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.
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.
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.
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/