Inspired to run for another term as representative
I hope you have been able to spend time with friends and family this holiday season, experienced joy and laughter, and found some much-needed rest and relaxation. It's a great time to celebrate the holidays, but also to reflect on the previous year and look forward to our goals and hopes for the coming year.
I truly enjoy serving as state representative for District 48. There is always more to learn, more connections to be made, more creative solutions to the district's complex issues. The resilience and dedication I see from those in my community ignites my passion to continue to make a difference in our great district. My neighbors and fellow Oregonians, those nearby and all across the state, inspire me every day.
For the past three terms, the proud and hard-working people of District 48, including southeast Portland, Happy Valley, Clackamas and Milwaukie have entrusted me to be their voice in Salem. Looking forward to 2018, I am excited to announce that I have filed for re-election as your representative for House District 48. I'm running for re-election because I want to continue serving my community.
I will continue to advocate for increased funding for our schools — ensuring more students are graduating high school, have clearer pathways to careers and college, and to make higher education more affordable. In the 2017 session, I voted for K-12 education to receive funding at a historic level, even though that only sustains current programs with little room for growth. I also made it my mission to ensure Measure 98 was implemented as voters intended, knowing that dropout prevention, college readiness and career training are proven ways to increase graduation rates and prepare our future workforce.
It's impossible to cover all the issues I care about in one letter, but there are a few things that rise to the top of my list. As chair of the House Higher Education and Workforce Development committee, I continue to focus on our producing a skilled and ready workforce to fill good, living-wage jobs; that's essential for Oregon's economic well-being. I've also been involved with preparations to introduce a Clean Energy Jobs bill as a way to grow Oregon's economy and reduce carbon emissions. And I am committed to finding the right balance of state revenue and ways to reduce costs, two critical issues that did not get resolved satisfactorily in the 2017 session. Given the recent changes to the federal tax structure, this seems like the ideal time to have an honest, broad-based conversation about Oregon's tax system and cost drivers.
I have two grandchildren and another on the way. I am concerned about the world we are handing off to them. Climate change is a scientific fact, and we should be using all of our tools to reduce the impact. Over the years I have fought for reducing negative environmental impacts. We are just one state in a big world, but our efforts — especially when combined with other western states and some Canadian provinces — will make a difference.
Events at the federal level in 2017 made me realize more than ever that the state legislature plays an essential role in protecting our values and our way-of-life. I want to continue fighting for Oregon values and the rights of ALL Oregonians. I need your help to stay in a position where I can do that.
Jeff Reardon is the state representative for District 48, covering parts of Milwaukie, Happy Valley, Portland and unincorporated northern Clackamas County. As of Monday he is running unopposed.