Policy Agenda

East Multnomah County

Working for equitable regional development

East Multnomah County has long been an underserved, economically distressed region that has failed to benefit from Portland’s otherwise rapid economic growth.

In 2018, the Portland Metro Chamber identified the economic development of East Multnomah County as a strategic priority and committed to supporting the people and businesses of the region.

East Multnomah County Policy Priorities

1. Prioritize state and local government investment in East Multnomah County

  • Provide funding to restore the loss of federal funding to Worksystems, Inc. This includes funding for the WorkSource Portland Metro Gresham (WSPMG) program at Mt. Hood Community College, the only one of its kind in East Multnomah County.
  • Support legislation creating equitable state-funding formulas designed to give special consideration to high-needs geographic areas within high-population counties.
  • Continue to support efforts for building a central business district located east of N/SE 82nd Avenue. This secondary regional downtown district would anchor economic strategies, bringing new investment and high-wage jobs, and close the pay-equity gap.
  • Support specific programs for recruiting new and current employers in expanding in East Multnomah County.
  • Accelerate implementation of the East Portland Action Plan. We will collaborate with East Multnomah County leaders in holding the city accountable for renewed action and progress.

2. Advocate for necessary investments for improving transportation options for resident and employers of East Multnomah County

  • Encourage regional transportation partners to make service improvements in East Multnomah County a clear priority over the next decade, including:
    • Rapid bus service on main thoroughfares from Gresham to Downtown Portland.
    • Seven-day-a-week bus service with frequencies that reflect the diverse needs of residents and various family-wage shifts.
    • Direct service to Mt. Hood Community College.
    • Fund and develop a dedicated transit terminal at the main Mt. Hood Community College campus.
  • Prioritize funding for and encourage development of biking, walking, and pedestrian safety projects in East Multnomah County and East Portland.
  • Advocate for the State of Oregon to transfer jurisdictional authority of N/SE 82nd Ave. to the City of Portland. This will allow local communities to actively inform the future development of this critical transportation artery.
  • Support a region-wide transit youth pass program.
  • Prioritize East Multnomah County projects in any regional transportation infrastructure measure referred by Metro.