By Tamara Anne Fowler | CNA Media Team
A lobbyist’s day at work can be long, and it can be varied, accord ing to Courtney Westling, Portland Public Schools government relations director. In just one day, she:
- Worked on the logistics of an upcoming visit to the school district by the Oregon Joint Legislative Committee on Student Success
- Met with city officials to talk about ways to strengthen the district’s relationship with the Portland Parks & Recreation
- Conferred with a colleague from another school district to discuss ways to collaborate during the upcoming legislative session
Courtney also connects with the federal government to keep elected leaders updated about the work happening around the school district.
A lobbyist in Salem hired to move education policies, Courtney works with legislators and representatives of other school districts, school boards and education-focused associations. Their goal is to improve current policy to better serve students and to find solutions to impediments.
Courtney also connects with the federal government to keep elected leaders updated about the work happening around the school district. She coordinates logistics if an elected leader wants to tour a program, a school or host a school event.
In 2007 Courtney was a grad student in Washington, D.C. She returned home to Oregon and began to work on Jeff Merkley’s successful 2008 campaign. The senator called her back to Washington, D.C. – to Capitol Hill – from 2009 to 2011.
Courtney then moved to Michigan and lived in Ann Arbor until 2013. She worked for the Center for Michigan, a nonprofit “think-and-do” tank.
“I led an outreach project to engage communities across the state in a conversation about what they saw as the biggest challenges in public education,” she explained. “From that work, we created a strategy to engage lawmakers in ways to address some of the common concerns that came up during our outreach.”
When Courtney and husband Mike moved back to Portland in 2013, they definitely wanted to live in northeast. In October 2014, they bought their house just off of Holman Street at 28th Avenue when Courtney was pregnant with their first child, and they needed room to grow.
Courtney and her family enjoy the neighborhood being so walkable. They like to walk or ride bikes to Tamale Boy on Dekum Street or to Handsome Pizza on Killingsworth. They love being close to parks – for sons Evan, 3½, and Graham, 1½, and for French pointer Seger (as in Bob).
Portland Public Schools are all in the family. Courtney’s mom attended Faubion School. Soon Courtney’s sons will attend Faubion as well.
Tamara Anne Fowler is Edit Kitten, a writer with 20-plus years of experience offering a softer, gentler approach to editing and coaching. Her personal editors — Armani, Max Factor and Spicey’D — are also her cats. Visit her at EditKitten.com or contact her at Tamara@EditKitten. com.