Tag Archives: Street Roots candidate interviews

Candidate interview: Mary Nolan

By Amanda Waldroupe, Staff Writer

Oregon Rep. Mary Nolan has been a name in politics for more than a decade down in Salem. Now she’s hoping to bend a few ears at City Hall. Nolan is in the race to unseat City Commissioner Amanda Fritz.

Nolan was first elected to serve downtown and Southwest Portland in 2000. She held a variety of leadership roles, including co-chairing the budget writing Ways and Means Committee, and as Democratic Caucus Leader and Speaker Pro-Tempore, the number two position to the Speaker of the House.

Before serving in the Legislature, Nolan was CEO of AvroTec, an aviation supplies company in Hillsboro. She also worked as director of Portland’s Bureau of Environmental Services.

Nolan attended Dartmouth College, majoring in mathematics. Her freshman year was the first year Dartmouth admitted women, and Nolan often was the only woman in her classes.

“For the most part, it was a non-event,” she says. “I had one professor who clearly was unhappy that the college had decided to admit women. He would ask occasionally for the female interpretation of this theorem or that theorem. I was able to handle my own, but it was a bit awkward.”

Those classroom experiences prepared Nolan, in some ways, for the professional world. Men still largely dominate the technical and engineering world, and there were many other times when Nolan found herself being the only woman in the room. “Being able to handle that with some aplomb is a very valuable skill,” she says.

Amanda Waldroupe: Why are you running for City Council?

Mary Nolan: The City Council needs to be more focused on providing efficient, respectful, and timely services that support our neighborhood livability, economic prosperity, and assure safety for all citizens. We’ve sort of become distracted over the last several years. Continue reading