At the Metropolitan Learning Center in the mid 70’s, Lew taught K-12 classes in basic skills, philosophy, literature, cultural studies, current controversies, and more. His kindergarten students now introduce Lew to their own elementary school children with pride. In the late 80’s and early 90’s, Lew organized gatherings in his living room of Irvington fifth graders and more than 90 successful professionals from diverse fields to open the youngsters’ eyes to the opportunities available to them. Years later, Lew frequently runs into students who thank him for this guidance and credit it with leading them to their careers.
While working for Portland Public Schools, Lew worked on countless programs including Adopt an Adult, the Sexual Minority Task Force, The 1996 March for Our Schools, Start Making a Reader Today, Principal for a Day, Community and Parents for Public Schools, DADS and the Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council which brought the student’s perspective directly to high level officials. He facilitated communication between the district leadership and the community, two-way communication. He also assisted other districts with crisis communications, including a number of infamous school shootings and disasters.
And for the past two years, Lew has served on the State Board of Education, where decisions have to work for Burns as well as they do for NE Portland.
Education doesn’t end at three o’clock or when school gets out in June – our students deserve more. For more on Lew’s ideas for our education system, click here
Lew knows first-hand the devastating impacts of our present health care system.Lew himself has dealt with prostate cancer and related complications, resulting in burdensome medical bills, even after insurance paid its share. His family has dealt with the challenges of “pre-existing conditions” and conditions not covered by inadequate insurance. He’s worked with families dealing with the devastation caused by drug addiction. Health care is not an abstract issue for Lew – it is near and dear to his heart.
The problems we face are not insurmountable – Oregon can save money and provide better health services, leading the way for the Nation. For more on Lew’s ideas to improve our health care system, click here
Lew has a unique perspective on our economic troubles – and solutions.
As shop steward of his union (the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists – AFTRA), Lew negotiated what still stands today as the only reporters’ union shop contract in a Portland area TV station, winning 32 of 33 concessions. Lew knows the power of organized labor and its role in protecting living-wage jobs, and he’s advocated not just for working families, but also for those who wish they were working.
As a TV and radio reporter, Lew kept us informed of some of the biggest stories of the time, and developed a deep understanding of local, regional and global economic challenges. He helped us understand how threats to air, water and land relate to economic pressures.
Lew brought that understanding to Northwest Ideas, LLC, a strategic communications consulting firm specializing in community relations, politics and science. Most recently, he interviewed stakeholders in North and Northeast Portland to learn what challenges minority-owned and other local small businesses faced and how urban renewal can do more to help.
Lew’s ability to listen to the community is unparalleled, and the stories he’s heard have given him a deep understanding of the solutions. For more on Lew’s ideas to improve our local economy, click here
Lew is a listener and a leader – he’s ready to bring those qualities to Salem.
Lew proudly says that he doesn’t go into a coffee shop in town without knowing at least two or three people – that’s because he’s made an effort for the past three decades to get to know people, and to listen. He brings that perspective to everything he does – from securing 32 of 33 items in a union contract that’s withstood the test of time, to negotiating delicate crisis situations on behalf of the Portland Public Schools, to his most recent work assessing the effectiveness of the Portland Development Commission in North and Northeast Portland.
Lew is ready to be our community’s voice and vote in Salem – get involved today!