"I come from a proud family that has been involved with helping others for as long as I can remember. I want to work for you and with you. We need to improve our schools, create more affordable housing, invest in effective public safety, offer high quality healthcare for all, grow our economy, and restore and improve our environment. With my government experience, I know what it takes to find practical solutions, navigate the complicated agencies, and get things done."
LIST OF ISSUES
Years of underfunding has profoundly affected our public schools. Even with additional funding promised through the 2019 Student Success Act, we have quite a challenge before us. We must ensure that Oregon classrooms do not exceed the student-teacher ratios that characterize our best schools. We must invest in mental health specialists and the counseling and mentorship that is essential to ensuring that we’re providing an environment that supports children and promotes excellence. More assistance for our teachers, our students, and our families will go a long way in addressing the needs of our communities. Education funding must be secure and comprehensive. As a first-generation high school and college graduate, I will continue to prioritize strong education funding and policy - from preschool to career, whether that means college, apprenticeships, or vocational training for students.
It’s an investment we cannot ignore.
Housing costs and gentrification are displacing too many of my neighbors. For example, residents in the Gresham apartment complex where I grew up have seen a 36% increase in rent in the past 18 months. That is an additional $300 low income families need to come up with every month. I will work tirelessly to increase the amount of affordable housing in Gresham and around Oregon. We must also invest in our housing voucher programs and make sure this option is available and accessible for our most needing families and community residents. Investing in first-time home buyer programs and building on efforts to teach financial responsibility are some ways we can help families build generational wealth. Every Oregon resident should have the chance to establish a household and build a stable life.
Public Safety / Quality of Life
As an employee of the City of Gresham, I help promote practices and programs that keep our neighborhoods vibrant, safe, and fun. Our work builds on community and supports foundational values like neighbors looking after each other, working together, and communicating to keep everyone safe. We need to invest in crime prevention, mental health support, and equipping our first responders with the tools they need to stay safe and to help others. This also means expanding criminal rehabilitation partnerships that save taxpayer dollars by reducing recidivism and repeat offending. Data shows that people of color are more likely to get arrested. We need to change policing so that police officers - and the decision makers who lead them - are aware of these racial disparities. We need to focus more on building community as a public safety practice- not just rely on law enforcement. I will find strategic ways to implement more community policing, secure resources to invest in prevention measures, and equip first responders with effective tools, including dispatcher trainings that include mental health, domestic violence, and multilingual components. Keeping our families safe and together is key in providing ourselves with a sound, sustainable quality of life.
Oregon doesn’t produce oil or any other fossil fuel. With every purchase we make, we contribute to climate change - and send money to other states and countries that provide for the prosperity of other families. When we invest in renewable energy solutions, that money can stay in Oregon and expand our economy. We have to consider a more comprehensive approach - one that includes jobs - to a cleaner environment. Our workers are depending on it. We must also appreciate the health implications of continuing to allow water and air pollution, without being compensated for the damage they cause. Sustainability isn’t simply a matter of protecting our communities and our natural areas, but safeguarding the future of the Oregon economy.
All Oregonians, no matter how much money they make, have a right to enroll in a healthcare plan that is affordable and comprehensive enough to help them and their families get healthy and stay healthy. Ensuring preventative medical care is essential for creating a system that works for everyone and won’t collapse under the weight of its own expense. Healthcare is an important investment that will keep Oregon productive and vital in the years to come. Making healthcare accessible and affordable, and incentivizing preventative care are key to meeting the needs of our working families.. Mental health is also an essential part of healthcare, and critical for overcoming the challenges faced by many families. Oregonians should be able to seek out therapy and psychiatric care without having to wait months and break the bank. Improving access to professionals who can help with depression, anxiety, and trauma will also provide savings in our schools, our criminal justice system - anywhere where our community is affected by individuals in crisis.
Our economy is always changing. I will support hard-working residents by supporting policies that create jobs and expand access to higher education, trade schools, internships, and certification programs that get our residents ready for the workforce. We must provide options starting at an early age, so that students have a better understanding of what their choices are and where they will excel. A step in the right direction is improving the electives that are available to high school students, providing more high school and college internships with community partners, and increasing public investment in our community colleges and small businesses. We need to fund community college certification options - without increasing tuition - so that it remains affordable for all. Small businesses build a strong and diversified local economy as well as being one of the main source of first-time job opportunities. I will develop strategic, long-term policy solutions for these investments so that we have more individuals succeeding in finding a great career or starting a vibrant small business.