Crummé, Mboup join crowded race for Lake Oswego City Council seats
Lake Oswego residents Massene Mboup and Hannah Crummé have joined the increasingly crowded race for the Lake Oswego City Council, each aiming for one of three open seats on the November 2018 ballot.
They join a field that already includes incumbent Councilor Jackie Manz, former Planning Commissioner Randy Arthur and restaurateur Daniel Nguyen, who were profiled in The Review on July 26, as well as LO Moms community service organizer Emma Burke, who was profiled last week.
Councilors Jeff Gudman, Joe Buck and Manz currently hold the spots that will be up for grabs in the general election. Manz is the only incumbent seeking another term; term limits prevent Gudman from running again, and Buck is seeking a spot on the Metro Council instead.
The filing deadline for City Council candidates is Aug. 28.
Crummé says she's running for the City Council with an eye toward the ways in which Lake Oswego will grow and develop in the coming years. She says she wants to encourage growth while working to maintain the features that make Lake Oswego distinct.
Crummé moved to Lake Oswego a little more than two years ago, although she's a native Oregonian. She grew up in a rural part of Benton County, near Corvallis, and then attended Pomona College in Claremont near Los Angeles.
She moved to the United Kingdom to pursue her postgraduate education, earning her master's and later her Ph.D. in early modern literary history at King's College in London. She also worked for the National Archives in London, curating an exhibit that focused on Shakespeare's life.
Crummé says she has a passion for history and enjoyed the job at the archives, but she always had a long-term goal of returning to Oregon. She got her chance in 2016 when she accepted a position at Lewis & Clark College as the head of special collections and archives at the Aubrey R. Watzek Library.
When looking for a place to settle in the Portland area, Crummé says she and her husband David chose Lake Oswego because of the city's geographical flavor that mixes the kind of small rural community that she grew up in with a location near a bigger city.
"I loved how Lake Oswego seemed vibrant, with a population that's really invested in the town," she says.
It's a decision the couple has never regretted; Crummé says they've been happily taking advantage of the city's many community features, such as the farmers market, the tennis center and the movies and concerts at local parks, and have become active participants in their Lakewood neighborhood.
After spending so many years as a student, Crummé says the new job at Lewis & Clark gave her an opportunity to pursue a greater leadership role as an instructor and manager, and she says she's seeking out a City Council seat in order to find a similarly proactive role in her community.
"(Working at Lewis & Clark) has really trained me to listen and use the perspectives of my constituency to create a better school, or in this case a town," she says.
If elected, Crummé says she'll put a strong focus on transportation and finding solutions to congestion. In particular, she says she wants to lobby to increase Lake Oswego's bus service, such as by extending Line 39 down Terwilliger Boulevard.
"Lake Oswego has a lot of people who could benefit from a Hillsdale and OHSU connection," she says.
But it's not just about the roads and transit services; as an avid runner and biker, Crummé says she puts a high value on Lake Oswego's pathways and walkability. She says she would work to make sure the city is increasingly pedestrian-friendly and accessible through active transportation, including pushing for a direct bike path connection from Portland.
She also casts herself as a strong advocate for the city's green spaces, and says she wants to encourage careful development that preserves and grows them, particularly in the city's more suburban and rural areas.
At 32, Crummé is the youngest candidate in this year's race, which she says means she's in touch with a large number of constituents in her own age demographic and can represent Lake Oswego's younger residents.
She says it also encourages her to take a patient, long-term view of the city's development, and to pursue policies aimed at maintaining the small-town feeling and high quality of life that the city's residents currently enjoy.
"I'm invested in the future," she says. "I'm going to be here, I hope, for 60 years, so I really care what shape the city takes."
Mboup says he's joining the City Council race because he wants to advocate for students and the school community,
and to play a greater role in shaping the future of Lake Oswego.
"I'm optimistic that the future is bright in Lake Oswego," he says. "That's why I want to be a part of this."
Mboup has had a lifelong career as an educator, starting in his native Senegal with a class of 80 students. He majored in English and Linguistics and received a Secondary Teaching Degree from École Normale Supérieure in France. He is currently working on a Ph.D. in education from Portland State University.
Mboup immigrated to the United States in 1999 and taught for 12 years at two Portland-area French schools. He has also taught courses at Chemeketa and Portland community colleges and at PSU. In 2011, he and his wife, Patricia Raclot, founded the International Leadership Academy, a French Immersion School in Lake Oswego.
Mboup and Raclot were drawn to Lake Oswego because of the value the community places on education, he says, as well as the small-town atmosphere and architecture that give the city a European feeling.
"The narrow streets, the roads without sidewalks — it gives a charm to the city," he says.
Mboup is an avid soccer player and volunteers as a coach for youth teams. He's also been a regular attendee at Respond to Racism, a community discussion group founded last summer to explore issues of race and privilege in Lake Oswego.
He says he sees public service as a natural continuation of his duties as an educator, which include listening to children and being an advocate for them, as well as for other groups whose voices are marginalized.
"The most important thing I believe is that people's lives are storied lives," he says. "I want to listen to their narrative."
Mboup says another part of his inspiration to run for council came from a more specific place. He was attending a conference in Seattle last year, he says, when someone mentioned Lake Oswego as an example of a place where students and community members face racism.
"I was shocked by that, and that's when I knew I'm a real Lake Oswegan," he says. "I told them I've never been intimidated to live there. In any place, there are incidents like that. I've been a victim of racial things in Portland, Lake Oswego, maybe in Seattle — but it doesn't make all the folks here bad folks."
Racism should absolutely be addressed and discussed, Mboup adds. He's a strong advocate for dialog about issues of race, and says he's proud of the work of groups like Respond to Racism. But it's not the only thing that defines the community.
"That's why I want to run for City Council, to show that there's another narrative that can be told about Lake Oswego," he says. "The community has people like me who are thriving in their business."
If elected, Mboup says he wants to support youth and schools, as well as community hubs like the library and parks, and hopes he can facilitate greater cooperation between the City and the Lake Oswego School Board.
He also characterizes himself as an advocate for future families, and says he would fight to increase the availability of affordable housing and to make Lake Oswego a leader on environmental issues.
Mboup's previous political experience includes a bid for a seat in Senegal's Parliament in 1998, and he says he visited every major region of the country during the campaign. Lake Oswego's election might be a bit smaller-scale, he says, but he's looking forward to the opportunity to knock on as many doors as possible and engage in dialog with residents.
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