Jo Ann Hardesty

Jo Ann A. Hardesty (born October 15, 1957) is an American Democratic politician in the U.S. state of Oregon who is currently a Portland City Commissioner, having taken office on the Portland City Council in January 2019. She previously served in the Oregon House of Representatives from 1995 until 2001. Hardesty is the first African American woman to serve on Portland's city council.[2][3]

Jo Ann Hardesty
JoAnn Hardesty.jpg
Hardesty in 2012
Portland City Commissioner
Assumed office
January 1, 2019
Preceded byDan Saltzman
Member of the Oregon House of Representatives
from the 19th district
In office
January 1995 – January 2001
Succeeded byJackie Dingfelder
Personal details
Born (1957-10-15) October 15, 1957 (age 63)
Baltimore, Maryland[1]
Political partyDemocratic
Spouse(s)Skip Bowman, divorced.
ResidencePortland, Oregon
Military service
Branch/serviceUnited States Navy

Early lifeEdit

Hardesty was raised in Baltimore, Maryland.[4]


Hardesty served in the United States Navy, and was elected to the Oregon House in 1994, holding office until 2001. She later served as executive director of Oregon Action, and became president of the Portland chapter of the NAACP in January 2015.[5][6]

In 2007 Hardesty began hosting "Voices from the Edge," a progressive talk radio program on KBOO, a community radio station in Portland. The call-in show addresses racial disparity, government accountability, environmental justice and politics on local, state and national levels.[7]

Hardesty ran for Portland City Council in 2018, for the open seat being vacated by the retiring Dan Saltzman.[8] She won the race, against Multnomah County Commissioner Loretta Smith; early returns showed her receiving approximately 62 percent of the votes cast.[2][3] She was sworn in as a city commissioner on January 2, 2019.[9][10]


  1. ^ "Jo Ann Bowman's Biography". Project VoteSmart. Retrieved August 29, 2016.
  2. ^ a b Monahan, Rachel; Shepherd, Katie (November 6, 2018). "Jo Ann Hardesty Is the First Black Woman Elected to Portland City Council". Willamette Week. Retrieved November 7, 2018.
  3. ^ a b Templeton, Amelia (November 6, 2018). "Portland Voters Elect Hardesty As 1st Woman Of Color To City Council". Oregon Public Broadcasting. Retrieved November 7, 2018.
  4. ^ Parks, Casey (June 19, 2015). "Portland NAACP president says organization needs white members: 'It's a matter of survival'". The Oregonian. Retrieved 19 January 2019.
  5. ^ "Joann Bowman Resigns from Oregon Action". The Skanner. April 20, 2010. Retrieved August 29, 2016.
  6. ^ Smith, Donovan L. (January 20, 2015). "New NAACP President JoAnn Hardesty on Civil Rights Now". The Skanner. Retrieved August 29, 2016.
  7. ^ "Voices from the Edge". KBOO. 2007-03-17. Retrieved September 1, 2018.
  8. ^ Monahan, Rachel (August 4, 2017). "Jo Ann Hardesty, Former Legislator and Head of NAACP Portland, Running for City Council Seat". Willamette Week. Retrieved November 7, 2017.
  9. ^ Monahan, Rachel (January 2, 2019). "Jo Ann Hardesty Officially Becomes the First African-American Woman to Serve on Portland City Council". Willamette Week. Retrieved January 6, 2019.
  10. ^ Friedman, Gordon (January 2, 2019). "Jo Ann Hardesty sworn in to city council, cementing Portland's liberal legacy". The Oregonian. Retrieved January 6, 2019.

External linksEdit