With less than three months to the General Election, and less than a month to the Primary Election, What’s Up Newp begins its comprehensive coverage of not only elections in Newport County, but also key statewide legislative races.

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Here we share an election profile for Susan Taylor who is seeking election on Newport City Council At-Large.

Susan Taylor

Government/political history

Current office:          Newport City Council, At Large 2018-present

Previous political/government elected offices held, and years:

Newport City Council, First Ward 2016-2018

Current appointed government positions (including boards and commissions):

Currently I am liaison with the following committees:

            City Council/School Liaison Committee

            Legislative Liaison with the State House and Senate

            Newport County Chamber of Commerce

            Bicycle and Pedestrian Advisory Commission

            Edward King House

            Energy and Environment Commission

            Tree and Open Space Commission

            Tourism Marketing District

Political Party Affiliation in 2020:


Previous political party affiliation if different from above:


Previous elective political positions sought, year and outcomes:

In 2014 I decided on the Monday before the general election (so, less than 24 hours) to run a write-in campaign challenging the incumbent, who was running unopposed and was in favor of casino expansion rather than development of a potential innovation hub in the North End.  I ran on that single issue, sent out an email on the Monday, stood at the polling place with flyers on election day, and won 11% of the vote.

As an incumbent, I am most proud of:

Being a leader in the city’s response to the pandemic, leading the way as the sole sponsor of the resolution requiring masks on our busy streets, and creating the Zorro Brigade where volunteers pass out masks and work toward changing people’s behavior around masks with upbeat messaging.  I’m also working to help businesses to reopen at a profit with increased outdoor space for seating.

Co-sponsoring the resolution for training in implicit bias, because at this moment in history we need increased understanding of the structural racism in our institutions.  We all, every person, need to show the respect necessary to approach this issue with genuine curiosity and an open mind.

Co-sponsoring the resolution for the moratorium on large-scale development in the North End so that our newly revitalized Planning Department could revise the City’s zoning code to bring it into compliance with the Comprehensive Land Use Plan.

Being the sole sponsor of the resolution for the City to commission a Master Transportation Plan, which was approved 7-0, and co-sponsoring the resolution for a Green and Complete Streets ordinance.

If elected my three top goals are:

I believe in government.  The mission of government is to protect our residents, and to serve as the voice of our residents in economic development,           and with state agencies.

My signature issues are to support intelligent and responsible planning for economic development which ensures real growth; this includes fiber optics and broadband, with a supportive climate for small businesses, expanded workforce housing, and ultimately with a heightened quality of life for our residents.  I will work together with neighboring communities to preserve and nurture open space, and to improve internet capability and resiliency measures.

I strongly believe Newport needs a waterfront zone. 

I will work for improved educational offerings for Newport’s students, and believe a sound, 21st century building is essential to that. 

Employment and Education

My current employment, including title, is:  

I’m an attorney handling exclusively immigration cases at this time.  I have my own practice which I have run for nearly 30 years.  I started in Seattle and moved to New York City for twelve years before coming to Newport in 2007.  While in New York I handled some civil rights cases in addition to immigration.

Schools and degrees:

Lewis & Clark Law School, Portland, OR (J.D., specializing in environmental law)

Whitman College, Walla Walla, WA (B.A., majored in Philosophy)

City University of New York School of Law – Adjunct Professor in Immigrant and Refugee Rights Clinic, 1999-2004

Professional organizations, please note leadership positions:

American Immigration Lawyers Association – officer with Washington state chapter, 1992-1995; leadership positions with New York City chapter, 1996-2002

NY City Bar Association, Immigration & Nationality Law Committee – leadership positions 1997-2003

Human Rights First, New York, NY

New York Immigration Coalition, New York, NY

Northwest Immigrant Rights Project, Seattle, WA