Photo courtesy of Mariana Medina Garcia
Amanda's official title is Commissioner of Public Utilities, sometimes known as Position Number 1, but neither the "Public Utilities" part nor "Position Number 1" has any real meaning since City Commissioners lead whichever bureaus the Mayor assigns, and are elected citywide. Born and raised in England, and a graduate of Cambridge University with a Master's degree in Biological Sciences, Amanda immigrated to the United States in 1979 at the age of 21. She completed nursing training in Pittsburgh and spent four years in Rochester, NY, then she and her husband Steve decided that Portland is the best place in the world to live and raise a family, and moved here in 1986. She worked evening shift for 22 years in inpatient psychiatry at OHSU, and served for seven years on the Portland Planning Commission, before winning election to the Portland City Council in November 2008. She was the first candidate ever elected from the community using Portland's Public Campaign Finance system, and she remains committed to being the voice of community members in City Hall. Amanda was married to Steven Edward Fritz MD for over 32 years, and they are the parents of Luke, Maxwell, and Ali -- all graduates of Portland Public Schools. Dr. Fritz was killed in a car crash on I-5 while driving to work at the Oregon State Hospital, on 9/24/14. His death, coupled with Amanda's advocacy, prompted the 2015 State Legislature to pass SB 921, the Fritz-Fairchild Act, requiring the Oregon Department of Transportation to install median crash barriers wherever needed on all Interstates in Oregon. Amanda is passionately and personally committed to both traffic safety for all road users, and appropriate health care services for people experiencing mental illnesses. She considers herself Your Voice in City Hall, and works hard to respond to Portlanders' concerns. She consistently advocates for spending taxpayers' money wisely to provide basic services, and in all decisions asks the question, "Who pays, who benefits, and is that fair?"
Tim Crail, Chief of Staff, is a graduate of Lewis and Clark Law School and a former member of the Oregon State Bar Association. He has served on Amanda's team since before she was elected, and in City Hall since her first day of her first term. He worked at the State Capitol in Salem as a Legislative Assistant for the 1995, 1997, and 1999 sessions. He was Amanda’s campaign treasurer, steering committee chair, and chief advisor during her City Council campaigns in 2006 and 2008, meeting the challenges of the initial runs of Portland's Public Campaign Financing system. For nearly ten years, Tim was a home-parent to his two children, volunteering at Markham Elementary School including three years on the Site Council. He served on committees at Metro, SW Neighborhoods, Inc., City of Portland, and Portland Public Schools, and for nine years on the Multnomah County Planning Commission. Tim has served as Amanda's primary liaison to the Bureau of Emergency Communications and the Office of Cable Communications and Franchise Management (now the Office for Community Technology), as well as co-liaison to Portland Parks & Recreation. He is Amanda's Labor liaison. Contact Tim if you have questions, comments, or concerns on the City budget, union bargaining, or State/Federal legislative agendas. Tim is also our office's primary press contact.
Cristina Nieves is our Senior Policy Advisor working on Portland Water Bureau matters. She led the successful collaboration with over 20 community groups in the adoption of Open and Accountable Elections, Portland's new public campaign financing program - to be effective for the 2020 City Council elections - and is the liaison with the program staff. Cristina joined our team as Executive Assistant to the Commissioner in November 2013, after previously working in the office of then-Multnomah County Chair Marissa Madrigal. While with the County, she worked on Oregon House Bill 3194 which offers incentives in the criminal justice system for local jurisdictions to reduce jail and prison use. She earned promotion to her Policy Advisor position within our team in 2016, and to Senior Policy Advisor in 2018. She supports Commissioner Fritz in the work with our community's shared commitment to police accountability. Cristina is a graduate of Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon, with a Bachelors degree in Political Science. Her passion for service to the community and social equity drives her work in the city of Portland. Cristina completed the New Leadership Oregon program at Portland State University. Outside of her work with our office, she enjoys running long distance, and hiking trails.
Claire Adamsick, Senior Policy Director, utilizes her background in public involvement and communications to address constituent concerns and policy issues in Commissioner Fritz’s office. Claire serves as the Commissioner’s liaison to the Office of Equity and Human Rights, and is her lead staff on land use, planning, and sustainability issues. She also works on livability issues, specifically houselessness.
Prior to joining the Commissioner’s staff in January 2015, Claire supported community-led committees on land use, transportation and livability at the Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods. A native Minnesotan, Claire has called Portland home for over a decade. She received her M.A. in Conflict Resolution from Portland State University. Following graduate school, Claire spent a year in Berlin, Germany on a public policy fellowship, working on social mobility and immigration issues at the United Nations Directorate of the German Federal Foreign Office and a Berlin-based policy think tank. Claire is a trained mediator and facilitator, and serves on the City’s Public Involvement Advisory Council (PIAC).
MeeSeon Kwon is the Executive Assistant to Commissioner Fritz, and she coordinates the Commissioner’s calendar and meeting requests. She is also our Policy Advisor on Environmental issues, Government Relations, and Transportation. MeeSeon’s background involved fine and performing arts before she pursued her degree in political science from the Honors College at Portland State University (PSU). She is also a graduate of the New Leadership Oregon program at PSU. She has held various positions working in federal, state, and local government, on political campaigns, and in community organizing and advocacy. MeeSeon is passionate about helping institutions serve their communities, and her volunteerism has ranged from serving as a court-appointed advocate for children in foster care, as a crisis support advocate for survivors of sexual assault and violence, and on various boards and commissions. In her free time, MeeSeon loves being an aunt to the best nieces and nephews, spending as much time as she can outdoors, and getting back into drawing.
Cynthia Castro, Senior Policy Advisor, is currently working on the SW Corridor TriMet proposal, Housing, Police, and Parks projects, and other Strategic Initiatives including Land Acknowledgement with Tribal Relations Director Laura John, and Pay differential for language skills with Yesenia Carrillo. She previously spent nearly five years with Portland Parks & Recreation (PP&R), lately as the Recreation Supervisor of the Charles Jordan Community Center; earlier implementing Mayor Charlie Hales’ Community Center Initiative to engage at-risk youth; and in policy work regarding bureau-wide equity, smoke and tobacco-free parks, and PP&R’s strategic plan. She has championed equity through her involvement with the City’s Diverse and Empowered Employees of Portland (DEEP), Unidos Latinos Americanos City Employee Affinity Group, PP&R’s Fostering Equity Support Team (FEST), and Portland World Cup Soccer Program. Cynthia also brings a background in public health, research, and nine years of experience as a collegiate coach and athletics administrator. She received her B.A. in Anthropology from Arizona State University, and Master of Public Health from Oregon State University. She enjoys spending time with her family, sports, baking, and exploring the outdoors.
Yesenia L. Carrillo, Constituent Services Specialist and Policy Advisor, uses her background in legal support and non-profit management to inform and address the concerns and questions we receive from constituents. Yesenia is committed to identifying diverse issues impacting Portland citizens at large. She is a graduate of Portland State University with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science, informed by her minor in Chicano/Latino Studies, and aspires to attend law school to study public interest law. Yesenia is our lead on Emergency issues including Fire, 911, and Emergency Management. In her free time, Yesenia sits on the board of a bi-national non-profit, based in Portland, that seeks to promote the personal and professional development of young women in rural Mexico, so they can act as agents of social change in their communities.