Why I Am Seeking to Represent Metro Council District 6
I’ve spent much of the last decade successfully bringing tangible improvements like affordable housing and crosswalks to my community by working with local, regional and state governments. These experiences have taught me much about the importance of Metro as a regional convener, as a resource for emerging communities, and as an agency addressing complex problems. As Metro Councilor, I pledge to serve District 6 by focusing on the following:
- Humane, Effective, and Rapid Response to Homelessness: Metro has a crucial role to play, working in partnership with local jurisdictions and nonprofit partners, in addressing one of the most pressing issues in our community. I will prioritize the successful implementation of the supportive services housing measure and making sure these badly needed funds are distributed in a thoughtful and expedient manner. Whether you’re in downtown Portland or on 82nd Ave, this issue hits our community and small businesses hard. Metro needs to use its spheres of influence, resources, and expertise that is both compassionate and effective and is implemented with an urgency that our community is desperately calling for.
- Climate and Environmental Justice: Climate change is real, it’s here, and the impacts are only just beginning. This past summer, the neighborhoods I organize in experienced on-the-ground temperatures of 126 degrees and our elders spent their days at Walmart to survive. I would work to build community resilience through bringing more parks & green space to deficient areas, planting more trees, and ensuring the housing we’re building is safe for the future. Resilience is not enough. I would also approach Metro’s planning, transportation, and other long-term initiatives through a just transition/climate lens to make sure we’re investing in alternatives that address the root causes of climate change.
- Economic Recovery, Building a More Equitable Future: During the peak of the pandemic, unemployment nationwide hit 14.8%. If you look closer you will find the impacts were not uniform as some communities saw unemployment reach 20-25% including the community I work in. I’ve been fighting for the past few years to bring much-needed support and resources to our local small business community. I’m also proud of my work on the Division Transit Project, the largest minority, women and emergency small businesses contract in Oregon history. I believe Metro has tools to help get our communities back to work and build long-term community wealth. The ongoing investment in programs for economic recovery from the covid-fueled recession represents a crucial opportunity to ensure everyone in our community benefits from the resources and training and support for family-wage careers.
- A Metro for All: I’ve done a lot of organizing and community engagement. I see a lot of voices missing at the table. I see many decisions are made already before they’re brought to the community. Our system of engagement and planning needs to be updated so that communities that will be most impacted by roads, transit lines, safety improvements, and housing are also part of the process. We need to improve engagement, build trust over time, and increase transparency. Metro should not be a black box but rather a place where all are welcome and have a say in how the region develops.
Regional Community Engagement Experience
- Metro Equity Baseline Report: 2014-15
- Metro Committee on Racial Equity 2017-2020
- Metro Affordable Housing Bond Stakeholder Committee 2017
- Metro Parks and Nature Bond Stakeholder Committee 2019
- Metro Transportation Measure Multnomah County Local Investment Team 2019
- Metro Low Income Fare Task Force 2016
- Managed APANO’s receipt of grants from Metro for Nature in Neighborhoods, Placemaking, Metro 2040 planning grants, Transit-Oriented Development at the Orchards of 82nd, PILOT grant, C2P2 planning (Construction Careers Pathways)
Some other relevant experiences
- Budget Advisory Co-Chair at Prosper Portland 2019-present
- Board member at Coalition of Communities of Color 2020-present
- City of Portland Economic Recovery Task Force 2020 - present
- City of Portland Affordable housing bond implementation committee