Betty Dominguez wants seat vacated by Metro's Carlotta Collette
Oak Grove resident Betty Dominguez, Clackamas County's citizen representative to the Metro Policy Advisory Committee since September 2015, has filed for election to the District 2 Metro Council seat opened by the retirement of Carlotta Collette on Jan. 2.
Dominguez is director of policy and equity for Home Forward, the housing authority serving Multnomah County, where she also served as the assistant director in the agency's real-estate development department. In addition to running for the election, she will seek appointment by the six remaining Metro councilors to fill the rest of Collette's current term.
Dominguez joins three other candidates for the position so far: Lake Oswego City Councilor Joe Buck, former Oregon City Commissioner Carol Pauli and Christine Lewis of West Linn. The filing deadline for the election is March 6.
Applications for appointment to the seat are due by March 1. A public hearing on the vacancy is scheduled for 6 p.m. March 8, at the Willamette View Terrace Auditorium, 12705 S.E. River Road, Oak Grove.
Dominguez hopes to bring her deep background in affordable housing to bear as Metro considers its first-ever affordable housing funding measure. Displaying experience in finance and a passion for working for people in need, Dominguez has received the endorsement of Milwaukie Mayor Mark Gamba.
In addition, Dominguez will be able to focus all of her attention into the position, while the younger candidates that are currently running all have additional careers that they're involved with, Gamba said.
"The underlying cause of the need for affordable housing has always been poverty, which should be addressed through education and job training/job creation at living-wage levels," Dominguez said. "I believe that a healthy community can provide for all its residents across all income bands and that a critical way to achieve the balance needed to accomplish that is through addressing jobs, housing and transportation needs simultaneously and by applying an equity lens to their efforts."
Prior to moving to Oregon in 1996, Dominguez worked in real estate and construction financing in San Diego. She moved here to become regional advisor to the director of Oregon's Housing Finance Agency. In that role she assisted public, private and nonprofit entities develop thousands of affordable housing units throughout Oregon, as well as helping with the agency's community-development and main-street revitalization efforts. She became a resident of Oak Grove 12 years ago.
Dominguez said her life as a single parent, often struggling to afford housing and pay the bills, informed her decision to seek the Metro District 2 seat.
"I understand first-hand the struggles facing our region's families," she said. "Metro is at the center of the issues of affordability, accessible transportation and creating a place that provides opportunity for all members of the community. I believe I offer a unique mix of experience and priorities that are right for this moment."
Currently, Dominguez serves on Clackamas County's Housing Advisory Board, a position she has held since last year. She has served on Portland Housing Bureau's Advisory Committee since 2015. She serves on the East Metro Economic Alliance Board.
In the past she served on Metro's Transit Oriented Development Steering Committee. She worked on Metro's Equity Strategy Advisory Committee from 2013-16. She was on Metro's Equitable Housing Task Force through early 2016. She is a past board president of Greater Portland Habitat for Humanity and a past member of the Metro Regional Boys & Girls Club Board.
Betty has two daughters who are both specialty care registered nurses. She is the proud grandmother of a 13-year-old grandson who is getting straight A's in school.