Commissioner Vega Pederson's January 2019 Newsletter

JVP headshot

Dear friends & neighbors,

The New Year is a time for reflection on the past year, and goal setting for the year ahead. It is a time to take on new challenges and accept new responsibilities. Among the new responsibilities I’m excited to take on this year is as Multnomah County’s representative on the Portland Children’s Levy Allocation Committee.

As you know, giving our children every opportunity to succeed is one of my highest priorities. That’s why I’m thrilled to serve on the levy allocation committee, which awards nearly $19 million annually in programs touching on early childhood, hunger relief, mentorship, after school activities, child abuse prevention, and supports for foster kids. 

I will continue to serve as the County’s representative on Metro’s Joint Policy Advisory Committee on Transportation (JPACT) and the Oregon Department of Transportation Region 1 Area Commission on Transportation (ACT), as well as the be the liaison to the County’s Advisory Committee on Sustainability and Innovation (ACSI). 

Chair Deborah Kafoury announced the new assignments for the county Board of Commissioners earlier this month, and the assignments will last for the next two years. 

These assignments reflect my passions - children and early learning, protecting our environment, and improving our transportation system. I am looking forward to the year ahead, and I hope you are as well! Sincerely,



In the Community


Last month marked a period of comings and goings. In early December, I traveled to Salem to talk to lawmakers (including Representative Barbara Smith Warner above) about the importance of passing legislation to reduce our state’s carbon emissions and diesel pollution, as well as the importance of investing in permanent supportive housing and early childhood education. I enjoyed talking with my former colleagues, and I plan to be in Salem regularly to advance policies that reflect the values of Multnomah County.

JVP Vigil  JVP Vigil 2

On the winter solstice, I was honored to speak at a vigil to remember those individuals who died on our streets in 2018. The moving event concluded at the site of the new Foster Shelter in SE Portland. 

JVP & new board

Last month also marked the end of Commissioner Loretta Smith’s time in office. Commissioner Smith represented N and NE Portland for the past 8 years. During her time in office, she championed youth employment programs at the County and focused on budgetary matters, education enrichment and entrepreneur and micro-lending campaigns. She also worked to highlight the contributions of suffragists and Black leaders, such as former County Chair Gladys McCoy. Read more about Commissioner Smith and watch a video on her time in office.

Commissioner Smith was replaced by Commissioner Susheela Jayapal (pictured above), with whom I'm know we'll be doing a lot of great work in the years ahead!

Senior Resource Fair

SRF 2017

I will be hosting the 2nd Multnomah County Senior Resource Fair on Saturday, February 9, 2019, from 10:00 am - 2:00 pm at the East Portland Community Center, 740 SE 106th Ave, Portland. 

This event is an opportunity to provide easy access to resources that are valuable to older adults in our community. The theme of this year's event is "Resiliency and Aging" and will feature presentations and discussions from subject-area experts. 

If you have any questions, please contact my office at: or 503-988-5217.

Join me at the Portland 2.0 Kick-off!

Portland 2.0 logo

Beginning in the late 1960s, the Portland region boldly decided to head in a direction different from other urban areas, turning away from sprawl and freeways, rebuilding a vital and active downtown, maintaining desirable neighborhoods and attractive public parks and amenities. It gained a reputation for urban success, civic vitality, and innovation. 

Yet while Portland may be an urban success story for many, for too many others it has been anything but. And circumstances have changed, including an increasingly diverse population, technology, the economy, civic engagement. Growth is creating new strains.

 Join me on Saturday, January 26th for the Portland 2.0 Kick-Off Event, where we’ll assess how things have changed and to ask some big questions about lessons learned, how things do or don’t get done and about the state of our civic infrastructure.

 We have an all-star lineup of participants, including, Congressman Earl BlumenauerCarl AbbottRukaiyah AdamsMichael AlexanderAdam DavisCaitlin Baggott DavisTony DeFalcoSu EmbreeRick GustafsonKayse JamaMarissa Madrigal, Martha Pellegrino, Carmen Rubio, Margaret Strachan, John TapognaAlan Webber, and Bill Wyatt.

 Registration information and additional details can be found here. Free registrations are being offered to those burdened by the $60 cost and can be accessed on the registration page. Spanish translation services will be provided, and childcare services offered. Those in need of childcare services are asked to email by Friday, January 18th.

Learn more and register for the event.

Get Involved

Do you care about community involvement in County decision-making? Do you want to help reduce barriers to civic participation? Do you enjoy working with a diverse group to identify common goals that benefit the community? If so, apply to join the County's Community Involvement Committee (CIC).

The CIC serves as Multnomah County’s advisory body on community engagement and involvement, and plays a crucial role in bringing community voice into county decision-making. Applications are due Monday, January 28th by 5pm

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