An advocate, not an activist

Tammy Kunz doesn’t consider herself an activist, instead she is someone who advocates for her city. 

As president of the Greater Northeast Keizer Neighborhood Association Kunz speaks before the city council and city committees to apprise those bodies of what is happening and what the needs are. 

She is a member of a city body herself, sitting on the Community Diversity Engagement Committee. Her volunteerism doesn’t end there, though. She is also a member of Keizer United board, the Kennedy Neighborhood Family Council, MTSAP Steering Committee, Keizer Neighborhood Watch and Keizer CERT, all the better to keep her neighborhood apprised of what is happening that can affect the northeast part of the city. 

“This may seem like a lot and it is, but it is really important for me to share the information I receive…with my community,” Kunz wrote. 

Neighborhood associations are formally recognized by Keizer (there are five associations throughout the city); they are the first stop for citizens who want to share an idea, solution or file a complaint to the city. Residents are encouraged to attend the meeting of whatever committee has jurisdiction over the issue at hand. In turn a representative from the committee makes a monthly report to the city council, which can then decide to address the issue at hand, or not. Generally the resolution of an issue is directed to the appropriate city department. 

Kunz gives Keizer a nine on a scale of 10 for its relationships with the neighborhood associations. She said the associations are working on an ordinance to make the work they do in the community more effective. 

“I am a compassionate person, one who cares about the wellbeing of others,” said Kunz. “I am capable of providing encouragement to those who need extra help in finding their own inspiration to reach their goals.” 

Kunz is confident in her abilities to perform the duties of the association president due to what she has been through. 

“I have been through the mill and acquired my GED, as well as two associates degrees in elementary education and business administration. I graduated with honors in my business degree and am having a bachelor in business administration with a minor in Project Management. I did this while going to school online, even being homeless I was able to do degree program online work and not fall behind. This shows my determination to complete what I start,” said Kunz. 

There are three issues her neighborhood association is focused on: 

Northview Terrace is in need of a handicap accessible bathroom for children to use while they play at the park. 

“Sidewalks are vital to achieve safety for our children getting to and from school. I am going to be working with Safe Route to Schools as Kennedy Elementary is in need of sidewalks to allow our kids a safe route to school,” Kunz said. 

The main issue is Verda Lane, especially between Chemawa Road NE and Dearborn Avenue NE, where the Verda Crossing apartment complex is nearing completion. Area residents are calling for sidewalks on both sides of Verda Lane and crosswalks at Dixon and May Streets. 

Tammy Kunz and partner Jim Jones moved to Keizer to be closer to his mother, who passed away six years ago. The couple have children living across the country. 

Kunz will continue in her various roles to make Keizer a better place to live. To that end she would like to see more sidewalks, more connections with people in the community, safer ways to cross streets, better lighting for parks and more ADA parks for those families who need them. 

As president of the Greater Northeast Keizer Neighborhood Association and her seats on other groups, Kunz will use her talents to make it so.