Urban - Rural Divide
District 15 is special. Albany is the 11th largest city in Oregon and is surrounded by rural farm land. For too long, Oregon politics has been dominated by Portland progressives that give little attention to the needs of diverse communities like ours. Growing up in the Albany surrounding area, I've witnessed first hand the urban rural tensions. I’ve also witnessed how they can coexist. I want to help bridge this gap and bring a voice to Salem that represents everyone and everything from downtown Albany, growing Millersburg and Tangent to all the acres of farmland in between.
Small business is the driver of our state's economy. They are our job creators, our neighbors, and our friends. It's time to give them a hand up and help them do what they do best... create jobs. The 'tax and regulate' strategy of the legislature in recent years have only held business and innovation back. “Unreasonable Government Regulations” is one of the top concerns for small business and becoming more concerning every year. It's time to open Oregon back up for business, while also continuing to protect the rights of the employee. We can have progress and balance and a booming economy all at the same time - what a concept!
Common Sense Government
The last few decades have been defined by one-party rule. Oregon has not had a Republican Governor since 1987. Run away spending, failed policies, and misplaced priorities have hurt Oregonians at every level. I want to make sure that your tax dollars go to the most effective projects and services, not on wasteful spending. We need fiscally responsible leadership and people who will make sure that common sense governs policy making. We need real people who have run businesses - that understands how business works - to lend a voice to lawmaking. This is my goal in my journey to and at the Oregon Legislature.
Our agricultural and timber lands have long been a primary economic and social pillar to House District 15. Growing up actively farming and overseeing my family farm’s business operations, I offer a strong authentic voice for our natural resource sector in Salem. The complex challenges facing Oregon ranging from transportation issues, labor, cost of doing business, and widening gap between urban and rural Oregonians are all issues I have engaged with on either a local, state, or national level. The years I have spent living these real world problems is why I can effectively serve the wide range of natural resource dependent jobs and lifestyles in House District 15.
A safe, reliable transportation system is the bedrock of Oregon's economy. The movement of people and goods throughout the state is crucial, but faces significant challenges. Congestion in the Portland region hampers commerce statewide. Not only does congestion increase the cost to deliver goods, raising price for consumers, but drastically increasing commute times hurt hard working Oregon families the most. Oregon’s aging bridges need serious attention. A nationwide trucker driver shortage means higher costs and delayed shipments across the board, while higher taxes and burdensome regulations continue to make Oregon one of the most expensive places to drive a truck, increasing the cost of goods for everyone. As a longtime truck and business owner, I understand these challenges firsthand. We need lawmakers that understand the importance of managing congestion and adding capacity while making sure state agencies spend our hard earned transportation taxes where they belong - on our state highways, roads, and bridges.
Our schools are failing our kids. Our public education system has ranked in the bottom 5 in the nation and has consistently been leaving kids behind. We need to invest in career and technical education that will provide opportunities to succeed by giving students hands-on skills our economy desperately needs. We need innovative ways of making sure the money we spend on education gets to where it needs to be: our teachers and kids. Where does local business step in to help where the state has failed? What are ideas our teachers have? How do we get our most vulnerable populations reading sooner? Are there nonprofit organizations focusing on these issues that need more support? I will be asking these questions, and I will make sure the important stakeholders are part of the answer - local business, teachers, and those organizations that are trying to make a difference. As I speak directly to teachers, they say the number of students in the classroom matters; and it matters when talking about emotional support and behavioral problems in the classroom. Our goals in “education” should be just that: figuring out how we can better educate our children – I think we can all agree on that.