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Tony Lamb
Tony Lamb


Graduation Year: 2018


Why did you choose to pursue a graduate education in planning at Portland State University?

I wanted to have a larger impact on equity work and wanted to do so in Portland. I was already working in Portland for a small community-based organization, but wanted to work in City government to create change.

What aspects of planning do you like best? Or, what is your favorite part about being a planner? 

I love how multi-faceted it is. I love that there are no simple solutions to "wicked" problems and that makes every single day different. Working with community is something I really enjoy and especially communities that have traditionally been locked out or not valued in the planning field. 

What planning subarea (or class topic) most interests you? Explain. 

I enjoy community, economic, and real estate development in particular. These three areas are where communities of color have traditionally been left out and/or behind. I want to see equitable outcomes as they relate to economic and real estate topics and believe that community development/power is the way to do so.

What advice would you offer someone considering a master’s degree in planning? 

Work with an organization centering low-income and communities of color that are also led by those groups; then apply for a master's degree in planning! Go learn the about the challenges and successes with community; then bring that lens into a program to earn some of technical analysis pieces. Community will teach you most of what you need to know and school will provide the rest of those technical tools you need to be successful. 

What have you done since obtaining your degree, including both professional and civic engagement?

I currently work in my dream job with the City of Portland Bureau of Planning and Sustainability on the Climate Action Plan and the Anti-Displacement Action Plan. I also am able to serve on a couple of oversight committee's with the Bureau of Transportation and serve on the Board of Directors for the Community Cycling Center. Additionally, I'm using my skills to help a couple of small grassroots organizations led by and serving the Black community.

What impact did the PPDA have on your ability to enter graduate school/obtain your MURP degree at PSU? 

I would not have been able to attend graduate school without the PPDA

What connections and experience did you gain from your PPDA? 

I was able to intern during school with the Bureau of Planning and Sustainability which led to my desire to successfully work for the bureau.