-Present Portland Streetcar
2003-Present member of Board of Directors
1998-2009 member of Citizens Advisory Committee (chair 2003-2009)
2003-2005 Metro Transportation Policy Alternatives Committee (TPAC)
2000 Volunteer Staff Member – Committee for Our Oregon
Opposing Ballot Measures 8, 91 & 93.
1999-2001 Board Member of Citizens for Sensible Transportation
Regional advocacy for transportation policy and tactics to reduce
dependency on automobiles.
1997-2005 Chair of Northwest District Association (NWDA) – Transportation Committee
Advocate for transportation needs of the Northwest Portland community.
1997-2005 Board Member and Officer of NWDA
1991-1996 Board Member of Artists Repertory Theatre
As Board Chair for two years led operational turn-around of not-for-profit
theater, retiring accumulated deficit and preparing for a successful
$1.2M capital campaign