Downtime with Tobias Read

Photo: Jason E. Kapan
Oregon State Treasurer Tobias Read shoots hoops with his kids

Live, work and play with State Treasurer Tobias Read

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What I am reading

I’m in the midst of an excellent biography of George Marshall, whose career and commitment to service are inspirational. I’m also eagerly anticipating the U.S. release of Italian economist Mariana Mazzucato’s new book, Mission Economy.

And I’m enjoying the fact that our kids (6th and 2nd grades) are now reading things that are enjoyable for both of us. Our daughter and I finished Jacques Pepin’s memoir recently, and our son and I are rapidly finishing The Silver Arrow, about a magic train.

What I am watching

By the time we’re finished with remote learning, dinner, bedtime routines, walking the dog and responding to work emails, there’s not a ton of time for television. That makes enjoyable escapes, half-hour shows and things that work for the whole family especially sought after.

The Crown is not for the whole family, but it’s packed with history, of course. The Durrells in Corfu is a very nice escape with a likeable family of strong characters. All Creatures Great and Small works for the whole family. Modern Family has such good writing and fits a lot of laughs in 22 minutes. I always enjoy a dose of SportsCenter, and I am looking forward to the start of baseball.

What I am listening to

Now that I am not commuting to Salem, I don’t have quite as much time to listen to my favorite podcasts, but walking the dog offers a chance to keep current on some important perspectives. I’ve known Bakari Sellers for many years, and his podcast is introducing me to important voices and perspectives.

Nick Hanauer and his colleagues offer some provocative ideas on Pitchfork Economics. I always find something useful in Marketplace’s offerings, as I do with ESPN Daily, The Ezra Klein Show and Planet Money. And Guy Raz consistently delivers inspiration with his interviews of entrepreneurs on How I Built This.

Must-have gadget

It’s hard to remember how I took in information before the iPhone. As a college rower, I never thought I would choose to spend time on an ergometer, but especially in the pandemic, my Concept2 ergometer has become essential.

What I do outside of work

Cycling, reading, watching sports and coaching youth sports. More recently, I have really been enjoying teaching our neighborhood kids personal finance and civics in our education pod. Hearing the unique skills and perspectives that the parents in the neighborhood bring to the experience has been a bright spot during our time at home over the past year.

Favorite place to vacation

Newberry Crater in Central Oregon and the Central Oregon Coast are favorite spots for our family.

Biggest extravagance

Takeout meals with family from Top Burmese in Beaverton and the Beaverton food cart pod (and Burgerville, of course.) We also just got a Peloton, which is a big extravagance but keeps us healthy and motivated to work out at home.

Professional role model

Former State Rep. Bryan Johnston, who passed away in 2008. Rep. Johnston combined intellectual and practical rigor with kindness and integrity. I knew plenty of people who disagreed with him but few who disliked him. I also admire the way he was always committed to his family and community, and while taking his work seriously, he never took himself too seriously. Oregon still misses him.

Future ambitions

I want every kid in Oregon to have a college savings plan, and every working Oregonian to have a retirement savings plan. That is why I spend so much of my time as treasurer promoting our College Savings Plan and OregonSaves, our state-based retirement savings plan. I want Oregon’s economy to be vibrant, creative and resilient.