May 2019: An In-depth Look at Wendy Kroger
By Dan Neill, Washington County Democrats Communication Committee Member
Wendy Kroger is running for Position 2 on the THPRD Board of Directors.
What inspired you to run for local office?
I’ve always known I wanted to help other people make their lives better. Growing up in Parkdale, OR, my sister died of cancer as a child and my parents became too overwhelmed to take care of me so I was passed around among various neighbors. Later, after a career in public service I knew I wanted to volunteer for my community. Growing up in Oregon, I always loved the out-of-doors and the environment remains is one of my main interests. I helped craft and oversee THPRD’s 2008 bond measure and have been involved in several environmental organizations. It still amazes me that a park in Salem is named after me.
How do your values and those of the Democratic party align?
I stand for social justice and I’m an environmentalist. [Also, her car sports a “Republicans for Voldemort” bumper sticker]. I believe we thrive in a healthy environment and a healthy community, and I believe we must work together to achieve both. We need more government well done, not less government. I believe healthcare is a right, and THPRD offers everyone the option of finding wellness and a healthy lifestyle in their parks. I believe in a big tent, flaps and all. My dad was a union painter in a right-to-work state.
If you are elected, what is the one specific project or goal you most want to accomplish as board member?
I want to connect more people to parks, trails, nature and programs. More after-school programs – how can we make these better for Title 1 schools which need the most help. More free learn-to-swim lessons. We live in the Northwest. More safe trail connections throughout the district and completing mid-block crossings (between traffic lights) – there has to be collaboration between jurisdictions and among partners in creating more of these important trail connectors.
What do you feel is the role of THPRD in addressing equity and achievement gaps in our community?
We need to keep THPRD classes, programs and services affordable and within reach of everyone. Continue to assure that parks and open space, classes and programs are offered with an equitable level of service throughout the district and are easily accessible to everyone. Continue to talk with – and listen to – our diverse community to identify need and solutions as well as collaborate with community partners such as the Beaverton School District to be sure we cooperate and coordinate rather than duplicate services. If you are interested in connecting with Wendy’s campaign, visit her website.