A PLAN TO IMPROVE OREGON'S FUTURE
We’re very lucky to have some excellent public schools in our district.
I’m committed to providing a high-quality education to all students and I believe giving parents greater choice over how and where their child is educated leads to better results.
In 2011, Oregon passed a law that gave parents and families options as to where to enroll their children in public school. This widely-popular “inter-district transfer” legislation is set to expire in 2017 unless the Legislature votes to extend it. I’ll work hard to ensure this option remains available to Oregon families and do all I can to return as much control over operations and finances to our local school boards and administrators.
As a former local school board Chair, I understand the serious challenges facing our local schools and I’m ready to start working immediately. I will work tirelessly to make sure we prepare and equip the next generation of Oregonians for the diverse economy of the future.
The one issue that affects every family in our district and also has the greatest impact on the health of our economy is transportation. We’ve all seen greater congestion and increased traffic times over the last few years, and unfortunately, it seems like there is no relief in sight.
With the economic growth we’ve experienced in the last decade, our roads, bridges and highways have become more congested. In addition, with the recent closure of Terminal 6 at the Port of Portland, truck traffic on our arterial and collector roads has increased dramatically.
We need to focus our State’s transportation priorities in two areas:
(1) Repairing outdated and failing roads and bridges that service our main highways and Interstate 5 and
(2) Increase automobile lanes across the region in a strategic manner to alleviate choke points.
This sort of massive transportation investment is not cheap, but it represents the single most important step we can take to improve our economy. Failure to address these issues in the coming sessions will end up costing us more in the long-term.
I’m supportive of a comprehensive transportation package that reflects the priorities of average Oregonians and serves the needs of our economy. I will oppose any additional spending package that includes a carbon-tax and seek to refer any tax increase associated with this package to the voters for approval.
Jobs and Small Business
If we want to create jobs in Oregon we must also create the conditions that allow entrepreneurs to flourish and grow in our local communities. This means supporting statewide policies that promote job creation and encourage economic growth throughout our state.
Placing additional burdens on small businesses and increasing the cost of labor in Oregon is not only making it less favorable to do business here, it’s also reducing the amount of revenue available to fund our critical services.
It’s not simply one policy that’s harming us; but the cumulative effect of dozens of new regulations, fee increases and a constantly changing tax environment. This instability reduces the number of small business startups and makes it less likely that other companies will choose to relocate to Oregon.
Nothing is a better example of how top-down taxation policies threaten to kill jobs and stifle economic growth than Measure 97 (formerly IP28).
This proposed initiative would create a “gross receipts tax” – effectively a tax on all sales – regardless of profit). The proponents claim this will only affect large business with sales exceeding $25 million, but the reality is that these “large companies” are the backbone of our economy and support thousands of smaller companies and industries.
Under M97, food, medicine and other essentials will be taxed (often more than once) before they reach the consumer. That will drive up the cost of everything in Oregon and make our homegrown industries less competitive with companies in other states.
I’m strongly opposed to Measure 97 and as your State Representative, I’ll oppose any other attempts to raise revenue that would harm our economy.
Land use planning is an important part of how we ensure ‘smart growth’. At the same time, key decisions about how to use the land are best made at the local level. Unnecessary involvement by regional, state and federal agencies in local land-use decisions leads to frustration, discouragement, and costly delay. A “one size fits all” mentality does not reflect who we are or what we want to build for our children, and it’s harming our economy by limiting the supply of available land.
High density may work for Portland, but the communities in our district have consistently chosen lower density – front yards and backyards for kids to play in, and meaningful common spaces for communities to live, work and recreate. High-density models that build “up, not out” should not be forced onto local communities who don’t want to live that way.
I’ve had a front-row seat to the challenges facing Washington County as the Chair of the Washington County Planning Commission, and I’ve been representing families and homeowner associations for decades in land-use law.
I believe I’m eminently qualified to start working on day one to find real solutions for our communities at the Oregon Legislature.
TRANSPARENCY IN GOVERNMENT
There is a tremendous need for trust in our institutions and the people who make decisions on our behalf.
With the very public disgrace of our former Governor, the ongoing boondoggle of Cover Oregon as well as numerous other examples of back-room deals, cronyism and wasted money, it’s no wonder that many people are cynical.
As your State Representative, I’ll work hard to earn your respect and maintain your trust. My wife and kids will be the first one to remind me that I’m not perfect, and I’m sure there are things we might disagree on or an issue or two that you think I’m not taking enough interest in. Knowing this, I’ll always have keep my door open and act with as much transparency as possible.
I’ll seek to lead with integrity and represent the interests of the people I serve.
CIVILITY IN POLITICS
I have been disappointed in the level of discourse in politics lately. Too many elected officials and politicians are willing to resort to personal attacks and negative campaigning to win elections.
I believe in doing what’s right and respecting the voters. I will run a positive campaign, respect my opponent and earn your vote.