Joe Biden, Elizabeth Warren, and Bernie Sanders have all swung through Oregon this month in support of gubernatorial candidate Tina Kotek and Democratic nominees in congressional races. Those races are high-profile, and those folks sure are famous. But an even bigger marquee name has waded into Portland’s political waters with an endorsement of the city’s charter reform ballot measure: Katniss Everdeen herself, Jennifer Lawrence.
In a 27-second video posted to the Facebook page of RepresentUs, a nonpartisan group promoting anti-corruption efforts in politics, Lawrence said Measure 22-228 will “give voters real choices by allowing them to rank candidates on their ballot and improve city management.” Lawrence sits on the nonprofit’s board, and joins Kerry Washington, Jack Black, Omar Epps, Josh Gad, Penelope Cruz, and dozens of other entertainment figures on its “Cultural Council.”
This isn’t the first time she’s spoken about ranked choice voting—she endorsed its adoption for New York City elections, and in a 2018 statement directed at the other Portland (and the whole state of Maine) she called it “a simple, fair, commonsense system.” And it's not the first time an out-of-town entertainment figure has shared thoughts on a lowly local race: Mike Schmidt got an Election Eve shoutout in 2020 from EGOT winner John Legend, long an advocate for criminal justice reform.
A native of Louisville, Kentucky, who has spoken in past interviews about growing up Republican and casting her first presidential vote for John McCain, Lawrence grew more active in progressive causes over the past decade, especially amid the political rise of Donald Trump. The Oscar-winning actor, 32, has also directed some of her Hollywood earnings to charitable causes—a Louisville children’s hospital is home to the Jennifer Lawrence Foundation Cardiac Intensive Care Unit, for example.
In her short statement, she had no reason to utter Willamette, Couch, or Glisan, so she protected herself from any mockable mispronunciations of those words that locals may use to make fun of outsiders. Maybe she could give Barack Obama some tips—he didn’t have to say (and botch) “Michigander” in his TV spot this week supporting the reelection of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer in the Great Lake State.