Two-term Multnomah County Commissioner Loretta Smith is a fighter for Portland.
For nearly three decades, she has made working on behalf of our most vulnerable communities her priority. Loretta was born to an union family in Michigan, her dad a boxer and mom a United Auto Workers member. Loretta raised her son as a single mom in Northeast Portland. Loretta’s son attended Portland Public Schools, earned a college scholarship, received his degree, and recently started a small business right here in Portland.
Loretta graduated from Oregon State University. Straight out of college she began working for Senator Ron Wyden. Over 20 years with Senator Wyden, she rose from receptionist to become his field representative for Portland. Loretta threw her hat into the ring to represent North and Northeast Portland on the Multnomah County Commission. She beat the streets, knocked on thousands of doors, and for the past seven years has served our City and County with a passion and commitment rarely seen in public office.
During her time on the Commission, Loretta has made a name for herself as someone who will not back down from a tough fight. She will always put first helping those who need it most, regardless of what powerful interests are on the other side.
She created the Summer Works program at the county, tailored toward helping at-risk youth learn valuable life skills and placing them in permanent employment. This program grew from an initial 25 kids per year to over 500 today, with thousands of graduates of the program gaining skills to succeed.
When bigotry and racism reared its ugly head at the County, Loretta led the charge to ensure all County employees could feel safe in their workplace. Loretta is also committed to promoting safety net programs that are culturally specific, and respectful of the needs and difference of others.
Portland desperately needs Loretta on our City Council today. Loretta’s focus and experience on housing, homelessness, our youth, our seniors, and the quality of life in our city makes her the candidate who can hit the ground running on day one, fighting every day to make real change in Portland for the most vulnerable in our community.