January 8, 2024

Throughout 2023, our Multnomah County Office of Sustainability team continued to build relationships in community and centered justice, our bedrock and core belief, in our policy and program work.

View our accomplishments from 2023 and take a look into what's in store for 2024:  Multnomah County Office of Sustainability CY2023 Accomplishments & CY2024 Work Plan (5.02 MB)

2023 Accomplishments

Climate Crisis and ResponseMultnomah County Commissioners speak about the lawsuit filed against several of the largest fossil fuel corporations to keep them accountable for the damages arising from the 2021 Pacific Northwest Heat Dome

  • Supported Board-initiated climate accountability lawsuit against fossil fuel industry for climate-related damages and losses.
  • Community members come together at the Climate Justice Convening hosted in April 2023Convened Multnomah County’s first ever Climate Justice Summit, bringing together nearly 60 community members and organizations to build a shared vision of a just climate future. Facilitated a community-led planning process and co-created the Multnomah County Climate Justice Framework. Launched a steering committee of BIPOC community-based organizations that will create the County’s unprecedented Climate Justice Plan.
  • Partnered with the Health Department, Coalition of Communities of Color, and BIPOC artists to create the Environmental Justice Indicators Storytelling Zine that illustrates community-led data and environmental themes, and launched it with a community celebration that included over 100 community members.
  • Secured $30,000 in grant funding to partner organizations for public input into Federal funding opportunities.
  • In partnership with the Multnomah County Health Department, secured a $1 million EPA EJG2G grant to reduce air pollution and carbon emissions, and increase community resilience, through: replacing polluting and inefficient heating systems with heat pumps in single-family and multi-family homes, improving indoor air quality, increasing tree coverage, supporting the development of a new Climate Resilience and Emergency Preparedness community health worker curriculum, and monitoring air quality in the Rockwood neighborhood.
  • Supported the adoption in the Oregon Legislature of the Climate Resilience Package (HB 3409, HB 3630).

EnergyMultnomah County Office of Sustainability staff member Silvia Tanner speaks at the Oregon Citizens Utility Board conference

  • Successfully advocated for significant amounts of small-scale and community-based renewable energy resources in electric utility clean energy plans.
  • In close collaboration with energy-justice and environmental advocates, co-wrote formal comments and participated in an advisory group to keep electric utilities accountable to the justice elements of HB 2021.
  • Co-facilitated statewide, grassroots community-advocates’ cohort focused on ensuring that utility decarbonization planning centers community voices and energy justice.
  • Secured five-year intergovernmental agreement with Prosper Portland for the administration of PropertyFit. 
  • Advocated for deeper discounts for low-income customers of PGE, helping set the stage for rate case settlement in which CBOs secured 60% discounts. 
  • Successfully supported Department of County Human Services' initial concept and subsequent full application for $2 million Weatherization Innovation grant application to the U.S. Department of Energy.

Air QualityA wood stove that was later swapped out for a heat pump from Multnomah County's Wood Burning Exchange Program

  • Worked across departments to implement the Wood Burning Exchange program and completed 50 wood stove removals.
  • Funded the purchase of two all-electric school buses at Portland Public and Centennial school districts, reducing fossil-fuel-emission exposure for school kids.
  • Secured $600,000 over three years through the Oregon Heat Pump Grant Program, in partnership with Department of County Human Services and Earth Advantage. Funds will increase the number of households served by the Wood Burning Exchange program, expand eligibility criteria to include other polluting heating devices, and increase the percent of the installation cost the program covers per household.
  • Partnered with the Blueprint Foundation in a successful application to the U.S. Department of Energy for “Change Is In the Air: Gresham Coalition,” in the inaugural American-Made Community Clean Energy Coalition Prize for $150,000.
  • Supported the Office of Emergency Management in the release of the Hazardous Materials Report and subsequent policy response.

Engagement and PartnershipsMembers of the East County Resilience Initiative come together to speak about climate resilience in fall 2023

  • Assumed management of the East County Community Resilience Initiative (ECRI), spearheaded by District 4 Commissioner Lori Stegmann in 2021, to bring together community-based organizations and define what community resilience means for East Multnomah County.
  • Convened the East County Resilience Summit, a first of many, to build relationships, systems, and programs in partnership with the ECRI Network. Launched a newsletter to share events and resources with 8 community-based organizations in the ECRI Network.
  • Co-hosted the first East County Learn Share Do Fair with the City of Gresham, City of Portland, and Community Services Network, focusing on climate resilience and community resources.
  • Partnered with CETI to develop the Postcards From a Climate Resilient Future art project that conceptualizes a future where the community has addressed the climate crisis with creativity and a focus on justice.Artists and community members come together to discuss conceptual art created for the Postcards from a Resilient Future project
  • Supported Coalition of Communities of Color successful application and receipt of the $1 million MADE grant to develop a community-data ecosystem focused on environmental justice.
  • Supported the Advisory Committee on Sustainability and Innovation and their annual recommendations to the Board of County Commissioners.
  • Completed work with the EPA and Portland Public Schools on a technical assistance grant to identify key interventions to help protect students, teachers, and the public during extreme heat and smoke events.

Enterprise Sustainability

  • Coordinated three campaigns for staff and the public, including in-person and online educational opportunities, to empower County residents to build their resilience to climate-related events.
  • Collaborated with Facilities and Property Management to develop new Bird Safe construction guidelines, EV-charging strategy, and Strategic Energy Management. 
  • Supported County staff through the Climate Leadership Team, Green Team Employee Resource Group, and the MultCo Gives Employee Giving Campaign.
  • Secured $70,000 Oregon solar + storage technical assistance grant to design a solar and battery storage micro-grid system at the new East County Library.

2024 Work Plan

Climate Crisis and Response

  • Complete the County’s first Climate Justice Plan, rooting the County in a shared climate justice vision, community-led priorities, and ongoing partnership and accountability. 
  • Pursue new funding opportunities through the Inflation Reduction Act and support the implementation of existing grants, including EPA EJ Grant and State heat-pump program.
  • Support tree-planting efforts to memorialize the lives lost during the 2021 heat-dome.


  • Ensure that PGE and Pacific Power take steps to meet their decarbonization requirements and that a meaningful portion of their investments contribute to wellbeing and resilience for Multnomah County residents.
  • Advance procedural equity in energy-utility and regulatory processes. 
  • Engage in the long-term implementation of the Energy Affordability Act to ensure that it maximizes relief and wellbeing to energy-burdened residents of Multnomah County.
  • Craft the foundation for a Community Green Tariff that has the potential to meet the County’s 2035 100% clean electricity goals with meaningful energy justice benefits.
  • Continue to leverage federal funding opportunities to increase clean energy and community resiliency.

Air Quality

  • Secure additional funding for Wood Burning Exchange program and remove and additional 40 - 50 wood burning devices.
  • Support legislation that leads to action on the threat to County residents of hazardous materials storage.
  • Support the phase-out of gas powered leaf blowers in the City of Portland.

Engagement and Partnerships

  • Build capacity to support stipends for members of the Advisory Committee on Sustainability & Innovation.
  • Support efforts to address hazardous algal blooms in the Willamette River.
  • Work with neighbor jurisdictions and Metro to complete Priority Climate Action Plan for EPA. 

Enterprise Sustainability

  • Support the County in securing funding under the federal direct pay energy incentive programs, beginning with funding for the Library Administration building.
  • Pursue funding from the Community Renewable Energy Grant to support the solar + storage project at Multnomah County new East County Library. 
  • Coordinate three campaigns for staff and the public on the Climate Justice Plan, building community resilience and connectivity.