- Election Reform
My top priority will be election reforms to give voters more choices, reduce the influence of money on elections, and create fair conditions for all candidates. Ranked choice voting is the best way to accomplish this. Voters rank the candidates for an office and if no candidate gets a majority of the first choice votes, the other rankings begin to factor in to determine the winner. This allows voters to choose candidates based on their merits and not feel restricted to “front runners” who have the most money and media attention.
I also favor other electoral reforms, such as amending the Oregon constitution to allow campaign finance limits, public funding for candidates who accept voluntary campaign finance limits, and a strengthened form of fusion voting for cross-party nominations.
- Updating Voting Technology
Certification of vote tabulation machines should require them to be equipped to keep a “cast vote record,” which allows easier auditing, research on voting trends, and the capacity to implement ranked choice voting. We should also be looking into the example of places like Los Angeles, which is developing its own open-source computerized vote tabulation machines rather than purchasing them from for-profit vendors. This approach promises greater security and reduced costs.
- Promoting Socially Conscious Businesses
Since 2014 Oregon has allowed businesses to incorporate as “public benefit” corporations, which temper the pursuit of profit with social and environmental goals. I will utilize data from corporate registrations to research how best to encourage the growth and success of these entities. I will also have the Office of Small Business Assistance target these businesses to render assistance where needed. These are the types of businesses we should be promoting, not wasting public subsidies on large corporations which put profit ahead of social and environmental considerations.
- Improving the Performance of State Agencies
Using my background as a professor of public policy to supervise the auditing of state agencies, I will ensure that audits finding inadequate performance are publicized to spur the legislature to take action.
- Insuring the Public’s Right to Know
I am a strong believer that the public has a right to know what its government is doing. As supervisor of the administration of public records, I will reduce obstacles that keep the public, researchers, and the media from accessing information from state agencies.
- Protecting Our Natural Resources
As a member of the Oregon State Land Board and the Oregon Sustainability Commission, I will insure that public concern over climate change and protecting natural resources is given the weight it deserves. For example, the Elliot State Forest is currently in danger of being sold at a bargain rate to private interests. Instead its benefits of carbon sequestration and potential for forest soil research should be appropriately valued and taken into consideration.