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Central City Concern Luncheon for the Homeless Action Fund for Self-Sufficiency (Nov. 8, 2012)

​Even as Oregon pulls out a deep and tough recession, too many Oregonians are struggling, unable to meet their basic needs.

This is why my administration is hard at work on strategies to bring greater prosperity and a stronger future to all Oregonians.

Much of this work focuses on transforming Oregon’s health care delivery system, improving the value of our health care dollars through better access to services, while also ensuring higher quality health care at a cost we can afford. Our efforts are yielding big changes, moving us toward a health care system focused on wellness, prevention, and a coordinated, patient-centered approach.

First Lady Cylvia Hayes leads the Oregon Prosperity Initiative, which aims to ensure that people who are struggling to feed and shelter themselves and their families have access to critical resources as soon as they need them, while also promoting strategies that address the long-standing, systemic root causes of poverty.

Thankfully, these efforts are supported by good work across the state. Oregon is rich in natural resources, not least of which is our generous citizenry. I’m glad to help recognize two dynamic examples here today: Dr. George Brown and Bob Walsh. Both have been tireless advocates of helping others achieve self-sufficiency.

Dr. Brown continues to lead the tri-county effort to create a viable and successful coordinated care organization model, which directly supports our statewide efforts to make our health care system more effective and efficient. Bob Walsh has dedicated his entire career to building affordable housing for those in need, providing essential help to getting people off the street and on a path of greater self-sufficiency.

I am proud of the work my administration has accomplished over the past two years, but there is much more to be done to promote economic opportunity and deliver more efficient and effective services and better results for Oregonians.

Government can’t do it alone, and I’m grateful for the work of today’s honorees, Central City Concern, and the people in this room who believe in making Oregon a more prosperous place to live, learn, and work.

During a week where Americans have casted their ballots for different candidates and initiatives, there is much that unites us. We all believe in expanding economic opportunity for every Oregonian in every community in the state. We share an expectation to raise our families in safe, vibrant neighborhoods with excellent, well-funded schools. And we are committed to future generations of Oregonians whose prosperity depends on decisions we are making today to deploy wisely our state’s natural, human and financial capital. I’m glad we’re taking these steps together.

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