An exotic dancer who is running to become mayor of Portland believes she has what it takes to revive the city's downtown area

An exotic dancer who is running to become mayor of Portland believes she has what it takes to revive the city’s downtown area. 

Liv Osthus is well-known stripper but she wants to go into politics to solve the crime, homelessness and drug issues which have been plaguing the area. 

She moved to Portland in 1996 after graduating with a bachelor’s in anthropology from William’s College and started to exotic dance under the name Viva Las Vegas.

But Osthus wants to take on the challenge of leading the city and she told KGW8: ‘To me, this is not me going into politics; this is me continuing my journey as an artist.

There were 6,300 homeless people on the streets of Portland last year as well as 527 overdoses, according to data.

An exotic dancer who is running to become mayor of Portland believes she has what it takes to revive the city's downtown area

An exotic dancer who is running to become mayor of Portland believes she has what it takes to revive the city’s downtown area

Liv Osthus is well-known stripper but she wants to go into politics to solve the crime , homelessness and drug issues which have been plaguing the area

Liv Osthus is well-known stripper but she wants to go into politics to solve the crime , homelessness and drug issues which have been plaguing the area

Osthus understands that people will be skeptical about her wanting to run Portland despite having no political experience.

But she wants to tackle the issues downtown by turning the unused offices, left by departing businesses, into studios for artists.

‘Artists will make that into a hub of the community. They will put on art shows, put on music shows; people will start coming down to see those,’ she said. 

‘Within two weeks, there will be a coffee shop, and within a month, a lunch spot, we’ll have fine dining down there again. We’ll have energy flowing down there again.’

She admitted to not having any experience in politics or management and added: ‘The mayor doesn’t need to know everything. Nobody could know everything.’

Osthus hopes to be a leader who can guide the city by leaning on the 12 city council seats.

‘What I want from a mayor is somebody who listens, somebody who connects and somebody who inspires,’ she said. 

‘I think now is the time in Portland. We’ve seen mayors that try their hardest to affect what’s going on downtown, and it hasn’t worked. 

‘I think it’s time for a message of optimism: Portland is blooming.’

She is running against three current city commissioners for Portland mayor including her mentor Mingus Mapps.

She moved to Portland in 1996 after graduating with a bachelor's in anthropology from William's College and started to exotic dance under the name Viva Las Vegas

She moved to Portland in 1996 after graduating with a bachelor’s in anthropology from William’s College and started to exotic dance under the name Viva Las Vegas 

But Osthus wants to take on the challenge of leading the city and she told KGW8 : 'To me, this is not me going into politics; this is me continuing my journey as an artist

But Osthus wants to take on the challenge of leading the city and she told KGW8 : ‘To me, this is not me going into politics; this is me continuing my journey as an artist

She wants to tackle the issues downtown by turning the unused offices, left by departing businesses, into studios for artists

She wants to tackle the issues downtown by turning the unused offices, left by departing businesses, into studios for artists

Current Portland mayor Ted Wheeler

Current Portland mayor Ted Wheeler 

Osthus decided to move into exotic dancing because she wanted to see if sex work could feel empowering.

‘We were studying brothels in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania, and how that was one way for women to get out of very stringent paratracheal structures and have money,’ she said. 

‘Money is power in capitalism and it all clicked in my mind, “This was empowerment”.’ 

DailyMail.com has contacted Osthus for comment. 

Oregon leaders declared a 90-day state of emergency in Portland in January to battle the city’s debilitating fentanyl crisis three years after decriminalizing possession of all drugs.

Governor Tina Kotek, Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler and Multnomah County Chair Jessica Vega Pederson made the declaration and are directing their agencies to work with first responders in connecting people addicted to the synthetic opioid with resources including drug treatment programs and to crack down on drug sales.

Fentanyl addicts who interact with first responders in Portland’s downtown in the next 90 days will be triaged by this new command center. 

Staff can connect people with various resources from a bed in a drug treatment center to meeting with a behavioral health clinician to help with registering for food stamps.

‘Our country and our state have never seen a drug this deadly addictive, and all are grappling with how to respond,’ Kotek said.

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