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The county commissioner has questioned the current approach to ending the homeless crisis.

PMG FILE PHOTO - Multnomah County Commissioner Sharon MeieranMultnomah County Commissioner Sharon Meieran has announced she is running for the county chair position.

As first reported by Willamette Week, Meieran, who represents District 1 on the west side of the county, hopes to succeed Chair Deborah Kafoury, who cannot run for reelection because of county term limit restrictions.

"I have been committed to the core work of the county — public health — for my working life," said Meieran, an emergency room doctor. "Multnomah County is facing multiple crises. I have the background and skill set we need to triage them and address what's happening with a sense of urgency."

Meieran is the only member of the commission who has questioned its current strategy of prioritizing permanent housing over alternatives to end the homeless crisis. She laid out her position in a March 7 op-ed in The Oregonian, in which she said, "It is clear that urgent solutions are needed. But in order to provide the right solutions, we need to be asking ourselves the right questions, and acknowledging up front that our region currently does not have the capacity to provide housing, or even indoor shelter, for everyone living on our streets." 

District 3 Commissioner Jessica Vega Pederson has already announced for the seat and District 4 Commissioner Lori Stegmann is thought to be considering it.


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