Jim Labbe was born in Oregon and studied history at Reed College and geography at Portland State University. He worked for Applegate Partnership and the Audubon Society of Portland, and his work in both rural and urban Oregon has focused on community-based natural resource conservation and planning. He is the author of a Winter 2019 article in the Oregon Historical Quarterly on "The Colored Brother’s Few Defenders: Oregon Abolitionists and their Followers." His research interests and professional publications span history, earth sciences, regionalism, and conservation. Labbe works for Participatory Budgeting Oregon and lives in North Portland.