Board promotes gun safety, universal health care & care for older Americans

June 15, 2022

Commissioner Lori Stegmann and Piset Sao, constituent relations coordinator for the Chair's Office, wear orange for gun safety.

Commissioner Lori Stegmann  

Commissioner Stegmann started the month by joining her fellow Commissioners in honoring those impacted by gun violence by participating in Wear Orange during gun violence prevention week. Gun violence continues to impact our community and the nation. It is a public health crisis that we need to work on together to raise awareness and prevent.  

She was thrilled to join Portland Opportunities Industrialization Center (POIC) at their Kitchen Grand Opening! The Kitchen is a dream realized, providing a training ground for adults interested in the culinary industry, and is a hub for nutritious and tasty food that can be served in our schools.  

Commissioner Stegmann joined Travel Portland in bringing together industry leaders to promote our region for tourism and conferences. Last year visitors to Portland spent $3.8 billion dollars, supporting more than 27,000 jobs in our region. We are blessed to be surrounded by natural beauty and a vibrant community.

Commissioner Meieran at a recent gun safety march in Portland.

Commissioner Sharon Meieran

Recognizing the invaluable contributions of older adults and elders in our community, Commissioner Meieran proudly sponsored the Board’s Older Americans Month proclamation as well as the Elder Abuse Awareness Day proclamation. In addition to advocacy in the boardroom, Commissioner Meieran spoke passionately at the March For Our Lives rally in Portland calling for federal legislation to end gun violence, as well as at a gun violence prevention event co-sponsored by Moms Demand Action and the Portland Office of Violence Prevention. She shared her experience as an ER doctor caring for victims of gun violence and consoling grieving families, as well as a mom whose kids have grown up going to school knowing the threat of a mass shooting. 

Commissioner Meieran, in partnership with Commissioner Jayapal, successfully passed the County’s Universal Healthcare Resolution, which strongly urges the Governor to request the federal waivers that would allow Oregon to receive the federal dollars for its own state-based single payer universal healthcare system that is comprehensive, equitable, affordable, accessible, and of high quality. 

As Co-Chair of the Association of Oregon Counties Health and Human Services Committee, Commissioner Meieran is also honored to have been appointed to the State Task Force on Universal Healthcare and looks forward to diving into this work. If you want more information on how to engage with the Universal Healthcare Task Force including, listening sessions through the month of June, agendas, and how to utilize language services to participate, click here.

There was much to celebrate in the community as well! Commissioner Meieran toured the Portland Opportunities Industrialization Center (POIC) Kitchen during their grand opening ceremony. A minority-led non-profit, the POIC Kitchen will cook healthy and delicious meals for Rosemary Anderson students and provide workforce training for young adults interested in a career in the culinary industry. Commissioner Meieran attended OMSI’s Pride Night, a festive evening filled with programs and education for all ages, with Poison Waters stealing the show as she performed for an avid crowd of rainbow-clad children. And for 155 years, The Portland Rose Festival has inspired the public to gather and celebrate. This year, Commissioner Meieran was proud to join members of the Vietnamese Community of Oregon in celebrating the beauty of community at the parade. 

An advocate for urgently addressing the humanitarian crisis on our streets, Commissioner Meieran toured the Safe Rest Village in Multnomah Village. Commissioner Meieran is hopeful that these sites will create meaningful change in the lives of the people they serve. She also attended the Alternative Shelter Learning Collaborative’s forum sharing learnings and ideas from the community about ways to address houselessness that meet the needs of people living outside, improving their health, safety, wellbeing and dignity. She advocated for funding in the County budget to coordinate, leverage, support and streamline these efforts.

Commissioner Susheela Jayapal and Nike Greene, Director of Office & Violence Prevention and team members.

Commissioner Susheela Jayapal

National Gun Violence Awareness Day took place last week. Gun violence is a public health crisis — and it is preventable. Bringing communities together to share stories and raise awareness about gun violence is an intervention strategy. Commissioner Jayapal joined community members, the City of Portland’s Office of Violence Prevention, and Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America for a local Wear Orange event. 

As we await the Supreme Court’s decision Dobbs v. Jackson Women’s Health Organization, we see abortion restrictions being proposed or enacted across the country. Although Oregon has strong protections, these changes will have impact here as well. Commissioner Jayapal partnered with Commissioner Vega Pederson to introduce a resolution committing Multnomah County to do everything it can to protect abortion rights and reproductive care, including, if necessary, to enacting its own legislation. 

Commissioner Jayapal also celebrated the Coalition of Communities of Color’s 20th Anniversary. The coalition has been a driving force for advocacy, research, and leadership for racial justice in Oregon; their work has been transformative for Black, Indigenous, and People of Color.


Commissioner Jessica Vega Pederson during the June 9 board action on reproductive freedom.

Commissioner Jessica Vega Pederson

Commissioner Jessica Vega Pederson has been focused on the county budget as the board prepared to vote on the Fiscal Year 2023 budget on Thursday, June 16. She’s met with department and division leaders, community members, and others to discuss county investments. She has also participated in several community events. 

Last week, Commissioner Vega Pederson gathered with friends, elected officials, and community members to congratulate the Coalition of Communities of Color on 20 years of work fighting for equity in our communities. CCC has been instrumental in shaping racial, economic, and environmental policy in Oregon and has built a robust coalition of many culturally-specific CBOs who work together to address issues most urgently and disproportionately affecting BIPOC communities. Commissioner Vega Pederson is proud to partner with the Coalition of Communities of Color and grateful for their work.

She also celebrated the grand opening of Rosewood Initiative’s new community hub on SE 141st and SE Stark. The Rosewood Initiative worked hard to purchase this building and give their community a long-awaited place to develop community-led programming and hold events. 

And last Saturday, the Commissioner participated in the March for Our Lives with students, parents, and educators through the streets of downtown Portland demanding an end to gun violence. Marches were taking place all over the country led by the survivors from the school shooting in Parkland, Florida in 2018. She stands in solidarity with the majority of Americans who are enraged by the devastating surge of gun violence in our schools and communities, and calls on Congress to impose stricter gun restrictions and a ban on assault weapons. 


Friday, June 17, 8:30 a.m. to 9:30 a.m. join Commissioner Meieran for “Homelessness is Solvable: The Built for Zero Initiative” Friday, June 17, 2022, 8:30 a.m.-9:30 am, on Zoom or in person.  Information and registration can be found here.

Thursday, June 23 3 to 4 p.m. Join Commissioner Meieran on 6/23 for her virtual office hour. This is an opportunity for community members to meet with the Commissioner to share any thoughts or questions they may have about the County, current events, or the soon-to- be-passed County budget. Sign up here

Monday, June 27 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. Join Commissioner Stegmann and Neighbors for Clean Air for an evening of science at Air Quality Science Night.  While Portland has made strides towards sustainability and resiliency, our region is under-protected from bad air. Wildfires, wood smoke, industrial toxics and transportation impact our region’s air quality and can reach unhealthy levels. There is science behind these levels, the toxic and conditions that affect them.  Learn from some of our region’s top environmental scientists: Dr. Linda George and Dr. Vivek Shandas.  Register for this free event. Migration Brewing - 18188 NE Wilkes Road, Portland OR 97230