Zack Barowitz's column on Emily Figdor's District 2 School Board win ("Go Figdor! Surprising School Board Landslide is a Big Biel for the Strim: And other subtexts of the November elections" in the December 6 issue) was misogynistic and did not credit Fidgor for her hard work, skills, and experience, the true causes of her election day victory. Barowitz attributes Figdor's win to her relationships with Mayor Ethan Strimling and her husband Steven Biel, a subtext that is demeaning and has no place in a discussion about women's leadership in 2018.
Emily Figdor knocked on thousands of doors, engaging voters in important conversations about our schools. She ran a smart campaign based on the knowledge she has gained from years of grassroots organizing. It may be a fair assumption that the political landscape in Portland is changing and Emily Figdor is part of that change. But her election is an effect of that wave because of who she is and what she stands for, not because of the men around her.
I co-chair the Reiche PTO with her and was on the steering committee of Protect our Neighborhood Schools with both she and [fellow Portland School Board candidate] Jeanne Swanton. They are both people I know well and respect greatly.