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July 2012

Dear Friends,


Summer may be in full swing, but at Multnomah County, we're as busy as ever.

We've finalized the $10.4 million sale of our Morrison Bridgehead property, which promises to energize downtown Portland with a new public market. We've convened more than 300 community partners, friends and organizations to address the issue of food access in our region. And we're gathering input from residents on the future of our library system. The bottom line is we're continuing to apply the county's mission of service on all fronts.

Doing this work is not a simple task, given this organization's complexity and wide range of services it provides. But thanks to the hard work, talent and innovative thinking of our employees, the county has the ability to come up with and execute solutions that enhance the lives of our residents, despite the limited resources we face.

To learn more about the diverse services the county provides, I encourage you to explore the "Multnomah County at Work" toolbar, located on the right hand column of this newsletter.

For the latest in county news, delve into this edition of my newsletter or keep up with me on Twitter or Facebook.

Wishing you a warm and active summer.  



Jeff Cogen 


The future of the Multnomah County Library: A community conversation
The Hollywood branch of the Multnomah County LibraryLibraryitemIt's no secret that the Multnomah County Library is a prized asset to our community. As the state's largest library, it serves 35,000 county residents every day either in person or online.

Historically, the library has received most of its funding through two sources, the county's general fund and local option levy revenues. 

In May, county residents overwhelmingly voted to renew a local option levy, safeguarding our library from neighborhood branch closures across Multnomah County for the next three years.

But due to the growing public need for county services, as well as an ongoing decline in property tax revenues, these funding sources are no longer enough to support the same level of library hours, service and staff we've seen in the past.

To best address this issue, the county will be sponsoring several community meetings, a public hearing on July 31 and distributing an online survey to hear firsthand from residents about their views on a Library District and how best to fund libraries in the future.

Click here to view a complete list of community feedback opportunities. 
Board finalizes sale of Morrison Bridgehead for development of the James Beard Public Market
BridgeheadDuring our June 14 board meeting, my fellow commissioners and I unanimously approved an agreement with Melvin Mark Development Company for the $10.4 million sale of the county's Morrison Bridgehead property. That approval is a major step forward in the exciting development of the James Beard Public Market -- a planned year-round indoor and outdoor food market with a high-rise tower.
Rendering of Morrison Bridgehead property development.
Rendering of the Morrison Bridgehead property development.
The development of the site, which is located on the west side of the Morrison Bridge, will provide an economic stimulus to our local economy, returning the property to private ownership and to the tax roll. This project has the potential to create hundreds of jobs, improve the vibrancy of surrounding areas of downtown and cement Portland's position as a green and agriculture leader nationally.

For more on this landmark agreement, read "Board finalizes sale of Morrison Bridgehead; public market moves a step closer."  
Parkrose school-based health center open during summer months

Multnomah County School-based health center School may be out for the summer, but kids in Multnomah County can still receive health services at our school-based health center at Parkrose High School now through Aug. 17.  


Click here for Parkrose School-based health center hours, location and contact information.   

2012 Multnomah Food Summit: Addressing food justice in our region

Chair Cogen addresses the Multnomah Food Summit crowdFoodsummitOn June 15, our Health Department and Office of Sustainability co-hosted the third annual Multnomah Food Summit. The food summit is a yearly gathering where local organizations, community groups and individuals meet to discuss the state of our regional food system.  


This year's theme was "Food Justice: Cultivating a shared and board understanding." Oregon is considered the second hungriest state in the nation, with more than 30,000 Multnomah County residents a month accessing the Oregon Food Bank.


At the food summit, we directly addressed the issue of food justice, discussing strategies on how we can collectively create a regional food system that allows access to healthy, fresh, quality food for everyone in our community.


For more on the event, including clips of this year's keynote speaker, Pastor Wilbert Hardy, U.S. Rep. Earl Blumenauer and myself, read "Multnomah County Food Summit brings community together to address food justice." 

Sustainability Film Series featured film: Attack of the Electric Car

Revenge of the Electric Car movie poster As part of our ongoing Sustainability Film Series, I will be on hand to host the county's free screening of:


Revenge of the Electric Car

Sunday, July 15  

7 p.m.

at McMenamin's Bagdad Theater,

3702 S.E. Hawthorne Blvd.


Revenge of the Electric Car is a film that tells the story behind the growing international movement toward electric cars.


One hour before the screening at 6 p.m. we will host an electric vehicle car show in front of the Bagdad where you can check out the latest electric vehicles. Stick around after the screening for a panel discussion on busting the myths of electric vehicle ownership.   


Click here for details.

Multnomah County is Oregon's most populous county with about 735,000 residents.  Multnomah County is governed by a Board of four elected Commissioners and one Chair. Multnomah County employees provide citizens a wide range of health and human services, public safety services and other government services.  

Multnomah County values the privacy of personal information and will not sell or otherwise disclose your email address, except as provided under Chapter 192 of the Oregon Revised Statues pertaining to Records; Public Reports and Meetings.

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publcinputdatesCommunity listening sessions


July 10, 6 - 7:30 p.m.

385 N.W. Miller Ave.


 July 12, 6 - 7:30 p.m.

 512 N. Killingsworth St.  



July 17, 6 - 7:30 p.m.

1525 S.W. Sunset Blvd.



July 19, 6 - 7:30 p.m.

4040 N.E. Tillamook St.


Public Hearing   


July 31 at 10 a.m.   Multnomah County  


501 S.E. Hawthorne Blvd.


Online survey


Click here to complete our online survey.  

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