Martha Schrader has more than a vision for Clackamas County. She has achieved real progress on the issues that matter.
On the Board of the Commissioners, Martha Schrader has worked tirelessly to solve the county’s housing challenges.
The critical 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 has been a crucial step in the county’s success to date. Martha is currently working with her colleagues to select developers and owners as they identify sites for new housing construction.
In addition to utilizing $12 million in regional funding for the purchase of newly constructed affordable housing, the county has purchased existing homes. Martha worked to ensure the county funded a Housing Liaison to manage these projects efficiently and successfully.
Caring for our Veterans
Just over a year ago, Martha 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, support from fellow veterans, and access to vital resources. Since then, the county has helped transition many of these residents to more permanent housing.
This transitional village helps veterans recover their dignity and independence by having a place to call their own. It also connects veterans to public services and other veterans, establishing networks that help vets get back on their feet. Martha is currently working on expanding the number of veteran housing options to include intermediate and long-term housing.
Given her background in entomology, Martha understands that ecosystems are complex. Making them more resilient can help in unexpected ways. For example, protecting and enhancing our insect pollinators is key to sustaining our agriculture system and protecting the environment. Martha partnered with the professionals at Oregon State University’s Extension Service to ensure pollination is included in Clackamas County’s sustainability plan.
Thanks to Martha’s leadership, landscaping on county grounds and parks now includes plants conducive to thriving pollinators.
Martha is working to help local businesses grow by exporting their products around the globe. Oregon is a net export state, and Clackamas County is a leader when it comes to exporting agricultural products. Martha’s goals include connecting local food processing companies to get their products to worldwide consumers
Mental Health and Public Safety
Martha is working with a bi-partisan coalition to improve Measure 110 – the drug-decriminalization bill. In addition to ensuring our jails are not used as mental health holding areas, the group is focusing on improving and expanding mental health and addiction treatment services, as well as adding back a public safety component to ensure addicts are incentivized to get the help they need.
Martha is also 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
Clackamas County citizens benefit by having leaders who can advocate on their behalf at the state and federal level. Martha has represented Clackamas County for decades 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.