THE LOWENSTEIN TRUST
2012 Awardee Named
The Steve Lowenstein Trust Board is proud to have
selected William West, community activist, organizer,
The Arc of Multnomah/Clackamas
to receive the 2013 Lowenstein Trust
First presented in 1992, this annual award is given to the
nominee who has demonstrated, in the judgment of the
Trustees, a significant personal contribution to assisting
the underserved in the City of Portland. The formal
presentation of the Award took place on Wednesday, December
12th 2012, at 9:30am in Portland City Council.
William West celebrated by Portland City Council and Lowenstien Trust Board
William “Bill” West has dedicated over 30 years of his life to advocating for and assisting Portland, Multnomah County, and Clackamas County community members who are working through the challenges presented by developmental disabilities.
William West with Lowenstein Trust Board Chair Michelle Harper
Whether it is finding lodging, counseling, medical assistance, housing or legal services Mr. West has been there for the community he has chosen to serve. Bill has assisted hundreds if not thousands to navigate daunting, seemingly impenetrable bureaucracies. His work has often made the difference between a person’s independence or institutionalization.
William West, with family, friends, colleagues, and Lowenstein Trust Board members
Up to the year 2000, when Fairview Training center was closed, Mr. West was an advocate for those who were housed there. He also helped with growth of Portland area and state chapters of People First of Oregon, the state’s leading advocacy group run by and for people with developmental disabilities. The ripple effect was felt around the nation as those with mental disabilities embraced the idea that a mental disability does not mean surrendering the right and responsibility to speak for themselves. Additionally, while Fairview was open, Bill worked as advocate during hearings for residents with particularly difficult personal circumstances, helping to make sure their rights and best interests were respected.
Lowenstein Trust Awardee William West and Family
In recent years Mr. West has focused his attention on helping local governments. Working with the developmentally disabled community, he helps public agencies understand the pressing need for policies and procedures - particularly in law enforcement – designed to enable employees to recognize and supportively engage people with developmental disabilities. Mr. West is deeply committed to reducing the likelihood that interactions with developmentally disabled individuals will turn into in needless, dangerous, or tragic confrontations.
For his years of compassion and dedication to the safety, welfare and independence of vulnerable, underserved, and too frequently invisible members of our community, the Board of the Lowenstein Trust is proud to name William West the recipient of the 2012 Lowenstein Trust Award.
Photos: Art Alexander, Charlie Williamson
Steve Lowenstein was an
inspiring model of public service. His sense of purpose,
his integrity, and his perseverance inspired many who have
worked on issues of human rights and social justice. He
joined the Peace Corps after law school in the early 1960s
and wrote a textbook on Ethiopian law. He worked in
Washington DC for the Office of Economic Opportunity and in
Chile for the Ford Foundation. He was founding Director of
Oregon Legal Services, authored a groundbreaking
Jews of Oregon 1850-1950—and
at the time of his death in 1990 had served for six years
as Executive Assistant to former City Commissioner Mike
The Award -Steve liked most to have an impact from behind the scenes. His will established a board managed endowed trust fund for the Lowenstein Trust award with the following stipulation:
“The recipient of the Lowenstein Trust Award shall be that person who demonstrated (in the opinion of the Trustees) the greatest contribution to assisting the poor and underprivileged in the city of Portland, Oregon. Each year the recipient must be in need of these funds to help carry on his or her work and must use the award to further the type of work for which it was given.”
Art Alexander, Linda Dobson, Jamaal Folsom, Sandra Haefker, Michelle Harper, Margery Harris, Joe Hertzberg, Paul Kelly, Mike Lindberg, Ron Paul, David Thornburgh, Charles R. Williamson
Gretchen Kafoury, Chris Lowenstein, Lee Rosner, Bev Stein
Contact/ Mail Contributions:
The Lowenstein Trust
c/o Charles R. Williamson
520 SW Yamhill St., Suite 600
Portland, Oregon 97204-1329