December 31, 2019

That Nick Fish would prove to become a strong and vocal leader on issues related to affordable housing and homelessness was never a surprise. Those issues are etched into his heart and soul, and define him as a true public servant. It's what makes Nick more than just an able legislator or an administrator with the steadiest of hands.

Chair Deborah Kafoury, right, with Portland Commissioner Nick Fish, left, at a summit Sept. 14, 2017, on supportive housing.
His unwavering desire to do the right thing, even when it wasn't easy, should be the gold standard for current and future elected officials because Nick Fish has never taken a shortcut. A bureau in trouble? Give it to Nick. Controversial issue? Give it to Nick. Time and time again he proved he could take care of it. 

He has dedicated his life to making government better, more accountable and more transparent. And it is impossible to quantify just how better off Portland is because of his contributions.

It has been painful to watch my friend fight a deadly disease, but the way in which he continued his public service - with grace and determination - has been nothing short of astonishing. Nick is a hero to many people, me included. I am so sad to see him leave City Council, and I wish him comfort as he spends his time with his family.