“With more than 30 years of business and technology services experience, I am excited to bring my vision to Salem and to work on your behalf. I look forward to earning your vote.”
Broadband For All
In our digitally connected society, the need for affordable high-speed internet has become a right and not a “nice to have”. I will work to expand access to high-speed internet in all areas of the state to ensure equal access for all. I will work to support Progressive Digital Skills Pathways for everyone in Oregon. Foundational digital skills are now necessary for every occupation in the US, yet roughly one-third of unemployed individuals in the US lack these foundational skills and cannot compete for 75.2% of the current job openings.
Broadband access and digital inclusion are intricately linked. Achieving digital equity requires a concerted and sustained effort to increase the availability of affordable broadband internet service, access to computing devices, and digital literacy training. I will work to establish a Digital Equity Officer within the Broadband office to serve as coordinator for all state-level strategies and programs to focus on achieving affordable broadband services, access to devices, and the needed training to use them. Not having access to low-cost internet services puts people at a disadvantage to being active participants in modern life.
The digital divide makes it difficult for students, job searchers, and workers because so many of today’s transactions and interactions take place, sometimes exclusively, online. If you don’t possess the skill set to use the internet and a broadband connection on which to access it, it can become difficult to be an active participant in modern life.
Expand Workforce Development and Career & Technical Education (CTE)
Oregon has created the 2020-2024 CTE State Plan which provides a comprehensive guide to building CTE and prioritizing the use of allocated funds. The CTE State Plan focuses on more fully integrating academic knowledge and technical employability skills for all learners, ensuring that historically and currently marginalized populations have the supports needed to feel welcome and be successful in the CTE program of their choice. Supporting CTE is more important now than ever. The workforce, higher education, K-12, and business and industry must come together to align the work and support common goals. I support these efforts and the critical outcomes of the plan.
Workforce development doesn’t just happen. We need comprehensive programs that will work to increase high-quality career pathways in technology through comprehensive skills development programs. I believe that by working with local school boards, industry, and business chambers to provide these experiences, we can develop the next generation of leaders and technical experts right here at home. I support developing a skilled workforce that meets the needs of businesses and strengthens the local economy of each local workforce area.
Support Affordable Middle Housing
Housing affordability in nearly every corner of the State is reaching a crisis level. I believe that we need diverse middle housing options to ensure equal access for all income levels and household needs. As our baby boomer generation ages, we need to work to develop age in place housing that doesn’t require our neighbors to move outside of our communities to find affordable and practical housing options. Younger community members shouldn’t be forced to live outside of the communities that they work in simply because they are priced out of those neighborhoods.
Oregon HB 2001 seeks to provide Oregonians with more housing choices, especially more affordable housing choices. The state requires Oregon’s medium-sized cities to allow duplexes on each lot or parcel zoned for residential use that allows for the development of single-family homes and additionally, by June 30, 2022, Oregon’s large cities (with a population over 25,000) must allow duplexes, triplexes, quadplexes, cottage clusters, and townhouses in residential areas. These housing types can be more affordable and meet the housing needs of many younger people, the minority community, seniors, and people who work hard but can’t afford a large, detached house of their own. All families have a right to affordable housing that meets their needs.
I support all cities and municipalities in District 13 as they implement their middle housing plan.
Develop Fully Encompassed Services for Seniors
The severe heat and ice storms of the past year and the COVID-19 epidemic, showed we aren’t doing enough to ensure the safety and livability of our neighborhoods for our senior populations. We need to broaden our services and expectations for this vulnerable population, to ensure that they have what is needed to thrive in their communities.
Working through Older Adults Technology Services (OATS) (an AARP Charitable Affiliate), I want to help provide our senior community with resources and opportunities to help them learn and use technology so they can live better in a continually changing digital world.
Senior Planet (an AARP Charitable Affiliate) is a high-tech “home” where seniors can feel welcome, comfortable, and unintimidated by technology. They are focused on helping seniors learn new skills, save money, get in shape, and make new friends. I want to work with local sponsors to bring a Senior Planet center to the Portland area in Senate District 13. It will be the first in Oregon.