Maxine shares the same strong core values as many Oregonians: Courage, Compassion and Integrity
I will fight to protect every Oregonian’s right to reproductive freedom in the face of a hostile federal Supreme Court. We cannot waver on current full-spectrum reproductive healthcare, including unencumbered abortion access, and must move toward free universal access to long-acting reversible contraception.
Oregon has fallen behind most of the nation in public education achievement and funding. Our state has consistently failed to provide top-notch educational services for all students. In Salem, I will fight for equitable, increased funding for our education system, including Universal Pre-K, expanded after-school care, and increased funding for trade schools and community colleges.
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As long as Congress drags its feet on healthcare reform, states need to be a driving force for bringing healthcare to all, including the 243,000 currently uninsured Oregonians. To ensure universal and affordable healthcare NOW in Oregon, I will fight for the following:
- Pass a state-wide, universal-coverage mandate requiring full insurance coverage.
- Make quality healthcare available to every Oregonian, regardless of income level.
- The healthcare for all option would be portable and sustainable regardless of changes in employment and/or income levels, providing comprehensive and consistent coverage for all.
- A healthcare for all program would provide strong mental health services, preventive care and comprehensive family planning services, including universal access to long-acting reversible contraception (LARC).
- A healthcare for all buy-in option would be a temporary measure until Oregon or Congress is able to enact a universal care plan. At this time, Oregon cannot implement a single-payer plan without a federal waiver; this is being discussed currently in Washington, D.C..
I support a healthcare for all plan that ensures affordability, quality and reliability, combined with concurrently regulating and incentivizing the right care at the right time across all insurance plans, will evolve the system away from private insurance and towards a full single-payer system.
Clean Air and Clean Energy
I am a lung and critical care doctor who sees the impact of climate change and poor air quality on people’s health every day. There is a clear connection between the level of air pollution people are exposed to, and their risk to have four of the top five causes of death in Oregon: heart disease, stroke, respiratory disease and cancer. We must rapidly reduce our dependence on fossil fuels by shifting to 100% renewable energy with 25 years. In doing so, we must prioritize our socially and economically marginalized communities; climate change negatively impacts these communities’ health the most. The ways we know how to reduce climate pollution, tend to be the same ways we can reduce health inequities. For example, green transportation and innovative land use and affordable housing development along the transit corridors can dramatically improve a community’s quality of life, health, economic prosperity and safety by improving air quality, access to healthy food, active transportation options, and more. With this transition, we need to intentionally collaborate with workers and fossil fuel industries to be sure Oregon is at the innovative edge of the clean energy transition – working with unions and utilizing Project Labor Agreements (PLAs) in all green energy and infrastructure projects. See more details on climate change’s impact on the health of Oregonians here.
Gun Violence Prevention
I recognize the health impact of gun violence, whether it’s the trauma people go through in active shooter situations, or the mental health issues that lead to gun violence and suicide. As such, we need to apply public health principles toward gun violence prevention. I will push for research funding so that we may identify the most impactful interventions and will focus our state’s resources on where we can get the most impact early on. I will also push to make it harder for guns to be misused by implementing safe storage practices, comprehensive background checks, and restrictions on large volume magazines.
We must protect women’s hard-won rights to make our own reproductive health decisions that have enabled generations of women to gain access to better careers and stable family situations. Furthermore, under a healthcare for all plan, we can provide universal access to affordable family planning, following Colorado’s successful Family Planning Initiative that provided reversible contraception to thousands of young women, reducing the number of abortions in the state by expanding long-term access to reversible contraception to everyone. See details here.
We must ensure every Oregonian has access to affordable housing. I strongly favor creating a state-wide rent assistance program and expanding houseless services to help transition to supportive and independent housing. I will vote to end the mortgage interest deduction for families in the top 5% of earners, and then use the $160 million this would raise to fund housing services. As a doctor, I have gone tent to tent to directly care for our houseless populations and I see the impacts of housing insecurity on patients every day. As such, I recognize the profound intersection of mental illness, addiction and houselessness. In getting our houseless neighbors into stable housing, we must make sure that they can remain housed by providing mental health care and wrap-around supportive services through a healthcare for all plan.
The quality of your education should not depend on your zip code and neighborhood. I will push for increased school funding across the board, devoting resources to struggling schools rather than taking them away. I will also push for Universal Pre-K and affordable after-school childcare in order to provide a strong foundation for all children, rather than just for those who can afford it. Furthermore, in order to fight against student debt and to expand opportunities for working people, we need to invest in robust access to trade education. Finally, we should bring back the Post-Secondary Quality Education Commission to direct public funding of post-secondary education to the programs with the greatest impact for all students.
Unions created the middle class and are a critical part of the solution to our rampant income inequity we see all around us today. All workers should have access to living-wage jobs with good benefits. They should also be protected from wage theft and our elected officials must set clear expectations for worker protections. I support universal pre-K and expansion of this program to universal child care to empower working families to have the flexible, high-quality, affordable childcare they need to achieve their full economic potential. We need stronger community college and job training options. We need to recognize that corporations and the richest Oregonians need to invest disproportionately through taxes to help lift up and prioritize struggling and stressed working families. As such, I would support complete corporate reporting, closing currently loopholes and increasing the taxes on Oregonians in the top 0.5% of earners to fund worker protections and to fight against wage theft. I also strongly support House Bill 2016 (passed in 2019), which makes it an unfair labor practice for employers to discourage employees from joining a union or to encourage employees to revoke their union dues authorization, and will continue to support expansion of pro-union legislation. Lastly, we need to protect PERS from further cuts to ensure our public employees can retire with the retirement benefits they worked so hard to earn.