Civic Engagement is central to APANO’s mission of ensuring that Asian and Pacific Islanders are fully engaged in the political process, and have opportunities to vote in elections. In order to inform and educate our members about the May 19th special election, we have reached out to candidates who are primarily running for seats on local school boards and institutions of higher education. We will be posting candidate responses (from only those who have responded) on a daily basis.

Candidates have been asked the following questions to engage more directly with constituents, and for voters to be more familiar with their vision and policies. We are giving equal opportunity to all major candidates in the race.


North Clackamas School District

Trisha Claxton

1. How are you qualified to represent the interests and concerns of diverse communities of color, immigrants and refugees?  

It may seem that a Caucasian woman who was born in Oregon might not be qualified to represent the interests and concerns of diverse communities, but at my heart I am a woman who listens and does her best to represent ALL people.  In my past four years on the Board, I helped to write the first ever Equity Policy in the district.  It was painstaking effort that was really worth it, so that the district finally had a guiding policy that protects the interests and concerns of the diverse communities.  Our district has over 50 different languages spoken in it, and it is important that all people and all ethnicities feel valued and protected within our district.

2. What policies and practices do you support that ensure all Asian and Pacific Islanders can be meaningfully engaged in the decision-making of the institution(s) you would represent if elected?  

Again, I just helped pen our first Equity Policy for the district.  The most important thing we will need to do going forward is analyze this Equity Policy for its impact on the district to make sure it is having a positive impact on the decision-making within the district.  So, we want to do a one-year analysis of the policy and adjust it as necessary.

3. Oregon currently graduates half of it’s English Language Learners, who make up 10% of the state’s K-12 student population. What policies will you support to ensure that students–including ones who identify as English Language Learner, have access to quality education and career-readiness programs after graduation?

North Clackamas has made a huge effort to implement Taking it Up and CEFEE training to help our staff better learn how to work better with our students of diverse backgrounds.  This is important training that needs to continue in the future.

4. Access to quality, affordable, and culturally competent health care ensures Oregonians are able to thrive and contribute. Please explain the policies you will support to increase access to care, and address health disparities, specifically for immigrants and refugees. We currently have a health center at Milwaukie High School.  

This is an essential place within our district that helps many many people.  As we move forward within the future, it will be nice to see this grow.

5. What policies relevant to your institution(s) do you support that strengthen economic opportunity and jobs for all communities in Oregon?  

Right now our economy in Oregon is still recovering from the recession.  Slowly, our district is beginning to build back jobs but it will take time.

Read more candidate responses here.