Loretta Smith: Why I'm Running

By Loretta Smith of Portland, Oregon. Loretta is a candidate for Multnomah County Commission. She serves as the Multnomah County field representative for U.S. Senator Ron Wyden. Learn more at ElectLorettaSmith.com.

My name is Loretta Smith, and I'm running for Multnomah County Commission Position 2. I am a single parent who raised my family in Northeast Portland. My son is a proud product of Portland Public Schools. I have been U.S. Senator Ron Wyden's eyes and ears in Multnomah County for 20 years. I want be your Multnomah County Commissioner so that I can continue to provide real solutions for real people.

Multnomah County residents have some basic, reasonable expectations of their leaders. They expect their leaders to fight for the most vulnerable members of our community. They expect to have their social services delivered with compassion, commitment and understanding. And they expect the county's scarce resources to be spent wisely.

But these expectations are not being met. The need for mental health services is greater today than it was yesterday. The needs of our seniors, children and families are greater today than they were yesterday. The need to expand small business and provide job training and opportunities is greater every day.

Where others may see these situations as difficulties, I see them as opportunities. I've spent over 20 years helping real people solve real problems in Multnomah County, and I know what it takes to get it done.

I've watched my son's friends slip through the cracks at school, and worked to promote and support after school programs like SEI and Boys and Girls Clubs that help to pull them back out. I've sat in homes with seniors, helping them to sort out their finances so that they could refinance their mortgage and get home heating assistance. I've brought public funding to help solve private problems, like job training through Operation Clean Sweep.

I am a member of this community, and my priorities are the same as yours: to make sure that our senior citizens are treated with the dignity and respect they deserve, that our kids have a safe place to live and to grow, and that our people have the opportunity to work and prosper in our community. And I have the track record, the skills and the passion to accomplish them.

I am a product of my grandfather, Arthur Smith, who traveled to Oregon in 1942 in search of a better life for his family. He found that opportunity here, and he instilled in me the values of hard work, loyalty and dedication to family. I will put those values to work on the Multnomah County Commission, in support of our seniors, our kids and our community, and I ask for your vote.

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    I've had a lot of problems with getting access to commissioners. There are a lot of regular ol' Joes and Janes that have a specific issue come up that really should be considered. Personal experience, and from what I've heard, it's impossible to get a call or email acknowledged. Would you make any specific changes?

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      Hi John,

      Thanks for your comments. I think it is important to help people resolve their problems and address their concerns in writing or over the telephone quickly. I will be accessible and I will meet with regular people ("Joes and Janes") as issues come up.

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