Candidate Photos courtesy of the Lake Oswego Review & Pamplin Media
City Council Candidate
Intro: Lake Oswego Sustainability Network reached out to our City Council Candidates and asked them three sustainability-related questions about: 1) their plans for sustainability action, 2) increasing affordable housing, and 3) embedding sustainability considerations into city projects.
What are your plans for sustainable action and what are you going to do to make it happen?
I am the only Lake Oswego City Council candidate who has been endorsed by the Oregon League of Conservation Voters (OLCV), after an extensive endorsement process.
Here is my plan for sustainable action.
- Electrify the city fleet of cars and buses
- Focus on green infrastructure- which is more than just planting trees! I have a Backyard Certified Habitat and know the true meaning of green infrastructure. See below for my statement on trees.
- Develop an actionable climate change plan (the city of Milwaukee has a great plan already in place that we can emulate)
- Ban gas powered blowers and lawn mowers and provide an incentive to switch to electric options, or host a trade-in event
My stance on the tree code:
Lake Oswego is at a crossroads, and as we watch our mature trees being torn down at the hands of developers, it is clear our tree code just isn’t working. How do we fix it? On City Council I will:
- Act immediately to ensure that applicants for tree removals are on notice, that “no reasonable alternative” is interpreted as originally intended.
- Draft a new tree ordinance to be placed in the development code. The ordinance will be drafted by an environmental lawyer and will be clear, objective, and legally sound.We are losing our tree canopy at an alarming rate, even as we watch our once tranquil Oregon summers grow hotter by the year. As a city, we also recognize that the existence of large, mature trees must dictate development, just like any other site condition. We must stand up for what is right.
We are losing our tree canopy at an alarming rate, even as we watch our once tranquil Oregon summers grow hotter by the year. As a city, we also recognize that the existence of large, mature trees must dictate development, just like any other site condition. We must stand up for what is right.
Lake Oswego is moving forward in authorizing affordable housing on Boones Ferry Road in Lake Oswego. People who make 80% of the area median income would be eligible. For a family of four in 2021 that would be about $74,000 – about what a firefighter or teacher makes. Should Lake Oswego continue to find opportunities for more affordable housing? What are creative ideas you have or policies you might put forward to further help Lake Oswego’s affordable housing stock grow?
Yes, of course Lake Oswego should continue to find opportunities for more affordable housing. Providing affordable housing will help our city to become more diverse and inclusive, something that is absolutely needed in our community. On the Lake Oswego City Council, I will support middle housing and apartment complexes that offer affordable housing opportunities. We must, of course, protect our tree canopy throughout this process, which should be easily achieved as the Development Code is revised to include the Tree Code.
The City is currently in the design process for a new Wastewater Treatment plant and a Recreation Center. In both these cases, many sustainability opportunities were only explored late in the design process and at the request of citizens. What would you do to embed sustainability considerations in City projects from the very beginning including citizen input?
I have also had frustrating experiences in which I felt that I was not heard or acknowledged after testifying in front of and writing to the City Council. This happened while I was advocating for safe sidewalks and pathways in my neighborhood. I understand how this feels, and as a City Councilor I will work to create transparency and involve citizens in the planning process. I think we can start by acknowledging public testimony with discussion and comment at the meetings that are held at City Hall, and by ensuring that City Council meetings are accessible and welcoming.
I am the only City Council candidate in the current race that has been endorsed by the Oregon League of Conservation Voters. I am clearly a candidate that will do everything in her power to embed sustainability considerations in City projects from the very beginning.
Note: some readers perceived this question as critical of the City leadership. This was not our intent. We have been pleased with the degree to which the City has collaborated with us on sustainability and made sustainability a focus in their operations. Our goal was to elicit ideas on how collaboration between the city and citizens could be structured. Our apologies for not making our intent clearer.