Ashley Coates

Last December, I moved back to Portland after having lived in Seattle for the past eight years. I began working at Coates Kokes as a Senior Account Manager, and one of the first clients I started working on was Metro, the governing agency for the three counties that make up the greater Portland area (Multnomah, Washington and Clackamas). Having been gone from Portland for so long, I was glad to be working on projects that gave me a nice re-introduction to the city.

The first Metro project I worked on was creating social media content for Regional Transportation Options, a program that helps to plan for and encourage the use of public transit and other alternatives to single occupancy vehicles (SOV). For a city of our size, the number of public transit options we have is pretty impressive, not to mention just how walkable and bike-able Portland is. Personally, I’ve enjoyed taking the new streetcar into work. (Well, at least it’s new to me.) It feels good to be contributing towards Metro’s overall goal of having 50% of commute trips be non-SOV by the year 2035. Think we can do it?


This summer, CK also kicked off an online campaign pointing people to Metro’s Tools for Living page, an online resource for questions about garbage and recycling, green living, and public transportation. It was pretty cool to learn about the many different resources and sustainable programs in our region. For example, did you know that every Saturday from March through November Metro offers free hazardous waste collection? (I’m going to remember this the next time I have paint to dispose of.) And Cooper Mountain Nature Park has a demonstration garden that teaches people how to have a natural, pesticide-free garden. (I’m still trying to grow my green thumb.)

Lastly, CK is working on a campaign driving people to a page on Metro’s site all about 82nd and Division. This intersection is one of the busiest in Portland, and it lives right in the heart of Portland’s Jade District, a neighborhood rich in culture and activity. I learned that there is a large effort right now to reinvigorate and develop this area, but to avoid the harmful effects of gentrification. One such effort was the introduction of the Jade District Night Market. If you’ve never been, it’s definitely worth checking out when it’s back next year. I visited the Night Market along with our videographer a few weeks ago. Check out the social media video we made!

Needless to say, it’s been a fun (and educational) first nine months back in my hometown.