Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury has long propelled innovative solutions to the region’s most pressing issues of homelessness, economic disparities and gaps in the behavioral health system. She co-founded the Joint Office for Homeless Services with the City of Portland, as well as A Home for Everyone, the region’s first community-wide strategy for preventing and ending homelessness, which served more than 35,000 people last year.
In overseeing $1 billion worth of new construction, including a new Central Courthouse and Health Department headquarters, she prioritized apprenticeship programs and contracting requirements that open the door for more women, people of color, and veterans to pursue construction careers.
She is currently backing the first behavioral health resource center for people in crisis on the street in downtown Portland at 333 S.W. Park.
In partnership with 6,000 County employees, she’s leading a sweeping workforce equity effort to change the organization's recruiting, hiring, retention and other practices to address systemic racism. She’s also leveraged the County’s legal might, suing Big Pharma over opioids and the state of Oregon over its climate crisis response.
Deborah began her public service in the Oregon House of Representatives, and served two years as the House Minority Leader. In 2008, she was elected to the Multnomah County Commission. She was elected Multnomah County Chair in 2014 and re-elected in May 2018 for a second term. Deborah lives in southeast Portland with her husband, Nik Blosser, and their younger children, Jacob and Anna. Her oldest child, Alexander, has returned from college during the COVID-19 shutdown.
Contact the chair's office by phone at 503-988-3308 or email at firstname.lastname@example.org.