Nick was elected to the Portland City Council in 2008, and re-elected in 2010 and 2014.

Nick leads the Bureau of Environmental Services and the Portland Water Bureau. He serves as Council liaison to Elders in Action, Venture Portland, the Regional Arts and Culture Council, and the Portland Rose Festival Foundation. He also coordinates the city's work to clean up the Willamette River “Superfund” site.

In 2009 Nick created the Portland Housing Bureau, bringing all the city’s housing programs under one roof. As Housing Commissioner from 2009 through 2012, Nick focused the bureau’s mission and resources on the needs of low-income families, people experiencing homelessness, veterans, and older adults.

From 2009 through 2012, Nick led Portland Parks & Recreation, which won the Gold Medal for the best managed parks system in the nation.