John is the OSTA Vice-President & Secretary and as co-facilitator of the Oregon Landlord-Tenant Coalition and, since 1997, has been instrumental in advocating for the rights of park and marina tenants. John is the person who helps draft the language which becomes Oregon’s park and marina landlord-tenant laws.
John graduated from the Virginia Military Institute with a BA in biology, and after some cross-country adventures with friends in an Edsel station wagon and a stint in the Army, he came back to Oregon, where he earned a JD degree from the UO Law School in 1977. There he met and married another law student, Martha Walters, who is now the Chief Justice of the Oregon Supreme Court, and the first woman to lead our state’s highest court. “So I’m the second-best lawyer in our family,” John says. They have two grown children.
John has worked for 42 years for Lane County Legal Aid Center, now merged with the Oregon Law Center. He specialized in residential landlord-tenant law issues regarding apartments until the 1997 legislative session where he met Pat Schwoch, the executive director of MHOO (now OSTA), and was encouraged to advocate for manufactured housing park landlord-tenant issues.
Since 1997, John has been working with Oregon legislators to help pass laws that increase and protect the rights of park tenants through the Oregon Manufactured Housing Landlord-Tenant Coalition. When marina tenants recognized that much of the second half of Chapter 90 laws also applied to them, they began participating in the Coalition in 2017. Understanding that we are stronger together, John and his Coalition co-facilitator made room for marina tenant voices and established a Marina Issues Subcommittee of the Coalition where he expanded his efforts to help draft and pass the first-ever bundled package of laws to protect floating home owners who rent their marina slips.
Besides his legal work, John enjoys spending time with his family and friends and indulging in various physical and mental activities.