In addition to his role at Metro, Councilor Chase 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.
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 the region’s residents as his priorities as a Metro Councilor.
Since being elected in 2013, Sam has championed 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 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; lending support for the North Portland Greenway trail; and continued efforts to protect our natural areas for future generations. He partnered with TriMet to help create a low-income fare program for transit riders, bringing $40 million annually in new transit service funding to the region.
Councilor Chase is co-sponsoring the Construction Career Pathways Project, which brings over a dozen stakeholders together at the regional level to identify barriers people of color and women face in the construction trades and build strategies to provide reliable career pathways.
Through all his endeavors, 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. A cause that crosses all lines of business at the agency and in his work as a policymaker.
Chase earned a B.A. from Pitzer College of the Claremont Colleges. He lives in North Portland with his two daughters.