Gwen and Roosevelt met in Portland where he spent most of his life. Together they share two adult children and one toddler grandson. Together they enjoy “getting out and enjoying the landscape”, meaning hiking, bicycling and walking. Gwen also enjoys reading, writing, music, attending plays, and visiting art museums. Roosevelt has also started playing pickleball again.
Roosevelt was introduced to logistics, i.e., dealing with the movement of equipment and personnel during his time in the U.S. Air Force. Interestingly, he learned to write backwards, i.e., mirror writing on large plexiglass display boards (before widespread use of computers) so command officers could see and track the status and location of equipment and operational units during Operational Readiness Inspections, a really, big deal in the military. After the Air Force, Roosevelt graduated from Portland State University with degrees in Geography and Urban Studies. Then he worked for the Port Authority at the Portland Airport where he applied his logic to solving problems through research. Roosevelt helped create the airport’s bird control program to address the bird strike problem, the aircraft noise abatement program, and an early parking management program to aid travelers in finding their cars after long vacations, particularly on dark, wet Portland nights. Gwen earned a Masters’ degree in Public Administration from the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill and her career focused on public service. Having worked in city, county and state governments, we could ask what she makes of the Portland commission form of government.
Both Gwen and Roosevelt were raised in the church. Roosevelt’s family was Southern Black Baptist and Gwen’s family was African Methodist Episcopal. While they deeply value these traditions, they felt drawn to the Episcopalian tradition when they lived in North Carolina and attended an Episcopal church that held jazz mass. When they moved back to Portland in 2015, they were looking for a welcoming, thoughtful church where they would “meet other people on the same journey.” For them, Grace meets those criteria. Here they aim to be “present, not perfect.”