City Club enters its second century with change

What a year! I knew that my year serving as your president would be eventful, but I couldn’t have guessed we’d have so much excitement—from Ballotpalooza to unexpected local and national election results to our new executive director. It’s been a busy time at the Club.

As I’ve attended various programs, read ballot measure and research reports, heard from members at events, and worked with staff over the past year, it was clear to me time and again that our members are some of the most thoughtful, caring, passionate, and engaged citizens. At 100 years, City Club still comprises members who are some of the most influential current and up-and-coming leaders in our city. I am in awe of the number of hours that I see our members spend to make our Club so special.

Our Club is a reflection of our city—and both are in transition. We must continue to be intentional about the topics that we choose for our programs and research. Over the past year, we’ve discussed racial justice and intersectional feminism, “affordable” housing and healthcare reform, sanctuary cities and PERS reform. We can—and should—continue to push ourselves, and our larger community, to make decisions that benefit all of us.

In closing, I want to share one of the highlights of my year—our Civic Scholars program that brings high school students to Friday Forum programs. We encourage students to ask questions at the microphone and week after week, the questions from the students left the audience and our speakers blown away by their ability to cut to the heart of a matter. These future leaders–and, hopefully, City Club members—challenged us to dig deep and do better.

Thank you for the honor to serve you and here’s to another 100 years for the City Club of Portland!

Kourtney Nelson,
President, 2016-17

View City Club of Portland's 2016-17 Annual Report