For the spring 2018 primary election, RACC distributed a questionnaire to all candidates running for Portland City Council; Clackamas, Multnomah and Washington County Boards of Commissioners; and Metro Council. Each candidate was asked five questions on March 13 or 14, and given the opportunity to respond by March 30 when this story was first published. RACC will continue to publish responses from candidates even after the deadline has passed.
Here are the responses provided by Peter Winter, running for Clackamas County Board of Commissioners, Position 2. All responses are reprinted verbatim from what the candidates sent us.
RACC: In what specific ways have you supported arts and culture in Clackamas County?
PW: My message of building vibrant communities outlined on www.votepeterwinter.com encourages development that allows citizens to live, work and play in their communities. This requires a commitment towards arts and culture to allow for well balanced and healthy population.
RACC: Artists and arts organizations add measurable value to the county’s economy, our education system and healthy communities – three of Clackamas County’s key performance measures. How would YOU describe the importance of arts and culture in our community, and what should Clackamas County be doing to support this sector?
PW: As someone that has lived abroad in Asia for three years I am keenly aware of the importance of promoting arts and cultures in our communities. Integrating art and differing cultures into our daily lives promotes an environment of learning and understanding. I’d like to support the arts by encouraging more growth in schools and training centers in the private market. The county should offer grants to non-profit businesses that promote education of the arts and provide learning opportunities to experience different cultures.
RACC: Many schools in Clackamas County are participating in The Right Brain Initiative, which infuses dance, music, visual art and other creative activities into science, language arts, math and other subjects. Rigorous evaluative data has demonstrated that this approach leads to better teachers and more engaged students with improved test scores. Do you support public investments in programs like these to support student learning in Clackamas County?
PW: I firmly believe that we are doing are kids a disservice by eliminating these valuable teaching opportunities in our schools. An economy grows when creative innovators fill a niche in the market and if we encourage more exploration in our kids learning we can likely see the returns in our future generation of leaders.
RACC: How can RACC and Clackamas County do a better job of providing arts experiences for underrepresented populations, including rural communities, people of color, people with disabilities and underserved neighborhoods?
PW: I think Clackamas County should collaborate with RACC to help make rural communities aware of the programs and opportunities available and to encourage students to become more involved in the arts. I would like to see the county providing some facilities at no costs to allow members of the community to perform in front of an audience.
RACC: What are some of your other priorities for Clackamas County that would be of interest to artists, arts organizations and arts educators in our community?
PW: I am running on a platform of innovation that encourages all of us to come together to contribute so that we may tackle some of our most pressing social issues. As a child I was exposed to arts, ceramics, foreign languages, and music that has allowed me to develop a creative side, which I seek to incorporate into my professional career. I’m not sure if I’d have such a creative side had I not been exposed to these highly critical programs. I love travel and have seen some very inspiring elements in cities that I hope to bring to our region.