After nearly eight years on the Salem City Council it is time for me to be of even greater service to my community and to my state.
I have served two effective and productive terms as a Salem City Councilor. I got things done for the City on the Council. Now I hope to get things done for the State in the Legislature.
Much of Salem city governance has a counterpart at the broader state level. I hope to take what I have learned, and done, and apply it to benefit all Oregonians and specifically those in District 19. There are a multitude of issues facing our District and our State. On the Home page of this website you'll see examples of the many issues I successfully dealt with as a Salem City Councilor these past eight years. I will continue to address some of these issues as your legislator, as well as other issues of importance to our state.
Thank you for considering my candidacy. I look forward to further discussions on how, working together, we can make Oregon the best it can be for all of its residents.
TOP 5 PRIORITIES
Civic and climate education for all our students
Defending our democracy and ending the Climate Emergency demands better education of our students on these vital subjects. Students at every grade level need to receive adequate education on how to be compassionate and involved citizens as they will be the next environmental stewards of our planet. As your State Representative I will work to improve civics and climate education in our schools.
Climate action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions with creative incentives
I led the development of a Climate Action for Salem that was recently approved by the City Council. My motion set the goal for Salem to cut our emissions in half by 2035 and become a "Net Zero" city by 2050. Salem won't achieve this alone. That’s why as your State Representative I will work to make the State be our partner in pursuing creative solutions and programs to mandate pollution, promote clean energy and support carbon-free transportation.
More state funding to provide shelter and services to our homeless population
The #1 concern of Salem residents is addressing the needs of our homeless neighbors. Through my work and the effort of my fellow City Councilors, we have been making slow but steady and reliable progress in creating micro-shelter communities, a Navigation Center as well as other shelters and supports. We have recently received more help from the State, which is greatly appreciated. But we need more. The scale of the problem is such that it will take a determined effort from the City, the State, and the County. As your State Representative one of my highest priorities will be to continue to secure more aid from the state government to end the homelessness crisis in Salem.
Protecting a woman's right to choose
I believe every Oregonian should be able to make their own healthcare decisions. That's why I will always protect the right to abortion. The U.S. Supreme Court has taken away women's reproductive rights at the Federal level, an ominous decision. I pledge as your State Representative to continue to make Oregon a leader in access to affordable reproductive healthcare. It is essential that this encompasses the full spectrum of reproductive healthcare for all women including birth control and abortion. I believe the decision to have a child is private, personal and voluntary. Oregon must continue to be a safe place where women have control over their bodies and children are supported and cared for.
Lower the cost of healthcare and prescription drugs
Oregonians are paying far too much for their healthcare and prescription drugs. It is possible to provide more effective healthcare at a lower cost. As your State Representative I will support any legislation that provides increasingly affordable health care and prescription drugs to all Oregonians.
Other Important Priorities
More state support for education to increase graduation rates
In the past five years, the high school graduation rate in our Salem-Keizer schools has increased from 73% to 81%. Although this is an important triumph, the truth is that still about one in five students is not graduating. Research shows high quality early childhood education is the key to increasing high school graduation rates. As your State Representative I will collaborate with the State to expand investment in early childhood education and to do everything we can so our children complete their education and have bright futures. I will also prioritize investing in career and technical education and helping kids and teachers rebound from lost classroom time.
Funding from the state in lieu of taxes to support emergency services in Salem
My colleague on the City Council, Chris Hoy, has already gotten the ball rolling on a bill to provide Salem with state funds in lieu of the taxes that the State is exempt from paying to the City. Salem spends thousands of dollars every year providing emergency services to the State government that we are never compensated for. That's not right. As your State Representative I will continue my work in obtaining these resources from the State so Salem residents don't have to foot the bill.
Improved facilities and infrastructure for biking, walking and transit
As an avid bike rider all my life I know the value of active transportation, not only for our own health, but for the health of the planet. 53% of carbon pollution in Salem comes from cars and trucks. And the only way to get people out of single-occupancy vehicles is to build better pedestrian friendly infrastructure for biking and walking and to increase investment in cost efficient, safe and sustainable transit. I support the Salem Bike Vision plan to create a connected network of protected bike lanes for all ages. As a former member of the Lane Transit District Board in Eugene I have seen the progress that city has made with Bus Rapid Transit and other innovations. I am a proponent of a trolley in Salem to serve West Salem and the central city. As your State Representative I will work tirelessly for State resources to invest in transit and active transportation in our city.
Stronger practical gun safety laws
In the wake of the recent massacres in Buffalo and Uvalde it is more apparent than ever that Oregon must have stronger commonsense gun laws to prevent further tragedies from happening in our state. As your State Representative I will firmly support legislation that requires a permit to purchase a firearm and closes all loopholes for background checks. I believe each gun buyer should pass a classroom and hands-on firearms safety course. It is crucial to our community's well-being that we stop the sale, transfer, trade or manufacture of high-capacity magazines for civilian use.
More state support for affordable housing
As a member of the Salem Housing Authority for the past seven years I have successfully worked to increase the amount of affordable housing in Salem. We have added many new units and have more on the way with several projects such as Yaquina Hall under construction. But I know there is much more to be done. As your State Representative I will do all I can to secure added help from the State while supporting changes to state laws that will increase the development of affordable housing in Salem.
Protect the rights of LGBTQ Oregonians
The rights of LGBTQ Oregonians are under attack by right-wing politicians and some members of the Supreme Court. As your State Representative I will work to protect and expand the rights of LGBTQ Oregonians. This includes increased affordable access to needed healthcare services, ensuring that LGBTQ students do not face bullying and discrimination in our schools, and strengthening protections against discrimination against LGBTQ Oregonians in the workplace.