The race to succeed outgoing Multnomah County Chair Deborah Kafoury gained another serious contender today as Shannon Singleton, an aide to Gov. Kate Brown, officially announced her candidacy.
“I’m running for county chair because, as CEO of the county, it’s the best position to make the most impact on homelessness, mental health and moving people to permanent housing,” Singleton said. “As county chair, I will utilize all of the tools to fully address the short- and long-term complexity of homelessness, our mental health crisis while also preventing people from becoming homeless because they can’t afford rent.”
Singleton currently advises Brown on equity and racial justice. Prior to joining the governor’s administration, initially as housing adviser in 2019, Singleton served as the executive director of JOIN, the Portland provider of services to homeless people. A trained social worker, she also put in previous stints at the Portland Housing Bureau and Cascadia Behavioral Healthcare.
She has also served as Metro Bond Oversight Committee co-chair; on the Metro Housing Bond and Homeless Services campaign committee; as A Home for Everyone coordinating board co-chair; and on the Portland State University Homelessness and Research Action Collaborative Board.
Singleton joins a field that already includes Multnomah County Commissioners Jessica Vega Pederson, Sharon Meieran and likely Lori Stegmann, although Stegmann has not announced officially yet. Kafoury cannot run for reelection because of term limits.