Democratic Candidate Tina Kotek Has Always Supported Labor Unions And Oregonians In Need

Tina Kotek would have the advantage if she were running for governor in any other year because Oregon has elected solely Democrats to that post for the past three decades.

She does, however, appear to be in a far more competitive fight than the one that Kate Brown, the state’s current governor and one of the least popular state chief executives in the country, experienced when she was up for reelection four years ago.

If the Democratic party has lost the trust of enough of its supporters to lose control of the governor’s office, that is a crucial question that Oregon Democrats and unaffiliated voters will soon attempt to answer.

This year, the state’s homelessness crisis, violent crime, the lack of affordable housing, and dissatisfaction that elected officials don’t seem to be resolving those issues are on the minds of many Oregonians.

In a recent interview Kotek, 56, said of Oregon voters, “I don’t know if the Democrats are unhappy.” It’s true that there are people in Oregon who are angry and frustrated with the way things are.

She has made a conscious effort to distance herself from Brown, criticizing the governor for his lax oversight of fixes to Employment Department blunders, his acceptance of mediocrity in education, and his failure to correct Oregon Health Authority errors on addiction treatment as errors she wouldn’t commit.

During her nine years as speaker of the 60-member Oregon House, a period in which Democrats consistently maintained a majority and even a supermajority for three years, Kotek played a significant role in influencing Oregon’s most prominent progressive initiatives.

Tina Kotek Has Always Supported Labor Unions And Oregonians
Tina Kotek Has Always Supported Labor Unions And Oregonians

Raising Oregon’s minimum wage to over $15 in the Portland area, with lower rates in rural areas, was one of her finest accomplishments. She steered the passage of numerous gun safety laws, such as a ban on convicted domestic abusers buying firearms, expanded background checks, and a requirement that gun owners store their weapons securely.

In 2017, she assisted in the passage of a law that forbade governments from restricting access to abortion and expanded government insurance coverage for the procedure.

As housing costs rose in Portland and other parts of the state, Kotek focused more on affordable housing and succeeded in getting a law allowing for denser construction in large and mid-sized communities passed in 2019. This was something Portland leaders had long debated but hadn’t done.

In a statement at the time, Kotek stated that “the state’s housing situation requires a combination of bolder initiatives.” “More housing units need to be built in Oregon, and they need to be built in a way that expands housing opportunities for more people.”

Additionally, Kotek has long supported statewide rent control, a more divisive housing policy that lawmakers finally adopted in 2019. Based on experts’ criticisms that limiting rent increases scares away investors, reduces the supply of housing, and raises rents, Republicans and some Democrats opposed the idea.

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