Much of my professional work has been in the realm of renewable energy. Besides being a critical piece of addressing climate change and other environmental problems, it’s an industry that has grown because the people in the field value innovation, experimentation, and finding common ground in uncommon partnerships. When I worked for the Oregon Environmental Council, I ran a program that provided outreach and marketing tools to help local, family-owned home heating oil businesses expand the market for locally-made, cleaner-burning biodiesel blends. It was a great experience to sit at the table with representatives from the petroleum industry—typically a foe of the environmental activist—and find ways to work together. I will bring that enthusiasm for relationship-building and new approaches to my term as Mayor.
How a community makes progress on its priorities is very important to me. I have decades of direct experience in consensus-guided decision making among Quakers. This has taught me the value of engaging with people in a way that makes them feel heard. Good decision-making sometimes happens quickly, but more often it takes a lot of patience and time to build durable solutions to complex problems. Milwaukie’s commitment to community engagement is already strong, and as Mayor, I will keep seeking ways to engage people from every walk of Milwaukie life in shaping our shared future.
As an executive director of a nonprofit organization, I placed a premium on developing clearly defined, achievable and measurable goals and outcomes. They are essential to keeping an organization on budget and accountable to the people being served. As a part of City Council, I have been an advocate for good research, data-driven decision-making, and careful planning as we move ahead with major projects throughout the city.