This is ME. 20 years ago. The summer after I graduated from high school. At the top of a peak in the British Columbia coast range.
Who was I then? Passionate. About: connecting with people, changing the world, climbing mountains, surfing.
Within months of this photo, I started college, where I met the girl who became my wife and where I found more things to be passionate about: biochemistry, ecology, farming (and still connecting with people and changing the world).
I’m less young than I was then! But I’m still passionate about connecting with people and changing the world. And as I run for Yamhill County Commissioner, I’m inspired by the people younger than me who share my passions and who are learning how to engage as citizens in our community. Stepping up. Speaking out. Grappling with the hard topics that disproportionately affect their lives, and as a result affect our community as a whole.
People often ask me what specific things I plan to accomplish as Yamhill County Commissioner. My first answer is always the same: by the end of my first term, I want to see more younger people actively engaged with Yamhill County leadership. I want to help young people begin serving in roles such as on the Yamhill County Planning Commission, as well as on task forces across county areas.
I also want to help high schoolers learn to exercise their civic right to VOTE, by working with the local high schools to register people as young as 16 (legal in Oregon) and offer practice ballots for 16 and 17 year olds. I’m already in touch with the County Clerk and local principals about how we can make this non-partisan effort work. When Yamhill County young people turn 18, I want them to be informed, engaged, and READY to participate!
Two decades have passed, but inside me I’m still that passionate (and idealistic!) young Oregonian, eager to work positive change in my community. And, I’m excited to help bring more young people along with me in that work.
There are now four candidates running for Yamhill County Commissioner, position 1. What makes me the strongest candidate?
Positive existing connections in the community
My wife and I started our farm, Oakhill Organics, in 2006. Since then we have provided produce to over 700 households, all here within Yamhill County. Each of our tens of thousands of sales represents a positive personal interaction.
Nuanced understanding of county operations & issues
I have actively followed county operations and politics since moving here and can speak intelligently about the relationship between the many moving parts. I have also connected with area heads to learn more and hear their future goals.
Land-use experience and knowledge
As a rural county resident and farmer, I have extensive first-hand experience working with the county planning department. I understand the intricacies of Oregon’s land-use regulations and the real significance of land-use decisions.
Track record of commitment & persistence
I thrive on challenges and have succeeded at daunting endeavors throughout my life. I completed my Master’s degree in record time. My wife and I built our house. We started a farm from scratch that has supported us since day one.
Warm personality & contagious enthusiasm
My diverse experiences help me to connect comfortably with people from all walks of life, and I genuinely enjoy listening to people’s stories. My warmth, enthusiasm, and optimism help galvanize people around creative solutions.
Strong social media presence
Our farm’s blog has hundreds of regular readers in Yamhill County. My campaign has active feeds on Facebook and Instagram, ads on which have been reaching thousands of people in Yamhill County, including 18-24 year olds.
Working hard on the campaign trail
I am successfully balancing full-time farming with full-time campaigning: meeting with people from around the county on a daily basis, updating social media, and planning for the next stages of the election season.
… which will hopefully involve YOU! Learn more about how you can help me win the May 15 election by visiting the Support page on my website, or donate online now here: