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Beaverton mayor: Then-Speaker Kotek worked with mayors to address the problems of houselessness.

PMG PHOTO: PETER WONG - Beaverton Mayor Lacey Beaty, right, speaks on behalf of Democrat Tina Kotek at a press event Monday, Oct. 17, in Salem. I love Oregon. And like many Oregonians, I'm frustrated because things are not working as they should be. We have a housing and houselessness crisis in Oregon. PMG FILE PHOTO - BEATYDecades in the making, this was only exacerbated by the pandemic. Our next governor's top priority must be getting our houseless neighbors off the streets and into housing. Mayors are on the front lines of this crisis and we need a partner in the governor's seat who understands and is committed to bold, strategic action.

All three candidates for governor served in the Legislature. They all had opportunities to bring forward solutions and work with mayors to start turning things around. But only one person proved to be a real leader on housing and homelessness: Tina Kotek. In 2019, Tina fought to protect renters from no-cause evictions and huge rent spikes that were displacing families and pushing some people into homelessness. Christine Drazan opposed that. When many Oregonians were laid off during the pandemic, Tina fought to ensure they didn't lose their housing. Christine Drazan sided with the big banks and opposed those protections for renters and homeowners.

Almost three years ago, Tina Kotek called for a state of emergency on homelessness. She didn't just sound the alarm, she proposed a solution. She developed a detailed package of funding and policy changes to help local communities take on this crisis. But a few weeks later, Christine Drazan led her caucus to walk off the job, preventing millions of dollars from getting out the door to help unhoused Oregonians. When people show us who they are and what they value, we should believe them.

Mayors have been coming to the table during this homelessness crisis, asking the state to be our partner. We need a governor who stays at the table until we come up with real solutions, even and especially when it's hard.

Christine Drazan's only record on Oregon's homelessness crisis is that she chose partisanship and corporate special interests over Oregonians. She has opposed nearly every effort to address this crisis. She hasn't done anything to help, but she's done a lot to make it worse. When our elected leaders walk out, do you know who suffers? Our communities. Our workers. Our parents and kids who depend on us to advocate for their needs. Our constituents who count on us to solve problems and improve the lives of all Oregonians.

Oregon is not the best that it can be right now, we all agree on that. But, the so-called "new direction" that Christine Drazan is offering would take us down the wrong track — and it wouldn't solve a single one of our problems. In fact, it would just make them worse.

People often reach out to me looking for simple solutions to complex problems. But it doesn't work like that. It takes every level of government working together to accomplish big goals. Don't be fooled by those in the race offering simple solutions. Tina Kotek is the only proven leader who is ready to take on Oregon's biggest challenges. Tina Kotek is the governor we need right now.

Lacey Beaty is the mayor of Beaverton. She is also a U.S. Army veteran, a National Guard spouse and a mom.

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