BY JESSICA RIDGWAY
How State Representative Julie Parrish (House District 37) balances life between work and play.
BY JESSICA RIDGWAY
"I’ve had a lot of different careers and a lot of different opportunities to try new experiences,” says Rep. Julie Parrish (R-West Linn). A member of the House Committee on Education and House Committee on Transportation and Economic Development, Parrish is also CEO of PIP Communications, a data management service, and a self-described “soccer mom with a minivan.” The native Oregonian lives in West Linn with her husband, Mark, and their three sons: Max, 14, Tucker, 12, and Gage, 11. “We also have a boy dog,” says Parrish, “so there’s a lot of testosterone in our house.”
“I describe myself as someone who is tenacious. I don’t give up on the things I care about, and I’m not afraid to work hard and to work long hours. My husband would say that I am loyal, probably unfailingly so, even if it’s not in my best interest to be. I really do believe in people, and I believe strongly that you have to give people their best chance in life.”
“I recently sold a company called Coupon Girl — we ran coupon forums online for women. I consider myself a ‘couponer’; it’s been one of those things where we’ve been able to save a huge chunk of money, which, when you’re raising three boys and they eat you out of house and home, it’s critical. I used to track [my coupon savings] in a spreadsheet, and over five years we saved $55,000.”
“If you’re a poor, low-income, minority child locked into a failing school in Portland and you want out of that school, it is very difficult to find another pathway to a better education. How do we solve the challenges of having the lowest education outcomes in the state? How do we make sure kids are feeling connected to the material? I think we’ve lost instilling the love of learning in our kids. I think it’s time to think of how we do education and how to do it differently.”
“When my husband was deployed to Iraq, one of the things that helped us get through that year was having a lot of adventures planned for the kids to make time go faster. I loaded up the children into the minivan and drove them to Alaska. It was an amazing time and a lifetime opportunity experience that probably would not have come, frankly, if my husband had not been deployed. I wouldn’t have picked up the kids by myself and said, ‘We’re going to Alaska!’”
“I view public policies as a puzzle: finding all the pieces to the puzzle and putting them together. I thrive in that kind of environment, and public policymaking is that: building coalitions and working toward an idea and selling that idea. It’s very entrepreneurial, because once your idea has passed, you’re on to the next one. So being someone who’s a serial entrepreneur — being a lawmaker has that same kind of intensity.”
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