The East WashCo Dems Meeting, April 4th: Meeting Summary

periwinkle background with river reeds to the right. East washco dems

As we move into the campaign season – we have a chance to learn from those running about what motivates them to enter public service.  At our last meeting we heard from a number of candidates. We asked each of them to tell a little about something in their life that shaped their philosophy or reason to run. I will briefly summarize below, but please listen to the attached recording to hear their full stories. (

KC LeDell:  Candidate for Washington County Circuit Judge is an experienced attorney who has spent his career writing and enforcing laws, advocating for greater access to mental health treatment, and representing the people in our community most in need of a helping hand. He has served his community as both a prosecutor and a defense attorney, and has worked as an expert on mental health and criminal justice policy at the State Legislature and in the Oregon Criminal Justice Commission. He and his wife, a psychiatric nurse, have dedicated their lives to providing quality behavioral health services and fighting for a system that protects and nourishes every Oregonian.

KC told the story of his father – who is a sound engineer and KC’s inspiration. He has worked with acts as diverse as from Bonnie Raitt to Snoop Dogg. KC said that the thing that made his job so interesting and valuable is that, if he is doing it right, no-one knows he exists. KC said that he carried this idea into his work in the law – that if you really want to accomplish something it takes a lot of people who are invisible – that do the work because they care about serving the community, not about getting attention.

Gerritt Rosenthal: Candidate for Metro District 3 describes himself:  

I have lived in the Stafford area of Tualatin for over 25 years. I am a homeowner, small business owner, and an environmental consultant and planner. I have worked for a regional agency similar to Metro. Oregon has shown that comprehensive planning and regional efforts can protect our quality of life and allow local jurisdictions to cooperate on a level playing field. I support regional action to solve our transportation and housing problems, address climate change, and protect our quality of life. I have 40-plus years as an environmental consultant specializing in natural resource planning and a strong record of community involvement. I am independent of special interests. I manage my 5-acre property where I live for habitat values; grow grapes, fruit, and berries; and enjoy the Oregon outdoors.

Gerritt talked of his years doing water quality sampling in Lane County and how it taught him about the value of the Willamette Valley and of watersheds. He expanded on the role of Metro and how it can cut across the challenges that many places face if governed by several different jurisdictions. He feels that the response to homelessness is the primary challenge at this time and that we are making progress.

Peter Huhtala: candidate for Washington County Commission, District 3, was a Clatsop County commissioner from 2011-2015, and has also served in executive roles for conservation groups, such as the Willamette Falls Heritage Area Coalition, the Oregon Coastal Zone Management Association, and the Pacific Marine Conservation Council. He said he was prompted to run in part by the current board’s handling on certain environmental topics he is passionate about, such as the expansion of Tile Flat Road.

Peter told a story of 1978 when he made a trip to San Francisco that developed into a wild cross country trip – playing music, and encountering racism like he hadn’t seen before.

Jason Snider: candidate for Washington County Commission, District 3, moved to Tigard in 1999 and began his full-time career as clinical manager at American Medical Response from 1999 to 2003. In 2003 to the present, he has been employed in a number of management roles at Kaiser Permanente Northwest and is currently the administrator of the Regional General Surgery and Plastic Surgery Departments. In the Tigard community, Jason has volunteered by coaching 8 teams for Tigard Youth Soccer and Tigard Youth Football. He also volunteered as a Tigard Reserve Police Officer from 2001 to 2004 and was a member and Chair of the City of Tigard Budget Committee from May 2005 until December 2009. He was first elected to serve on the Tigard City Council in 2013, became City Council President in 2015, and then served as Mayor from 2019 to 2022.

Jason talked of the years he was Mayor from 2109-2022. Not only were we experiencing COVID, we also had unprecedented calls for justice in the wake of the George Floyd murder. He received 100s of emails talking about what he should do as mayor and turned to people like Mayor Gibson to help him understand the experiences of people different from himself. He then put together a response, involving people from all phases of the community to do a thoughtful review of how law enforcement and public safety should be conducted and helped make significant changes in these things in Tigard.

Thank you to these candidates for taking the time to share with us. Please listen to the recording for much more information.

Announcements:  We need neighborhood leaders. You can sign up here if you haven’t yet done it:

Thank you for your interest and support as we move forward into this important election season.  Wishing you some moments of joy as spring slowly approaches.
Carol Greenough
convenor, East Washington County Dems


Please reach out to Carol Greenough if you have any questions:

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