I have lived in the city of La Grande for just over a year. One of the ways that helped me acclimate to this community was to attend the La Grande city council meetings each month. Magic happens when you observe a city council in person; you get to know what the community cares about, and you get to know your council representatives on a human level. (This is also a letter to advocate for civic involvement. More people should follow what happens on city council.)
One of the things I miss most about attending the city council meetings in person is watching how councilor Nicole Howard engages with the people of this community. No matter the concern, she comes prepared. She clearly does her homework regarding council decisions and is always ready to ask the fact-finding questions. Nicole also offers a sense of compassion to everyone with a civil concern. She carefully considers the needs of the full community and advocates for the betterment of La Grande. Once when she noticed two millennials were showing up to city council month after month, with no stake outside of interest in their community, Nicole introduced herself and asked how she could work for a better La Grande for us.
I see Nicole Howard as someone who deeply cares about our community, and is working to build bridges that make our city whole. I encourage everyone in La Grande to vote for Nicole Howard to serve another term on our city council.