New Year's Resolutions for the State of Oregon

If I am elected to be your Secretary of State, I want to help Oregon meet these resolutions! Our current leaders have made endless resolutions to improve the lives of Oregonians, but after election day many of their promises give way to old habits. Now is not the time to toss out the resolutions on January 2. 

1. Plan a budget, stick to it, and be accountable to budgets I have made.

As Secretary of State, it will be my job to oversee the audit process. In times past, the results of those audits have meant little. It is time to put those audits to work reforming departments—not only saving the taxpayers money, but also providing necessary services in an efficient manner.

2. Be more honest, fair, and transparent in everything I do.

Democrat legislators and secretaries of state have made it increasingly burdensome for Oregonians to advance initiatives to the ballot box. We need to make the system shorter and simpler, overhauling the voter’s pamphlet to make it easier to read, more informative, and more accessible in digital formats. I favor a two-track proposal to simplify the initiative and referendum system. This change will make the system more voter-friendly, getting politicians out and putting the people back in charge. 

  • One: no ballot title or explanatory statements for any initiative measure that is 150 words or less. 
  • Two: for initiatives above 150 words, reform the process to keep the politicians out and put people back in by eliminating the 1000 signature requirement for starting the ballot title process and creating a Title Board to write ballot titles—a Title Board that excludes elected officials.

3. Remember to ask myself, “Is it true? Is it fair? Is it necessary?” before entering into a conversation.

The state’s job should be to serve in a support role to businesses in the state, not as a door opened only to those businesses we already understand and agree with on values. We need to stop putting up a “not open for business” sign! 

The Corporation Division should have clear expectations and provide a comprehensive suite of information that allows business owners and record keepers to easily establish and maintain business names and records. We need to keep business tax returns private. We can make Oregon a preferred state to locate in and build a business that will be able to employ our children and grandchildren. We can be the location for innovative and sustained business if we can keep government from getting in the way. 

4. Appreciate what I have.

The Secretary of State is one of three members of the State Land Board, along with the Governor and the State Treasurer. The Department of State Lands is the administrative arm of the Board, and its mission “is to ensure a legacy for Oregonians and their public schools through sound stewardship of lands, wetlands, waterways, unclaimed property, estates and the Common School Fund.” 

State Lands have been intended to support the Common School Fund since the department was established in 1878. What started out as 3.4 million acres designated by Congress as state-owned lands managed for the benefit of the state’s schools is now just 700,000 acres. All aspects of these lands, from leasing mineral and grazing rights to managing the timber resources of those lands, are suppose to benefit the schools of Oregon. 

Now with the upcoming Elliott Land Transfer on the table, the state has the opportunity to choose the private entity that will best continue the state’s mission of supporting the schools. Will the Land Board make the best decision? With a more balanced perspective on the board, it is more likely a decision that is best for all of Oregon will be reached! I take that kind of responsibility very seriously. As Secretary of State I would work towards using our resources to the best end for the schools of the state. 

P.S. Remember Oregon has a political donation tax credit of $50 for individuals and $100 for couples if individuals make under $100,000/year or $200,000/year for couples. I would greatly appreciate your support in this way!