Claudia Kyle is running as Democratic candidate for State Representative in Oregon’s 19th District for a second time. The former electrician, now a small business financial advisor, believes that her values of hard work and integrity can go far toward rebuiding Oregon.
Kyle’s 19th District includes areas in east and south Salem, Aumsville and Turner. Voter registration in the 19th shows a 5.2 percent Republican advantage and the incumbent there is Kevin Cameron (R-Salem,) now hoping for a fifth term.
We spoke with Kyle recently. We asked what kind of difference a state representative can make.
“Primarily, it has to do with the allocation of scarce resources,” she said. “It’s vitally important [for legislators] to identify clear priorities on what we need to focus on to really meet the needs of Oregonians.”
“Oregon has given me a lot; I’d like to give something back,” she said. “What I bring to the table is a very strong passion to leave things better than I find them.
Kyle identified two priorities, and they are the issues she most often hears about when she speaks with constituents: Oregon’s economy and the state of education.
“Nearly 170,000 Oregonians are out of work, largely due to economic stagnation,” she said, but she also sees “unique opportunities to jumpstart economy, giving small businesses the climate they need to succeed.”
“When small business owners asked what’s holding them back, the most common response is ‘lack of capital.’”
So Kyle believes in a credit enhancement program, “a demonstration project now.” It’s a partnership between local banks/credit unions and the state, to get money into local economies “since large banks aren’t making loans like this these days.”
She also feels it’s vital to focus on existing Oregon businesses rather than bringing in interests from outside the state with incentives. “What we’ve found over and over is that though the incentives are appealing to outside businesses, when incentives run out – they leave.”
Kyle strongly supports education and the need for funding it. “I had an excellent public school education in the 1960s; back then our state was rated one of the best in the nation for education. But years of successive cuts and the layoffs of thousands of teachers means that isn’t possible now.”
She has plans to “begin to provide stable, reliable streams of revenue for education again… We need to make schools a priority and educate our children well so we’ll have a supply of Oregonians who are ready to work when the economy recovers.”