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Downtime with Mingus Mapps

Downtime with Mingus Mapps Photo: Jason E. Kaplan

The newly elected commissioner for the Portland City Council loves cycling and, when he has time, watching "pre-Trump era" TV shows.


What I am reading

I like to read as much as possible. One of my election presents was Warrior of the Light by Paulo Coelho. This is a homework assignment from Avel Gordly, who I talk to as much as I can. It’s about the humility of leadership and the uncertainty of life — probably a good thing to be reading in the current political climate.

What I am watching

Well, when I have the time to watch TV these days, I watch anything pre-Trump era, so right now 30 Rock. Next up I’m going to rewatch Parks and Rec.

What I am listening to

I am definitely a podcast fiend. Right now, I am listening to The Indicator by Planet Money, Sound Opinions, American History Tellers, Pod Save the World, 99% Invisible, The China History Podcast, The Splendid Table. As for music, a lot of Prince, James Brown, Rolling Stones.

Must-have gadget

Phone, meat thermometer

What I do outside of work

Hobbies are running, bicycling, learning about history, going to art museums big and small. My favorite time in Portland is the spring and summer when I can ride my bike with kids through all of our beautiful neighborhoods. Also, I feel blessed to live so close to Revolution Hall. Pre-COVID, I tried to catch a show or something that required tickets and didn’t allow kids, like once a month.

Earliest ambition

I was always a boring kid. Some people might say I am a boring adult. I always saw myself in government in some way or another. Both of my parents were in government when I was growing up in California. Their dedication to public service had a profound impact on me and absolutely influenced my decision to run for council. My mom was an eligibility worker for social services, so she helped folks get social services. My father worked for the Small Business Administration for the state of California.

Favorite place to vacation

There is no place on earth I would rather vacation than the Oregon Coast. From Brookings to Astoria you can’t go wrong. On the Coast, I think one of my favorite spots is Rockaway and eating at the Old Oregon Smokehouse.

Biggest extravagance

Speaking of food, we get takeout pretty much every night. My family loves the restaurants near our house off East Burnside. Sammich is one of our favorites, but we also hit Fire on the Mountain and Ole Ole pretty often.

What motivates me to come to work

I come to work, or log on in my dining room, because public service is important. I find the work fascinating, and at the core, public service is about helping people. I really enjoy working with my team to make Portland the best city it can be.

Professional role model

There are so many: Barbara Roberts, Avel Gordly, Bud Clark, Barack Obama and the former governor of Massachusetts Deval Patrick.

Future ambitions

Making the next four years on City Council matter. We face historic challenges as a city. From the houselessness crisis to the sheer number of shootings, we have crisis on multiple fronts. I know there are no easy solutions, but I am dedicated to moving the dial during my term on council.


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