Who is Philip Wolfe? He is a deaf man running for city council in Portland, Oregon. It’s not often we see a deaf person actually run for city council. The job of city council is an important role as they meet to propose bills, hold votes, and pass laws that will directly impact the community. We reached out to Philip to ask him why he picked the city of Portland, and why he wants to run for city council.
Philip: There are many reasons why I love Portland. The history, the feeling of charm, it’s the most breathtakingly beautiful town I have ever seen.
I have lived in many different cities. Usually, there are deaf services, deaf centers, interpreting services, and with many resources. But with Portland, unfortunately, the city is behind and needs to catch up with improvements. As the only deaf person, others will see that a deaf person can achieve running for city council. Deaf people are also a part of the community. Deaf people have perspectives that can benefit the community with collaboration.
In the future, I want to see deaf centers being established to provide service for all deaf, DeafBlind, and hard of hearing people related to mental health, interpreters, employment, and so on.
It’s unfortunate that not all cities provide deaf accessibility. Without deaf services, the Deaf, DeafBlind, Hard of Hearing communities struggle to receive services such as interpreting, access to health care, and finding employment. Philip Wolfe aims to change that for Portland, and we applaud his aspirations! Philip has a message for you, the Deaf community. If you live in Portland, vote for him on May 15th 2018!
Philip: I realized during the city council meeting, that the best way to influence, make changes, and empower the whole city, is to completely understand their wants and needs. I’m just like them. I’ve led a protest here in Portland and have been very involved with the community for different events. I’ve networked with many people in the Portland community including the city council through my employer. Yes, it’s time. Once I earn a place in the city council, things will change for the better with improvements which is why I’m running for city council.