The pressures on families in District 24 are enormous. With skyrocketing rents, child care costs, health insurance with high deductibles, and an ever-increasing cost of living, it’s no wonder families are barely getting by.
The reality is that our economy simply isn't working for all of us. In fact, 26.4% of families in East Portland and North Clackamas rely on food stamps and other forms of support to feed their children and meet basic needs, which is twice the national average. For families of color, the picture is even more dire. While the median household income for District 24 white families is $47,800, for Hispanic or Black families that number is $32,200 and $29,400 respectively. Breaking the cycle of poverty will require a re-balancing of our priorities from giving people a "leg up" to giving them a way out.
People deserve to be paid a living wage for the work they do. From the time my nonprofit organization put its first employee on the payroll over 10 years ago, I paid them at least $15/hour and I continued to do so even during the economic recession. I believe that everyone deserves a living wage. It is simply too hard to make ends meet while working 40 hours a week for less than $15 an hour. I've been a leader in Oregon's fight for $15, working with people across the state to demand fair pay for a hard day's work.
As your next Oregon Senator from District 24, I will work toward a more just economy, including:
- Ending corporate welfare for large, multi-national, and out-of-state businesses
- Ensuring equal pay for women
- Championing policies that benefit workers and families
- Supporting small and Oregon-based businesses, immigrant and refugee entrepreneurship, and fair access to capital