Leslie Davis – 2017 Candidate for 2nd Vice Chair


I was born in Pennsylvania and grew up in New Jersey and California. I am a Cradle Democrat; my parents met campaigning for Adlai Stevenson. At age 13, I traveled to San Francisco to participate in my first demonstration, a national mobilization to end the War in Vietnam. As a newly-enfranchised 18-year-old, I cast my first vote – for George McGovern. I studied history and comparative politics in college and graduate school, left academia in 1981, worked briefly as a technical writer, and built a 20-year career in training and development. I am comfortable with public speaking, facilitation, project management, mentoring, and leadership roles that require flexibility and power sharing. I have served on the boards of Circle of Life Day Care (an agency of the Jewish Federation), the American Society for Performance Improvement, and the Cascadia Chapter of the American Society for Training and Development (President, 2000). I was a copy editor, contributor (journalist), and editor of In Conversation, the print magazine of the Episcopal Diocese of Oregon, 2006-2016. I moved to Portland in 1991 with my husband Bob and our baby daughter Rosie. We settled in NE PDX. Our son Jacob was born at OHSU in 1992. Both kids attended Portland Public Schools. Bob works in IT training for a trucking company based in Michigan, Jacob works as a cook at Widmer Brothers Brewery, and Rosie works as a Japanese Exchange Teacher in Sasebo, Japan. I currently teach severely dyslexic students as a Language Skills Therapist. As an environmentalist, I literally walk my talk. Our four-person family kept only one car. We made it through the Carpool Years (sports, drama camps, reading tutors, singing lessons, B’nai Mitzvah) and then sold our one car in early 2014. Three years car-free!

Political Experience

I was elected to the VC2 position in November 2015. There is a lot to learn! Predecessor Stephanie Nystrom worked hard to provide the party with excellent tools to process PCP appointments, prepare credentialing lists, and keep our records current. I maintain the database of 600+ PCPs. I lead the Credentials Committee – a skilled team of Assistant District Leaders – in the work of facilitating participation in the party. In December we welcomed 131 new PCPs! I was first elected as a PCP in 2010. I have served on the Executive Committee as Assistant District Leader (ADL-1/HD43, 2010-2013) and as Celsi Chair (2014). I currently serve on the Rules and Budget/Finance Committees. My district leader (the amazing Debbie Gordon, DL-45) calls me a model PCP – surveying our district in drive-throughs, taking dozens of photos, walking our district, rounding up canvassers for east county campaigns, and dropping hundreds of slate cards.

Vision for the Multnomah County Democratic Party

My ideas are simple. Let’s welcome every Democrat. Let’s hold meetings that are friendly, orderly, and productive. Let’s conduct the internal work of the Party with fairness and transparency. Let’s continue to provide active, enthusiastic support to our candidates. The party bylaws provide five pillars – not just one! Getting Democrats elected is important work. But so is organizing county Democrats at the neighborhood level. So is building and supporting an effective platform. So is representing us at SCC/CDC. And for me, personally, the most compelling one is the fifth pillar, promoting civic engagement through education and debate. As officers, district leaders, and committee chairs – we hold formal leadership titles. But we need to recognize that every PCP is a leader. Every volunteer deserves the opportunity to do meaningful work that matches their skills and time commitments. Let’s make sure every volunteer succeeds.

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