We’re celebrating five years of Sustainable Building Week and to help mark the occasion we’re launching Five Things: a series of interviews that connects our five years to you, Portland’s sustainability community. In the coming weeks, follow along as we share answers to five questions we’re posing to some of the biggest movers and shakers in our city, who are working to keep Portland green.
Describe what your day job is and what you do.
I direct a non-profit that serves Latino construction industry businesses and individuals. Every day, I meet with partners on ways we can bring support services to businesses; with public agencies on ways to remove barriers to supplier diversity goals; and with small business members to discuss ways we can increase their capacity.
Describe LatinoBuilt’s session at Sustainable Building Week.
Our session is an overview of the certification programs and specialization opportunities that exist for construction industry businesses in the emerging green building industry. My hope is that attendees will come away with some specific specialization certificates they will want to pursue as part of their business plan.
What does “sustainable” mean to you?
On the surface, it means it is designed to last indefinitely. Upon further analysis, this refers to meeting the needs of our present and future society in a way that does not render the planet uninhabitable for humans and other living species. Sustainability work requires a consistent focus on the social and environmental impacts of our economic decisions.
What inroads has Portland made and what still needs to be done to “keep Portland green?”
Our bones are still good and our river-oriented geography lends itself to a green identity. To stay green, Portland needs to reconcile what a grown-up urban version of Portland will be. Simply put, we need to figure out how to scale green as we grow the region.
Name a Portland (or Oregon) project or collaboration that has inspired you and tell us why you are inspired by it.
Hassalo on Eighth is a great example of what public-private collaboration can do. It’s a shame we have not been able to replicate it.