Ashton Simpson, Air Force veteran, to vie for District 1 seat during next spring's election

COURTESY: ASHTON SIMPSON FOR METRO COUNCIL - Ashton SimpsonAn East Multnomah County community leader and nonprofit executive has announced his intent to run for the open seat at Metro, the regional government.

Ashton Simpson is eyeing becoming the second Black man to serve on Metro's Council by joining the primary in May 2022. If elected he would represent Metro's District 1, a seat currently helmed by Councilor Shirley Craddick, who is term limited.

"I'm running for Metro because I want to help our community forward — for everyone," Simpson said. "I have a proven track record of bringing people together (and) solving pressing issues all with a focus on equity."

Simpson, executive director of Oregon Walks, has served on several committees that directed policy and dollars to the community. That includes a transportation coalition that secured $185 million to transform 82nd Avenue in Portland into a safer corridor.

Raised in Houston, Texas, Simpson is a retired Air Force civil engineer technician.

"In the Air Force, I learned the value of service, teamwork and never leaving anyone behind," he said. "We must help others … I will continue to pay it forward."

If elected, Simpson said he wants to improve access to affordable housing, jobs, education and transportation; address housing affordability; reduce reliance on fossil fuels and inves in renewable energy. He said he plans to increase the number of Metro's green spaces and expand family-wage construction job access for women and people of color through Metro's Construction Career Pathways program.

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