Oregon State Senate District 10

DEB PATTERSON (D)

Voters in Senate District 10 have an excellent opportunity this year to elect a leader who will help make Oregon one of the most progressive states in the union: Deb Patterson.  Well educated with a Masters in Health Administration, she is also a very experienced healthcare manager having spent many years in Missouri running an international resource center for nurses with operations in 23 countries, directing a children’s health foundation, and co-leading a large healthcare system comprising three hospitals and 75 clinics. Since coming to Oregon eight years ago, Patterson has immersed herself in community service. She is currently pastor of a Congregational Church in Canby, she has served on the Marion County Health Advisory Board and Kate Brown appointed her to the Oregon Nursing Home Administrators’ Board.  This background shows that Patterson not only has expertise managing large-scale organizations, but she also understands the problems of average people.  And she is determined to help them find solutions.

Patterson’s agenda focuses on issues that are important to all Oregonians. She wants to make sure that everyone has affordable access to healthcare, including 257,000 people who still have no coverage.  At the same time she wants to ensure that small businesses can afford to ensure their employees without having to reduce workers’ wages.

  She aims to transform our educational system from one of the weakest – currently our graduation rate is 48th in the nation – into one of the best.  That means reducing class sizes, rethinking the length of the school year, providing more technical education opportunities,  expanding free early education childhood programs, and offering after school enrichment programs to every student.  No less important, Patterson calls for serious investments in higher education to make college affordable for all residents who wish to attend. 

Patterson is committed to protecting the environment.  She aims not only to conserve our state’s outstanding beauty and livability, but she wants to promote policies that limit carbon emissions, combat climate change, and build an economy based on clean energy industries that provide good wages and working conditions.

At a time when the Federal government seems hell bent on rolling back women’s right to choose and reducing opportunities for immigrants, documented and undocumented, to build their lives here, she will stand up civil rights and for a culture of mutual assistance and empathy rather than one of persecution and intolerance.

Crucially, Patterson aims to cover the costs of the state’s investment in our social infrastructure by rebalancing the tax schedule, which for too long has favored the rich and the corporations.  She believes it is time for them to pay their fair share.

Patterson’s opponent, Jackie Winters, has been in the Senate for sixteen years.  At a time when the Republican Party has adopted policies akin to the robber baron era of the 1890s, she has little to offer as a problem solver.  Indeed, while posing as a moderate, she has generally voted the party line, especially on matters concerning the day-to-day well being of average people. For example, she recently voted against bills introducing paid sick leave, the creation of Oregon’s Retirement Savings Board, fair housing legislation, and internet neutrality.  Her voting record on bills to protect the environment is abysmal and earned a 27% rating from the Oregon League of Conservation Voters. She has voted against bills to improve women’s access to reproductive health care, to introduce background checks on private gun sales, and against increased appropriations of tax dollars for schools and health services.

Voters can get a sense of who their candidates represent by looking at their campaign donors.  While Patterson has relied largely on small donations from individuals, over 90 percent of Winters’ campaign cash comes from corporations, political action committees, and major donors such as pharmaceutical companies.  Indeed, since 2010 she has received over $89,000 from drug companies alone.  We know where Winters’ bread is buttered.

The choice in Senate District 10 is a clear one.  Vote for the candidate who will work on the people’s behalf. Vote for Deb Patterson.