News Release: Commissioner Stegmann kicks off new drive by counties to improve economic mobility

July 30, 2019

Commissioner Lori Stegmann

Multnomah County Commissioner Lori Stegmann today kicked off a new Economic Mobility Leadership Network, bringing 20 bipartisan county leaders from across the country to Portland on Tuesday to explore the role that counties can play to positively affect economic mobility. 

“The drivers of economic mobility are more than just income, we need to think about the way our communities access resources and the support they need to thrive,” said Stegmann, “This is about meeting communities where they are, not just following them wherever they go.”

The network will be run by the National Association of Counties (NACo) and funded by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

Twenty county officials are visiting Multnomah County, Garrett County,MD., and Hennepin County, MN this summer and fall. All three counties have made concerted efforts and demonstrated measurable success in addressing economic mobility in their counties. The Multnomah County gathering will be held July 30-Aug. 1, 2019. Throughout the first of the two-day meetings, county leaders and experts will focus on a range of topics including: workforce development and opportunities; generational poverty; affordable housing; access to financial services; educational opportunities and attainment; transportation access; health care services and access; technology and information access; criminal justice reform;  geographic mobility and data collection, use, and sharing. The leaders will also visit sites that demonstrate the program and meet local leaders (within the county and outside) and those impacted by these programs and services including North Portland, Cully, Rockwood and Southeast Portland. The Association hopes that these high-level county leaders will return to their respective counties motivated to build awareness of the factors that influence economic mobility, dismantle stigmas to change the narrative around poverty, and develop local solutions that drive economic mobility upward.

About NACo

NACo is the only national organization representing county governments in the United States. NACo assists America’s 3,069 counties—including the nearly 40,000 county elected officials and 3.6 million county employees that serve counties—in pursuing excellence in public service to create healthy, vibrant, and safe counties.

For more information: contact Julie Sullivan-Springhetti,, 503-502-2741