"A Re-Charged, Robust Lake Oswego. The Key is We." This is the slogan that represents Aaron Rapf's desire to move the city forward. And if elected to the Lake Oswego City Council in 2020, he plans to do just that.
Rapf, a Lake Oswego Budget Committee member, announced his candidacy for a seat on the Lake Oswego City Council June 30. Rapf is one of six community members who are now running for the three open seats on the City Council this November. Melissa Fireside, Emma Burke, Rachel Verdick, Joe Buck and Massene Mboup have also announced their candidacies.
Rapf, a father of two children in the Lake Oswego School District, said he will bring his budget experience and commitment to inclusiveness to the board if elected.
Rapf told the Review the main tasks that are very important to him are creating an environment that is inviting to new businesses and helps all businesses thrive, delivering essential services to the community and maintaining the parks to help attract a diverse array of people.
"Creating an environment that is inviting to businesses, existing and new families is key. The practical job of a city councilor is to efficiently and effectively deliver essential services: infrastructure, roads, police, fire, paramedics and first responders are the necessary foundation of a flourishing city," Rapf said in a press release. "All budget decisions must be compatible with our collective values and priorities."
Rapf was born and raised in Raleigh Hills and moved to Lake Oswego 10 years ago. He graduated from Willamette University with a bachelor's degree in international studies and a master's degree in brand marketing and statistical analysis.
He has more than 10 years of experience managing budgets for a Fortune 500 company.
"The safety, security and well being of all in Lake Oswego should be the philosophy behind our city budgets," Rapf said in the press release. "Wise use of taxpayer money and a sustainable, long term approach to planning and budget priorities should be the practical approach."
Rapf has served on the city's budget committee since 2017.
"That's been a great experience for me," Rapf told the Review.
Rapf is also on the Board of Directors for the nonprofit organization Willowbrook Arts Camp — an outdoor summer camp that focuses on arts and nature.
"It's a summer camp that my kids have gone to for like four years," he said.
According to the press release, Rapf believes it's important to plan ahead and build in a safety margin to ensure Lake Oswego will be in better financial shape than other cities after the COVID-19 pandemic.
"Our parks are the envy of the region and must remain so," Rapf said in the press release. "Well turfed fields, our open spaces and pools will attract a diversity of families to form an inclusive community. Bikeways, important trails and safe pathways to schools must be a priority."
Rapf said his children wait for the school bus in an area where there is no sidewalk.
"Right on South Shore, which is very dangerous so it's near and dear to my heart," Rapf told the Review. "Infrastructure is key to looking at how we're supporting our essential services … A big piece for me is attracting (an) inclusive community and attracting new families to Lake Oswego. I want to start looking at the pool issue; I think that's important to building (a) stronger and vibrant community."
Rapf reiterated the importance of trust, transparency, positive engagement and local partnerships between the community and the Lake Oswego Police Department.
"Our city government must encourage dialogue, engagement and an understanding of others' experiences," he said. "The council's purpose in everything it does should be listening, hearing, learning and then leading."
To learn more about Rapf, visit Aaronrapf4lo.com or his Facebook page at Aaronrapf4LO.
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