Dr. Lisa Bates, Portland State Associate Professor of Urban Studies and Planning, has been named the first ever recipient of the Ed Sullivan Housing Advocate Award. Bates was presented with the award in honor of her long standing achievements and role in affordable housing advocacy.
The Organization of Housing Land Advocates announced the winner at its annual conference back on Nov. 6.
Ed Sullivan, co-founder of HLA, and former legal counsel to the Governor of Oregon and retired partner in the Portland Office of Garvey Schubert Barer, discussed some of the reasons Bates was chosen for the award.
“[Bates’] academic work and personal activism sets the stage and provides much of the data for the rest of the housing advocacy community to base its arguments,” Sullivan said. “I am so pleased that Professor Bates will be HLA’s first recipient of this award.”
The HLA will present one award every year to someone who exemplifies Sullivan’s deep commitment to thoughtful land use planning and access to adequate and affordable housing.
Bates teaches at PSU’s Toulan School of Urban Studies and Planning and is the Director of the Center for Urban Studies. For the past 15 years she has helped housing policy and planning in Portland, Chicago and post-Hurricane Katrina New Orleans.
She focuses on issues including the displacement of minorities caused by gentrification and particularly issues of institutionalized racism in policy design and implementation.
Social justice is a major part of advocacy, and that’s exactly what Bates and the HLA are promoting through this award. By demonstrating a need for activism in housing policy and awarding major influences that are a part of it, it brings light to the need for more people to know about its importance.
Jennifer Bragar, HLA President and a partner at Garvey Schubert Barer, also commented on the work Bates has carried out to warrant her recent recognition.
“We are thrilled to be able to recognize [Bates] for her longstanding advocacy of affordable housing, while also paying tribute to [Sullivan’s] founding of HLA and the legacy he has built throughout the Oregon land use community to promote equity,” Bragar said.
Students looking to find out more about advocacy in their communities can look into some of the organizations Bates serves on like; 1000 Friends of Oregon, N/NE Housing Strategy Oversight Committee, and the Portland African-American Leadership Forum’s People’s Plan.
For more information about housing planning and advocacy programs can go to pdx.edu/cupa where they will find The College of Urban and Public Affairs.