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Republican Christine Drazan Can’t ‘Walk Out’ on Her Failed Record on Homelessness

Drazan Walked Off the Job, Blocking Efforts to Address Homelessness When She Was House Republican Leader

Today, Republican gubernatorial candidate Christine Drazan launched her “roadmap for Oregon’s future,” which attempts to rewrite her failed record on homelessness.

Drazan is now echoing a call for a homelessness state of emergency that Tina Kotek called for in 2020, before Drazan walked off the job and obstructed the entire legislative session. As OPB reported on January 10, 2020:

“Oregon House Speaker Tina Kotek says Oregon’s crisis of unsheltered homelessness has reached emergency status.

“So as she prepares to push an ambitious funding proposal in next month’s legislative session, the Portland Democrat is mulling a remarkable option: A statewide emergency declaration that would allow cities around the state to more easily site homeless shelters.

“‘This is an ongoing crisis,’ Kotek said. ‘We know it’s there, and the state’s got to step up and help our local communities deal with it.’

While Tina was pushing to bring people together to pass this homelessness relief package in 2020, Christine Drazan was pushing the House Republican caucus to walk off the job and flee the state, which had the effect of killing bills on homelessness, wildfire preparedness, and aid for flood victims.

Tina championed the following investments to address Oregon’s housing and homelessness crisis in the 2020 legislative session, all of which died because of Drazan’s walk out:

  • $50 million in bonding for the Local Innovation and Fast Track (LIFT) affordable housing construction program (HB 5202)
  • $45 million to increase shelter capacity, including $16.5 million for navigation centers in Bend, Eugene, McMinnville, Medford and Salem (HB 4001)
  • $10 million for affordable housing preservation (HB 5204)
  • $6 million for the Affordable Housing Land Acquisition Revolving Loan Program (HB 5204)
  • $5 million to help increase home ownership in communities of color (HB 4003)
  • $2.5 million to strengthen the service system for unaccompanied homeless youth (HB 4039)
  • $960,000 for a pilot program on accessory dwelling units on properties owned by low-income homeowners (HB 4015)
  • $300,000 to strengthen fair housing civil rights enforcement at Bureau of Labor and Industries (BOLI) (HB 5204)
  • $250,000 to study and recommend a long-term rental voucher program (HB 4002)

Thankfully, Tina didn’t give up and was able to successfully pass many of those proposals in later legislative sessions.

“Drazan’s ‘roadmap for Oregon’ will lead you straight to Reno – that’s where House Republicans fled to in 2020 when Tina was fighting to address the homelessness crisis,” said Katie Wertheimer, communications director for Kotek’s campaign. “Christine Drazan literally walked off the job and blocked the legislature from passing critical efforts to address our housing and homelessness crisis. Her new talking points can’t hide her failed record on these issues.”

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