(Ed. Note: Brad Avakian won the Democratic Primary race for Secretary of State)
Protecting the environment, breaking down the walls of discrimination, ensuring a women can make her own personal medical decisions about her pregnancy and standing up for working families. These are the values we share as Democrats, and the values I will champion as our next Secretary of State. As the Democratic Party’s nominee, I will fight for our shared progressive values.
As the chief auditor of public funds, I will use the Audits Division to assess the pay differential between female state employees and their male counterparts. By investigating any inequalities in pay, the Secretary of State can ensure public agencies and private companies contracting with the state are following Oregon’s equal pay laws.
And as the head of Oregon’s elections, I will give every Oregonian a voice in our democracy. This includes passing meaningful campaign finance limits and expanding access to the ballot. Citizens United is wrong, it will be overturned, and it should be an Oregon case that does it. I will work towards providing pre-paid postage on all ballots and allowing same day voter registration. I will also make ballots, the voters pamphlet and other state forms available in multiple languages to make it easier for every Oregonian to register to vote, form a business and prosper.
As Secretary I will partner with the Department of Education to return modern civics classes to our public school curriculum. I will create the Oregon Youth Vote, a new program to teach children the process and importance of voting. Each school will receive Youth Vote ballots for its students and parents will be able to request Youth Vote ballots be mailed to their home. In civics classes and at the dinner table young people will be able to discuss the issues and candidates on the ballot and go through the process of filling out their own ballot. Youth Vote ballots will not count towards the official results. After the election, however, they will be tallied to show what young Oregonians thought about the issues and candidates.
The Secretary of State is also one of three members of the State Land Board, along with the Governor and Treasurer. I will use this position to preserve our natural legacy for future generations and make Oregon a leader in combating climate change. I will oppose any efforts to privatize our public forests, and work to attract clean energy jobs to Oregon. Together, we will foster partnerships between apprenticeship programs, vocational schools, and power companies to ensure the jobs created from these initiatives are filled by Oregonians.
I am incredibly grateful to have the continued support of the Washington County Democrats, and I look forward to continuing our partnership through the November election, and beyond.