Multnomah County Commissioner, District #1
OCCUPATION: Multnomah County Commissioner
OCCUPATIONAL BACKGROUND: Public Education and Policy Coordinator
EDUCATIONAL BACKGROUND: Whitman College, Grant High School
PRIOR GOVERNMENTAL EXPERIENCE: Oregon State Representative 1999 - 2004; Democratic Leader, Oregon House of Representatives 2001-2003; Multnomah County Commissioner 2009-present
Proven Leadership and Progressive Priorities
In tough economic times, we need an advocate for ensuring government gets its priorities straight. Deborah Kafoury knows Multnomah County must watch every dollar to make sure it goes as far as possible to provide vital food, shelter, and health care to the most vulnerable among us.
- Launched homeless benefits recovery plan that yielded a significant return on county investment by securing earned federal Social Security and disability benefits for area homeless.
- Received national advocacy award for creating “30 families in 30 days” program to move homeless families off the street more quickly and cheaper than traditional programs.
- Raised $50,000 in private funding for family hunger relief project to send undernourished kids home from school with a backpack full of food for the weekend.
- Convinced state legislators to pass mobile home property tax relief plan to eliminate taxes on mobile homes valued at less than $15,000.
- *Created bedbug hotline for seniors and low-income renters (503-988-BUGS).
- Secured $268 million in federal funds to repair the Sellwood bridge. Thanks to Deborah’s leadership, construction has already begun on this important public safety project.
“Most people are just doing the best they can to meet their family’s needs and make ends meet. I think government ought to look at its responsibilities the same way. If you send me back to work for you, I will continue to listen to community concerns, and always advocate for basic fairness and accountability from Multnomah County.” - Deborah Kafoury
Deborah also serves as volunteer president of the Duniway School Foundation. (She and her husband Nik have three children in Portland public schools.) She is especially proud of having hired the nicest, smartest and most dedicated staff in local government.