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Kendall Clawson appointed to Governor’s office team, leaving Q Center

Kendall Clawson at the Q Center's ribbon cutting

It’s been a week since Governor-elect John Kitzhaber announced the appointment of his closest aids. I would like to join with the rest of the queer community in congratulating Q Center‘s Kendall Clawson‘s hiring as Director of Executive Appointments.

This is a joyous, if slightly bittersweet, occasion, but will ultimately benefit the entire LGBT community. The Q Center might be losing its first permanent Executive Director, and a great one at that, but she will be in a position of power in the Gov’s office, a queer voice in our state politics.

Cory Murphy of Pride Northwest noted, “Kendall deserves this, but all of the LGBTQ com­munity will benefit because Kendall will be on the forefront of making sure every board and commission will represent the views of women, people of color, differently-abled, low- and middle-income folks as well as the LGBTQ community. Kitz has really fulfilled a pledge here to our community.”

Clawson will not be easy to replace, but the Q Board of Directors has already begun a national search. They have also created a volunteer search committee made up of current and former board members.

The decision to leave was a difficult one for Clawson. “I toiled over it; I’m not gonna kid you,” said Clawson, who was offered the position following several meetings over the holidays. “It’s literally like having to hand over my child. But I trust the people I work with, and I trust the community to do everything they can to embrace it and make sure [Q Center] continues to grow.”

At the moment she’s pulling some double duty, continuing to aid the Q Center even though she has already started her new job recruiting for the boards and commis­sions that help the executive branch manage the state’s resources.

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