2015 Portland School Board Election: Julie Esparza Brown Enters

A new candidate has entered the field for the May Portland School Board elections.

Julie Esparza Brown, an associate professor of special education at Portland State University, announced over the weekend that she's running for Ruth Adkins' seat representing Southwest Portland. Adkins, who's served two terms, hasn't said publicly whether she'll run again, although Brown's entrance seems to suggest Adkins is bowing out.

A former teacher and school psychologist in Southern California and Vancouver, Wash., Brown moved to PSU around 2000 to direct the university's Bilingual Teacher Pathways program, where she worked with school districts to help train teachers.

"I bring an insider-outsider perspective in a unique way," says Brown.

Brown, 57, identifies as third-generation Chicana, which makes her unique in another way.

Six of seven current board members are white in a district where white students comprise only 56 percent of the population. The seventh member, Matt Morton, is Native American. It doesn't appear he's running again.

Brown's children are 23, 28 and 29.

Andrew Davidson, a first-year student at PSU, is also in the race for Adkins seat.

Correction: An earlier version of this article said Brown moved to Portland in 2000; she took a job at Portland State University then, but she lived in Washington until 2012.

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