May 2016 Elections: Oregon State Representative House District 14, 43, 51

///May 2016 Elections: Oregon State Representative House District 14, 43, 51

May 2016 Elections: Oregon State Representative House District 14, 43, 51

(Photo from left to right: Julie Fahey, Roberta Phillip-Robins, Tawna Sanchez, Lori Chavez-DeRemer)

Oregon faces one of the most intense and consequential elections in 2016, where your vote will make a difference.  We know that communities that vote experience better health, education and economic opportunity.  APANO’s civic engagement work is about speaking out and fighting for what is best for our families.  Our team has reached out equally to all candidates in selected races to provide them an opportunity to communicate more directly with the 250,000 Asian and Pacific Islanders in Oregon in advance of the May 17th Oregon Primary Election.  We encourage you to reflect on their answers and discuss with family and friends as you make your decisions.

Candidates have been asked the following questions to engage more directly with constituents, and for voters to be more familiar with their vision and policies. We are giving equal opportunity to all major candidates in the race. APANO is a 501c3 nonprofit, and makes no endorsements.  This information is provided for educational purposes only. 

State Representative, HD14

James I. Manning Jr.: www.electjamesimanningjr.com
Julie Fahey: www.juliefahey.org

No responses from:
Ann Cluette
Kathleen Lamberg

1. Oregon’s racial demographics are changing rapidly, and today more than 1 in 5 are from communities of color. How are you qualified to represent the interests and concerns of diverse communities of color, immigrants and refugees?

Manning Jr – I am on my second appointment to the Oregon Commission on Black Affairs (OCBA) and my third term as OCBA Chair. I have a deep knowledge of the issues and concerns that affect African-Americans and people of color. I work with organizations like Central Latino Americano and other immigrant groups to pursue equity for health care, jobs (apprenticeship and intern programs), safer communities, and quality education for all Oregonians. I believe my experiences and advocacy to has influence legislation on behalf of people of color qualifies me to represent our communities.

Fahey – As a legislator, I know that one of my biggest responsibilities is to listen to the people I represent – their concerns, their worries, the issues they care about, and who they are as a community. It’s not just about my agenda or what I want to get accomplished, it’s about listening to needs of the people of my district and making sure their voices are heard in government. That’s the perspective and commitment I will bring to my responsibility to represent communities of color, immigrants, and refugees – to listen to what your needs are and to work together to find policy solutions to those needs.

2. Asian and Pacific Islanders are persistently under-represented in our public processes. What is one policy you would fight for that expands access for Asian and Pacific Islanders in the political process?

Fahey – I am strongly in favor of any policies that remove barriers to voting and allow more people to participate in the political process. In Oregon, there is still a 20-day window to register to vote before an election – I would support shortening the registration window for new voters, up to and including same-day voter registration (which 11 states and DC currently offer). I also support prepaid postage on vote-by-mail ballots to make it easier for all Oregonians to cast their votes. And finally, non-English speaking citizens still face difficulties in obtaining accurate translations of their ballot, so I support policies that make it easier for non-English speaking citizens to understand their ballot and cast their vote.

Manning Jr – The needs of Asian and Pacific Islanders (API) are no different then other communities of color. I will continue to press to mead the health care gap. I know there are portions of our API communities who do not have access to affordable high quality health care. Education and jobs are other areas that I will continue to work to improve on for API and all communities of color. As OCBA chair I continue to work in partnership with the Oregon Commission on Asian and Pacific Islander Affairs as we progressively move forward to fight for equitable treatment to achieve and Oregon for all.

3. There have been an increasing number of comments about communities of color by candidates that raise the danger of violence and discrimination. What specific leadership will you take to address the anti-immigrant and racist political rhetoric in Oregon?

Manning Jr – As an African-American male who has felt the sting and humiliation of racism and discrimination I will appose racism and discrimination in all forms. I will always speak out again anti-immigration or racist political rhetoric where ever it exist.

Fahey – We have had an unacceptable level of racist and anti-immigrant rhetoric among our elected officials right here in Lane County. County Commissioner Faye Stewart said in a March forum that Vietnamese refugees in Oregon were “harvesting people’s dogs and cats” for food “because their culture and their lifestyle didn’t mix with ours.” Springfield City Councilor Dave Ralston last year didn’t support a person of color for a police advisory committee position because it didn’t need another “minority element” on it. I worked hard to recruit a candidate to challenge Councilor Ralston, because elected officials should be held accountable for their words & actions – not just in the media, but at the ballot box. In addition, speaking out against racist and anti-immigrant rhetoric when it occurs is a critically important part of the role of an elected leader. I promise to be a tireless voice against discrimination in all its forms, and will call out bigotry and racism when I see it.

4. What policy priorities do you envision fighting for that you believe will make a difference in the lives of Asian and Pacific Islanders?

Fahey – My key focus as a legislator will be providing economic security for the middle class and for all working families. Adequate health care coverage and access to care is absolutely critical to accomplishing this. Under the Affordable Care Act, we’ve made great progress in covering more people, but it’s clear that we have more to do. In particular, in 2017 I would like to work to ensure that all children have access to health care, regardless of their documentation or citizenship status. I was glad to see HB3517 (Cover All Kids) pass in the Oregon House in 2015, but disappointed that the Senate did not move forward with it. I also support passing a Basic Health Program in Oregon, which would increase health care coverage for people who aren’t eligible for Medicaid (including legal immigrants in their first five years in the US), but who can’t afford to use the insurance offered on the health care exchange.

Manning Jr – I believe that equitable access to high quality health care, quality education, sustainable living wage jobs, and safer communities are some of my top priorities for the API communities and for all communities of color. These principles and values I will always fight for to make a difference in the API and all communities of color.

5. Why should Asian & Pacific Islanders vote for you?

Manning Jr – I have great respect for this question as presented. I believe that the questions I have responded throughout this questionnaire are for your consideration with regards to why API would or should vote for me. I submit that my record of service to the people of Oregon with emphasis on communities of color reflect my values and principles to help create an Oregon for all. Thank you for this opportunity to participate in your endorsement process. I look forward to hearing from you soon.

Fahey – I want Oregon to be a place where everyone who works hard has a fair shot to succeed in life, regardless of their background. I’m excited about the recent work the legislature has done to expand economic opportunity for working families, including paid sick days and raising the minimum wage. But the reality is that many people in Oregon are still struggling, and there’s still more we need to do. I’m proud to be a lifelong Democrat and advocate for policies that support the middle class.

 

State Representative, District 43

Tawna Sanchez: www.tawnasanchez.com
Roberta Phillip-Robbins: www.robertafororegon.com

1. Oregon’s racial demographics are changing rapidly, and today more than 1 in 5 are from communities of color. How are you qualified to represent the interests and concerns of diverse communities of color, immigrants and refugees?

Phillip-Robbins – I am one of the digits behind the changing statistics of Oregon’s demographics. My family immigrated from Trinidad when I was 13 and I quickly learned what hard work and marginalization meant. I identify as an immigrant and Black. I have been honored to work at Multnomah County for over 5 years and in that time, have championed initiatives in juvenile justice & education that I believe will take us closer to closing the achievement gap & eliminate discipline disparities. I believe in humility and respect. I intend to create open door to opinions not historically represented in Salem. Though I do not speak for other communities, I intend to be a brave and outspoken ally and advocate.

Sanchez – I have spent my life on the forefront of the fight for racial and social justice. When I was young, I protested uranium and coal mining on Native reservations. I was part of global programs for indigenous and human rights like the Indigenous Women’s Network and the International Indian Treaty Council. And for the past 19 years, I’ve been a leader at the Native American Youth and Family (NAYA) – working to address racial and social inequalities in our community. We offer culturally specific programs for Native people – I was the lead in designing a national recognized program to stop domestic violence. I have been active in local organizations working to empower people of color, immigrants and refugees. I will always see all immigrants as my brothers and sisters, entitled to the full rights and respect provided in this nation. I see myself as the best candidate in this race to represent communities of color, with a proven record of doing just that for the last two decades.

2. Asian and Pacific Islanders are persistently under-represented in our public processes. What is one policy you would fight for that expands access for Asian and Pacific Islanders in the political process?

Sanchez – It is critical that we create better lines of inclusion and discourse to the many communities of Asian and Pacific Islanders living in our area. I appreciate that at times cultural and linguistic barriers mean we must make proactive outreach to these constituencies and I would be proud to champion that work. But beyond engagement and inclusion, I think the most important work we can do is creating leadership opportunities for APIA Oregonians within our government and public process. Until we have people from these communities seated at the table and as full participants in the process, the concerns of APIA residents will not be fully valued in the conversation. Just as we must do more to ensure Native peoples are at the table, we must build internship, education, and other professional opportunities for Asian and Pacific Islanders to enter into government and public policy and create the change we need.

Phillip-Robbins – We need to dis-aggregate race & ethnicity data so as to more accurately understand community-specific needs and disparities. Increasing access to communities by eliminating language barriers in the political process will also be one of my priorities.

3. There have been an increasing number of comments about communities of color by candidates that raise the danger of violence and discrimination. What specific leadership will you take to address the anti-immigrant and racist political rhetoric in Oregon?

Phillip-Robbins – I intend to be personally responsive when I see & feel injustice & discrimination. I believe that elected officials have an added responsibility to speak out and to champion equity. I will be brave enough to call out elected colleagues who espouse anti-immigrant and racist rhetoric.

Sanchez – I find such comments disgusting and an expression of the racial and economic anxiety being felt across this country. We need leaders willing to call out racist and xenophobic language and condemn those who use this language and those who embrace it. If we allow this rhetoric to go unchallenged, others will feel emboldened and racism will spread. We also need leaders that can help forge cross-racial collaboration – bringing people together in shared struggle for social and economic justice. By defining collective conversations about what we want, we can inspire people to fight for positive social change, rather than nursing personal resentments. Given my work on the ground in this community and others over the past twenty years I believe I am the best qualified to achieve these changes.

4. What policy priorities do you envision fighting for that you believe will make a difference in the lives of Asian and Pacific Islanders?

Sanchez – I am a strong proponent of inclusive and representative democracy. Over half of the children who live in district 43 are from diverse communities of color, including the immigrant and refugee community. I will push hard to raise achievement, particularly for students of color, students living in poverty, and students still learning the English language. That includes full funding for schools, smaller class sizes, and more professional development so that teachers can adapt to students’ needs.

Phillip-Robbins – I intend to push for data dis-aggregation with specific affected communities leading the charge. I also intend to champion increased transparency in the criminal justice system – A system that reflects disparities for our API communities.

5. Why should Asian & Pacific Islanders vote for you?

Phillip-Robbins – I understand, through lived-experience as an immigrant and a woman of color, many the challenges facing those in API communities. I intend to be a strong advocate for communities of color and will work in partnership, especially with those most at the margins.

Sanchez – I am the candidate in the race with a proven record of standing up for communities of color and making a real difference in the lives of local families. I have proven that I can build inclusion with different groups across this community, as well stand up for what is right. That is why I am endorsed by local leaders like Lee Po Cha, Jaime Lim, Anita Yap, Former Mayors Tom Potter and Sam Adams, and many more available at www.tawnasanchez.com. I hope you will join them in supporting me!

 

State Representative, District 51

Lori Chavez-DeRemer: lorideremer.org

No response from:
Jodi Bailey

1. Oregon’s racial demographics are changing rapidly, and today more than 1 in 5 are from communities of color. How are you qualified to represent the interests and concerns of diverse communities of color, immigrants and refugees?

Chavez-DeRemer – I am a member of this community. I grew up in rural Hanford, CA; all of my friends and family were of a diverse ethnic background. My father is Hispanic. I can’t tell you how many times he has been asked ” are you the cook or landscaper”. I was making homemade tamales that I do every Christmas, and someone said ” that is so cool that you hired authentic help”, I said, ” that is my dad”! My nephews are bi-racial; African American and Hispanic. Moving to Oregon 16 years ago after living in CA, NY, Grenada and Michigan, I became aware of the lack of diversity. A “community of color”, that is my friends and family. One of the first families we met through sports was from Palau. Augie and Calista Augustine’s daughter Sulie and my daughter Emilie spent weekends together at their home in Gresham or ours in Happy Valley. My interests have been qualified because I have been directly affected.

2. Asian and Pacific Islanders are persistently under-represented in our public processes. What is one policy you would fight for that expands access for Asian and Pacific Islanders in the political process?

Chavez-DeRemer – I have been campaigning door to door throughout Happy Valley, Damascus, and East Portland. One of the things I’ve noticed is a language barrier particularly in older voters in Asian households. Devoting resources to make sure voter guides and ballots accommodate all our citizens.

3. There have been an increasing number of comments about communities of color by candidates that raise the danger of violence and discrimination. What specific leadership will you take to address the anti-immigrant and racist political rhetoric in Oregon?

Chavez-DeRemer – I will lead by example . You won’t find any anti-immigrant or racist rhetoric anywhere in my campaign. I would be embarrassed to share with my family and friends who are or represent the African American, Hispanic, Asian and Pacific Islanders communities of anything but an upstanding campaign.

4. What policy priorities do you envision fighting for that you believe will make a difference in the lives of Asian and Pacific Islanders?

Chavez-DeRemer – An area that is sometimes overlooked is the direct oversight a State Representative has over state agency departments. Many of your members are business owners in my district. Agencies like OSHA and OLCC with authority over small businesses can be especially troublesome when there is language barrier, and the victims of these bureaucratic black holes are usually left without an advocate. I welcome all these challenges to personally advocate for minority business owners when they are being treated poorly by the state-to personally intervene and solve the problem. I want to make sure nobody in my district feels bullied or hopeless against these state agencies.

5. Why should Asian & Pacific Islanders vote for you?

Chavez-DeRemer – As a non-partisan Mayor for the last 6 years, of the fastest growing city in Oregon, I have never lost sight of the fact that I work for the people . I am proud of my reputation for accessibility and personal attention to issues that matter to those I represent. That will not change when I’m a State Representative. It only allows me to serve a bigger and more diverse group of people and I will be grateful for the opportunity.

 

To get involved in APANO’s civic engagement work, please contact Kathy@apano.org or call 971-340-4861.

By | 2016-11-18T23:23:35+00:00 May 2nd, 2016|Elections, News & Events|