Statement by Chair Deborah Kafoury on incident at Multnomah County Building

August 19, 2020

Tonight, the Multnomah County Building, the headquarters for the largest safety net provider in Oregon, was vandalized and set on fire by a small group of protestors. 

This is the heart of our County, where people in our community come to get married, get their passports, and celebrate their cultural traditions and diversity. 

A small group set fire to the Office of Community Involvement, a space dedicated to engaging community members who have been marginalized by the traditional political process. 

The lobby where the first same-sex marriage in Oregon took place, and where millions of pieces of personal protective equipment are being distributed to help our community battle COVID-19, was damaged.

I acknowledge that there is grave injustice in our world and there is a violent and tragic history of oppression in our County. I am committed to transformational change. 

And I ask the community to work with us: support the critical work we do every day leading the public health response to COVID-19, providing thousands of meals to families in need, answering mental health crisis calls and serving those experiencing domestic violence. 

In such a difficult, uncertain time, our community needs all of us to work together.