Alfredo Moreno, THPRD Pos. 2 – Candidate Interview
By Alison Ford, WashCo Dems Communications Team Volunteer
WCD: What inspired you to run for local office?
AM: I was inspired to run by a desire to get deeper into the community work I was already doing at Portland Community College. I met a lot of people and interacted with a lot of organizations, and I was only scratching the surface. Specifically, with THPRD and the Conestoga Recreation and Aquatic Center, I go there, my kids go there. I think about issues such as access to who is there and who isn’t there, and how can we get others to enjoy the same resources that my family use.
WCD: How do your values and those of the Democratic party align?
AM: For me, I see the role as any elected official, or government entity, I see that as a job to look out for the most vulnerable people in our society. Even at the Parks and Recreation board level, there are things we can do to help people in our community, especially those who are underserved. Government has a moral obligation to help the underserved and most marginalized people with access to resources and information, that give them and their families the best opportunities for success.
WCD: If you are elected, what is the one specific project or goal you most want to accomplish as board member?
AM: One project I would love to do is to take a long look at the THPRD’s registration process. It can be competitive, or difficult to navigate for people who don’t have ready internet access. It would be almost impossible for people who don’t have that resource. How can we make it a more equitable process? I know the staff is already doing amazing work to look at that process now. Part of my job would be to help to execute the ideas and strategies they already have in place, but I would like to further extend that research to find out we can make it work for everyone. Another project would be looking at ESL (English as a Second Language) programs. The district has resources, but what can be done to make it better?
WCD: Which elected official do you most admire – and why?
AM: Barack Obama has resonated with me in many ways, the experience of being a biracial, bicultural person, as I am myself. I have a dark-skinned father, in my case Mexican American, and a fair-skinned mother. What I admire about his effort, I think he tried really hard to strive for the ideal of connecting with all members of a community, or in his case the nation. He had strong progressive values but could empathize with people from rural areas with more conservative values. I think he made a great effort to learn what they were trying to say. It was an earnest attempt to connect with as many people in the electorate as possible. I admire that a lot, that is the type of leadership I intend to bring. I feel very proud and strong about my progressive values. But it’s not just my way, I’ll sit down with a beer and listen to what anyone has to say.
WCD: What do you feel is the most important responsibility of the position you are running for?
AM: Everyone deserves the physical and mental well-being that Parks and Recreation can provide. The parks, facilities and natural areas are incredible out here. In the pandemic we all came to realize how much we value a walk in the park or a hike on the trail. When we had the forest fires last year and everyone didn’t have access, in addition to being in a pandemic, that heightened the urgency to provide access to these places. Especially with two small kids, getting them to the park is important to my family. The parks are essential resources for our brains and our bodies. Making sure everyone knows where they are how to find them and how to use them, is the most important thing.
Learn more about Alfredo Moreno, Candidate for THPRD Position 2, at his campaign website.