2020-01-03 04:52:20 UTC
Portland City Commissioner Nick Fish dead from stomach cancer
by KATU.com Staff
Thursday, January 2nd 2020
PORTLAND, Ore. — Portland City Commissioner Nick Fish died from stomach cancer Thursday, according to his office.
He was 61 years old.
Spokeswoman Sonia Schmanski said in an email Fish died peacefully at his home surrounded by loved ones.
“The family wanted me to convey publicly their thanks for all the words of love and encouragement sent to Nick since his resignation,” she wrote in a statement.
Fish served 11 years on Portland City Council. On Tuesday, he announced he was resigning, citing health issues. In a statement, he said his doctors told him his illness had become more complicated.
He was diagnosed with stomach cancer in 2017.
Reaction from the community:
Full Statement From Portland Mayor Ted Wheeler:
We are mourning the loss of Commissioner Nick Fish. All of us who knew Nick understood how much he cared about his family, the City and his team.
Nick was a dear friend and a trusted public servant. He fiercely advocated for all Portlanders and always led with compassion, wit and intelligence.
He as instrumental in shaping Portland for the better and I often sought his advice and guidance.
We are especially thinking about his family and his team – as we continue to grieve his passing.
Nick was taken too early. He will be dearly missed.
In a statement, Mayor Ted Wheeler said Fish made Portland better.
"Nick was a dear friend and a trusted public servant. He fiercely advocated for all Portlanders and always led with compassion, wit and intelligence," he said. "He was instrumental in shaping Portland for the better and I often sought his advice and guidance."
Fish was in charge of Portland Parks & Recreation and the Bureau of Environmental Services. Before that he oversaw the housing and water bureaus.
He graduated from Harvard in 1981. He received a law degree from Northeastern University in 1986. He also worked as a legislative aide for Massachusetts U.S. Rep. Barney Frank.
He leaves behind his wife Patricia Schechter, a professor of history at Portland State University, and two children, Maria and Chapin.
Updates planned for this story.
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Portland City Commissioner
In office 2008 – January 2, 2020
Preceded by Erik Sten
Succeeded by Vacant
Born Nicholas Stuyvesant Fish
September 30, 1958, Millbrook, New York, U.S.
Died January 2, 2020 (aged 61), Portland, Oregon, U.S.
Political party Democratic
Relations Hamilton Fish IV (father)
Hamilton Fish III (grandfather)
Residence Goose Hollow, Portland, Oregon, U.S.
Alma mater Harvard University
Northeastern University (JD)
Nicholas "Nick" Stuyvesant Fish (September 30, 1958 – January 2, 2020) was an American politician and lawyer who served as a Commissioner of Portland, Oregon from 2008 to 2020. A Democrat, Fish worked with Portland Parks & Recreation, the Portland Housing Bureau, and the Bureau of Environmental Services.
Fish was born and raised in Millbrook, New York. He is a member of the prominent Fish political family. His father, Hamilton Fish IV, represented New York in the United States House of Representatives from 1969 to 1995. His grandfather, Hamilton Fish III, represented New York in the United States House of Representatives from 1920 to 1945 and served in 369th U.S. Infantry Regiment known as the "Harlem Hellfighters." Fish's great-great grandfather was Hamilton Fish, the 26th United States Secretary of State.
After graduating from Harvard University in 1981, Fish worked as a legislative aide for Massachusetts Congressman Barney Frank. He received a law degree from Northeastern University in 1986.
Fish spent ten years representing health care workers and unions in New York City. He was appointed to Manhattan Community Board Five, a neighborhood association, serving as chair for two years.
Fish championed the renovation of the Times Square Hotel. Working with community non-profit Common Ground, the hotel was remodeled into affordable housing and a thriving community of theater district workers, residents living with HIV/AIDS, and formerly homeless individuals. The Times Square renovation received the Rudy Bruner Award for Urban Excellence in 1997.
Prior to running for elected office, Fish practiced employment law in Oregon, and hosted Outlook Portland with Nick Fish, a public affairs show on KRCW.
Fish served on the boards of Home Forward (formerly the Housing Authority of Portland), the Oregon Cultural Trust, Volunteers of America, and the St. Mark's Historic Landmark Fund.
Fish first ran for a seat on the Portland City Council in 2002, losing to Randy Leonard. He ran again in 2004, losing to future Mayor Sam Adams. In 2008, Fish again ran for the Council, this time in a special election for the unexpired term of resigned Commissioner Erik Sten. He won the seat with 61.4% of the vote. He was re-elected to a full four-year term in 2010 with just under 80% of the vote.
Until February 2013, Fish served as Commissioner-in-Charge of the Portland Housing Bureau and Portland Parks & Recreation.
In 2010, Fish led the creation of the new Portland Housing Bureau, streamlining and consolidating the City's housing programs and services. In 2011, he celebrated the opening of Bud Clark Commons, a cornerstone of the City's 10 Year Plan to End Homelessness.
In June 2013, a shuffling of bureaus among the commissioners by Mayor Hales saw Fish assigned the Bureau of Environment Services and the Portland Water Bureau, and placed in charge of the Regional Arts & Culture Council.
Fish moved to Portland, Oregon in 1996 after his wife, Patricia Schechter, was offered a teaching position in the History Department at Portland State University. Fish and his wife lived in the Goose Hollow neighborhood of Portland.
Fish was diagnosed with stomach cancer in 2017. On December 31, 2019, Fish said he was no longer able to carry out his work as a commissioner and announced his plan to resign upon the election of a successor. Two days later, Fish died at his home in Portland while surrounded by his family.