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Community activist to challenge Smith for Multnomah County Commission seat

North Portland business consultant and community activist Teressa Raiford Mazique has filed to run against incumbent Loretta Smith for the Multnomah County Commssion.

Raiford, a lifelong Portland resident, is state director for Unite Women, a nationwide nonprofit organization. She is also community and economic chairwoman for the Oregon Assembly for Black Affairs, which hosts the Oregon Black Political Convention.

Raiford is a member of the family that owned the Burger Barn, a black-owned restaurant targeted by police in the infamous "Opossum Incident" that sparked community outrage in 1981. She has also worked on gun control issues since a relative was killed in a still-unsolved shooting.

As part of her efforts, Raiford was was flown out to the White House by Mayors Against Illegal Guns to meet with Michelle Obama in February 2013, and was a guest for State of the Union. While in Washington, D.C., she lobbied congressional members.

And Raiford has advocates for better children’s education and health care.

Smith was elected to the commission in 2010 and has filed for a second term.