I’ll admit that I didn’t know what to expect when I first started using the Nextdoor app for Aloha. Internet technology has certainly made the world a smaller place. But I’ve also seen it cause division and distance between friends and family members.
Instead, I ended up being amazed at the camaraderie I saw people have in their own individual neighborhoods. It was nice to see it being used to unite people and bring them together.
In a way, it reminded me of how things were when I was growing up in Beaverton. Everyone in the neighborhood knew each other. The kids played together, went to the same schools and stayed a group of friends for a lifetime. I’m hopeful that we can continue to build on that sense of community going forward.
This campaign for Washington County Commissioner has given me a good sense of what is going on in several local communities. I’ve been engaging citizens and meeting with various groups to hear their concerns and learn about what they want their elected officials to be doing for over a year.
From the beginning, this has been a grassroots campaign. It is not based on political ideology, and it is not funded with special interest money. I’m finding out directly from Washington County residents what they want and need to make their communities better.
I think of the commissioner’s job as being to advocate for the citizens and businesses in the county. That involves putting Washington County first, ahead of the wants and desires of Metro, Multnomah County or anywhere else while still understanding the need for regional partnerships and planning.
After I’m elected, I intend to continue this level of local engagement. Beaverton has 12 neighborhood associations. Washington County also has a variety of Community Participation Organizations (CPOs). Many of these groups are not used to having their elected officials engage them on a regular basis. But I think our officials need to be accountable and going to these meetings will ensure my responsiveness to their issues.
Community, to me, is the shared positive experiences, like libraries and parks, that families, friends and neighbors can all enjoy together. Those are public services that should be the best they can be.
As the only long-time, native Washington County resident left in this race, I’m well-poised to let my 20 years of County government experience be brought to bear to implement creative and fiscally prudent policies to benefit all of Washington County.
My deep roots in the community have given me a good understanding of what the people in Washington County want to see from their leaders. Multiple generations of my family have called Washington County their home and I want to ensure that it provides quality services to citizens of all ages and demographics.
We’ve been fortunate enough to enjoy the quality of life here. My mother used to work at Intel and my sons both graduated from Hillsboro High School. I’ve tried to pay it forward by being a volunteer basketball coach and teaching growth group classes at my church. Earlier in my professional career, I worked to help families receive the services that they needed.
I will use community engagement and an open-door policy to help more Washington County residents achieve their dreams of homeownership. Similarly, I want to help people who are hoping to set up shop and open their own businesses achieve their dreams of entrepreneurship with stronger county support in Economic Development.
These are the kinds of things we need to do to keep people invested in the community. We are all in this together, and we need our leaders to help show us the way. With your support, I will take what I’ve learned from CPOs, neighborhood associations and even the perspective I’ve gained from something as unheralded as the Nextdoor app, to make Washington County a well-run, full-service government agency that works as it should—as an instrument for making communities stronger, healthier and well-knit.