I've spent a lot of time in the last decade focusing on educational issues in Oregon. In the eight years that I served on the Parkrose Board of Education we adapted to oscillating budgets, mid-year cuts from the legislature, and a series of fixes to the Public Employees Retirement System (PERS) that proved to be little more than legislative press releases.
Through all that we stayed focused on what mattered -- the kids.
I'm proud to say that we, and it is always "we" on a school board, with other East side districts started the Architecture Construction and Engineering (ACE) Academy, for students that required a more hands on approach. We built a new middle school when construction costs were cheapest, and turned ourselves into an AVID showcase.
I spent a great deal of time working with the City of Portland and Multnomah County via membership on both the County's Human Services and Central Budget Committees, and the Mayor's and Chair's Education Cabinets. I even worked with the East Multnomah Soil and Water Conservation District to help fund Outdoor school.
I was able to address more statewide issues as a director of the Oregon School Board Association through its most turbulent period, replacing the executive director, and generally making the organization more effective in working with the legislature and the Oregon Education Association.
My time in higher education leadership was short in comparison. I served on the Higher Education Coordinating Commission (HECC) which was intended to partially replace the state Board of Higher Education and bring the community colleges, non-profits and for-profit institutions into the fold. My goals were to help students by reducing textbook costs and penalizing universities for administrative bloat.
I do much the same thing as a negotiator for my union PSU-AAUP.
It is my intention to follow up on all these issues in the legislature.
(Photo Courtesy of Mid-county Memo)
I'm the first in my family to earn a college degree, and all through my doctoral work, I was very focused on the environment. My first and second businesses were both focused on energy conservation.
I helped created a subsidy auction for the state of California, hauled duct testing equipment around construction sites, and evaluated countless energy efficiency programs and even a homelessness program.
I am an Economics professor at Portland University and literally teach the classes in Energy, Public Utility and Program Evaluation. This is the kind of background needed to address important issues like Cap and Trade programs -- an essential tool to combat climate change.
I'm the kind of person you need in Salem because, to quote Senator Michael Dembrow,
I'm an Oregonian. I have a garden, dogs and kayaks. I bike or take public transit the 9 miles to work depending on the weather. I'm an introvert that talks to people for a living and my wife says I'm the biggest cheapskate she has ever met.
(Jamie and his wife Allison. Photo Courtesy of Mid-county Memo)