Protecting our environment is among our highest priorities. We cannot compromise our need for clean air, clean water and a healthy eco-system. Climate change is a fact. The evidence is overwhelming that increased human use of fossil fuels is a major factor in climate change. Our glaciers are melting at an alarming rate. If we do not reverse this trend, the results will be devastating.
Living wage jobs in the United States are dramatically disappearing. The economic gap between those with much and those with little is widening. We need to set policies and establish conditions that ensure American workers have a living wage and decent benefits. We need to encourage, through government programs, the development and sustainability of small business enterprise. Small business relies on demand in the market place. Demand is a result of having a vibrant middle class that can purchase the goods and services provided by small business. Oregon needs to become a world leader in developing green technologies including manufacturing and distribution systems.
Public education is a cornerstone of our democracy. All citizens deserve the right to a free and appropriate education. We need to provide adequate funding for our pre-school through college institutions.
All successful nations and states have strong, effective governmental institutions. As a representative, republican government is at the very heart of our democracy, minimizing and destroying government institutions does not make our lives better. Efficient government needs to be part of our state and local solutions. Government and business need to partner in developing solutions to our state and district economic status.
Law and Order
Public safety of our citizens and visitors is essential and a priority. People who commit crimes must be held accountable. An effective prison system is an essential part of ensuring public safety. Prisons, however, are not the only answer or always the best answer to ensuring public safety. A large percentage of our prison population is comprised of minorities, persons with mental illness or learning disabilities. It is much more cost effective to appropriately fund our schools, provide appropriate job training and adequate mental health services than to serve these populations through expensive prison systems. It does us very little good to send men and women to prison so they can learn to be better criminals. We absolutely have to have training and job opportunities so those who do go to prison have a reasonable chance for success when they return to society.
Every citizen has the right to receive appropriate health care. The single-payer system, like Medicare, would be the least expensive while providing the best care for the most people. We need to place emphasis on preventative care rather than emergency care. Our health care should not be left to profit-driven strategies.
Protecting Our Children
Protecting our children should be our highest priority. They represent our future. Children should not be subjected to abuse, but if they are, the system must be adequately financed to ensure exceptional care. No child should go hungry, lack educational opportunities or go without adequate health care. We should never compromise in the protection of our children.
We should all be vigilant in ensuring that our citizens are not discriminated against in any form. Our country was formed on the principle of equality and equal protection under the law. It is the responsibility of each citizen to ensure the freedoms and rights of all the people are protected.