In 2020, I ran and was elected with 86% of the vote on three core pillars of policy that I hoped to advance in the legislature: Environmental and Climate Justice, cultivating a Healthy Democracy, and Economic & Social Justice.
In my first term, I am grateful to say that we delivered progress on all fronts in the historic 2021 legislative session. We accomplished many parts of what we set out to do when my district elected us.
Below is a review of the issues I campaigned on and legislative accomplishments we delivered.
Environmental and Climate Justice
“Oregon Green New Deal: We need to fund a just transition to a renewable energy economy by making polluters and corporations pay their fair share”
HB 2021 100% Clean Energy for All — Creates a justice-based 100% emissions-free electricity standard by 2040 with living-wage jobs and job training and $50 million for community-based renewable energy projects.
HB 2842 Healthy Homes — Creates a new fund with $10 million for home repairs, energy efficiency upgrades, smoke filtration and home hardening, and septic system repair for low-income Oregonians.
HB 2475 Energy Affordability — Will create path to lower energy bills for low-income Oregonians
SCR 17 — Environmental Justice framework embedded into our state agency planning
SB 582 — Modernizing Oregon’s Recycling System to have more producer responsibility for plastics and updated recycling labeling
HB 2518 — Brownfields Revitalization Fund established with $10 million
“Campaign Finance Reform: Democracy can only function when government is in the hands of the people, not wealthy donors. That’s why we must limit campaign contributions from individuals and shady PACs while protecting the rights of working people to pool their resources and support candidates who identify with our values.”
Campaign Finance Reform. Unfinished — there are plans to have the 2022 session tackle Oregon’s wild wild west system of campaign finance, and I will champion the cause to restore faith in democracy. I support public financing contributions to campaigns to level the playing field.
HB 3021 – Voter Language Access Act — I authored this voting access bill that will provide online multilingual translations of the voter pamphlet statements in the top 5 languages spoken in the state and counties (outside of English).
HB 3291 – Postmarked Ballots — ensures ballots are accepted as long as they’re postmarked on or before Election Day, and reach elections officials within a week of the election
“Fair Tax System: We cannot have a healthy democracy when corporations and the wealthiest get the largest tax breaks and government subsidies while working families experience housing and food insecurity. Oregon must be bold and act with urgency in addressing income and other economic inequities in our state.
HB 2819 – Leave No Worker Behind — extends the Earned Income Tax Credit to tax filers who use an Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN). ITIN filers and mixed-filing households now have access to this anti-poverty tax credit
HB 3275 – Fair Taxation for Permanently Affordable Housing — I authored this property tax relief bill for homeowners on community land trusts, lighting the way for more land trust models
Economic and Social Justice
“Healthcare: Every Oregonian should have access to universal healthcare, regardless of their health, age, income, race, immigration status, or gender identity. “
HB 3352 Cover All People — $100 million to expand Medicaid to cover eligible vulnerable adults, regardless of citizenship status
HB 2010 Public Option Study // SB 428 Universal Healthcare Task Force — Study reports back in 2022 to continue down Oregon’s path to universal health care coverage
HB 2949 Behavioral Health Investments — $470 million for behavioral health including addiction treatment, building up work force especially culturally specific providers, increasing capacity at residential facilities, and investing in mobile response CAHOOTS models statewide.
“Education: Modernizing curriculum to reflect the world we face, expanding opportunities for career and technical learning, free community college, higher education affordability, support for more dual language immersion programs that address the achievement gap and help both native and non-native speakers improve their cognitive and language development.“
In 2021, the Legislature appropriated a record $9.3 billion towards the K-12 education budget and delivered $900 million to public universities, $703 to community colleges, both above request levels. These investments will help students and school districts prepare to welcome students in the fall, including $250 million for K-12 summer programming across the state.
“Housing: Everyone deserves safe and stable housing and thriving livable neighborhoods Oregon must take bold action to ensure there is sufficient affordable housing for our growing population.“
Housing Investments — $765 million for affordable housing preservation and development, down payment assistance, homeless services, tenant supports, and more.
Culturally Specific Property Acquisition Fund — Through the HD 46 specific American Rescue Plan dollars, we invested over $3 million to support culturally specific housing property acquisition and development.
“Reproductive Justice: I firmly believe in the right to choose, regardless of status, gender, race, or income. I will continue to work on addressing our current reproductive health inequities and protect and expand the right to accessible contraception and reproductive health care for all.“
HB 3294 – Menstrual Dignity Act — requires all “public institutions of education” — schools, colleges, education service districts — to provide free tampons and sanitary pads in bathrooms. Schools would be required to install at least two dispensers by July 2022.
“Immigrant and Racial Justice: Everyone deserves the rights, resources, and recognition they need to thrive, regardless of immigration status. I vow to continue to be a champion for human and civil rights and criminal justice reform, in particular for the black and brown communities, immigrants and non-citizens who are most impacted and suffer the gravest consequences of our unjust system.”
SB 778 — Office of Immigrant and Refugee Advancement — $1.3 million dollars for staff advocate for and partner with statewide immigrant and refugee programs and services that coordinate with long-term support services to meet the needs of immigrant and refugee populations in Oregon. The Office will also be responsible for collecting data on immigrant and refugee populations in Oregon to determine needs and track progress in reducing social, economic, and health disparities for refugees and immigrant populations.
Bias Crimes Response Package — $2 million to boost the OR Department of Justice Bias Crimes response division hotline. The legislature also reformed policies dealing with hate crimes on public lands, eliminating the trans-panic defense in prosecution, and categorizing the displaying of a noose as a hate crime.
HB 2167 – Racial Justice Council — enshrines and funds the Governor’s Racial Justice Council, an important platform for BIPOC community leaders to influence racial equity across state government agencies and policies.
Police Accountability Package — the Legislature passed 22 police accountability bills during this session. Important reforms include increased training standards, more stringent background checks to root out white supremacy ties, and mandating a duty to intervene for officers when their colleagues are not performing their duties responsibly. SB 621, the police arbitration bill, will allow Portland to implement a new police oversight board that voters overwhelmingly passed in 2020. SB 620 will eliminate supervision fees for people in community corrections programs who often are leaving prison with very little resources to make these payments. HB 2204A will set up a $4 million restorative justice grant program through the Criminal Justice Commission.
Indigenous Peoples Day, Juneteenth, Arab American Heritage Month — these symbolic but important recognitions and public holidays celebrating the rich cultures and histories present in Oregon
“Supporting small business & building local economy: rebuilding our local economy by shifting our economic system from one that is unfair, exploitative and creates artificial scarcity to one that shifts economic activity in a way that allows small locally-owned businesses to thrive, treats workers well and creates community abundance, self-reliance, resilience and happiness.”
82nd Avenue Safety Investments & Jurisdictional Transfer — $80 million in funding to the Oregon Department of Transportation for much needed safety improvements on 82nd avenue. This funding also secures a future transfer of the highway from state to local government. Destinations like the Jade District and Montavilla make 82nd Avenue a citywide attraction for restaurants, shopping, and services. It is a regionally significant transportation corridor, hosting one of TriMet’s busiest bus lines, serving 20,000 to 30,000 vehicle trips a day.
Wildfire Recovery — $600 million for wildfire recovery and prevention to aid in local economic rebuilding in wildfire impacted areas
HB 3073 Child Care is the backbone of our economy. HB 3073 will streamline Oregon’s child care system by establishing a new state agency: the Early Learning Authority. This authority will focus on serving vulnerable populations
Pandemic Relief — SB 278 provides a 60 day grace period from evictions for tenants who are waiting for their rental assistance applications to be processed. Multnomah County strengthened this protection by extending this grace period to 90 days.SB 282 provides tenant protections, including a grace period to pay accrued back rent.