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Tina Kotek: A track record to rely on (Opinion)

Editor’s note: We asked the three leading gubernatorial candidates — Democratic candidate Tina Kotek, Republican candidate Christine Drazan and unaffiliated candidate Betsy Johnson — to write an op-ed explaining why Oregonians should choose them as their next governor. With the exception of the light edition, editorials are presented as submitted. To read the op-eds by Christine Drazan and Betsy Johnson, go to oregonlive.com/opinion.

Tina Kotek

Kotek, former speaker of the Oregon House, is the Democratic candidate for governor of Oregon. She lives in Portland. For more information, visit tinafororegon.com.

Homelessness, skyrocketing prices, crime, drug addiction, wildfires, drought – we all know things are tough. I’m running for governor because I’m a problem solver. I believe in Oregon and what it can be. I will do my best to find solutions and make things better.

The top three gubernatorial candidates have all been legislative leaders. We have all had the opportunity to face big problems. But too often, when things got tough on Capitol Hill, none of my opponents offered solutions. Instead, they distinguished themselves by vote “no” Where leave work.

This is not the kind of leadership we need if we want to change things. For me, public service has always been about listening to people and working hard to meet complex challenges.

I started my career 20 years ago at the Oregon Food Bank. My job was to hear directly from struggling people across the state, many of whom were working multiple jobs and still needed help feeding their families. Now, with rising prices for gas, groceries, and prescription drugs, I know what those kitchen table conversations look like.

As president of Oregon’s House, I have been able to accomplish great things. But I’m not resting on my laurels. As Governor, I will bring the vision, values ​​and background to make a difference.

Over the past few years, I have raised the alarm about the housing crisis in Oregon and successfully fought for funding and policy changes that have increased housing capacity, l rent assistance, eviction protections, building affordable housing and home ownership.

And there is so much more to do. As governor, I will be ending homelessness for the most vulnerable people living on our streets, especially veterans and the elderly. We will build more housing and expand access to mental health and addictions services.

When Oregonians struggled during and after the Great Recession, I fought to raise the minimum wage, guarantee paid sick leave and launch a paid family leave program. As governor, I will protect families from the rising cost of living, support small businesses, and strengthen community college and job training opportunities.

When Donald Trump threatened to ban abortion, I past the toughest abortion access law in the nation, protecting Oregonians despite the eventual overturning of Roe v. Wade. As governor, I will defend and expand access to reproductive health care.

As our country grappled with mass shootings, I led efforts to expand criminal background checks for gun purchases, pass a safe storage law, and ban domestic abusers condemned to buy firearms. On the other hand, both Christine Drazan and Betsy Johnson have earned an “A” rating from the NRA for the past few years.

As governor, I will ensure we have more state troopers to serve rural communities, partner with the federal government to fight drug cartels and I will ensure we have more courses training to accelerate the recruitment of new officers on our streets.

After decades of education underfunding, I fought to pass the Student Success Act and invest $1 billion more each year in our schools. As governor, I will ensure that these funds achieve the results promised: fully fund vocational and technical education, improve graduation rates, support student mental health, and help every child succeed.

And with record heat and raging wildfires, I’m the only candidate willing to stand up to polluting corporations and fight climate change. I’ve put Oregon on a path to 100% clean electricity by 2040, and as Governor, I will protect our environment and create well-paying clean energy jobs.

My track record shows that I can bring people together to make real progress. That’s why I’m the only candidate endorsed by trusted organizations, including Planned Parenthood PAC of Oregon, the Oregon Nurses Association, and Moms Demand Action.

We have so much more work to do together. I will never stop fighting for the people of Oregon until we get the job done.

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