In the next few weeks, a new senator will be chosen to represent Senate District 24. Sen. Fagan is leaving the Senate just as Oregon is facing the perfect storm of challenges: the ramifications of COVID-19, the work for racial justice, the effects of climate change and so much more.
People are suffering from the loss of jobs, housing and food insecurity, the lack of in-person education, mental health challenges and increased domestic violence. On top of this, the legislature struggles to find consensus, and the possibility of Republican walkouts threatens the legislature's ability to work for the common good.
Considering the tremendous challenges facing every level of government and that there will be greater need for limited revenue, it will take a seasoned legislator to represent District 24 on a broad array of issues. While able to accomplish many great wins in the House, I believe serving in the Senate allows me to use my knowledge and experience to continue representing the people of this region and to break Senate roadblocks that often hamper important work for the people of Oregon.
Long before the COVID-19 pandemic and its extreme impacts, I worked with my colleagues and within our community to address housing, poverty, food insecurity, climate, education, workforce development, energy, local transportation, wildfires, water and more. Locally, I led an Oregon Solutions Project that helped keep people living in the Lents 100-year flood plain in their homes, and I worked closely with Sen. Fagan to obtain funding for the Outer Powell Transportation Safety Project. While we have made progress over the last eight years, there's much more to be done, and that work must be done with increased intensity and while facing greater demands.
While doing this work, the legislature must recognize and begin to correct the systemic racism that has so negatively impacted generations of Oregonians who are Black, Indigenous and People of Color. Serving on the David Douglas School Board and teaching for 10 years at David Douglas High School, I have heard the challenges facing our wonderfully diverse community. I have been and will continue to be a strong ally of the BIPOC caucus within the legislature and beyond, as well as supporting the work of the Reimagine Oregon Project.
If you'd like to know more about me, please go to reardonfororegon.com.
Jeff Reardon was first elected in 2012 to represent Oregon House District 48, which includes portions of outer Southeast Portland, Happy Valley and unincorporated Clackamas County.
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