I’m writing to explain why I’m supporting Bree LaCasse, the leader of the effort to revive Congress Square Park, for an at-large seat on the Portland City Council.

Eight years ago, while living in Scarborough, I had a stroke. For years, I worked to regain the ability to walk and talk, but I felt isolated and decided to move to 10 Congress Square Plaza in Portland, down the block from Congress Square Park.

I wanted to be part of a vibrant community where I could readily interact with people of all ages and backgrounds, and thanks to Bree, that’s what I found.

Congress Square Park affords me the connection I was missing in my life. The park is the center of my community now. I water the plants there and attend all the wonderful free programming with my neighbors. It’s actually helping me to get a little better every day.

I’m so grateful to Bree LaCasse and friends for having the vision to see how wonderful the park could be and for taking action to transform it into the gem in the heart of the city that it always should have been. As a member of the city’s Disability Advisory Committee, I see first-hand how the park is transforming the lives of people with limited mobility and means.

I know Bree will do a good job on the City Council at making sure Portland grows as a thoughtful, vibrant and inclusive place, just like she did in Congress Square Park.

Karen Perry