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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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