REMARKS AS PREPARED
Governor Kate Brown
Racial Justice Council
December 2, 2020
Good afternoon everyone. Thank you so much for your time and energy today, as we continue to prepare the bills that the council will be looking to pass in the legislative session.
I cannot believe 2020 is almost over. This year has been...challenging...to say the least. But from our greatest challenges spring tremendous opportunities.
In particular, this year we have seen incredible, groundbreaking work to center communities made vulnerable by systemic racism and colonialism in our conversations, as we work together to build a safer, stronger, and more equitable Oregon. This council is a great example.
COVID-19 and the historic Labor Day wildfires have brought our state to a screeching halt. But the good news is that there’s nowhere to go but up from here.
We released the Governor’s Recommended Budget yesterday. I know we did a brief overview last week but now that it’s public, there are some highlights that are worth repeating:
● There are >$250 million in racial justice investments.
● Including reforms to our criminal justice system to center racial equity and deemphasize mass incarceration.
● $118 million investment in broadband expansion
● Half a billion dollars for wildfires, including funding for preparedness, prevention, and suppression, with $189.5 million to rebuild communities impacted by the fires.
○ This is an incredibly important moment to trust tribal methodologies to create healthier landscapes.
● Increase access to quality, affordable childcare for 8,000 more kids
● $10 million to expand health coverage to adults regardless of their immigration status and Oregonians without insurance
● $5.4 million investment in Career & Technical Education, which we know prepares students for future careers and makes them more likely to graduate.
And we could not have done any of it without all of you. Thank you, thank you, thank you.
As the Klamath Tribes said in a recent press statement: “We help each other; we will live well.”
Now, these ideas need to become bills, which need to become laws. I’m excited to hear about the progress your committees have made, and make plans to move forward.
Thanks, and let’s get this done!