Mary Ann Schwab has been awarded the Spirit of Portland Award this year recommended by Commissioner Fritz for the Right 2 Dream Too award. A very active and vital Portland resident whose crusading spirit and compassion for her fellow man have lead her to advocate for the public for years, Mary Ann and her husband Erwin raised their three sons in the Sunnyside neighborhood. While her children were young, she volunteered as the St. Stephen’s Pack 90 Cub Scout and Webelos Leader as well as participating in their after school CYO Swim Program and was employed at Portland Public Schools for many years.


Mary Ann pictured with her “Tree of Life” quilt and Lauren Moomaw, TaborSpace Program Director

Mary Ann pictured with her “Tree of Life” quilt and Lauren Moomaw, TaborSpace Program Director

Schwab’s advocacy for the citizens of Portland and the state of Oregon really kicked into high gear after her “retirement” and she has served on the Sunnyside Neighborhood Association Board, Southeast Uplift Board of Directors, SNA Emergency Preparedness Committee, City’s Crime Prevention Committee, City’s Liquor License Advisory Committee, City-Wide Land Use Committee, No Apartment Parking Task Force, and the OLCC Advisory Committee Exterior Area Package (Food Carts). She’s testified in Salem on numerous House and Senate Bills and has joined efforts to start and maintain funding for the Sun United Neighborhoods.

In an effort to protect the iconic salmon runs, Schwab joined forces with Food and Water to cancel the City of Cascade Locks Water Transfers T-11108 and T-11249. A member of the League of Women Voter’s, Friends of Mt. Tabor Reservoirs, Coalition for Livable Futures, the Children’s Club Board of Directors, she also attended three City Budget Review public meetings, lobbying City Council to maintain current funding for SUN, Safe Routes to Schools, Buckman Pool and Sellwood Community Center open and to fund the Intergovernmental Office in Salem, and fund the East County Plan all within OUR Two Minute Clock.

For relaxation, she joins friends as a member of the Northwest Quilters and participates in their many humanitarian projects. She likes to crochet and has made 139 afghans while watching replays on Channel 30 of City Council meetings.

In 2007 Schwab was the 14th recipient of the Gladys McCoy Award for lifetime volunteer achievement. She came in third out of eight contestants in her bid for City Commissioner trying to unseat Incumbent Randy Leonard.

Mary Ann takes volunteerism to another level. She has passion for and an interest in the lives of the people in her community. She is the spokesperson for those without a voice. She cares deeply about issues that will make a difference not only for the here and now but for future of our society.

On behalf of myself and the staff at The Southeast Examiner, we congratulate you, Mary Ann Schwab.

“Inscribed into Portland’s Skidmore Fountain you will see these words: ‘Good Citizens are the Riches of a City.’ I think that is also the message behind the Spirit of Portland Awards. For truly, where would we be without those citizens who step up, volunteer, lead, and find solutions to problems in their community?” says Mayor Hales.

The awards ceremony will be Tuesday, November 12, 7 pm at East Portland Community Center, 740 SE 106th Ave. N/T

Other SE Portland awards for this year:


• Neighborhood Association of the Year:

Mt. Scott: Arleta Neighborhood Association


• Outstanding Organization:

Dennis’ 7 Dees (For-Profit)


• Posthumous awards for outstanding lifetime achievements for community and neighborhood engagement:

Lee Perlman

Afifa Ahmed-Shafi