Climate Action and Resiliency

The climate crisis is the existential threat of our times, and ending our reliance on fossil fuels is one of the most important tasks facing every level of government.

Multnomah County has a proud history of leadership in the fight against climate change, beginning with our first joint local climate action plan in 2001. But we know that our opportunity to act before the most catastrophic impacts of climate change occur is closing. In my time as an elected leader, I have passed nationally-recognized climate policy, and am confident that we can lead in the fight against climate change. 

As Chair, I will: 

  • Implement the Climate Justice Initiative
  • Empower communities on the frontlines of the climate crisis to lead in developing solutions that reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and build resiliency by fully-resourcing the Climate Justice Initiative and prioritizing the implementation of its action items. 
  • Expand partnerships with Portland Clean Energy Program (PCEF)
  • Work in partnership with PCEF and community-based organizations to accelerate investments in resiliency, local energy production, and household weatherization and upgrades.
  • Phase out natural gas
  • Phase out the use of natural gas in new construction and seek opportunities to support gas-stove replacements.
  • Expand access to heat pumps, air conditioning, and air filters
  • Help communities most vulnerable to climate change by expanding access to heat pumps, air conditioning, and air filters to protect against deadly heat waves and wildfire smoke. 
  • Build Climate Resilience Hubs
  • Build a network of climate resilience hubs, which can serve as emergency spaces stocked with resources during crises, as well as support community-based organizations and other local networks at other times.
  • Accelerate vehicle and building electrification
  • Speed up the electrification of our transportation and business sectors by partnering with utility companies, nonprofit organizations, and community-based organizations to lower the costs of electrification and build towards greater incentives to implementation. 

Protect clean air & water for everyone

  • Address harmful wood smoke pollution
  • Identify additional resources to fund wood stove change-outs for Multnomah County residents.
  • Ban gas-powered leaf blowers
  • Ban the use of gas-powered leaf blowers in Multnomah County while ensuring that small businesses have the time, information and support they need to shift to electric devices.

Center Environmental Justice

  • Empower the Tribal Relations Liaison
  • Proactively work with Tribal and other Native American communities to identify areas where Multnomah County has fallen short of its obligations and develop solutions that respect the sovereignty of Tribal communities.
  • Expand tree canopy coverage
  • Partner in efforts to strengthen tree canopy coverage, particularly in low-income areas, by expanding tree planting programs and educational outreach. 
  • Improve safety at the Critical Energy Infrastructure Hub
  • Improve safety, transparency and accountability around the Critical Energy Infrastructure Hub, which could produce a calamitous emergency in the event of a significant earthquake or other natural disaster. 

In my time as a state legislator, I have: 

  • Served as Chair of the House Energy & Environment committee from 2015 - 2017, where I led efforts to address the climate crisis and protect air quality. 
  • Championed passage of the groundbreaking Coal to Clean bill, a first-of-its-kind law to transition off of coal-fired power while doubling the state’s commitment to clean electricity by 2040.

As Multnomah County Commissioner:

  • Led the County's #100by50 resolution, which commits our county to 100% clean electricity by 2035 and 100% clean transportation and home heating energy by 2050.
  • The resolution calls for at least 2% of the renewable energy used by our community to come from community-based resources.
  • Sponsored the 2017 Community Energy Justice Summit, a three day workshop for frontline community organizations and policy makers to address questions around community-based resources and how to achieve that goal.
  • In 2018, led a successful effort to put community pressure on TriMet to fully electrify their bus fleet. These efforts resulted in TriMet committing to a timeline for its conversion; starting last year, TriMet is exclusively purchasing zero emissions vehicles.
  • Advocated for comprehensive congestion pricing on our roadways, which is a major tool for reducing traffic and carbon emissions from our transportation sector. 
  • Fought for funding to conduct a study of air quality regulations in Multnomah County.
  • Crafted Multnomah County’s wood smoke curtailment policy, which restricts wood burning for ambient reasons on days when the weather is forecasted to exacerbate poor air quality.
  • Served as the Board liaison to the County’s Advisory Committee on Sustainability & Transportation, and represented the County at numerous transportation decision making bodies, such as Metro’s JPACT, ODOT’s ACT, and the HB 2017 Transit Advisory Committee.