University Place, WA – On April 9, Rodney Robinson announced his campaign for University Place City Council Position 4. Rodney has spent his career serving the community as a nonprofit leader and human services provider. In 2017, following the arrival of his youngest child, he and his wife moved their young family to University Place where they found a community that felt like a welcoming place to raise their children. When asked why he is running for City Council, Rodney has a long list of reasons: “I am running to bring a community-first approach to the University Place City Council, to bolster economic development and equity, support our schools, and improve the quality of life for people living in our community,” said Rodney. “Perhaps most importantly of all, I am running to ensure that young people all across University Place, including my own children, see themselves reflected in their city council.”
Rodney has spent the bulk of his professional career in human services and nonprofit management, working to serve marginalized communities in the Pacific Northwest. Rodney Currently Serves as Director of the Pierce County Youth & Young Adult Homelessness Campaign. He leads efforts to build out the campaign framework and strategy, connecting with existing networks of youth with lived experience, youth housing providers, policy advocates, electeds, and funders to create policy and funding solutions to accessible housing. His nuanced understanding of the complexities of homelessness and tested solutions will be vital on the University Place City Council. Everyone deserves a safe home and Rodney will work to ensure that our city supports all residents.
Until recently, Rodney served as Treehouse for Kids’s Associate Director of Education Programs and oversaw their Tacoma operations. In this role, Rodney worked to mitigate the impacts of the pandemic on students in foster care, who have been disproportionately impacted by school closures. He will bring his expertise supporting children and families to the University Place City Council to ensure that all families have opportunities to thrive.
Earlier in his career, as a Case Manager, Rodney saw the impact that a reliable paycheck and a network of support had on his clients. But for too many in our community, meaningful employment and resources of support were out of reach. In response, Rodney started Outside Perspectives LLC, a business consulting firm that provides mentorship, coaching, access to information and capital to established and prospective businesses in the University Place region. Rodney is passionate about expanding access to business ownership, which drives our local economy, provides a self-sustaining economic base for individuals, and contributes to a thriving community. Rodney’s experience is especially important to elevating small, local businesses, and businesses owned by people of color.
In addition, Rodney has worked in homelessness and social services at Metropolitan Development Council, Housing 4 Success, Reach Center, and Helping Hand House. He has served on the Boards of the Birth to 25 Council, PTSA Advisory Committee, YWCA Associate Board, Youth Coalition to End Homelessness, Pierce County Coalition to End Homelessness, and the HUD COC Board. After spending years working for non-profits, Rodney is familiar with the policy and budget constraints of these community resources, and he is passionate about bringing his knowledge of these issues to the University Place City Council.
While Rodney has dedicated his life to nonprofit work and helping others, his most important role is being the best father possible to his two young children. His dedication to providing kids with support and a role model that looks like them does not end at his own family or the children in the community he serves. Rodney wants every young person in University Place to be able to look at their City Council and see someone who looks like them. Rodney is committed to ensuring University Place remains an equitable, thriving, and safe community where families like his will continue to choose to raise their children.