Emily Walton Percival: Three Questions, Three Answers


1. Where did you grow up?

I grew up in Portland, Oregon, and lived there after college off and on before moving to Seattle permanently for graduate school. It was just as Portland really took off in the zeitgeist - I remember watching the first episode of Portlandia and thinking, uh oh! Growing up in Portland was, honestly, exactly as you imagine it: I wore the same pair of clogs all through high school, grabbed lunch from a food cart with friends on the steps of the Keller fountain, and spent a lot of time at Powell’s, back when being at Powell’s on a Saturday wasn’t like going to the Apple Store. Biking on a summer night along Portland’s gently sloping streets, going park to food to park with great friends –  general vagaries of life aside, it really was the dream of the nineties.

2. Tell us about your pet.

My dog, Daisy, is a 13.5 year old toy poodle. She was our family dog growing up, and now she lives with me and my husband full-time. I love her very much!! Like, so much. The tap-tapping of her dainty stroll around the house is the music of my life. She does not feel like we should have very much personal space. She is my inner soul exposed and unashamed: wanting more time together, staying longer on the couch, coming in from the yard at the first drizzle, searching for cheese. She makes me smile every day.

3. What did you want to be when you grew up?

Growing up I thought I might become a lawyer, and was accepted into law school right out of college. I didn’t go (see above dream of the nineties) and I’m so glad that I took more time to discover who I am and what I want to do. It was working on environmental issues in Oregon and Alaska that showed me how many knots and tangles there are at the local policy level, and how gratifying it is to be involved in the cooperative untangling. When my LSATs expired, I breathed a sigh of relief I hadn’t realized I’d been holding in for years.