Where I stand
Access to health care
As Vice Chair of the House Health Care Committee, Rob cares deeply about expanding access to health care services, and making it more affordable. In 2019, he carried SB 770 during the debate on the floor of the House. This bill creates a workgroup to study how Oregon could implement single payer care in the future. Short of universal coverage, his number one legislative priority is lowering the cost of prescription drugs. HB 4005 was a bill that Rob championed in 2018 to create drug price transparency. This bill is critical in understanding the drivers behind drug price increases and helps the Legislature and state agencies understand how to tackle the spiraling costs of prescription drugs.
As a lifelong labor activist, Rob has spent his entire career fighting for working families. Rob knows that all full-time workers deserve a livable wage, good health insurance, and the right to have a union and a union contract. Rob championed Oregon’s new paid family and medical leave bill, so that working Oregonians don’t have to choose between their job and being there for a loved one.
Nearly every day Rob takes time to contact individual people in SE & NE Portland to hear about what’s on their mind, and one issue comes up more than any other: Housing. Portland is facing a housing crisis and Rob has taken action. he supported the 1st statewide rent stabilization law in the country, which helps protect tenants from price-gouging and unfair treatment, and he supported legislation to increase the stock of affordable housing in cities like Portland. But he knows we have to do more. Rob supports repealing a decades-old law preventing cities like Portland from implementing rent control and other tenant protections, and investing millions in affordable housing solutions throughout Oregon.
Rob, just like all of us, is concerned about our fellow Portlanders who are houseless. In addition to supporting more affordable housing and tenant protections, Rob has consistently fought for more funding for mental health and addiction treatment, and will continue to do so both in the legislature and at the ballot.
Rob understands that climate change is the biggest crisis facing our state, country and planet. Like many Oregonians, Rob is fighting for his children and grandchildren when he pushes for Oregon to take strong action to tackle the climate crisis. Although a small group of right-wing Republicans have prevented our state from taking bold climate action, Rob is committed to fighting for a Green New deal for Oregon. Oregon must set a price on carbon and uses that money to fund new investments in green energy projects and green tech, as well as standing up for the communities most impacted by pollution and climate change. We are running out of time to address climate change and Rob believes that Oregon must lead the nation in saving the planet for future generations.
Rob believes every woman has the right to choose. Oregon is one of the least restrictive states in the country when it comes to reproductive health, and he has fought to keep it that way. That’s why, in the 2017 session, Rob co-sponsored the Reproductive Health Equity Act, ensuring access to reproductive health for all Oregonians. Rob will also ensure that reproductive healthcare is funded, despite Donald Trump’s rollbacks in federal funding.
In 2016, the revelation that Bullseye Glass was polluting the air in the heart of Southeast Portland was a wake-up call. Since then, Rob has focused on cleaning up Oregon’s air, supporting legislation that would require increased reporting by industrial emitters, and reduce diesel emissions. Oregon has some of the nation’s highest rates of diesel pollution and asthma, and Rob believes Oregon must catch up to other states in regulation diesel emissions. That is why he sponsored HB 2007 so we would finally do something about diesel emissions. Rob is now following up on that bill by serving on the Diesel Task Force so we can find ways to help small businesses transition to cleaner engines faster.
Tax Fairness & Education Funding
Fixing Oregon’s broken revenue system has been a top priority for Rob. Continuing to shift the tax burden off of the working and middle class to large corporations that can afford to pay their fair share is one way Rob hopes to raise the revenue our state needs to invest in health care and education. In the 2019 session, Rob helped pass the Student Success Act, a one billion dollar per year tax on corporations to fund schools, the largest corporate tax increase in Oregon’s history. He also introduced a bill to crack down on offshore tax havens. In the 2020 session, property tax reform – restoring fairness to the system – will be one of his top priorities.
When Rob moved to Oregon in 1992, he joined the fight to defeat Measure 9, a ballot measure which would have required schools to teach children that being LGBTQ is “abnormal, wrong, unnatural, and perverse.” Oregon has made great advances in securing the rights of LGBTQ people since the 1990’s, and Rob has worked hard to protect these advances from all challenges, while working to expand rights to communities that are still marginalized by current laws. In 2017, Rob passed HB 2673, making it easier for transgender and nonbinary Oregonians to change their government-issued identity documents to reflect who they are. In 2019, Rob supported Adi’s Act (SB 52), which addresses teen suicide, especially among LGBTQ youth.