Keenen, a commercial real estate broker, says he wants to serve as a voice for Millennials as the city sets future priorities

KEENENMatt Keenen is the youngest candidate running for City Council, a 29-year-old who calls himself “a Millenial who moved back here and decided he wanted to be part of the policy discussion to shape the next decades.”

“If Lake Oswego is going to continue to prosper," Keenen said, "we need to be able to attract people of my age group.”

Keenen will compete for one of three council seats that are up for grabs in the November election. Candidates had until the end of day Tuesday to collect the required 20 signatures and file the necessary paperwork to run.

Born in Okinawa, Japan, Keenen moved to Lake Oswego with his family when he was three years old. He graduated from Portland State University with a history degree, and after a few years of living in downtown Portland, he decided to return to his hometown.

“I just like Lake Oswego,” Keenen said. “It’s an easier place to live.”

Now a commercial real estate broker, Keenen’s got some strong professional and personal perspectives on Lake Oswego’s development future.

“The City of Lake Oswego needs to really decide what it is that we want in terms of future development, and how it is that we’re going to get there,” Keenen said. “There needs to be a serious look at development codes, and a serious look at how urban renewal dollars are spent. Really, how are we going to revitalize retail in Lake Oswego? That’s the main goal.”

Does that revitalization include the current proposal to redevelop the Wizer Block?

“As a commercial real estate professional, I understand the motivation behind wanting to build a project like that there," he said. "However, there’s a lot of planning that went into the East End plan, and a lot of that was to create a compact shopping district. I think that should be upheld.”

Keenen, who has been a member of the city’s Transportation Advisory Board since December, says setting spending priorities is critical.

“I think that transportation in Lake Oswego is under a lot of pressure, in terms of regional perspective, to invest in multi-modal transportation,” Keenen said. “In other areas of the region, I don’t disagree with it. But Lake Oswego currently does not have a whole lot of money, and we do have a street system that needs to be repaired and maintained. So putting our resources toward maintaining our streets should be the number one priority."

Contact Saundra Sorenson at 503-636-1281 ext. 107 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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