On the Board of the Commissioners, Martha Schrader has worked tirelessly to solve the challenges our county faces when it comes to housing.
The most important need when it comes to housing is increasing the supply—at multiple levels, from transitional housing to affordable homes for working families. Commissioner Schrader is proud to have directed $160 million in regional bond money, allowing the County Commission to purchase land. Acquiring land for affordable home construction is a critical ingredient in their success to date. Martha is currently working with her colleagues to select developers and owners as we identify sites for new housing construction.
In addition to purchasing new homes, the county has also purchased existing homes. Regional sources have also allocated $12 million to buy new homes. Martha worked to ensure the county a Housing Liaison to manage these projects efficiently and successfully.
Caring for our Veterans
Just over a year ago, Martha Schrader was proud to join her fellow Commissioners in opening the Clackamas County Veterans Village, a tiny home community to help veterans in crisis find stable housing and other resources. Since then, the county has helped transition many of these residents to more permanent housing.
This project is important because it helps veterans find dignity and independence of having a place to call their own. It also serves to help connect veterans to public services and other veterans, establishing networks that help our vets get back on their feet. Martha is currently working on expanding the number of veteran housing options to provide additional capacity for intermediate- and long-term housing for vets.
Given her background in entomology, which is the scientific study of insects, Martha understands that ecosystems are complex. Making them more resilient can come in unexpected ways. For example, protecting and enhancing our insect pollinators is key to sustaining our food system and protecting the environment. Martha has worked with professionals at the Oregon State University Extension Service on strategies to include pollination as part of Clackamas County’s sustainability plan.
As part of this work, Martha has made sure that landscaping on county grounds and parks uses plants that are conducive to thriving pollinators. This is important for agriculture and our food system.
Another part of the overall sustainability plan is looking at energy conservation in our public buildings. There are all kinds of ways we can reduce our carbon footprint to reduce global warming—transportation, recycling habits, and so on. Martha Schrader is bringing these issues forward as the county conducts its business because she realizes the importance of local government in protecting our food, air, water, and climate.
Martha Schrader is looking to help our businesses grow by exporting local products around the globe. Oregon is a net export state, and Clackamas County is a leader when it comes to exporting agricultural products. Martha wants to continue working with food processing companies to help connect their products to worldwide consumers.
Mental Health and Public Safety
Martha Schrader is working hard to make sure jails are not being used as mental health holding areas. This means building capacity to ensure people in crisis can receive care in an appropriate health center, instead of being sent to jail.
She is working on integrated solutions that expand access to high-quality health services, including mental health and other specialty services like diabetes and dental care. She helped develop the county’s Health Centers Team and Health Centers Dental Team, which are working hand-in-hand with regional partners to address the complex challenges our counties face.
Collaboration with Tribal Governments
Martha respects the sovereignty of Native Americans and has made it a central value to work collaboratively with Native leaders. She works closely with Tracy Moreland, a Community Relations Specialist who is also a member of The Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde, on building relationships with Native communities.
Leading and Learning for Good Governance
It is important to have a strong voice at the state and federal levels advocating for Clackamas County and its citizens. Additionally, it is important for our leaders to work with other counties to ensure our government is run efficiently and effectively. Martha Schrader has represented Clackamas County well by serving as a leader of state and national organizations.
Currently, Martha serves as Vice Chair of the Community and Economic Development Committee of the National Association of Counties (NACo). In this capacity, she works to ensure home funding and community development block grants remain stable. She is also Vice Chair of NACo’s International Committee, where she continues to advance the interests of Clackamas County exporters.
As a leader in national county governance, Clackamas County has received awards for innovation. More importantly than the award itself, Clackamas County has stood out as a model for good governance across the nation.
Martha also served as past president of the Association of Oregon Counties (AOC). Martha helped put AOC in a better financial position and managed the hiring of a new executive director, the first woman to hold that position.