It is crucial that we approach our work in public service through a Racial, Economic, and Environmental Justice lens.
The emergence of the COVID-19 pandemic has further demonstrated the importance of well-paying jobs, safe workplaces, and employer-provided healthcare. Working people are the cornerstone of our economy. I understand firsthand what it means to be working class in the United States and the power of collective bargaining. My time at Colas Construction, the largest Black-owned construction company in the Pacific Northwest, gave me the opportunity to work alongside unionized electricians, masons, surveyors, plumbers and laborers. I saw firsthand the benefit of good-paying union jobs and the stability they bring to people and their families. In Salem I will fight to strengthen worker protections and expand their ability to organize. A strong and healthy workforce is integral to the community at large.
As a single-father, I am committed to fighting for my child’s future and the future of other children. We need to invest in their future because our children ARE our future. No child should be restricted due to their life circumstance or household income. In the legislature I will fight for childcare programs such as universal childcare and will work to expand funding for school nutrition programs in OR 47.
Too many residents of OR 47 face housing instability and poor housing conditions. It is crucial that everyone in this district has access to attainable and dignified housing. I will work to increase renter protections, so that tenants can feel secure in their housing. I will also prioritize expanding funding for low to moderate income home ownership, creating opportunities for community members to build generational wealth through purchasing a home to call their own.
Transit is a right and necessity for everyone. For years, I’ve fought for transportation access in our community through my involvement in local transportation oversight, like the Fixing our Streets Oversight Committee as Co-Chair, POEM Task force, Metro Local Investment Team, and Rose Lane Advisory Committee. If we are to achieve the climate goals we put forth, we must decrease our dependence on cars and invest in our transportation infrastructure by increasing public transit frequency and service. We must make our streets safer for pedestrians by improving our sidewalks, crosswalks, lighting, and street tree plantings. I am interested in engaging our community to create a combination of solutions to reach our climate goals, and this is a great place to start.
No one who works 40 hours a week should struggle to provide for their families. We need to support our small business owners while also creating living wage jobs in our district. This is why I will fight for a Green New Deal in East County to provide living-wage union jobs building green infrastructure in our neighborhoods. I will also prioritize support for local small business owners as they start or grow their businesses.
No person’s life expectancy should be determined by the zip-code they live in, the color of their skin, or their yearly household income. Residents of East Portland deserve safe and healthy spaces without fear of gun-violence, unhealthy air, or unsafe roads and pedestrian walkways. Our seniors deserve a chance to age-in-place with access to quality healthcare facilities within their communities. And users of public transit should have reliable and efficient service, whether they commute from downtown or from 162nd. We must invest in our communities to change the social determinants of health and safety of our most vulnerable communities.
Criminal Justice Reform
As a Black man, I have seen firsthand the injustices present in our justice system. We cannot sit idly by as Black and Brown bodies are disproportionately brutalized and incarcerated in the prison-industrial complex, which does not nor will it ever, support the healing and repair needed in our communities. We must re-imagine what justice looks like for our communities. By investing in our communities to provide wrap around services like education, healthcare and housing, we can stop harming our communities and provide what we need. .
Access to Government
In my campaign for House District 47, I refuse to take any cop, corporation, or fossil fuel funding. I do this because I believe in the power of our community to come together and fight for what our community needs using our voices. Together, we will work to create multiple access points to our government by meeting House District 47 where we are at.
We are in the midst of a global climate crisis and we must not defer responsibility to the generations that follow. The time has come to face the issue of climate change head on and divest from an economy centered around fossil fuel consumption. Communities like those in OR 47 are the first to feel the impacts of this climate crisis. This is why I want to bring a Green New Deal to East Portland. We must revolutionize our energy and transportation infrastructure to reduce our greenhouse gas emissions. We must use an environmental justice lens to address place-based issues such as unhealthy air quality, the urban heat island effect, and lack of access to healthful and culturally relevant food. Let’s nurture community resilience and create sustainable, well-paying jobs, all while addressing climate change with the urgency it demands.