Lori Stegmann standing at a microphone, smiling and waving one hand
Multnomah County Commissioner Lori Stegmann is joining the race for chair. Motoya Nakamura / Multnomah County

Multnomah County Commissioner Lori Stegmann will run for Multnomah County Chair in the May 2022 primary race, the commissioner announced Monday.

Stegmann said she is running for the position because she wants to see Multnomah County provide more housing security services for renters and unhoused people, as well as support small businesses who have been hit hard by the pandemic.

“My lived experience as an immigrant, a woman of color, and someone who grew up with housing and food insecurity has made me someone who is fueled by urgency and the certainty that providing stability and opportunity for all our residents is the path to stronger communities,” Stegmann said in a press release announcing her run.

Stegmann has represented Multnomah County’s District 4, which includes East Portland, Gresham and other communities in the county’s east side, since 2016. In 2018, Stegmann introduced resolutions to create the Construction Diversity Equity Fund—a county program aiming to provide living-wage construction jobs to women and residents of color through training and apprenticeships—and dedicate more funding for supportive housing in Multnomah County.

Stegmann lives in Gresham—a location she claims gives her a more balanced perspective over the county’s needs than the commissioners who live in Portland.

“As the only Commissioner from outside of Portland, I have a different and broader perspective that is much needed now, as we tackle some of the toughest challenges our county and our region has faced in our lifetime,” Stegmann said. “That is what drives my passion and commitment to finding the best solutions on the shortest possible timelines.”

If elected chair, Stegmann pledged to evaluate all policy and funding decisions by measuring their positive impact on economic, social, and environmental justice.

Stegmann is the fourth person to announce a run for county chair, joining fellow county commissioners Sharon Meieran and Jessica Vega Pederson, and housing advocate Shannon Singleton. Multnomah County Commissioner Susheela Jayapal is the only commissioner not running for the lead county position. Deborah Kafoury, the county’s current chair, will not run for reelection due to term limits.