Last Monday I attended a fundraiser for Jackie Leung at the south Salem McMenamins. She's running for the Ward 4 City Council seat currently held by Steve McCoid.
My beer was pleasingly cool, and Leung was wonderfully warm as she discussed issues facing Salem with the politically engaged attendees.
I'd met Leung before, but I hadn't heard her talk at length about her views on tough problems. She impressed me. A lot. Leung is thoughtful, informed, and an excellent listener.
The latter quality is particularly important for a city councilor, since the (unpaid) job requires attending to people who appear at Council meetings with an open, receptive, welcoming mind.
Leung's background in law and public health are great assets. As a woman of color she also would bring some much-needed diversity to a City Council currently dominated by white men (seven out of nine).
Here's her core campaign platform, as described on a fundraiser handout:
My legal education combined with my public health degree and experience in working in public health exposed me to a broad array of perspectives that enhance the work I do within the community -- from serving on commissions at the city, county, and state to my work in community organizing and community health work with local nonprofits.
As your city councilor, my work will be guided by these principles:
Accountable City Government. We need to hold the city management accountable to ensure transparency in their decision-making process.
Developer Obligations. We need to audit our planning and public works departments to ensure the city is supervising and holding developers responsible for development plans.
Housing We Can Afford. We must support housing options for all income levels and promote pathways to home ownership.
Reduce Homelessness. We need to reduce the number of houseless community members by implementing successful programs.
Public Safety. We need to ensure emergency response times are adequate for our growing community and bring CERT trained residents into the conversation.
Open Space and Flooding. We need to protect our open spaces and avoid actions that create flood risks to Salem's businesses, public facilities, and residents' homes.
Give Leung's Facebook page a "Like" if you want to keep in touch with her campaign.