April 14: State of the County 2022: Meeting urgent needs while creating enduring change

Watch the full State of the County here, or read the full text of the speech here.

Dear friends and neighbors,

Yesterday afternoon, I took a deep breath and stepped behind a lectern to deliver, for the final time, my State of the County address.

Naturally, in the lead up to the event, I reflected on the many meaningful experiences during my time in service at Multnomah County, first as Commissioner for five years, and then as Chair for the last eight. But my thoughts kept coming back to what makes the County’s role, and our expansive work, so unique in our community. 

And it became clearer than ever to me that it’s Multnomah County’s commitment to both meeting people’s urgent needs and creating long-term, enduring community change that defines the responsibilities, and the heart, of our work.

Throughout my time serving as the Chair, it’s been my responsibility to ensure that Multnomah County responds — quickly, effectively, equitably — when our community members are in need, and especially during times of crisis. At the same time, the County has remained steadfast in our responsibility to transform our community into one that is more stable, more equitable and more just. We’re doing that by working to break the cycles of crisis and trauma that create a need for our services at all.

It’s an exquisite tension, and it was my privilege to spend my last State of the County speech sharing how Multnomah County continues to lean into it every single day. 

Please stay safe and stay healthy,

Deborah Kafoury
Multnomah County Chair

Click or tap below to watch my State of the County address, followed by the live Q&A session with Gov. Barbara Roberts (starts at about the 3:07 mark).