Jennifer is a newly elected PCP in HD 41 who has been involved in get-out-the-vote efforts. She grew up in Alaska, has lived in Portland for 22 years, and is the executive director of Portland Village School. She holds a Doctorate of Educational Leadership and Foundations from George Fox University.
Why did you become involved in the Democratic Party of Multnomah County?
As a non-profit public Waldorf charter school director, I see the impact of local challenges in our community on our K-8 students every day. With our problematic low levels of educational funding, our community challenges with substance use, to mental health needs, to struggles with housing and food insecurity our children are at the frontlines of community needs. For me, getting involved is all about making sure my students have what they need to be successful, seen, supported, happy, validated and loved.
Why do you think it’s important for Democrats to become involved at the local level?
It can feel daunting to think of all the larger needs and struggles in our country, and I believe that our efforts make a difference. By getting involved at the grassroots level, we can see the impact of our work and make change for our communities. When we work together across the city, state and country, these little changes add up to big changes over all!
What are some of the priorities for our state and for Multnomah County this year?
Education, housing, and mental health supports.
What is making you hopeful right now?
Our kids — they really are a generation of caring, critical thinkers. When I see and hear my students using restorative language, questioning sources of information, standing up for other children’s rights and being inclusive of those who are different from themselves I am certain they are going to make this world a better place.
What advice can you provide to your fellow Democrats in Multnomah County?
It’s a marathon not a sprint! Keep going, rest when you need to, and do what you can.
Please tell us something about what else you do outside of politics?
If you are looking for an amazing alternative public education experience for a K-8 aged child check out Portland Village School! https://www.portlandvillageschool.org. We are a public Waldorf school currently in North Portland (soon to move to South Macadam due to loss of lease). We serve 444 students in an arts-integrated, relationship-based community that educates the head, hearts and hands of children from all backgrounds and cultures.
I also Dragon Boat with the Castaways!
Are you involved in other causes?
I am an educator, OPB sponsor, and a member of GLAAD.
Learn more about Jennifer on the Portland Village School website.