Building a Robust Recovery for All Oregonians
As our world and nation persevere through the COVID-19 pandemic, Oregonians from every part of the state have come together in extraordinary ways to keep our communities as safe and healthy as possible. Families have weathered disruptions to work schedules, school, and child care; essential workers have provided goods and services; neighbors stepped in to deliver groceries or run errands; and health care workers have staffed clinics and hospitals, often at risk to their own health.
Because of these sacrifices, Oregonians saved the lives of thousands of our neighbors. Together, we have faced many challenges and have been able to deliver unprecedented emergency assistance to Oregonians in need to safeguard our local economies.
Now it’s time to focus on a recovery that brings Oregonians from every background and zip code along. Affordable housing, access to quality childcare, family wage jobs, mental and physical health care, protection against climate change, and a strong education system will be pillars of a robust recovery that extends to every corner of the state.
Economic Recovery & Workforce Development
Federal programs and targeted state action helped most Oregon businesses to stay afloat during the pandemic. Still, many struggled. In 2022, we’ll advocate for policies that support small businesses and employees, including the essential workers who kept us safe and our economies moving. By investing in targeted workforce development across critical sectors, we can help Oregonians in the workforce get the skills they need to advance while on the job.
Infrastructure investments in broadband, transportation, drinking and wastewater systems, and other public facilities will spur recovery and position communities for future growth.
A Place to Call Home
Every Oregonian deserves a safe place to call home. Addressing Oregon’s housing crisis will continue to require a multi-pronged approach, including developing temporary shelter for those in need, creating more affordable housing units across the state, implementing policies to drive homeownership, supporting eviction prevention through targeted support for financially struggling Oregonians, and ensuring that small landlords are protected.
We will continue to hold Oregon Housing and Community Services accountable for delivering rental assistance on the timeline they’ve promised.
Education & Childcare
Oregon’s public-school students and our education workforce need focused attention as we emerge from pandemic learning and protocols. In our 2022 session, we are committed to emphasizing the voices of all students—particularly our most vulnerable students—as we seek to stabilize and support every student’s identity, health, well-being, and learning. We strive to diversify, attract, train, and retain quality educators and school leadership for years to come.
By expanding access to childcare, we’ll ensure that more children participate in high quality early learning experiences, and that parents–especially mothers and Black, Brown, Indigenous, and other workers of color who lost work due to the pandemic—are able to return to the workforce.
Access to Healthcare & Healthy Communities
Oregon is at the forefront of ensuring access to healthcare for all, expanding coverage and driving down costs. In this session, we’ll make targeted improvements in our healthcare delivery system to ensure that we provide affordable, high-quality, accessible healthcare in every part of the state. A major focus will be on investing in the healthcare workforce to expand and diversify our community of health professionals.
As a leader in reproductive care, we’ll continue to safeguard access to abortion and other reproductive health services despite any actions that come from the U.S. Supreme Court. And as we face the public health challenges of COVID, wildfires, and climate change, we’ll seek innovative ways to improve health, decrease violence in our communities, support addiction and behavioral health services, and make sure that Oregonians are housed, fed, and healthy.
Protection Communities from Climate Change
With the passage of HB 2021 in the last session, ensuring we reach 100% clean energy by 2040, Oregon took another bold step toward achieving our aggressive greenhouse gas reduction goals. Yet we know Yet, we know that climate change impacts will continue to harm our most vulnerable neighbors, especially in low-income and rural areas. House Democrats will find solutions to keep people protected from extreme weather, wildfire smoke, and other environmental harms.
Equity & Justice for All
In previous sessions, we have worked collaboratively to make sure local law enforcement agencies have the tools they need to keep everyone safe, while making significant reforms to improve the transparency and accountability of police. In the coming session, we’ll continue refining those policies to make sure that Oregon is a safe place for everyone, including immigrants and refugees.
Bringing Every Oregonian Along
Because of bold policies championed by House Democrats, Oregon has an economy that honors workers and lifts up small businesses. Over the last decade, Oregon had the highest income growth of any state in the nation. Still, many residents were left behind, unable to access the benefits of a growing economy.
House Democrats will continue to pursue policies to protect our most vulnerable residents and elevate the rights of all Oregonians. An equitable recovery means that every individual, regardless of their sexual identity, race, cultural background, place of birth, or home community, can access education, good jobs, and the capital required to buy homes and build businesses.
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