This Week's Curator: Multnomah County Commissioner Lori Stegmann

Lori Stegmann is a Multnomah County Commissioner representing East County.  She was elected to the County board in 2016; prior to that she served 6 years on the Gresham City Council.  She is a small business owner and has been for 25 years. She has two daughters and is a caretaker for her elderly mother.

Commissioner Stegmann came to this country when she was 6 months old.  She was part of the famous Holt airlift that brought 3000 babies from South Korea to the United States to be adopted into families here. She became a US citizen at the age of 4 and attended public school in East County.  She grew up in the communities that she now represents as a County Commissioner.

Because she represents different cities, school districts and service districts Commissioner Stegmann knows each one is unique and tries to make sure she is building strong partnerships across those boundaries.  That means she is often spending time out in her district during the week, in the evenings, and most weekends.

This Week's Curator: Sam Stuckey, Architect and Mill Park Neighborhood Association Board Member

Sam Stuckey is a native Portlander, who grew up in the Alameda/Irvington area and moved to the Mill Park neighborhood a little over a year ago when he and his wife were lucky enough to buy their first home.

"My day job as an architect keeps me busy (too busy sometimes), but when I’m not designing buildings I try to spend as much time exploring my new community.  Growing up in an “inner” Portland neighborhood, it’s almost embarrassing how little I knew of East Portland when I moved here. I’m still discovering new restaurants, food carts,  local businesses, and parks. 

"I’m also a board member with the Mill Park Neighborhood Association.  I started attending meetings as soon as I got to the neighborhood and it has been a great way to establish roots and create a deeper connection to my neighbors."

This Week's Curator: Tricia Brand, Dean of Students at Portland Community College, Southeast Campus

Tricia Brand is a Senior-Level College Administrator in private liberal arts, public research, and
community college settings. She is currently serving as the Dean of Students for Southeast Campus of Portland Community College. Located at the corner of SE 82nd and Division, Southeast Campus is the newest campus for Portland Community College, providing comprehensive educational offerings for East Portland and the greater metropolitan area.

Tricia is a scholar, practitioner and educator guided by her curiosity about the world and her desire to serve the community in which she lives. Within higher education, Tricia is committed to
promising and innovative practices in the areas of college access, achievement, equity and inclusion, student retention and persistence, civic engagement, leadership, and self-authorship through student development. She enjoys social media, mobile photography, arts, culture, nature and spending time with her spouse, their cat, Malcolm, and their rescue miniature schnauzer, Esmerelda.

This Week's Curator: Nick Christensen of Lents

Nick Christensen is a resident of the Lents neighborhood. He was on the board of the Lents Neighborhood Association from 2009-13, including a 3½ year stint as Chair.  Nick was a journalist living in Hillsboro in 2009, and a recent transplant from Las Vegas, when he decided to buy a house.  He found a bungalow in Lents with a front porch and a basement and a finished attic, He fell in love with it immediately – it had all the quirky charm that had been missing in his late-century ranch-house youth. In 2010, Nick started working in the Communications Department at Metro, where he supports the Metro Council on communications, particularly with the media.

This Week's Curator: Multnomah County Commissioner Jessica Vega Pederson

A proud resident of East Portland, Jessica Vega Pederson was raised in Northwest Indiana among her large, loving Mexican-American family. Following the lead of her mother who was a local activist for civil rights, she became involved in advocacy in high school. Elected in May 2016 to serve on the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners, Jessica is proud to fight for an inclusive, prosperous, and vibrant Multnomah County. Since being elected, she has championed the County’s efforts to combat climate change and build a just renewable energy economy. She also represents the County at various regional transportation tables and has focused on expanding access to early childhood education through initiatives such as the SUN program and the newly-established Multnomah County Early Education Task Force, which she chairs.

This Week's Curator: Som Subedi, Refugee and Activist

It seems like everyone in East Portland knows Som Subedi. He is always meeting and connecting with people, from our government leaders to the newest Portlanders who just walked off the plane from another country. Som is a refugee from Bhutan who came to East Portland in 2008 after living in a makeshift hut in a refugee camp for almost two decades. He became an American citizen in 2013, and he is married with three children, including twins. Som works for Portland Parks & Recreation as a Program Specialist for the New Portlanders Program. He advocates on behalf of the refugee and immigrant communities, both locally and nationally. He organizes events, rallies, and brings the community together.

This Week's Curator: Janet Benitez of Rosewood Initiative.

Janet Benitez is a 23-year-old first-generation Mexican American. She grew up in the Rosewood neighborhood right across the street from where she works now at Rosewood Initiative as a Resource Navigator. In addition to her full-time job, Janet recently started a Master of Social Work program at PSU. She got her BSW, as well as a BA in Spanish, from George Fox University. Janet loves to go on walks, connect with people, and she is learning how to garden. 

This Week's Curator: Kimmie Hutchins, Owner of Jam Cakes.

Kimmie Hutchins owns Jam Cakes, a cake decorating business with a loyal cult following, She's often booked for months in advance. She is a married mother of two little ones, and she lives in NE Portland in the Madison South neighborhood, near Rocky Butte. Kimmie was adopted from Korea as a young girl, and she was raised in a small logging town in Oregon. She has lived here in Oregon for most of her life. She has a background in painting and used to show her work and ran a small art gallery in downtown Portland. She fell into cake decorating a few years ago, and in 2016, Kimmie started Jam Cakes and now makes custom cakes and treats full time. When Kimmie is not working on cakes, she’s usually spending time with her family and probably driving her kids all over town to all of their activities.

Introducing our Inaugural Curator: Community Connector and Leader Sarah Iannarone.

Sarah Iannarone is the Associate Director of First Stop Portland, a program she helped develop in 2008 while a doctoral student in the Nohad A. Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning at Portland State University. Her areas of expertise include social equity, urban placemaking, climate action planning, and sustainable development. Her research explores how urban planning polices and best practices move from place to place.

Welcome to East PDX. We live here.

Welcome to East PDX. This is an incredibly diverse and incredibly vast area of Portland, Oregon. We have: incredible natural areas, such as Powell Butte; gorgeous murals, such as the one at the Boys & Girls Club in Lents, or the various murals in the secret alleys in Foster-Powell, or the brand-new mural at the Trimet station at NE 82d; international foods and markets; wonderful parks that were hard fought for and are lovingly maintained; and people from all racial, ethnic, and socio-economic backgrounds who know hard work, struggle, hope, success, and giving back.