State Representative – HD 30
Janeen Sollman: www.janeensollman.com
1. What racial/cultural/ethnic identities do you claim?
Sollman – Caucasian.
2. There are over 800,000 People of Color in Oregon, and growing. Generations of racial exclusion, exploitation and divestment have historically marginalized communities of color from the political process. What steps will you take to engage communities of color?
Sollman – As a school board member, prioritizing our most vulnerable students is a central goal in the work I do in our schools. This is the same perspective I will take with me to Salem if elected. One area where I believe we need to be specifically and thoughtfully engaging people of color is with high school graduation rates. I hope to work on expanding programs that assist these students, and build coalitions to bring every voice to the table.
3. What are the root causes of racial inequities in Oregon?
Sollman – I believe the root cause of racial inequality in Oregon is an institutional structure that excluded people of color from our State. One of the primary components of this that persists to this day is unequal access to quality education. We need to strengthen our public schools across the board, with an eye to historically underfunded schools and district, to address these inequalities.
4. What is your response to comments that target and stereotype specific populations, such as immigrants and refugees to this country?
Sollman – Our nation is one of immigrants, and I am dismayed by the growing anti-immigrant sentiments I encounter in Oregon and elsewhere in the United States. We should extend protections to undocumented workers, and I would have supported the bill licensing and insuring all Oregonians. As a State Representative, I would advocate for policies that improve the lives of our immigrant communities. When more Oregonians are thriving, our economy will thrive as well.
5. What solutions will you champion in response to the OHEA Mend the Gap Report highlighting the 383,000 uninsured Oregonians? This includes COFA, immigrant, women and low-wage workers who face exclusions and barriers to healthcare.
Sollman – Access to affordable and high-quality healthcare is a right for all and should not be a privilege for some. We need to ensure that every Oregonian has access to health care, and that their care includes preventive medicine access. Too many uninsured and underinsured Oregonians are forced to rely on the emergency room for their health care. That not only runs up the cost of health care, it’s dangerous and doesn’t serve Oregonians well. Stable funding from the state is vital to be able to fully cover these populations and to help mitigate the increasing costs of healthcare across the board, and if elected, I will support efforts and legislation to do so.
6. What are your solutions to the Housing Crisis facing Oregonians?
Sollman – Access to affordable housing is crucial to keeping families together and ensuring a stable education for our children. The affordable housing legislation passed during the 2016 session was a step in the right direction, but the legislature will need to continue working with local governments to develop additional strategies for alleviating our state’s affordable housing crisis. At the state level, we should be incentivizing and requiring minimum quotas for low-income housing – especially in new developments. This type of inclusionary housing benefits families and children by providing greater access to jobs and schools for low-income citizens. Additionally, it benefits entire communities by diversifying populations and limiting gentrification.
7. What ideas do you have for improving curriculum to prepare our K-12 students to be business, political and social leaders in a racially and culturally diverse state?
Sollman – As a school board member and a parent of two public school graduates, I have seen firsthand the areas in which our public education system are struggling. I have many ideas for improving our K-12 education system, including increasing the percentage of the total budget allocated to the State School Fund to ensure a full school year for all K-12 students, as well as working with local school districts to reduce class sizes for all students statewide. I believe we need to further develop a statewide summer education program to help students stay engaged between the time they leave for the summer and start again in the fall. Lastly, I believe strongly that we need to increase investment in CTE and STEM education programs. I see CTE as the missing link for many of our students, and believe that we should be creating partnerships between Oregon high schools/community colleges and business leaders to ensure students are being trained for the jobs most needed by businesses.
For more information on these candidates, please visit their website:
neen Sollman: www.janeensollman.com