2023 'If I Were Mayor' Contest Winners

This is an annual contest sponsored by the Oregon Mayors Association (OMA) where students in grades 4-12 from all over Oregon share their creative and inspirational ideas of what their city would look like if they were mayor.

Lake Oswego received 30 entries, all creative and interesting. While not every entry could be selected as a winner, each was informative and helpful in understanding what is important to those who participated and their peers.

After considering all entries, first, second and third place winners were selected in the following categories:

  • Posters – Grades 4 and 5
  • Essays – Grades 6 through 8, with an addition of two Honorable Mentions

Clara Watson

Clara’s creative poster won 3rd place in the Poster category.

Clara shared what she would consider if she was mayor. Her ideas include:

  • Affordable homes for those without housing
  • Safe routes to school
  • More sidewalks

The City is committed to making Lake Oswego a welcoming and inclusive community for all. The ideas that Clara brought up align with many of the City Council's 2023 goals:

  • Ensure a safe and secure community for all
  • Foster diversity, equity and inclusion in Lake Oswego and in the City as an organization
  • Improve transportation connections, mobility and safety for all travelers and for all types of trips in Lake Oswego

Elise Irving

Elise's poster took 2nd place in the Poster (grades 4-5) category.

It definitely shows her well-rounded vision. Elise’s message about encouraging diversity through the business community aligns with our Council initiatives of supporting business investment, as well as developing and implementing inclusive community engagement practices. Elise also talked about building bird boxes to address our ecosystems.

Emma Irving

Emma’s thoughtful and colorful poster won 1st place in the Poster (grades 4-5) category.

Emma’s poster exudes an inclusive feel with a community garden available to address food insecurity and encourages more electric vehicle charging stations. Emma not only provided the “why”, but also how she would accomplish her goals.

As a 1st place winner, Emma was also entered in the Oregon Mayors Association's statewide contest for a chance to win up to $500.

There were so many well written essays that it was decided to recognize two people with an Honorable Mention.

Navya Jha – Honorable Mention

Navya’s essay articulated so many aspects of sustainability and affordable housing.

Wyatt Carlson – Honorable Mention

Wyatt’s essay focused on three rules to help the Lake Oswego community.

Megan Rim – 3rd Place

Along with her well-presented ideas, Megan’s writing style captured our attention. Megan conveyed the need for rapid re-housing by addressing the issue of houselessness, the need to provide therapy, intentional time and maybe even a toy for children who have been placed in foster care. Here is an impactful snippet from Megan’s essay:

“…I would like to help people and make a difference in their lives. But here’s the thing, I wouldn’t have to be mayor to do that.  Anybody can help people and make them happy. Anybody can help change the community they live in for the better. There’s no difference if I was mayor, or me. I want to change things for the better either way, I want to change this world, make it a greater place for everybody.”

Lucia Kovac – 2nd Place

Lucia presented an innovative idea based upon her observations and experiences. Lucia witnessed a pedestrian being propelled about 10 feet forward while coming in contact with a vehicle while crossing the street. Her compassion for him and his family sparked her to come up with the idea “LOGO.”

Sophia Lu – 1st Place

As a 1st place winner, Sophia was also entered in the Oregon Mayors Association's statewide contest for a chance to win up to $500.

Sophia’s well-written and extremely organized essay stood out in the category for a number of reasons. In addition to stating the desire to address important issues, Sophia:

  • Identifies issues, one being the homeless and their feeling of safety
  • Identifies a solution that included coordinating with various departments of the City of Lake Oswego, naming specific departments
  • Realizes the need for revenue to support the many programs and importance of fiscal responsibility

To everyone, we appreciate the time you spent presenting your ideas and enjoyed learning your unique perspective. We hope you stay involved as you grow older and consider participating as a Youth Advisor to the City in the future.

2023 OMA Statewide Contest—If I Were Mayor

This year, 26 cities participated and 17 essays were submitted for judging. A BIG congratulations to Sophia Lu for placing 1st in the statewide contest! Sophia will be recognized this August at the OMA Conference in Hood River.