Endorsement 2022: Jessica Vega Pederson

Jessica Vega Pederson
Jessica Vega Pederson

“AFSCME Local 88 is proud to join more than 60 labor unions, activist organizations, elected officials and business and community leaders in endorsing Jessica Vega Pederson as our next Multnomah County Chair. We need a leader who can bring together stakeholders from all walks of life to craft meaningful policy that improves the lives of working families. Jessica did just that when she fought for paid sick leave and a higher minimum wage and in passing Preschool for All, insisting on labor neutrality requirements for behavioral health contractors. We believe in Jessica’s ability to fight for a fairer economic playing field and build upon the strengths of one of the County’s greatest assets: its employees.”

A mom, commissioner and former state representative, Jessica Vega Pederson has the experience and values we need to move Multnomah County forward and create a brighter future where we can all thrive.

Jessica was elected to the Multnomah County Board of Commissioners in 2016 where she put her progressive values into action. As commissioner for district 3 (East Portland), she led the effort to pass Pre-School for All, giving every child the opportunity to have access to high-quality early learning experiences. Jessica also helped to pass a 100% Clean Energy Resolution that protects our climate by getting coal out of our energy mix while creating jobs and providing cleaner air for families. And Jessica has overseen critical infrastructure projects in Multnomah County, including the $324.5 million investment in the county’s new courthouse.

Jessica first made history in 2012 as the first Latina elected to the Oregon State House, going on to serve as the Deputy Majority Whip. During her time in Salem, Jessica championed Paid Sick Time for All, increased critical investments to support Oregon public schools, and safeguarded women’s reproductive healthcare, including a first in the country law that allowed pharmacists to prescribe birth control.

Jessica was raised in a Mexican American family who taught her the importance of standing up for herself and those around her. That’s why she’s dedicated her life and career to improving her community. Prior to public service, Jessica graduated from Loyola University of Chicago and worked 14 years in the private sector where she helped startups, small businesses, and Fortune 500 companies grow their business using communication technologies. Married to a small business owner, Jessica understands the obstacles the COVID-19 pandemic created for small businesses, particularly those owned by people of color and she will fight to build a local economy that is stronger than ever.

As we continue to face unprecedented challenges, Jessica will fight for us as County chair and work to make sure all communities have clean air, stable housing, a good education and a chance to thrive.

“This is not the time to shrink from a challenge. It’s time to rise up and re-envision what our communities can and should be, working together to make change.” —Jessica Vega Pederson

For more information on Jessica Vega Pederson for Chair, please click here.

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