Priorities

Bringing Oregon values to Washington D.C.

As Oregon’s Labor Commissioner, State Representative and Lane County community leader, Val has made a difference for working families and communities of the 4th Congressional District. And from her time as Oregon House Democratic Leader, she knows how to turn our progressive values into results. As our next Member of Congress, Val will tackle the most important priorities facing our future.

  • Climate and Environment

    Climate change and environmental degradation isn’t a future threat: it is an immediate emergency that we are experiencing today in the form of wildfires, extreme heat, drought, contaminated water, and more. In the legislature, Val helped expand Oregon’s Clean Fuels program to reduce carbon emissions, worked to move Oregon off of coal power, and increased renewable energy standards for utilities. In Congress, she will work to reestablish the United States as a global leader in addressing climate change, fight for clean air and water, and protect Oregon’s natural treasures. Val’s plan to tackle the climate crisis includes:

    • Moving America to a 100% Clean Electricity standard.
    • Fighting for a just transition to a renewable energy future that provides good jobs for Oregonians and protects families from high energy costs.
    • Halting new fossil fuel leasing on our federal public lands.
    • Pushing for the federal investments necessary to make Oregon a leader in renewable energy generation.
  • Housing and Homelessness

    Oregon’s housing crisis has many faces, from homeless encampments in our cities, to families trying to reestablish their lives after being displaced by wildfires, to the less visible but no less urgent reality of people living in a vehicle or on the couches of friends and family. In our coastal communities, short stay rentals from corporations like Airbnb make the problems even worse. The high cost of housing across this district prevents businesses from recruiting workers and pinches working families. A huge part of the problem stems from decades of the federal government having completely abandoned its responsibilities on public and affordable housing. As our next member of Congress, Val will:

    • Fight for major investments in new public housing in the communities hardest hit by the affordable housing shortage, including workforce housing.
    • Shift tax policies that subsidize the wealthy toward creating more opportunities for first-time home ownership.
    • Get the federal government to recognize homelessness as a crisis to mobilize resources.
    • Strengthen the enforcement of fair housing laws.
  • Working Families

    As a working mom, Val has seen the struggles Oregon families face. In the legislature, she fought for paid sick leave, increasing Oregon’s minimum wage, and for the largest increase in public education funding in Oregon history. In Congress, we can count on her to stand up for women and their families, and fight for:

    • Increasing the federal minimum wage to $15/hour and eliminating the tipped minimum wage.
    • Universal preschool and federal support to ensure affordable child care costs for working families.
    • Comprehensive paid family and medical leave for all workers.
    • Strong enforcement of protections against discrimination and harassment in the workplace.
    • Federal investments in workforce training and expanding the apprenticeship model so all Oregonians have the opportunity to “earn while they learn” a skilled trade.
    • Passage of the PRO Act to make it easier for workers to form unions and collectively bargain.
  • Health Care

    There is no question that the Affordable Care Act made significant improvements, but the reality is that our health care system is still not affordable for most Americans, with sky-high deductibles and out of control prescription costs meaning that care is still not universal. Val’s health care priorities include:

    • Passing universal health care legislation to ensure that every American has access to affordable, quality care when they need it.
    • Finally allowing Medicaid and Medicare to bargain with Big Pharma on prescription costs, and ensuring those savings are available to all Americans.
    • Lowering unaffordable deductibles so that health insurance is an actual benefit, instead of a shell game.
    • Protecting the integrity of Medicare and Social Security, so we can keep our promises to older Americans.
    • Safeguarding abortion access and reproductive healthcare for all Americans.
  • Education

    As the first in her family to graduate from college and someone who struggled with dyslexia in school, Val knows first-hand the power of public education to build opportunity for people and create a strong foundation for a vital economy. As Labor Commissioner, Val has championed paid apprenticeship programs that provide hands-on workforce training throughout Oregon, and expanded apprenticeship opportunities beyond the building and construction trades in partnership with labor unions, employers and community colleges. In the legislature, she was one of the loudest voices in favor of K-12 and higher education funding. Unfortunately, the federal role in education took a giant step backwards during the Donald Trump/Betsy DeVos administration. Val will fight for:

    • Canceling crippling student loan debt and reforming the predatory student loan industry.
    • Direct federal investment in public education at all levels, including funding to support free community college for all.
    • Full federal funding of IDEA to finally fulfill the promise of a free and appropriate public education for students with disabilities.
    • Ensuring that the federal government keeps its commitment to fund Title I so that all students have equal access to quality public education.
  • Voting Rights

    Access to democracy is a more urgent issue than it has been in a generation. Increased attacks on voting rights have surged across the country, undermining access to the ballot and fundamental protections of the Voting Rights Act. In the legislature, Val led the effort to pass Oregon’s automatic voter registration law to expand ballot access. She understands the clear role of the federal government in protecting this fundamental right, and will fight for:

    • Passage of the John Lewis Voting Rights Advancement Act.
    • Ending Citizens United and cracking down on corporate dark money in our elections.
    • Passage of the For the People Act to protect voting rights and reduce the influence of money in politics.