In a city that loves public process, everyone can exercise their “inner planner.” And we’ve benefitted from so many of you who have given time, energy and resources to help shape the work we do. Many thoughtful community volunteers give countless hours to their neighborhoods, advocacy groups and a variety of planning and sustainability projects, all of which help make Portland an even better place.
Many of these volunteers offer their professional expertise and thoughtful consideration through advisory committees, such as supporting the SE and West Quadrant Plans, the Climate Action Plan and its Equity Working Group, and the Planning and Sustainability Commission (PSC).
In this season of gratitude, I’d like to single out a couple of extraordinary volunteers: André Baugh and Dr. Karen Grey, both of whom serve on the PSC. Their community service was recently celebrated with the Spirit of Portland Award. These awards recognize local individuals and organizations who have demonstrated outstanding dedication to positive change in our community to make a lasting impact.
Both Karen and André have given hundreds of hours of their time to the community as members of the PSC, listening to staff briefings and public testimony, and then thoughtfully deliberating with fellow commissioners to produce viable proposals for City Council adoption. For example, during the creation of the Portland Plan, the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability received and compiled more than 20,000 comments from community members.
André began his tenure as a commissioner in 2008 and has chaired the PSC for the past two years. Karen was recruited in 2009 during the development of the Portland Plan for her expertise in education and youth issues.
As Portland continues to grow in size and diversity, it is people like André and Karen who help us implement the Portland Plan and ensure a prosperous, equitable, healthy and connected city for all.
For that, we are truly grateful.
About Andre Baugh: André is a consultant with Group AGB Ltd, a diversity management consulting firm. As PSC chair, Baugh ensures that the commission fulfills its commitment to effective public involvement and recommends balanced, equitable and forward-thinking proposals to City Council. He has presided over spirited public hearings and PSC discussions about West Hayden Island and many other complex projects. André’s focus on equity, which he values deeply, helped guide the commission to a deeper understanding of the issue so much so that equity and inclusiveness have become deeply imbedded in the ethos of PSC. Thanks to André’s advocacy, a thorough analysis of the social impacts of all proposed plans is part of the commission’s deliberative process, and all projects are now evaluated through the equity lens. His perspectives on housing, jobs and economic development, urban renewal, and transportation policies reflect his deep commitment to advancing the growth and development of the city without displacing whole communities.
About Karen Grey: Dr. Grey is the superintendent of the Parkrose School District and has worked for more than 32 years in public education. She chairs the State of Oregon's Education Enterprise Steering Committee, is co-director of the Oregon Collaborative Administrative Mentor Program
with Oregon Department of Education, and teaches educational leadership at both Lewis and Clark College and Portland State University. She is on the Doctoral Council for Lewis and Clark and is a board member of the Classroom Law Project. Her insights on vulnerable populations, community development and how to support successful children and families have grounded the PSC’s discussions in the realities of day-to-day life for many Portlanders.