A life-long Portland resident and veteran of the U.S. House of Representatives, Earl Blumenauer has devoted his entire career to public service. He earned his law degree at Lewis & Clark and was elected to the Oregon Legislature when he was just 23. In 1979 he became a Multnomah County Commissioner, and in 1986 was elected to Portland’s City Council, serving 10 years as commissioner of public works. As a local official, Earl developed a national reputation for his advocacy of public transportation, land use planning, environmental protection, and school funding. His notable accomplishments have helped make Portland one of the nation’s most livable cities.
Since his election to Congress in 1996, Earl has focused on making the federal government an effective partner with architects and business in creating livable communities, communities that offer a better mix of transportation, housing, and open-space alternatives. “Architects,” says Blumenauer, “link the artistic expression of what people want to get out of the built environment with the requirements and realities of the governmental arena—water, air, open space, light, energy requirements, and building codes.” For that reason, “They are more important than they know.”