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New District Liaison returns to North Portland

District Liaison for North PortlandMeet city planner Leslie Lum, the new North Portland District Liaison for the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability (BPS). An urban designer with BPS since 2008, Leslie’s design expertise and keen problem-solving skills will benefit the entire BPS District Planning team. Her experience building and sustaining relationships with under-served and under-represented communities throughout the city will also be an asset to the North Portland community.

Leslie brings many years of experience with the Housing Authority of Portland (now Home Forward), Portland Impact (now Impact Northwest) and other nonprofit organizations in Eugene and Los Angeles. Since the late 1990s, Leslie has worked alongside many communities and neighborhoods, including what is now New Columbia.

“I feel really lucky to be able to serve in the role of a district liaison, and I’m excited to work in North Portland again,” she said. “In many ways, the independent, hardworking spirit of the small business owners, tradespeople and working class families of North Portland are what I was initially drawn to in Portland when I first moved here."

Before becoming a city planner and urban designer, most of her experience has been in the housing and community development fields, from environmental education with at-risk youth to managing Community Development Block Grant funds.

“I find myself most rooted when I’m doing community work, so I’m looking forward to getting back in the neighborhoods to talk with residents about their concerns,” she said.

Leslie has worked on a variety of projects at BPS, mostly in the Central City and East Portland. A resident of the Montavilla neighborhood, she enjoys hearing Portlanders “talk about how they experience the built environment.”

She thinks North Portland is unique because it is the only district that touches both the Willamette and Columbia Rivers. She has fond memories of biking scenic Willamette Blvd above the bluff during the early hours of winter on her way to work. She appreciates the rivers as “dynamic, inspirational elements” that are both “an amazing environmental treasure and a passage for industry.”

Please welcome Leslie to North Portland if you haven’t already. You can reach her at leslie.lum@portlanoregon.gov or 503-823-7896.