PAT PAC Endorsements for the 2020 Primary for Oregon Legislature

The Portland Association of Teachers Political Action Committee (PAT PAC) is proud to announce its endorsements for candidates running for the Oregon Legislature in the May 2020 Primary Election.

This year, the issues of keeping promises and respecting workers have been of central importance to the PAT PAC Board, and to all our PAT PAC members.

The passage of SB1049 last summer -- which reallocates a portion of public employee compensation away from workers’ retirement savings, to use it to pay down the state’s debt -- was deeply troubling to teachers and all public employees.

A vote for this bill represents a lawmakers’ willingness to forgo agreements made in trust, and to force public workers to pay for the state's programs.

Nonetheless, we gave every candidate an opportunity to discuss their vote with us. Some answers horrified us- not only do some of our elected officials show no remorse for their vote, some said they'd do further cuts if needed.

This primary season, the PAT PAC is not endorsing any candidate who voted for SB1049. We are hopeful that moving forward, our Oregon Legislature will be bold champions for workers, public education, and the revenue reform to allow our state to meet the needs of all our state’s children, families, and community members.

The PAT PAC endorsement panel consisted of 9 educators along with OEA staff. The panel considered the following criteria while making their endorsements: support for collective bargaining and the rights of workers; knowledge of education issues; commitment to racial equity; advocacy for strong, fully-funded public schools; and electability.

We are proud to endorse the following candidates for the Oregon State Legislature:

House District 33: Christina Stephenson

As a civil rights attorney, Christina has centered her career around protecting workers. She will be a fierce advocate for labor rights, housing affordability, school funding, and the revenue reform we need to make Oregon a place where all our community members can thrive. As the mom of a kindergartner in PPS, she sees first-hand how direly our schools need the resources to lower classes and offer all the supports that our students need.

House District 36: Laurie Wimmer

We are fortunate to have a strong field of progressive candidates for the HD 36 seat, but Laurie Wimmer surpasses all with her in-depth knowledge of the issues and policies that are most important to educators and families. Her decades of experience as an OEA lobbyist, advocating in Salem for educators and students, give her the political know-how to get things done.

Above all, Laurie’s passion for public education, economic justice, racial equity, and collective bargaining position her to be a champion for PAT members, students, and working families.

House District 42: Paige Kreisman

Paige Kreisman deeply believes in fully funding public schools, strengthening workers rights, and providing needed human services to all Oregonians. Her background as an organizer and advocate for the Portland Democratic Socialists of America demonstrated a willingness to take stand and fight for crucial issues. Although she is not an educator, she gave a firm commitment to collaborate with educators and the PAT on education legislation.

Senate District 21: Kathleen Taylor

Senator Taylor’s record on public education and labor rights speaks for itself. Not only was she a vocal advocate for the Student Success Act, she has consistently voiced the need for structural revenue reform in Oregon so that we can fully fund education, social services, healthcare, and all the things kids and families in Oregon need. She rejected the notion that workers’ retirement accounts be raided to pay down the state’s debt, voting no on SB1049. Her unwavering clear-headed advocacy for revenue reform, labor rights, and public services are a powerful force in Salem.

We look forward to working with these candidates to fully fund our schools, support workers, and better support our students and families.

The PAT PAC is not done-- we will be announcing additional endorsements in the coming weeks.