Landslide victory elects Gabrielle Rossi

Find out how, in her first political outing, this member of the outer East Portland Rossi family, won her office – as a write-in candidate

Many people gather in the Rossi Farms barn in Parkrose to celebrate the election of Gabrielle Rossi to public office.

Story and photos by David F. Ashton

The mood was low key, but definitely celebratory inside the Rossi Farm barn, the evening of December 13. As many as 150 people gathered, not for a holiday party, but instead, to commemorate the election of fifth-generation Parkrose farmer, Gabrielle Rossi, to public office.

Although her name wasn’t on the ballot, a successful write-in campaign elected Rossi as East Multnomah Soil & Water Conservation District (EMCSWD) Director of Zone 1.

Supporters Tim Bernasek and David Zehntbauer spend a moment with Gabrielle Rossi.

“My path to this was that I’m on the Board of Directors of the Multnomah County Farm Bureau, and EMCSWD representatives attend our meetings,” Rossi began.

“When people at EMCSWD said it would be good to have a local farmer, already involved in the Farm Bureau, become a Director for their organization, over the last year it put the seed in my head – pun intended – to think about running for a seat on their Board,” Rossi told East Portland News at the event. “When the Zone 1 Director vacated the position, it was after the ballots were sent out – and we learned a few other people were running for the office.”

Gabrielle credits her dad, Joe Rossi, with spearheading her campaign.

Her grass-roots effort sprouted and grew after her dad, Joe Rossi, contacted many of the family’s long-time friends and supporters. “It was a word-of-mouth campaign that went viral,” Rossi explained.

Clearly, the campaign was successful, according to results certified by the Multnomah County Elections Office, Rossi as a write-in gathered 2,886 votes; her opponent, who was on the ballot, garnered 1,434.

Joe Rossi talks with supporters at the celebration event.

The area she will serve as Zone 1 Director is bounded by the Sandy River on the east, the Willamette River on the west, the Columbia River on the north, and East Burnside Street on the south. It includes the area in which her family has farmed for 138 years.

“What I would like to do is be the liaison between the urban and rural divide,” Rossi remarked. “This includes encouraging residents to do ‘just a little bit of good’ right in their own back yards to help soil and water conservation.”

Newly-elected EMCSWD Zone 1 Director Gabrielle Rossi tells supporters she plans to continue to support of the environment while she represents her area of outer East Portland.

Encouraged to talk to her supporters, Rossi took the microphone and said, “Thank you; I truly could not have done this without all of your enthusiasm and your support. I will do my best to represent this area of Multnomah County, and Parkrose in particular.”

Learn more about EMCSWD, including the many free classes they offer, by visiting their official website: CLICK HERE.

© 2019 David F. Ashton ~ East Portland News™



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