Issues

Alleviating our traffic congestion

As a member of the Oregon Department of Transportation’s Region 1 Area Commission on Transportation and the Washington County Transportation Futures Study Advisory Committee, Pam has a deep policy background in transportation that makes her ready to lead on day one.

Our traffic congestion is impacting how much time we can spend with our families, but it’s also impacting our environment, wearing down our transportation infrastructure, and affecting how and when our local businesses can move their products. As Commissioner, Pam will work to ensure we have the ability to move people and products throughout our county and the region efficiently.

As our County Commissioner, Pam will:

  • Address transportation from a multi-modal perspective.
  • Work to address dangerous intersections, and close the gaps on sidewalks so our kids can walk to school safely. 
  • Work to locate our housing opportunities close to employment centers to reduce the impact of long distance commutes and congestion.
  • Support walkable communities, robust transit options and safe routes to school programs.
  • Commit to keeping our Major Streets Transportation Improvement Funds, which are currently in the general fund, focused where voters intended: on maintaining and investing in our roads and transportation infrastructure.
  • Advocate utilizing the current roadway and transit systems to their maximum capacity and effectiveness.
  • Advocate for enhanced westside transit service.
  • Commit to the implementation of the recommendations of the Washington County Futures Advisory Group.
  • Commit to work at the regional level to address traffic congestion.
  • Build upon her considerable experience as a leader in regional transportation issue resolution to bring new and progressive ideas to the county.

Ensuring affordable housing for all stages of our lives

The region and the county are currently facing a critical housing shortage and the rising cost of housing in Washington County is one of the biggest issues we're facing. As our County Commissioner Pam will strive for a diversity of housing to fit the needs of all residents in every stage of our lives. We need to make sure first time homebuyers can purchase homes, that we have enough housing for local workers at a price that fits their budgets, and that our older residents can age in place. We have so many great things to offer in Washington County, it is imperative to our communities, and to our transportation infrastructure, that residents can afford to live here.

As our County Commissioner, Pam will:

  • Promote conscious, proactive planning instead of the current practice of being reactive.
  • Set clear standards for developers to meet that include environmental concerns as well as price points.
  • Advocate for funding at the state and federal levels that will alleviate some of the added infrastructure costs associated with development.
  • Work with local jurisdictions on policies that lower the cost of housing, while increasing the speed of housing production -- specifically in areas needing to accommodate for growth.
  • Make sure that our permitting process at the county is timely and certain, so we can bring quality housing online quickly while still ensuring we meet environmental standards.
  • Work closely with the cities within the county to ensure there is collaboration on all housing projects.
  • Increase the amount of housing we have by promoting density where it’s appropriate and needed, while ensuring we protect existing neighborhoods and our farmland.
  • Encourage community planning and a visioning process for unincorporated areas of Washington County, similar to what the cities of Beaverton and Hillsboro already do.
  • Look at incentivizing the building of middle income housing through fee waivers.
  • Work to ensure that we continue to receive CDBG block grants and HOMES loans from the federal government.

Keeping our communities safe

As we experience unprecedented growth, we need to make sure our communities are safe, especially our most vulnerable residents, our children, and our elderly population. Since the majority of District 2 is unincorporated, we rely on our Enhanced Sheriff Patrol District and we need to keep that resource strong.

As our County Commissioner, Pam will:

  • Work closely and communicate regularly with the Washington County Sheriff and Police Officers Association to understand their work, their needs, and the issues they face.  
  • Ensure our public safety services have the resources they need to properly serve our populations.
  • Prioritize community members safety concerns.
  • Work to make sure there are safe driving and walking pathways for residents. 

Creating and retaining living wage jobs

We need to make sure Washington County continues to be the economic engine of the state. We are currently experiencing a low unemployment rate throughout the region but over 10% of Washington County residents still live at or below the poverty level. We have great employment opportunities here, and we need to make sure our residents are adequately trained for those jobs, with clear access for our unemployed, underemployed, and dislocated workers. And we should continue to prioritize high-wage job growth for our region.

When large companies grow and prosper, a supply chain of small and medium sized companies will follow; the net result is additional jobs and a stronger economy, and more revenue for critical services. Washington County businesses need to remain competitive regionally and in the global marketplace.

As our County Commissioner, Pam will:

  • Work to establish lines of communication with the small businesses in Washington County to understand the barriers that they face in growing their business and then work with county staff to remove those barriers.
  • Make sure there are adequate training and development opportunities for our residents to prepare for family wage jobs in the trades and manufacturing areas.
  • Support STEAM opportunities in our schools and workforce development programs through our community colleges and workforce development providers.
  • Focus on eliminating barriers to growth and retention for small and large businesses even in the good economic times, so we can be prepared for economic downturns when they come.
  • Work with Metro, counties, and cities to ensure maximization of industrially zoned land.
  • Look toward the future to make sure we’re prepared for changes and threats from automation by educating and retooling our workforce to meet the needs of a more automated future.
  • Support the use of economic tools, like the Strategic Investment Program, and make sure that we all benefit from investments in new business development. That includes ensuring that the jobs that are created through incentive programs return family wage jobs for the residents of Washington County.
  • Work to bring good paying and union jobs to Washington County by ensuring a part of any incentive package for business should include agreements about prevailing wage as construction on the project ensues.

Protecting our environment and farmland

We need to be realistic and proactive about protecting our environment for future generations. An important aspect of that in Washington County is making sure we protect our farmland -- a vital part of our community, our economy, and our ecosystem.

Pam is a parent and a grandparent -- she knows it is our duty to protect our children from the health hazards from pollutants. We need to make sure we protect our air and water for local generations, and that we have policies in place to do so.

As our County Commissioner, Pam will:

  • Support our established land use system and our Urban Growth Boundary. District 2 residents only want growth within existing cities; they do not want development breaking into farmland. Pam will be a voice on the County Commission and before Metro as to the values of District 2 residents.
  • Work closely with Metro to ensure transparency in the process when determining the correct balance for industrial growth and farmland/recreational area preservation.
  • Work to ensure that the county gets 100% of the electrical supply from carbon free sources by 2050.
  • Work with Clean Water Services to continue to build the non-carbon generation resources from both the Durham and Rock Creek plants.
  • Encourage the development of a joint task force with representatives from the private sector, that are moving toward 100% carbon free energy consumption, along with the Washington County staff, to develop a plan to get us to a carbon free energy source mix.
  • Work to protect all of our population from health related risks as a result of poor air quality, with a particular focus on the concentrated areas of risk and the population that resides in those areas.
  • Advocate strongly for the adoption of the EJSCREEN (the EPA’s environmental justice mapping and screening tool) so we use definitive data when addressing communities most negatively affected by climate change.
  • Work to ensure that Washington County continues to work with partners like Metro, Tualatin Riverkeepers, Tualatin River Watershed Council and others to restore wildlife habitat and ensure restored water flow.
  • Support connecting Washington County trails with the proposed Salmonberry Trail, a wonderful opportunity for both Clatsop and Washington County residents. Having this trail network would increase the opportunity for a healthy lifestyle and the enjoyment and appreciation of our great outdoors. It would also serve as potential bike transportation corridors for those who choose to commute to work and for lifestyle requirements by bicycle.
  • Look at working with Tualatin Soil and Conservation District and Tualatin Hills Park and Recreation District to institute a backyard habitat certification program modeled after the program introduced by the Audubon Society in Clackamas and Multnomah counties.