Why I'm running for Multnomah County Commission

By Judy Shiprack of Portland, Oregon. Judy is a candidate for Multnomah County Commission, District 3. (Currently held by Commissioner Lisa Naito.)

JudyshiprackI want to be a Multnomah County Commissioner because I care passionately about the work Multnomah County does, and the work it could do.

I learned the skills it takes to get things done during three Legislative Sessions as a SE Portland State Representative. I have chaired legislative committees, and I have a voting record. You don't have to take my word for where I stand; you can look it up. I have advocated effectively for labor, for gay and lesbian rights, for affordable housing, for the environment, for drug and alcohol treatment, for health care, for the rights of disabled people, for community services, and for putting resources where they will do the most good.

Multnomah County's tax dollars go to Salem and disappear. We get $.47 for every $1 we send in vehicle registration and gas taxes, and it's not just happening with transportation. I know how Salem works, and I can work with our legislative delegation to return a fair share of tax dollars to our services and citizens.

I support universal health care. I support a coordinated and smart public safety system that treats crime prevention as a priority, treats victims with respect, and holds criminals accountable. And I support safe and well maintained roads and bridges and a transportation system sufficient to play the vital role it must in a thriving economy.

The Multnomah Board of County Commissioners can help connect some of the dots: 85% of people in jail have a drug or alcohol addiction. We need more treatment programs. Mentally ill people are arrested when they need health care, not a jail bed. We will do a better job reducing our carbon footprint if we make biking safer, and stop criminals from victimizing people on MAX trains.

I'm a Reedie (MAT 1973), a former teacher (Jefferson High School), a lawyer (Lewis and Clark 1980) and a former Multnomah County Deputy District Attorney. I represented a portion of County Commission District #3 in the State Legislature from 1987 to 1991. I developed affordable housing for ten years before joining Multnomah County as the Director of the Local Public Safety Coordinating Council in 2003.

I have raised two daughters (both attended Portland Public Schools), and I have lived in District 3 for 30 years. And if you look up my voting record, look up Judy Bauman, because that was my name then.

If you'd like to join me, and become involved in my campaign, you can email me at [email protected] I'd love to have your support!

Comments

  • Patricia (unverified)
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    WOW! I am impressed, you have the range and talent and energy to get to work and the smarts to know what to work on.

  • MRL (unverified)
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    Multnomah County needs strong leadership who understand the issues our community is facing today and have the experience to navigate the system to fund the vital services that we are constantly in danger of losing.

    Judy Shiprack strikes me as having that combination of experience and understanding. I am glad that she has stepped into this race.

  • William W. Mehrens (unverified)
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    As a 30+ year past resident of Multnomah County I spent a career representing people. Mrs. Shiprack's assistance in organizing our community development corporation was immeasurable. I have watched her development for over 2 decades. She will be an asset to the county and a valuable addition to this board.

    Wally Mehrens

  • David McDonald (unverified)
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    Judy, could you please share how you've advocated for the rights of disabled people? Thanks!

  • Paul Rainey (unverified)
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    This past year, I spent a tremendous amount of time and energy working in the legislature to enhance affordable housing throughout Oregon. As a former State Representative, Judy Shiprack (then Bauman) helped create and supported many programs to keep housing within reach of Oregon’s working families. If that was her legacy within the legislature, we need her experience working for Multnomah County!

  • Jenn Donovan (unverified)
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    Judy is my mother-in-law, and who better to speak on her character than family? Her collaborative nature will make her an excellent addition to the board. Plus, I have seen how she lives and breathes issues facing the county. Her passion and commitment flows through her everyday life activities. She is a star!

  • Judy Shiprack (unverified)
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    Thanks for all of you who posted such kind responses. I am finding this to be a very different, and eerily disembodied, form of political discourse. But still, I wanted to comment on my advocacy for disabled people. Publicly and privately I support and have worked for equality of opportunity and a more generous, accepting community. Multnomah County's primary mission is to provide for the most vulnerable among us. I just want to comment that there is an entire community of workers within the County who are talented, caring, mission driven, and who share Mr. McDonald's interest in advocacy --for more housing, more health care, and more community-based services-- for elderly, physically disabled, mentally ill and developmentally disabled people. I look forward to working with them, and with Mr. McDonald, when I am on the County Commission

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    Judy, can you say more about how you think county commissioners can contribute to advancing the cause of universal healthcare? (I think they can, but am interested in your take on how you'd go about it.) What does universal healthcare mean to you? Thanks.

  • Judy Shiprack (unverified)
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    Chris-- Thanks for using the term "contribute", since this is a national issue and requires national leadership. The gap between the working insured and everyone else (i.e., the uninsured, some of them in Oregon(a shrinking number) eligible for Oregon Health Care Benefits) keeps growing. It is a national embarassment to tolerate.

    There are a couple of ways the County could help protect local health care access. 1.)Support Unions. Unions advance health care for their members, and they have every good reason to do so. 2.)Support efforts to reduce teen parenthood, including improved access to birth control and abortion. 3.)Support our own health care clinics, which provide care to the most vulnerable (poor, homeless, mentally ill, disabled) by applying evidence based practices in our budget process...something the County is making great strides in doing currently and 4.)Be aware of what is going on in other communities, as well as in our own. The current system pays obscene salaries to a few insurance executives, pays for exorbitant advertising, supports politicians who pledge to stand by the status quo, engages in "log rolling" to topple public discussion of advancing universal healthcare (i.e., marginalization, pooh-poohing, "its too complicated", "its too expensive").

    The public safety system intersects the health care system in numerous ways; these include paying more attention to early childhood, and the needs of parents --especially single parents--, access to mental health treatment (including creating a triage center), access to drug and alcohol treatment, culturally specific health care programs, school-based clinics, affordable housing. If we consider the costs of jail and prison and what the evidence says is the prognosis of that and compare to the benefits possible from beefing up the health care system. Where I just identified intersections are places we may be able to make progress through the County's budget priorities. And I plan on participating. Google the Archimedes Project in Oregon, or go to the websites of the Democratic presidential candidates for some of what is forming my thoughts on what Universal Healthcare means.

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    Thanks Judy. I said contribute for exactly the reasons you say. Appreciate your thoughts.

  • David McDonald (unverified)
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    Judy,

    Thanks for your reply to my question. I do admit that your use of the word "entire" makes me seriously nervous. Having dealt with Multnomah County Developmental Disabilities in many capacities over the years, I've found that the best interests of the people they serve are not always at the top of some employees priority list.

    The system is screaming for reform. Last Sunday's article on the front page of the Oregonian makes this claim perfectly clear. Over 50% of the folks deinstitutionalized when Fairview was closed have had substantiated abuse and/or neglect charges filed for them. Of course the majority of these people live right here, in Multnomah County.

  • DanS (unverified)
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    Judy,

    thanks for your service to the community.

    One item I didn't see was the things you've done to support the business community so that Portland business can expand and hire more people.

    What have you done to lower the cost of doing business and make Portland more business friendly and welcomming to capitalist endeavors?

    Thanks for your reply.

  • Chris (unverified)
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    Judy,

    You improperly used a comma in your introductory paragraph.
    A copy editor may be of use to your campaign. I wish you the best of luck.

  • Judy Shiprack (unverified)
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    DanS-- Thanks for your question! My assignment will go beyond Portland to Multnomah County as a whole, but I think my priorities will help Portland businesses grow and hire more people.

    Lowering costs: One of my priorities is to repair and maintain Multnomah County's roads and bridges, which will assist economic development, countywide.

    Drug and alcohol treatment access, another one of my priorities, is vital to business, since clean, sober workers get their work done, pay taxes, and spend the money they earn in our community. Clean and sober people are less likely to commit crimes that victimize business and neighborhoods. They are able raise their children.

    When I was in the Legislature I supported workers comp reforms which have taken Oregon from being one of the highest rate/lowest benefit States to one of the lowest rate/highest benefit States.

    For ten years after leaving the Legislature I ran a small not-for-profit. We built over $30m worth of housing. I learned the difference between working with cooperative government and working with the other kind... Good government policies are conducive to healthy business, and I look forward to helping.

    Judy

  • Judy Shiprack (unverified)
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    Chris-- Thanks for that constructive criticism. I took it as a very helpful comment. My copy editor, however, spent the day in tears. So I fired her. Are you available? Judy

  • DanS (unverified)
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    Judy,

    thanks for your reply.

    I'm pleased to see you are addressing the need to maintain and improve roads.

    Good luck on your candidacy!

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