Candidate for Oregon Governor
I myself was born without arms because of the Chernobyl nuclear disaster setting me off on a life of trauma, disadvantages, discrimination, and hardships not faced by many. Despite the insurmountable odds and challenges, I have risen above them proving just what wit, determination, and wit can ultimately achieve. https://youtu.be/uKR46mbIw5w is my YouTube video of how I live my life without arms all while biking and working full time AND running for governor!
Working at CareOregon, a Medicaid/Medicare subsidized health company, I have seen it firsthand the consequences and devastation of mental illness, addiction, alcoholism, and trauma experienced by our members. This gives me an insight and advantage over the other candidates who do not interact with OHP on a regular basis.
Question Two – Oregon ranks at the bottom of states in a well-regarded national survey of access to public treatment services for mental illness, addiction and alcoholism. What can you in office do to change this?
I will be expanding OHP to all Oregonians regardless of income or immigration status. This also includes enhancing and expanding mental health services to cover addiction and alcoholism. Providing free rehabilitation housing and then affordable permanent housing along with better opportunities for people with mental illness, trauma, addiction, and alcoholism to obtain and keep good paying jobs, whether they be union or government jobs will help people stay secure and stable.
Question Three – In that same national survey, Oregon ranks at the top for prevalence of mental illness, addiction and alcoholism. What can you in office do to change this?
In line with OHP FOR ALL, we must remove the stigma or any obstacles of getting mental health treatment or addiction treatment to people who are suffering. We do this by building public treatment centers and hospitals in each county to treat mental illness, support families to care for members living with mental illness, addiction, alcoholism, and trauma. These services must be nearby to those who need the services so they do not have to travel far. I will be making all public transit operate 24/7 and be fare free.
Question Four – A natural consequence of lack of access to treatments and high prevalence of mental illness, addiction and alcoholism is chronic homelessness. Why isn’t Portland’s strategy to reduce homelessness working and what could you do in office to change that?
There are entirely way too many vacant properties and buildings just sitting there going to waste. As governor, I will seize those properties and buildings under eminent domain and give them to nonprofit organizations/agencies to retrofit them into housing. I will work with state/public/ngo agencies to build at least 25,000 low-income houses/apartments each year and rent these to low-income and unemployed Oregonians. I will transition us to a renter-to-owner program rather than the existing rent only/mortgage program.
Without being too blunt, at the end of the day, the political establishment of Portland simply doesn’t care about the homeless.
In addition, I will raise minimum wage to $15 an hour in my first 100 days. I will follow that up with instituting a living wage of $25 an hour at all companies reporting billion dollar plus earnings quarterly along with profit sharing with their employees.
Question Five – In 2015 the US DOJ found the Portland Police Bureau has a pattern and practice of harming people with mental illness. There’s little data to show that pattern and practice has changed, and no data to show other metro area police bureaus are any different. How would you in office engage with this problem?
While body cameras are not the end all be all solution to monitoring police, they are a great start to help keep the police accountable and responsible for their actions. In addition, I will require all police officers have at a minimum an associates degree in any mental field/degree, as more often than not encounters with the police are mental health related. I will lead the way in transitioning from sending police officers to domestic abuse/mental health related calls to sending licensed mental health advocates/social workers to these types of events. I will require that police officers live in the communities that they are policing. For traffic violations citations/stops, police officers do not need to be armed to the hilt. I will require that the police force closely resemble the racial make up of the community it is policing.