Diversity, equity, and inclusion have been issues in Lake Oswego dating back to discriminatory exclusionary property ownership policies. Headlines in the past few years have shined a light on current racist incidents in our community, further contributing to the infamous nickname “Lake No Negro.” Fortunately, this has spurred a groundswell of advocacy and support among residents and elected officials to chart a more inclusive course for the future of our city.
While the non-white population of LO is 10.7% according to the 2010 Census, the latest statistics from the Lake Oswego School District say the non-white student population is 25%. Indeed, the slate of candidates for city council is historic in its diversity. Like the rest of the country, this city’s demographics are changing and now is as good a time as ever to turn LO’s reputation around and genuinely make this town a safe and welcoming place for everyone.
City Council has influence over many areas that have the ability to impact how inclusive, diverse, and equitable Lake Oswego is. These areas include affordable housing, infrastructure and transportation, city hiring, policing, city advisory boards, and community events aimed at creating a culture of inclusion.
Respond to Racism and LO for LOve will host a City Council Candidates’ Forum on Oct. 8 at Lake Oswego United Church of Christ. Featuring all seven active city council candidates, the forum will be co-moderated by LO for LOve member Paula Posadas and Lake Oswego High School student, Respond to Racism steering committee member, and founder of the LOHS student group Enough is Enough Anushka Nair. This discussion will be an opportunity for voters to understand how candidates feel about the various issues that impact the inclusivity of the city, as well as give the candidates a platform to share their plans for ensuring Lake Oswego is an inviting place to live, work, and play for people with diverse backgrounds and cultures.
The Candidates’ Forum is scheduled to run from 6:30-8:30 pm. Doors open at 6:00 and it will start promptly at 6:30. Attendance is free. More information below.
City Council Candidates’ Forum
Monday Oct. 8th, 6:30-8:30 pm, doors open at 6:00
Lake Oswego United Church of Christ
1111 Country Club Road
Lake Oswego, OR 97034