Introduction to Episode

My guest today is Emma Leigh Burke, who is running for City Council in Lake Oswego for the November general election. In today’s episode we talk about the importance of representation, our love of vote by mail, and how Emma will tackle issues important to her and to you when she’s elected to office.

Podcast Episode Summary

In our conversation, we discussed diversifying councils because making sure the people governing look like the community they represent allows for more stable communities. We discussed how important it is to have people with resources serve on Council because the work is unpaid, so you are looking for volunteers who can literally afford to serve. We discussed how child care can be a barrier and that parents looking to serve need the right combination of kids with the right temperament and flexible schedules. We discussed how council meetings can be exclusive, which makes it hard for members to literally see the community they represent and for that community to see their representatives.. Emma noted that we have an opportunity now where minds are expanded with what our communities and engagement can look like simply because of the accessibility of Zoom meetings..

We also discussed how people who serve in Lake Oswego, as teachers and maintenance workers for example, sometimes cannot afford to live in the community because of the housing prices. So, how would we reshape our cities by incentivizing those who serve to live there by providing something like a housing GI bill? Emma is also deeply committed to a police oversight and working to stabilize the commission for Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.


If we just amplify the voices that already exist, then that will be more representative of our community.

When people don’t vote they are wasting an opportunity to invest in their own future.

Vote by mail is really important, and our republican secretary of state vouches for it too. Democracy can be valued by everyone when everyone can exercise it.

Non partisan roles are sort of like, ‘Hey be a good neighbor.’

Recommended Resources

Emma on the web

Emma on Facebook

Emma’s personal page:

You can find Emma and me when we are advocating for family friendly policies at Family. Forward Oregon

For more information about Michelle, Balance Shared, events, and projects, please visit

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