Lew Frederick learned the importance of public service as a young man in Atlanta during the height of the civil rights movement, where a mentor once told him “Use the talents and opportunities you have. You’re supposed to make this world better for those who come after you.”
That mentor was the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Those words, reinforced by his parents’ example, led Lew to a career in public service. They still influence him deeply today, always urging him to make a difference, especially for young people.
A resident and deeply involved community member of Northeast Portland since 1974, Lew Frederick is running for State Representative to honor those who came before and to fulfill his commitment to those who will follow. He’s spent his career in public service, with two years teaching classes at the Metropolitan Learning Center, 17 years as a radio and television reporter with 62KGW/Channel 8 KGW-TV, thirteen years as Director of Public Information at Portland Public Schools, Assistant to the President at Portland Community College and, most recently, two years on the State Board of Education, in addition to his public-interest oriented consulting work.
Lew will bring this lifetime of experience to Salem, where he wants to continue to advocate for the betterment of our community.
Lew has spent decades making a difference for our community’s children.
At the Metropolitan Learning Center in the mid 70’s, Lew taught K-12 classes in basic skills, philosophy, literature, cultural studies, current controversies, and more. His kindergarten students now introduce Lew to their own elementary school children with pride. In the late 80’s and early 90’s, Lew organized gatherings in his living room of Irvington fifth graders and more than 90 successful professionals from diverse fields to open the youngsters’ eyes to the opportunities available to them. Years later, Lew frequently runs into students who thank him for this guidance and credit it with leading them to their careers.
While working for Portland Public Schools, Lew worked on countless programs including Adopt an Adult, the Sexual Minority Task Force, The 1996 March for Our Schools, Start Making a Reader Today, Principal for a Day, Community and Parents for Public Schools, DADS and the Superintendent’s Student Advisory Council which brought the student’s perspective directly to high level officials. He facilitated communication between the district leadership and the community, two-way communication. He also assisted other districts with crisis communications, including a number of infamous school shootings and disasters.
And for the past two years, Lew has served on the State Board of Education, where decisions have to work for Burns as well as they do for NE Portland.
Education doesn’t end at three o’clock or when school gets out in June – our students deserve more. For more on Lew’s ideas for our education system, click here.
Lew knows first-hand the devastating impacts of our present health care system.
Lew himself has dealt with prostate cancer and related complications, resulting in burdensome medical bills, even after insurance paid its share. His family has dealt with the challenges of “pre-existing conditions” and conditions not covered by inadequate insurance. He’s worked with families dealing with the devastation caused by drug addiction. Health care is not an abstract issue for Lew – it is near and dear to his heart.
The problems we face are not insurmountable – Oregon can save money and provide better health services, leading the way for the Nation. For more on Lew’s ideas to improve our health care system, click here.
Lew has a unique perspective on our economic troubles – and solutions.
As shop steward of his union (the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists – AFTRA), Lew negotiated what still stands today as the only reporters’ union shop contract in a Portland area TV station, winning 32 of 33 concessions. Lew knows the power of organized labor and its role in protecting living-wage jobs, and he’s advocated not just for working families, but also for those who wish they were working.
As a TV and radio reporter, Lew kept us informed of some of the biggest stories of the time, and developed a deep understanding of local, regional and global economic challenges. He helped us understand how threats to air, water and land relate to economic pressures.
Lew brought that understanding to Northwest Ideas, LLC, a strategic communications consulting firm specializing in community relations, politics and science. Most recently, he interviewed stakeholders in North and Northeast Portland to learn what challenges minority-owned and other local small businesses faced and how urban renewal can do more to help.
Lew’s ability to listen to the community is unparalleled, and the stories he’s heard have given him a deep understanding of the solutions. For more on Lew’s ideas to improve our local economy, click here.
Lew is a listener and a leader – he’s ready to bring those qualities to Salem.