May Day Rally Remarks
May 1, 2015
Good afternoon, and welcome to your Capitol.
As I look out into this crowd, I see the changing faces of Oregon.
This rally is an amazing reflection of the rich diversity of our population.
You are the perfect image of Oregon: You are lawyers. You are farmworkers. You are teachers. You are business owners. You are parents, and grandparents and children.
Whether you carry a briefcase to an office or work in the fields to bring food to the tables of all Oregonians, your work is vital to our way of life.
It is important that you hear from me, as your Governor, that you are not outsiders. You are Oregonians.
You are here today because you believe in the dream. The dream of justice and equity for all people. You doing your part to ensure that these dreams become realities.
We need you here in Salem to share your stories. To work with legislators to make our state a place that is inclusive … and full of opportunity for everyone.
Today’s rally highlights important issues that we must all focus on. Like affordable housing.
We all deserve affordable housing – whether that is in Ontario or Portland, Woodburn, or Roseburg.
And that is especially important for the people who work in the fields day in and day out to put food on our tables.
They deserve quality housing too.
We are also here to talk about education.
We need to work together to make sure that all of our students have access to good schools. In every corner of the state.
If we are going to prepare all young people to participate, to have a voice, and to lead the next generation, we need to provide these students with affordable college tuition.
But most importantly, we are here because we all deserve to have access to LIVING. WAGE. JOBS.
As we know, this touches every aspect of our lives.
Good jobs enable us to provide for our children and take care of our families.
Jobs that pay a living wage enable us to save for the future and plan for retirement.
We must have safe working conditions and the ability to take paid sick leave. And to take home the pay that you have earned.
But that is not all,
I commit to you that I will always oppose efforts that divide our state into factions. We are at our best when we are unified.
As your Governor, I will continue to push for immigration reform in Oregon. I will work to ensure that people who were not born in the United States but who have chosen Oregon as their home, can do so without discrimination.
As you continue your work, know that as your Governor, I commit to finding solutions that strengthen all families, that encourages economic justice for workers, and creates opportunities for all voices to be heard in Salem.
Thank you for your commitment. Thank you for your presence. And thank you for your contributions to the State of Oregon.
Si se puede.