An area as green as Portland — both literally and environmentally — finds itself at the forefront of public involvement in environmental issues. For those who don't know, Metro
is the Portland area's regional government, and former Gov. Barbara Roberts is due to join the council this month. For better or for worse? It will be for the public to decide.
In their own words, "Metro itself is a regional asset with uniquely Oregon roots. Like comprehensive land use planning, public beaches, and the Bottle Bill, Metro is an Oregon innovation in policy and governance. It is a product of visionary leadership in the 1970s that set the stage for the quality of life we enjoy today in Oregon. That quality of life, in turn, accords the region and Oregon a unique advantage to compete in the global economy."
This idea of quality of life plays out significantly in environmental practices. After all, what creates a better quality of life and the ability to compete in the global economy than a healthy and thriving environment?
So it's critical for a council member to be elected who espouses an ideology of environmental conservation and innovative ideas for alternative resources. On Thursday, Feb. 24, Barbara Roberts will be sworn in as a council member of Metro. What does this mean for Oregonians statewide?
Barbara Roberts was actually the first woman governor for Oregon, inaugurated on Jan. 14, 1991. During her term, Gov. Roberts was recognized as a "strong advocate for public education, human rights and services, environmental management, and streamlining state government." Although her resume does not scream environmental activism, there is great potential for the decisions future councilwoman Roberts will make during her stay at Metro.