As part of our original 2021 Don’t Count Portland Out series, we
asked dozens of community and business leaders for one of two
things. We wanted to hear their “Portland Stories,” detailing their
background in the Rose City and how it shaped their desire to,
among the region’s myriad challenges a year ago, make Portland

We further asked some of the changemakers for their “Big Ideas”
that the powers-that-be could cull in hopes of improving the plight
of all denizens.

A year later, we’re checking in with a handful of those who’d
weighed in to get updates on their stories, ideas and outlooks for
Portland going forward.

Name: Graciela Gomez Cowger
Title: CEO, Schwabe, Williamson & Wyatt PC

What she said one year ago: What gives me hope for Portland is
seeing the same spirit of community I saw on my front porch the
first day I moved to the Pacific Northwest become even stronger
today. Amid multiple crises colliding in our city this last year, we
haven’t lost sight of what matters, the strength of our belief in the
common good.

What she’s saying now: “The sense of community in Portland is still
as vibrant as ever. There’s a heightened effort and urgency to
collaborate among businesses. I see it almost daily in my
professional networks — leaders, competitors, and companies
working towards one common goal for the city’s betterment.

“I have no doubt Portland will come back stronger. It might take
longer than we thought, but it will. Our economic engine is partly
powering forward due to our business community’s commitment to
livable wages and equitable job opportunities. Local businesses
have learned to navigate the pandemic and gained strength in its

Read the full article in the Portland Business Journal here.

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