Neighborhood leader responds to Beaverton Valley Times' survey

Alton Harvey Sr.

Age: 75

Family: Married to Mary L. Harvey; two sons, Alton Harvey Jr. and Derrick K. Harvey; daughter, Pechina S. Harvey; and two grandchildren, Beronsha and Brandi Harvey

Job and education background:

Job: Retired commercial truck driver/ safety director

Education: Englewood High School. Attended Chicago State University for four years, no degree; 18 months at John Marshall School of Law, no degree, a special program designed for community activism.

Neighborhood you live in: Neighbors SouthwestAlton Harvey Sr.

Length of time living in Beaverton: I re-located from Chicago, Illinois, to Beaverton on Oct. 1, 1995.

City involvement and community service experience:

I began my service in Beaverton in about 1999. I served on the Beaverton Human Rights Advisory Commission from 1999 until 2012. I’m presently serving as chairman of Neighbors SW Neighborhood Association Committee for about 10 years. I’m the founder and chairman of a community program Get to Know Your Neighbor, formed in 2002 after our horrifying experience of (911) 2001. I’m a co- founder and member of a Multi-Cultural Advisory Council for the FBI of Oregon and Southwest Washington. I’m presently serving in my fifth year of an eight-year term on the Oregon Board of Dentistry as a public member and was recently nominated to serve as its vice president.

What skills, knowledge and experiences do you bring to the City Council?

I believe with my background and experiences I will be a greater asset for helping to advance this great city. I have the ability to create a working deluge with businesses and residences to make all exchanges work for the benefit of all.

Why are you running?

Again, I’m running to bring my ideas and experiences to a higher level with the hope that some of my ideas can help advance our city.

How should the city prioritize spending?

I can’t answer that question, because I do not know what the city’s budget and the expenses are at this time. But if I’m elected, then I will better understand and then I will be able to answer that question.

What community issues have you tackled at the neighborhood, Planning Commission or City Council level? Have you worked to resolve or address a concern within Beaverton?

As the chair of Neighbors SW Neighborhood Association Committee, we were able to provide access to the citizens of the community with the businesses in the community. We were able to help three people last year gain employment just by staying visible and working with the businesses as to learning what the community can provide. In 2014, we will celebrate our seventh year of what we call our Neighbors Night Out event, where businesses come and display and advertise their goods.

What’s one issue the City Council tackled that you wish had turned out differently? What went wrong?

I believe the vitalization of the new downtown idea wasn’t thought through very well.

What is an initiative you feel turned out well, and what made it work?

Moving the City Hall into The Round.

The city faces a number of looming issues. What should leaders deal with now, and how? Which should be priorities for later?

I believe the best way to begin to work on and resolve the issues that the city is faced with is have the council work first as a group to identify some of the issues and then have each bring their opinions and ideas together and work on them one at a time.

What should voters know about you?

The voters should know that I will serve one people, the citizens of Beaverton, regardless of their party, color, belief, or orientation. The future of Beaverton is: One City, One People, With One Purpose.

How do you plan to encourage citizen involvement/engagement within the community?

My plan is to utilize the strengths of the businesses in the communities by involving the citizens of the communities as we’ve done for the last six years in Neighbors SW. And, we’ve realized a resounding success.

What distinguishes you from your opponents?

I believe we all have our ideas. But I have a long life with various experiences that I've gained from a very diverse background. That’s what distinguishes myself from the other candidates.

What is your leadership style and how will you work with the mayor, other members of the council and city staff?

My style is quite unique. I’m very observing. I listen to those who I’m leading to make sure I hear everyone’s voice. And the part about working with the Mayor, that’s easy — learn what his vision is and assist him in what I can do to help him reach it, as long as it means serving the people of Beaverton.

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