About Representative Paul Evans for House District 20
Friends and Neighbors,
The 2015 Legislative Session provided a great step forward for Oregon families. We made historic investments in education and workforce development, increased pay equity through transparency requirements, secured health access for working Oregonians, and passed a series of consumer protection measures designed to protect the rights of people like you and me.
During the interim months my priority has been to open a dialogue with the community. We are always better when we work together in common cause and I can best serve this district through understanding what matters to you and your neighborhood. A major part of this effort has been listening to small business owners, to local labor unions, Latino groups, women’s groups, non-profit organizations, veterans’ organizations, and leaders from across the spectrum throughout Salem, Monmouth and Independence. This process has helped me formulate an agenda for the 2016 and 2017 Legislative Sessions.
As many of you know, I spent the summer and fall months meeting with many small business owners in my 60 Businesses in 60 Days Outreach Program. I met with farmers, restaurant owners, IT experts, grocers, healthcare professionals, home and garden service providers, and more to hear stories of struggle and success. These business owners are irreplaceable parts of our local economy and, as I have said before, it should be getting easier to open and maintain a small business, not harder.
Throughout these conversations I have been asking the same question: “how can the Oregon legislature help support your business?” Through these meetings I have developed a set of small business proposals I am calling the “Small Business Agenda”. For too long we have been framing the conversation the wrong way; instead of pitting workers against business, we need to shift our understanding. The real challenge before us is developing a 21st Century Economy for Oregon: it requires building an alliance of locally owned businesses and workers against out of state – out of country – corporate pirates who are only interested in raiding our riches with little or no investment in this community or our people.
Another policy I will pursue provides an increase of $12 million for veterans outreach services. Studies funded by the Oregon legislature have demonstrated that increases in outreach bring a significant return on investment. For the dollars we spend, thousands are returned in direct and indirect federal care, compensation, and services. It is time we keep faith with our veterans and this approach will provide us with resources to leverage urgently needed support for the 329,000 veterans living in Oregon. With your help we can make 2016 a turning point in the lives of tens of thousands of veterans living across our state – in every neighborhood.
Finally, I am developing a range of concepts for clean micro-energy creation. In 2005 Hurricane Katrina clearly demonstrated that supplying energy after a natural disaster is a significant challenge when the number of generators is limited. More recently, we learned the value of pre-disaster distribution of equipment, materials, and supplies during statewide resiliency drills. In Oregon we know that a devastating earthquake is imminent. The conversation is not if, but when the big one hits. Our state must plan to meet the challenges of a major environmental disaster.
As always, I thank you – the people of House District 20 – for your support, and I look forward to working towards a better community together,
Representative Paul Evans
Oregon House District 20