Love Your City

If you’re Single (or not), Love Your Home


I’ve been pretty much single for the past 6 years.  I had a thought yesterday while out running errands, that for those of us who are single and seeking, we might as well offer some love to our hometown. I’ve been doing this ever since I moved to the Pacific Northwest (Seattle in 1995 and Portland 2002-present). This region is pretty easy to love and has caught many peoples’ eyes and hearts. I’ve never lived anywhere in the world (maybe besides NYC) where I’ve heard more people say “I love Portland”. My previous partner and I used to say this out loud frequently, and it’s still true. I love Portland. I also love Portlandia 🙂  Feel free to comment below. One day I’ll write an article on that, and perhaps it’s all related.

As someone who has chosen ideation as a profession, I think in concepts a lot. Sometimes I consider myself an amateur sociologist. An inventor. Here are some of my ideas over the years (feel free to borrow from this list in any way you choose – my work is Albert-source 🙂  The concept I want to share here is the value of loving your place. We all hear the message on repeat that you have to start with loving yourself. I believe that is true and it probably makes our lives go better and makes us more attractive for prospective matches. But perhaps we can walk and chew gum at the same time. I can love myself (eat well, rest, hydrate, exercise, etc.) and also spend time loving my town.

Ways to Love Where You Live

My version of this has been this list of ways to make my neighborhood and region more livable. I use my marketing skills to share these ideas with anyone who will listen. The result has been a quieter, sweeter slice of paradise than I envisioned when I started.  A friend once offered to bring me to his town to teach his town council what I was putting out into the universe. That didn’t happen (yet – looking at you, Antioch, CA), but maybe one day. And that’s left me to keep trying to make where I live better and better. It’s worked. My neighborhood of Richmond, Portland, Oregon is kinda dreamy. Maybe it always was. Maybe what I did didn’t have the effect I think it did. There’s no easy way to quantify what I’ve done/said/activated towards. But I have a hunch that even lessening the amount of gas-powered leaf blowers has been a huge help to our community.

As an aside, I have this idea of creating a postcard that says – here are 11 ways to make your paradise a little more paradisical. I know there are great challenges in our midst – homelessness/drug addiction/mental health problems. There are people working on these issues and everything I’m suggesting in this article will just make that work go better. Do you think people who live on the streets are helped by glaring LED lights or gas-powered leaf blowers? No, it just makes their lives even worse.  So, back to that postcard.  There are thousands of places that could be improved by easy changes that people can make – see the article I link to above.  Now back to loving our City.

If you’re single and seeking – by loving your home you’re exercising your heart. You’re possibly being out in the world picking up garbage; planting a tree; starting a new community garden; removing graffiti – and who knows who you’ll meet while you do that. Maybe you’ll decide to serve on a neighborhood council or run for office as a way to share your love. Maybe it could be through mentoring a small business on how to improve their lighting or helping paint a wall.

And just like everything in life, you may make a mistake. Or two. Not everyone is up for receiving help. Not every offer you make in the world is received in the way you’d hope. Don’t give up. Write back if any of this resonates or if you have ideas to add. Thanks!

For a better world,


PS – I’ve been adding songs to the end of my newsletters and so … here ya go!

PPS – I’m going to expand into ways to show your love to local businesses here.

Albert on TV – 2011

Albert Kaufman, Jim Lockhart and Richard Carpenter on today’s issues – Portland Cable Access TV – Fall, 2011

I took part in a show with Jim Lockhart and Richard Carpenter recently to discuss population growth and other environmental issues.  I got to be the star and so thought I’d put this out into cyberspace for my own record of my current thinking and hopefully to entertain and enlighten others.  Let me know what you think.




While in Seattle recently for the Green Festival, I ran into the great folks from – a group in Seattle doing great things.  I signed up for my undriving license, got my photo taken and ended up with this cool undriving license I carry around with me.  I’m trying to bring them to Portland for the last Portland Sunday Bike Parkways, 9/26 in NW Portland.  If this sounds interesting to you, please get in touch.  I’m mainly looking for some sponsorship, and I would be glad to share with you all that I have done so far – we have power, a location, canopies, some volunteers, tables, and they’ll come if they can get some $upport!  Let me know!

Photo gallery:

Note from Mike in Seattle to encourage us:

UNDRIVING’s innovative UNDRIVER LICENSE STATION has proven to be “the”
popular draw at over 45 events in Washington over the last three years.
We issue personalized UNDRIVER LICENSES (over 5,000 at last count) on the
spot to people for making a pledge to reduce their car use, or car use on
the planet, over the coming month.

But what’s really grabbing everyone’s attention is the incredible follow
through of new UNDRIVERS.  Our event surveys consistently show that over
90% of new UNDRIVERS follow through on their pledge, and over 70% develop
a new lasting transportation habit beyond the pledge month! And we’re
documenting some incredible stories of people who got their UNDRIVER
LICENSE and what then followed for them; nothing short of phenomenal. In
fact, we recently received a grant in conjunction with the UW Digital
Media Lab to produce 5-7 video stories of new UNDRIVERS.  We’re in
production now and will be completed in September.

Transportation agencies like InterCity Transit in Olympia, TDM dept’s of
cities like The City of Redmond, WA, neighborhood groups, schools, large
employers like American Medical Response, etc. see that having the
UNDRIVER LICENSING STATION engages their event audience, and also the
benefit of cooperatively tying in UNDRIVING to stimulate participation in
their own trip-reduction programs.

We are a non-profit corporation in the State of Washington, and have been
working towards becoming our own 501c3 for some time. One of our board
members, Cindy Butler, who has taken other non-profits through this
process, has been leading the charge on this and we are in fact close to
having a completed application to submit, meanwhile, we’ve been using
Urban Sparks as our fiscal sponsor.

As we build our organization and it’s fundraising ability, we’ve been
relying mostly on station appearances to fund the program and related
costs, equipment and supplies used to make the licenses, etc.  To come to
Portland we have additional travel costs as well (which we are already
working on creative solutions to), anyway, it’s much more than just
setting up a table with brochures!

This organization’s current goal is to create a more turnkey licensing
station, in order to respond to requests we are getting from outside the
Northwest to replicate what we are doing here. As I mentioned to Albert,
we hope to have the new licensing station for the September Parkways
event, should our participation pan out.

Many of our station appearances have been fully funded by the event host,
in others it’s been combinations of sponsorships from event host,
transportation agencies, neighborhood groups, local businesses, etc. and
on-site donations. So we are looking to get sponsored to come down there,
but at the same time, we want to unleash UNDRIVING on Portland!! Let’s

P.S. It’d be really a great move if you can get TriMet involved as we do
here with King County Metro (they give us “free-ride” bus tickets, each
new UNDRIVER gets 6).  If you can get something similar going with them
it’s a great incentive for getting potential new UNDRIVERS engaged.

Undriving on Facebook