Councilor Chase emphasizes the importance of living-wage jobs, protecting the environment, building affordable housing for our lowest income residents and communities of color, and providing economic opportunity and livability for all greater Portland residents as his priorities as Metro Councilor.
Since his election in 2013, Sam successfully advocated for the creation of Metro’s Equitable Housing Initiative and the Equitable Housing Grants program. He was also a champion for the 2018 affordable housing measure, which was approved by voters in all three Metro counties, bringing $652.8 million in housing resources to provide over 12,000 families with safe, stable, affordable places to call home.
He was a leader in urging Metro to divest from major fossil fuel corporations and continues to focus on diesel and greenhouse gas emission mitigation. He has worked to get the Columbia Blvd., bridge and St. John’s prairie trail constructed supporting the North Portland and Willamette Greenway projects. He also advocates for access to parks and nature in our urban communities.
He partnered with TriMet to help create a low-income fare program for transit riders, an effort that brings $40 million annually in new transit service funding to the region. Creating a multi-modal transportation system that makes biking, walking and transit safe and reliable remains a top priority.
Sam is co-sponsoring the Construction Career Pathways Project, which convenes over a dozen stakeholders to identify barriers people of color and women face in the construction trades to build strategies to provide reliable career pathways.
Through all of this Sam keeps a close eye on the policies of Metro to advocate for continued progress on the Strategy to Advance Racial Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. An approach that crosses all lines of business at the agency and in his work as a policymaker.
In addition to his role at Metro, Sam serves as executive director of the Coalition of Community Health Clinics. In the past 20 years, his public sector and non-profit experience have included serving as chief of staff to Portland City Commissioner Nick Fish, executive director at the Oregon Opportunity Network (now Housing Oregon) and Clackamas Community Land Trust, housing policy advisor to Portland City Commissioner Gretchen Kafoury, and campaign manager and field director for local and state campaigns. He has served on the boards of directors of the Portland Community Land Trust, X-PAC, Northwest District Association, the Housing Development Center, Coalition for a Livable Future and the Oregon League of Conservation Voters, Multnomah County Chapter.
Chase earned a B.A. from Pitzer College of the Claremont Colleges. He lives in North Portland with his two daughters.