Q&A with the Candidates by Issues

The following Q&A was compiled by Oregon newsrooms collaborating to cover the May 17th primaries in the 2022 governor’s race. Journalists across the state drafted the following 15 questions, which were distributed to candidates by the Agora Journalism Center at the University of Oregon. Responses are in the candidates’ own words and have been trimmed at the 300-word limit. Click on the “cards” to see how they responded to our questions on housing, crime, education, the economy and environmental issues.

Questions on Climate Change and Environment

Q1. The Oregon governor’s office is usually reactive when it comes to dealing with drought – sending relief money to affected counties or providing water deliveries in communities after wells have gone dry. What specific steps would you take to provide long-term solutions for years of increasing drought??

Q2. In the absence of action by the legislature, Gov. Brown created a climate protection plan by executive order to reduce carbon emissions. That plan is being challenged in court. If elected, would you renew that order or rescind it? Why?

Q3. In addition to climate change causing conditions more prone to extreme wildfires, scientists throughout the state have raised concerns that Oregon’s reliance on “clearing fuel” as a form of forest management actually contributes to worsening conditions. Conversely, timber industry groups continue to champion industrially planted forests and timber harvests as an important tool in suppressing wildfires? What specific groups or individuals would you include in conversation as you develop your forest management policy?

Questions on Crime & Safety

Q4. Measure 110 decriminalized drugs in Oregon while stepping up treatment. How would you confront the state’s failure to meet the intent of the law to ensure thousands of Oregonians get treatment?

Q5. Some rural counties with small populations and small tax bases struggle with adequate law enforcement funding. What steps would you take to address this chronic problem?

Q6. Fentanyl is rapidly growing as a threat to health and safety in Oregon. What state action would you direct to confront this situation?

Questions on Education

Q7. Coming out of the pandemic, we are seeing unprecedented stress levels in educators, students and parents. As governor, what steps would you take to address this stress and keep our public K-12 schools from imploding?

Q8. Child care and preschool for children below age 5 has traditionally been provided in homes, small neighborhood privately-owned child care centers, churches and larger child care centers run by nonprofit organizations. This does not adequately cover the childcare needs of many communities, especially in rural areas. Do you believe that the K-12 system in Oregon should get involved in early childhood care to help provide more child care options and education, and if so, how?

Q9. What do you see as the two biggest barriers to creating an adequate supply of child care in Oregon, and what do you propose to change to help alleviate the shortage of child care?

Questions on the Economy

Q10. What Oregon law do you consider a significant restraint on economic growth in the state and how would you propose amending it?

Q11. Much of the economy of rural Oregon is based on agriculture, natural resource extraction and tourism. Agriculture is consolidating, natural resource extraction is in decline, and tourism provides mostly minimum-wage jobs. As governor, what are the first three steps you would take to build a stronger economy in rural Oregon?

Q12. State government has a lot of tools to help the economy. Please rank the following to show your support, with 1 being the highest priory. Use 0 for any idea you do not support.

  • Targeted tax breaks for key industries
  • Direct financial aid to education/job training programs
  • Direct financial aid to specific businesses
  • Infrastructure and public works, such as broadband and transportation?
  • Other (be specific)

Questions on Housing

Q13. There are housing shortages in both rural and urban communities across Oregon. What specific steps would you take to increase access to housing and housing stock for low and middle-income Oregonians?

Q14. Some Oregon cities are partnering with nonprofits to provide overnight parking sites, tent camping sites, “tiny homes”, and other designated places for people without homes. As governor, how would you support these local efforts, and would that support include seeking state funding?

Q15. The legislature has been working to make it easier to build more units of housing in cities, to close the gap between housing supply and demand. Has it gone far enough? And, as governor, will you make it easier for cities to adopt practices allowing more rapid and more dense construction? And, specifically, how will your efforts impact Oregon’s signature land use development system?