Meet Your Candidate: Lori Chavez-DeRemer, Candidate HD-51

Jobs and the Economy

As a small business owner, I’ve worked hard to earn every dollar and provide fair wages for employees. Our communities are depending on lawmakers to create an environment that will help entrepreneurs to keep doing business here in Oregon. However, in recent years, the Legislature has pushed for unnecessary mandates and hardships for businesses. We must lessen this burden and allow our small businesses to succeed.

 

Education

Oregon’s education system is broken. Our state is 48th for graduation rates and the Legislature underfunded voter-approved career-technical education. While insufficient money is going into our classrooms, it’s not enough for our politicians to say, “We need to fund education first.” As your next state representative, I promise to promote innovative ways to advance our students through career-technical education courses, apprenticeship programs, and other job training initiatives. A solid, well-rounded education is the key to living the best life.

Transportation

We need more lanes. The transportation package passed in 2017 was a giant first step to address our state’s infrastructure and congestion. But we must do more. It’s important to have everyone at the table to bring forth common sense proposals. If elected, I will ensure our dollars are prioritized to build sidewalks and fix potholes. Fixing our state’s lackluster infrastructure is critical to our economy and our success. Every minute wasted while stuck in traffic is a minute someone cannot work or spend time living their life. The traffic is also hurting our environment and increasing our air pollution. In fact, four Oregon cities ranked among the top polluted cities in the nation.

Housing Affordability

The rent’s too high. And for too many, owning a home is a daydream, not an attainable reality. Every day it’s becoming harder and harder for Oregonians to become first-time homeowners. Oregonians have been hit with a housing crisis caused by politicians. The labyrinth-like, restrictive land use system has derailed and prevented people from moving up in life. We must address this long-unsolved problem so we can help people live to their fullest potential. Owning a home is one of the greatest game-changers to being successful. We must finally address Oregon’s flawed policies to help drive down rent prices and make owning a home more possible. The Legislature must continue to protect home ownership incentives like the mortgage interest deduction. The doors have been closed to the American dream, it’s time to unlock opportunity.

Government Waste

The government has taken in more of Oregonians’ paychecks than ever before. State “revenue” is at record-breaking levels. And while our state agencies continue to be ineffective and waste hundreds of millions of dollars, the Legislature continues to raise taxes. The Secretary of State’s office has done a good job of revealing the incompetence of our state’s agencies through various audits. Moving forward, we must hold these agencies accountable and make sure taxpayer dollars are spent in an effective manner.

PERS

All roads lead to PERS reform. Virtually every issues that plagues our state can be attributed to Oregon’s pension system. We must address this issue, come together as Oregonians, and fix it. By failing to reform PERS, our state could end up failing to uphold promise to our workers, and that is unacceptable.

Inclusiveness and Independent Thinking

In a time of hyper-partisan politics, it’s more important than ever to elect independent leaders that will do what’s best for their constituents and set aside party politics. As a Mayor, I’ve done just that and will continue to do so in the State Legislature. I support equality for our LGBTQ communities, stronger environmental protections, and support a woman’s right to choose.

 

Source: Lori Chavez-DeRemer For State Representative website

http://www.lorichavezderemer.com/

Meet your Candidate: Josh Hill, House District 40

A New Oregon Vision.

I understand the struggles of everyday Oregonians because that is my story.

After losing our parents at a young age, my brother and I were raised by our grandparents. My grandfather, a Marine, instilled in me a sense of pride and purpose which inspired me to enlist in the Air Force. After moving back to Oregon to take care of my ailing grandparents, I started working at a small business in Oregon’s wine industry.

Early on, my brother and I learned some tough truths. However, through it all, we found that we would always be alright if we had a roof over our head, a shot at a quality education, and the comfort of our family’s safety. Unfortunately, for many Oregonians, these basic necessities are often out of reach.

I’m running for State Representative because I believe our state government needs a new vision led by a new generation of Oregon leaders. We need leaders who understand the challenges facing Oregonians, who will focus on our future, and who are not afraid to upset that status quo in our State Capitol.

I’m ready to be that kind of leader for our community.

Affordable Housing.

When we had no one else to turn to, my brother and I were fortunate enough to have the warm embrace of our grandparents who raised us and kept a roof over our heads. But for so many in Oregon, housing is too expensive and eating up more and more of our paychecks, sometimes making home ownership impossible for young people and seniors.

We must do more to meet the demand of affordable housing for the next generation of Oregonians by streamlining the cumbersome process of new house and apartment construction. In Salem, I'll make it a priority to work for smart growth legislation to promote affordable housing and control skyrocketing rents.

Education.

I would not be where I am today without the support of so many amazing teachers along the way. I know that my ability to rise up out of adversity was directly tied to the quality of my education. I want to make sure every Oregon student has an equal opportunity to achieve their full potential.

Unfortunately, too many students are being left behind by an education system that seems mired in mediocrity. For years now, we have poured more and more into our schools hoping that would lead to better outcomes in the classroom. It hasn’t. The latest national statistics show that Oregon has one of the worst high school graduation rates in the country. We must do better.

Instead of simply throwing more money at the problem, I’ll work to address the root causes of the issues plaguing our education system. It’s time for major reforms. I will help revitalize our schools by restoring local control so parents and teachers are empowered to make the right decisions for our students, including increased investment in career-ready technical and vocational education in our high schools.

Drug Abuse and the Opioid Crisis.

The opioid epidemic has ravaged our nation, and Oregon is no exception. When I was born, my father was already in prison for drug-related charges and a year later my mother was murdered. The opioid crisis has touched far too many, and for me, it is deeply personal.

I will fight tooth and nail to combat the opioid and drug crisis in our community by holding pharmaceutical companies accountable for their business practices, keeping drugs out of our schools by punishing dealers and providing greater support for those struggling with addiction.

Health Care.

Every Oregonian deserves access to health care. While our state’s uninsured rate continues to decline, the cost of obtaining health insurance continues to increase. Oregonians should not be forced to choose between putting food on the table or receiving medical care.

I will work to preserve access to health care for low-income Oregonians, expand coverage options for women and vulnerable populations, and demand price transparency from insurance companies and drug manufacturers.

Oregon's Spending Problem.

Oregon doesn't have a revenue problem, we have a spending problem. In the past decade, our lawmakers have approved billions of dollars in new taxes with little to show for it. While our current leaders seem to believe we can tax our way to a better tomorrow, I believe Oregonians are better served by a government that respects taxpayers and works to streamline budgets.

As your State Representative, I will balance the state budget by fighting for fiscal discipline and without raising taxes.

 

Source: Josh Hill for State Representative website: https://www.joshhillfororegon.com/

Meet Your Candidate: Representative Rich Vial, House District 26

It is my honor to serve as the voice of our family and to tell you a little bit about our Dad, Rich Vial.  Our Dad is running for reelection to continue serving as State Representative for House District 26 and he’s exceptionally qualified to do so.  He's shown a deep commitment to our communities over the past 30 years and has spent his life building businesses, farming, and volunteering on numerous boards and commissions.  He's not a career politician and he's committed to making a difference and finding solutions, not advancing his own personal agenda.

Rather than tell you about his politics, I'd like to share a little bit about our family history with the hope that I can shed some light on the man, rather than the candidate.

Rich's story really can't be told without first mentioning our mother, Paula.  Our parents recently celebrated 40 years of marriage and they've built quite a life together.  In addition to raising myself and 5 other siblings, our parents, through circumstances they never could've imagined, came to welcome 7 additional children who came to America as refugees from Vietnam in the 1970's and 80's.  Our large family is committed to one another and we're all very proud and supportive of our father in his desire to serve.

Rich and Paula met in high school in their hometown of Grants Pass.  They immediately fell in love and dated for a number of years.  They were married in 1975, after Rich’s return from a church mission to Japan.  Rich went on to attend BYU, graduating in 1978 with a degree in Business and Accounting, and followed that up with the law degree from Willamette University in Salem.  It wasn't easy for them, and with three children at home by the time he graduated from law school, Rich set out to begin his career--broke and in debt, yet supremely happy!

My Mom, Paula, has always been the rock in our family, handling the daily tasks of caring for a husband and 13 children with grace and a ton of patience.  I know my Dad would give her much of the credit for his success and be the first to tell you that she’s exceptional in every way.

THE EARLY YEARS

Rich landed a job with a prominent law firm in downtown Portland and became a specialist in community law, having worked for the condominium section of the Oregon Real Estate Division during law school.  Rich and Paula began to finally get ahead and even expand their family, but they had no idea what was about to occur and how much their family would grow in the next few years.

NEW ADDITIONS TO THE FAMILY

In the early 1980's, many refugees from the war in Southeast Asia had found their way to Oregon.  Because of his experience during his church mission to Japan, Rich was asked to help coordinate his church's efforts to assist these refugees.  It was through this work that Rich met my oldest brother, Hoa.

While Rich was coaching some of these young men in basketball, he and Paula began inviting young Hoa over to eat with the family and quickly realized that he was not getting his basic needs met.  They arranged for him to become a permanent member of the family and took guardianship over him.  They had no idea how this would lead to a complete transformation of our family.

THE MOVE TO SCHOLLS

With the addition of Hoa, it became apparent that the home they were living in was just too small.  Rich and Paula began looking for the small farm they'd always dreamed of raising their family on.  One day, an advertisement in The Oregonian caught their eye, describing a beautiful 24-acre parcel in the farming community of Scholls.  They drove out to take a look at the property and were immediately struck by the natural beauty of the farms and homes around them.  Unfortunately, the home advertised in the paper was actually a barn in the very, VERY early stages of conversion to a house.

Having been through several remodels in the past, it was a difficult decision whether or not to buy the property and finish the conversion.  Despite some reservations, the entire family felt a strong connection with the property, and young Hoa even felt like he'd been there before.  It was settled.  Within a few short days, a deal had been worked out with the owner of the property, and the family got to work making the “barn” livable enough to move into.

RENOVATING THE LODGE

Over the years, they cleared land, began raising livestock and growing crops, and gradually got the “barn” to resemble a home.  Meanwhile, Hoa had received a letter from 2 cousins currently living in a refugee camp in the Philippines.

The Vial family discussed it and, after considerable effort, the family was finally able to welcome Thuan and Tiet into the family.  Later, cousins Chuong, Chinh, and Cuong also joined the family, followed by Hai.  These children blessed the Vial family tremendously and, with the arrival of 2 more birth children, Rich and Paula quickly became the parents of four girls and nine boys.  It became clear why they needed a “barn” to house their family.

STARTING A LAW FIRM

Beginning in the late 80’s, Rich decided to take the unique practice he had developed in the area of community associations and form his own law firm.  At first, Paula was the bookkeeper, and Rich did everything else.  With their good friend, Denese Jensen (who still works at the firm), and founding partner, Rob Fotheringham, the little firm quickly established itself and experiences a lot of success today.

The firm continues to grow and has become one of the premier law firms in the nation with an emphasis in supporting condominium and planned communities.  With offices in 6 western states, the firm now employs more than 100 people and serves tens of thousands of homeowners and communities throughout the region.  Rich is recognized throughout the United States as a leader on matters of community operation, and his expertise has helped countless clients navigate difficult challenges and protect their homes over the years.

A NEW CHAPTER

After more than 30 years of advocating on behalf of these communities, Rich began in December of 2015 to transition ownership and control of the law firm to the next generation of lawyers.  Having just finished helping Paula put together the “grandkid preschool and piano studio” facility, he found himself in a position to serve even more significantly in his community.

And the barn?  Well, after the tornado of kids, friends, dogs, and weather, it was getting a little tired and needed some work.

When my youngest brother, Nathan, moved out in 2008 to start his own family, Rich and Paula decided that they wanted to share the home with their community.  They got to work on the biggest remodel project of their lives in 2009 and, after several years, renamed their home the Scholls Valley Lodge.

Today, they share the lodge with many families, celebrating everything from weddings to funerals.  They love the spirit of community and feeling the warmth that permeates from their home that’s quickly becoming a mainstay of the region.

Rich spends more of his time operating the farm, and is proud to provide fresh table grapes to children in the Hillsboro, Beaverton, Sherwood, Tigard, Wilsonville, and Portland public schools through the innovative “Farm to School” program.  The Vial Family Farm was one of the early pioneers of this great program that provides nutritious food to our public schools.

PUBLIC SERVICE

After first being elected to the House of Representatives in 2016, Rich immediately became effective as a legislator.  This is because he has the right blend of public service and private sector experience to inform his decisions and because he’s had a front-row seat in dealing with some of the biggest challenges facing our region: transportation, land use, and education.

In addition to serving on numerous local boards and commissions, Rich has written landmark legislation and helped to protect homeowners and community associations by working with legislators on both sides of the aisle to achieve workable solutions.

Rich's current and past public service includes:

  • Chair, Washington County Planning Commission
  • Member, Clean Water Services Advisory Commission
  • Former Member, Washington County Land Use Advisory Committee
  • Former Chair, Groner School Board
  • Former Chair, Washington County Fair Board
  • Former Board Member, Washington County Farm Bureau

LEAVING A LEGACY

With 42 grandchildren who call them "Grandma" and "Grandpa", Rich and Paula are blessed to have a life rich with meaning and joy.  They often tell us that they only hope they can teach their children and grandchildren as much as they have learned from them.

Blessed with excellent health (Dad tries hard to make it to his twice-weekly Jiu-Jitsu class), my parents feel like they have entered the most exciting phase of their life thus far, and look forward to continuing to contribute to their community.

Rich and Paula don’t feel particularly special.  They remark that they are glad to be just one of many families in this community who love their children, and love sharing the challenges and joys of life with their friends and neighbors.  What does feel special to them is that they've found a place where they belong and are lucky enough to be part of such a wonderful community.

Many years ago, I asked my Mom why she chose Dad to marry. Her response describes him well: “He was the smartest and hardest-working person I had ever met.” I believe it is her faith in Rich that has given him the drive to push such that he now finds himself in a position to both serve and lead.

We have been grateful as children for his example of hard work, vision, and wise decision-making.  While we as a family would not describe ourselves as particularly political, our community is important to us.  We are happy that Dad is seeking to continue this opportunity to make a positive difference.

It boils down to this.  We don’t agree with our Dad on everything, but we trust him implicitly.  He’s proven over his lifetime that he cares deeply about the needs of others, and we know he’ll continue that dedication to service as a legislator.

 

Source: Vote Vial Website

http://www.richvial.org/