Our team

2023 Office of Sustainability Team PictureWe are a dedicated and diverse group of environmental justice warriors, sustainability advocates, educators, systems thinkers, motivators, doers, and connectors. Our team members are family-oriented and love to have fun with one another. We are volunteers, teachers, travelers, farmers, community organizers, beer brewers, and small business owners. While we work in the cozy southeast corner of the Multnomah Building's sixth floor, we can be found collaborating with staff from the County's various departments, coordinating policies with local cities, working with legislators in Salem, and building partnerships across our community.

Our mission

The Office of Sustainability works to create a just, equitable, livable, resilient, and low carbon community by centering the priorities of frontline* communities and advancing sustainability efforts within the County, region, and state.

Our vision

We envision a community and a world where everyone experiences life in a stable climate, has a safe place to live, and can access clean air, clean water, and the resources they need to thrive.

To achieve this vision, we:

  • Collaborate with community partners to advance policies, projects, initiatives, programs, and research that are responsive to the community's needs,

  • Lead and support sustainability efforts within County departments and programs, and

  • Work with County leadership to advance this vision within the County, region, and state.

Our core beliefs

  • Government has a responsibility to address and reverse the past and present harms of racism and colonialism, which have led to environmental injustice and the destabilization of our climate and our community.

  • Multnomah County is on ceded tribal land and has government-to-government treaty obligations that must be honored.

  • Solutions that are culturally-responsive and community-driven are the most effective and enduring ways to address the root causes of injustice in our community.

  • Acting with transparency, accepting feedback, owning our actions, and providing reliable follow-through are key to rebuilding trust between community and government, and advancing environmental justice.

  • We recognize that racial inequity has been baked into our systems, and is pervasive across all indicators. Leading with race isn’t exclusive -- we also recognize all other groups that are marginalized -- but we start with race because that’s where the deepest inequities reside, and then we layer in other aspects of marginalization and name the ways those intersect with race.

  • We recognize the interconnection between the health and stability of Earth’s ecosystems with the health and wellbeing of our communities.

Our approach and practices

  • Center the priorities, needs, and solutions of environmental justice communities.

  • Lead with race in our decision making and internal practices. Leading with race means we’re explicit about identifying race as the primary driver of inequity in our systems.

  • Collaborate with community partners to advance policies, projects, initiatives, programs, and research that are responsive to the community's needs.

  • Lead and support sustainability efforts within County departments and programs.

  • Work with County leadership to advance this vision within the County, region, and state.

View sustainability policies and initiatives led by the Office of Sustainability that have addressed and helped to shape sustainable internal government operations and efforts in the community.