Q&A: Get to know Beaverton City Council candidates
Unlike most other cities in the region, Beaverton holds its council elections in the spring, rather than on the November ballot.
Four of seven positions on the Beaverton City Council are up for election this May. We sent a short questionnaire to each candidate — including the two running in uncontested races — to get their perspective and give them an opportunity to make their case to voters.
Those responses are listed below in full, with only light editing for style and grammar as needed.
Why are you running for City Council, and how long have you been wanting to run?
Ashley Hartmeier-Prigg, Position 1: I am asking the voters to elect me to serve a four-year term after being elected in 2021. I am driven by the needs of our community. I feel the effects of climate change in Beaverton, I see the growing homeless crisis due to the lack of adequate and affordable housing in our area, and I know that we can make positive changes in our community through policymaking. I believe in the power of working together for the collective good.
Teresa Payne, Position 2: I am running for Beaverton City Council to be a part of the change that I want to see. It is past time that Beaverton have a more representative, diverse government and my election would be historic — I would be the first African American ever elected to City Council.
Diversity is more than just the color of your skin, but socio-economics, background, experience, religion, affiliation, and I embody bold, fresh ideas when reviewing citywide problems. And I will represent ALL of Beaverton, versus my opponent who focuses on the downtown core.
I'm proud to be hand-picked by the incumbent of the Position 2 seat, Councilor Laura Mitchell to succeed her, and honored to be endorsed by former Oregon state Sen. Mark Hass, the Beaverton Valley Times, former City Councilors Cate Arnold and Mark Fagin, the Beaverton Police Association, former BCCI Chair Eric Schmidt, and the Beaverton Area Chamber of Commerce. Together, we can make a difference and build a strong community where everyone can live and thrive.
Kevin Teater, Position 2: I am running for City Council because I have grown tired of consistently advocating for the future of our world from the outside. Climate change is real, and my generation is going to bear the brunt of it. My background in urban planning and economic development combined with my bold vision can help us create a more sustainable city. I have also had a great opportunity to build relationships with many of our small business owners, playing an on-the-ground supportive role for these people throughout the pandemic. Many of them are immigrants, refugees, and people of color, and I want to bring these relationships with me to City Council so that our entrepreneurial environment can continue to become more accessible for the people who have typically faced the greatest barriers. I've long held a passion for politics, as my dad's parents were both in local and state government in Ohio. I made the decision to run in October 2021 after talking with community leaders across the city for feedback and guidance. Those conversations were overwhelmingly positive and supportive, and so I decided to jump in!
Jennifer Kamprath, Position 3: I am running for Beaverton City Council because I can see the damage progressive policies and decisions are making to this country. I have never sought out a political career but feel the need to step up to help bring a balancing voice and transparency to the council. I am willing to put my energy and time into making Beaverton a great place to live and work.
• Skyrocketing inflation
• Historically high gas prices
• Open borders
• Crushing taxes
• Some of the worst COVID restrictions in the nation
• Failing schools
• Crime, shootings, murders at historic highs
• Loss of business killing the downtown core
• Policies and programs based on progressive ideology not common sense
• Help for the few viewed within the lens of equity, not all citizens
Edward Kimmi, Position 4: Although I have been serving the city as a volunteer for a long time, I recently have decided to run for City Council after seeing how COVID-19 pandemic and climate change, exemplified by last summer's deadly "heat dome," had a disproportionate effect on low income, elderly, women, children and especially communities of color.
John Dugger, Position 5: I am running for City Council to bring my passion, experience and vision for our city to life. As you know, I ran two years ago but the pandemic hit and I didn't get to finish telling my story and sharing my vision.
I love our city and believe Beaverton has so much potential, and I want to work hard to connect that potential with the resources and plan to make it happen.
What makes you qualified for this position?
Hartmeier-Prigg: I have been serving on Beaverton City Council since October 2021, and prior to that served on the Tualatin Hills Park & Recreation District board.
Serving in local government, working in technology, and having a law degree means I have a solid ability to understand complex subjects and advocate for positive outcomes for our community. I am also passionate about making our world and Beaverton a better place, and I think caring about one's community is an important qualification for serving in public office.
Payne: I firmly believe my experience, dedication, and community involvement makes me best qualified for the position especially when addressing the eclectic citywide agenda items. My civic involvement, activism and volunteerism includes participation in BOLD, the Beaverton Organizing and Leadership Development Program, a collaboration between the City of Beaverton and Unite Oregon; the Washington County Civic Leaders Project through Adelante Mujeres; and Leadership Beaverton through the Beaverton Area Chamber of Commerce. The trainings are a path for everyday people to understand the needs of the community and how to be a leader in said community.
Additionally, I have been appointed to numerous city and county positions and worked with several organizations including:
• Diversity Advisory Board
• Housing Technical Advisory Group
• Cultural Coalition of Washington County
• Oregon Health Equity Alliance — Community Action Team
• HomePlate Youth Services
• Budget Committee
And, important City of Beaverton programs and reports including:
• Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Plan, 2019 Update and 2021 Annual Report
• Beaverton Housing Five-Year Action Plan, 2019—2024
Teater: I have been the executive director of the Beaverton Downtown Association (BDA) for the past four years, working closely with our downtown district to plan events, create new public art, install innovative business signage, add more greenery, and strengthen our ability to host COVID-safe outdoor business areas.
The BDA is a small historic preservation and community development nonprofit, and we make a big impact with our few resources. I am proud of grants we have brought in to directly support downtown (over $400,000 since 2018) and the role we've had in building community.
Kamprath: EVERY citizen is qualified to run for government. I have a lifetime of making common-sense logical decisions with a take-charge no-nonsense attitude that can cut through political doublespeak to take action.
I have been and continue to be involved with many groups and businesses. I was an original member of the Beaverton Together program as the only parent volunteer, a serial volunteer in the schools and youth sports. I have owned a retail bridal store/small business, I opened and ran my own daycare, I am currently in the third year as president of my area HOA and sit on executive committees of various groups I belong to.
Kimmi: I am a founding member of the Beaverton Diversity Advisory Board and also the Beaverton Night Market. I was a president of the Korean Society of Oregon which represented over 40,000 Oregon Korean Americans, which I had to plan, budget, implement the program equitably. I also served at the Cultural Coalition of Washington County as a board member.
But most of all, I care about the people and their well being. I want all Beavertonians to thrive, live, work and play in Beaverton.
Dugger: I am qualified for City Council because I have served our community for years on many different boards and groups (including Beaverton Budget Committee, Planning Commission, co-founder of Pride Beaverton, etc.) so I know how to navigate the complicated and (sometimes) confusing city bureaucracy.
As a community leader, I also know how to get folks involved in pushing government to be more responsive, inclusive, and focused on increasing livability in our community. We often forget that as residents, we have both a responsibility and a voice beyond elections to get the change we need to thrive.
What do you think is the biggest issue facing Beaverton, and how would you address it?
Hartmeier-Prigg: It's really hard to just choose one, but right now, I believe affordable housing is our biggest issue.
We've seen an increase in people experiencing homelessness in Beaverton, more people being priced out of living in Beaverton, and inadequate options for workforce housing as major projects begin in our region.
As a result of changing climate, people living outside are exposed to weather extremes, so I am committed to helping folks get shelter.
We need more affordable housing for people of all income levels. Without workforce housing or a variety of housing types for our residents, we put economic prosperity in our city at risk because there are not sufficient housing options.
I voted in support of the city's purchase of a building to hold a permanent shelter to provide a year-round place for people to stay safe and seek access to permanent housing.
As we consider future development plans, it is important for us to plan for generations to come and make the most use of the resources we have. I support building a variety of housing including duplexes, cottage clusters, row housing, and apartments to ensure places for all to live as we consider development options for Cooper Mountain and residential infill.
Payne: The city's most urgent needs are public safety, housing and economic empowerment. Like many Beaverton community members, I see that each need is compounding another.
I am honored to have the Beaverton Police Association endorse me, and to be a bridge between the public and the brave people who protect and serve our city. On my recent daylong ride-along, I saw how the growing homeless population are more than 50% of Central Beaverton calls. Community members within the other Beaverton neighborhoods are concerned about compassionately yet efficiently managing the homeless adults on the streets.
The best course of action is to work with the county, Metro and to some degree the state, in a collaborative effort to address and upstream the problem. Beaverton has taken the lead finding affordable, safe housing for homeless and housing insecure people, including youth, and that needs to continue.
As a board member for HomePlate Youth serves I will be a champion for continued social service funding for organizations with a specific niche. Additionally, I support the continued aid to Beaverton businesses in entrepreneur incubators such as Impact Beaverton and OTBC, Oregon Technology Business Center, who educate and invest in people with potential.
Teater: As I talk with voters, I consistently hear three biggest issues: climate change, housing affordability, and racial equity. What's really interesting is that there is overlap between all of these, and we cannot have one without pursuing all three at once.
I want to update our Beaverton development code with a specific eye towards our transportation systems and tree code. The City of Beaverton recently conducted a tree code audit (I was part of the review process as a planning commissioner), and we know where changes need to be made, we just need to allocate the time and funding to do the work.
I also want to make it easier for people to choose not to drive a car if they do not have to drive a car by creating safer street infrastructure for all of us.
I've been fortunate to be on Planning Commission as we have reviewed the city's new housing code, and it'll lead to beneficial changes in our housing supply, affordability, and variety, but the change won't be immediate. We need to continue to push for more housing development flexibility so that people have a place to live in Beaverton.
Kamprath: The biggest problem, in my opinion, is the City of Beaverton is following the same path of a failed progressive agenda and policy decisions that have proven to be bad for citizens, business, safety and cause loss of freedoms.
Kimmi: I think the biggest issue is the affordable housing. It ties into the houseless community, both elderly and youth, and their physical and mental well-being. I support the middle housing plan where we can build all different types of housing where it meets all the levels of the income and their social status.
Dugger: I don't think there is one issue facing our community that is totally dominant, but certainly housing costs and houseless city residents are up there.
Another big issue (because it impacts our ability to deal with everything) is getting our budget stabilized. I will address these issues with the general framework I use to address most problems; bringing stakeholders together, outlining steps we will take to address each problem (I prefer one-, three- and five-year plans), define what success looks like and then represent the work transparently (again, I prefer putting all the data on a public website).
I'm also a big supporter of dealing with root causes of issues such as houselessness. Not having a place to stay is a symptom of something else, like economic loss, mental health issues, domestic violence, addiction, etc. All of these root causes (and others) have different solutions and complexities.
With the growth and changes Beaverton is experiencing, what opportunities do you see for the city? What negatives do you see, and how do you plan to address them?
Hartmeier-Prigg: Beaverton is becoming a destination, whether that's for amazing food or now to experience art at the Reser, people want to be here. I would love to see the city partner with the Beaverton Area Chamber of Commerce on a shop local campaign to highlight the amazing businesses throughout the entire city of Beaverton.
I worry about traffic, as we all do, in and around our city, and want to continue to encourage the planning and building of a city that is pedestrian-friendly, so our city is a safe and welcoming place for all who live here or come to visit.
Payne: The city has a wonderful opportunity to grow the vision of what the city will look like. I see Beaverton as a leader in Washington County for its diversity, equity and inclusion policies, procedures, and application, urban environmental design, compassionate policing, and a finance department that continues strategic, conservative money management to ensure taxpayer dollars are used appropriately.
A negative that I see are community members' input not being acknowledged. Personally, I have seen this happen during the public comment section of City Council meetings, on down to neighborhood associations, boards, committees and commission where insightful solutions are unheard and the individual who shared does not receive any follow-up from the city. Washington County provides a follow-up email for people who have testified; Beaverton should do the same.
For example, within Neighbors Southwest, community members are going above and beyond to keep the major cross street of Southwest Barrows and Roshak roads safe. They have provided ongoing input and solutions and yet have been told by city staff that many of their recommendations are good choices. I did a site visit recently and was deeply saddened by the fear families have who own property that touches the roundabout there.
Teater: I've always been incredibly excited for the future of Beaverton, and its growth over the past several years has been really impressive. As a result, we have the opportunity to create policy and that influences the future of the city for decades to come. We cannot miss the opportunity to revolutionize our land use patterns, transportation systems, housing options, and social support services in ways that are truly equitable.
The City of Beaverton is facing some severe revenue shortfalls, and so council is going to have to make hard decisions about what programs receive funding in the future.
I want to protect city staff. I want to protect the services the city provides. But we are going to be forced to really prioritize what we value most. So, when I come into these conversations, I am bringing my value system that prioritizes serving people who have historically needed the most support. That may require sacrifice, but it's a sacrifice that will make us stronger and more connected as a community. I think that's worth it.
Kamprath: Beaverton is growing, and with the failures in Portland, can attract businesses to move to the area, bringing jobs and creating a more robust business community. I would continue to reach out to those interested in a possible move and see what the city can offer to encourage them to make that move (tax incentives, lighter regulation). A growing area means a bigger customer base for business, which is very positive.
The negatives I believe are the same region-wide, lack of affordable housing for workers and more traffic. I would need to dig deep for more information on background and current regulations on the topics to address them properly.
Kimmi: I can see that with the growth of population, it also brings more diversity in business opportunities and people. It will naturally create a more tolerant society and more innovation which will be an asset for future generations.
Growth also brings more people, which translates into more traffic, increasing housing costs and decrease in quality of life. I want to help connect the last mile where everyone has access to more transportation options and more options for housing where young people can build their family and wealth. I also want to make sure that people have access to nature with more trails and parks to enjoy their lives.
Dugger: I see a big opportunity for us to truly focus on the livability issues. Most people just want to live in a safe, accessible, sustainable place where they can have a good quality of life and find joy in living.
With growth, the city has new opportunities to do big things — the Reser Center is a great example. But growth for the sake of growth isn't necessarily the solution. We need to keep the focus on creating and maintaining a high quality of life for all Beavertonians. All residents of our city should be able to thrive here.
Why should residents vote for you, and why are you a good fit for this position?
Hartmeier-Prigg: Being sworn in in October 2021, I have so much more I'd like to do to address climate change, affordable housing, and our COVID-19 recovery.
I've been working hard on these issues during my time in office by voting in support of $1.87 million in additional economic support for Beaverton businesses, but pushing council to challenge our thinking when it comes to housing policy to dismantle past racist systems, by imagining a Cooper Mountain that can have housing variety and offer amazing natural spaces and protect the ecosystem at the same.
I am a collaborative leader who can help build consensus on hard topics, and I ask for your vote so I can keep working for our city. I will continue to support local business, prioritize climate action in all that we do, and help create a Beaverton that is an equitable place for all.
Payne: Beaverton residents should vote for me because I have put in the work to educate myself on how to be a leader specifically to this community, and I am passionate about serving my community at large — not just focus on the downtown core — and I have a track to back it up.
I have been engaged in housing discussions, serve on the budget committee, had tough conversations on what it looks like to have diversity, equity and inclusion in government and the lives of residents. I have been civically engaged longer than my opponent has lived in Beaverton; this is important because as we are seeing tenured council members term off, it is important to have someone with an understanding of how council functions as a team and as individual representatives of the city at large, in addition to taking the time to understand how the policies and procedures will affect people.
Laura Mitchell did not have to choose me to succeed her, yet she did. Councilor Mitchell saw in me what I sometimes forget to see in myself: the passion, knowledge, desire to learn and love for this city in all of the civic engagement that I do.
Teater: I am proud to have the endorsements of 15 local elected leaders, including Mayor Lacey Beaty and every Beaverton City Council member except for Position 2, which is the position I am running to fill.
I also have the support of 10 community organizations, which includes unions, environmental groups, the Washington County Democrats, Young Democrats of Oregon, the Beaverton Area Chamber of Commerce, Washington County Ignite, and the Homebuilders Association of Metropolitan Portland.
As a City Council member, you can trust that I will lead with integrity, vision, and compassion. I will stay grounded in community engagement, and I will never stop working to support policies and programs that will make us stronger for years to come.
With all of City Council (with the exception of Mayor Beaty) being in office for two years or less, it is incredibly important that this seat be filled by someone with experience that has prepared them to fill the role, and I have that experience with the Beaverton Planning Commission, the Beaverton Downtown Association, and the Central Beaverton Neighborhood Committee.
I am ready to go, and I would love to have your vote! Learn more at www.kevinteater.com.
Kamprath: Residents should vote for me because all decision-making bodies need a balance of opinion and point of view to make sure all sides of the issue are discussed and considered. I am the ONLY candidate running on COMMON SENSE decision-making in government. I have the strength and backbone to stand up and make sure competent decisions are made to ensure they bring long-term benefit to the city.
Kimmi: I have over a decade of experience as a volunteer for the city working with the mayor, city councilors and its staff. I am the only candidate who has been endorsed by all the city councilors and the mayor. And also from the majority of Beaverton school board members and THPRD directors.
I know that in order to bring about a change, it requires collaboration from everyone, and I can be that middle person. I can be the voice for all the Beavertonians where I am a small business owner struggling to save the business during a pandemic. I am an immigrant and refugee where I had to learn English and navigate through the system to establish roots. I am a concerned parent who just raised two sons through the Beaverton school system. I am also a concerned citizen who is worried about public safety and houseless issues, which I witness everyday as a resident of Old Town Beaverton.
I can be your voice in the council chamber and also council's voice to the diversity communities at large.
Dugger: Folks should vote for me because I'll always be an advocate for good, honest and transparent government. I tell people that I'm your neighbor first, and to me that means I'm always up for chatting (even if you think I disagree with you on an issue) and hearing your views on what we do well or could do better. I'll also be accessible throughout the city, including showing up and being present wherever I can.
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