KOIN 6 News contacted candidates who are planning to run for Oregon governor in 2022, asking them to respond to these three questions:
- Why are you running for governor?
- In your opinion, what are the top three issues Oregon is facing right now?
- What is something you believe is going right in Oregon and how would you like to continue to build on it?
Michael Cross is running as a Democrat. Here are his responses:
Why are you running for governor?
I am running for Governor because the Oregon that I know and love is fading before my very eyes!
Crime is at an all-time high, and worsening. Oregonians are struggling to make ends meet and fear for their personal safety.
The homeless crisis is worsening and there are no solutions to this plight other than mine.
I have a solution to the homeless crisis which upon their successful graduation from the program, they will have a good job, valid driver’s license, be in recovery from any addictions, and even be qualified to buy a home!
In your opinion, what are the top three issues Oregon is facing right now?
Oregon is a great state. It is the state I am proud to call home and would be honored to serve. Three vexing issues that dog the state are as follows:
1) Affordability and Cost of Living.
Oregon offers high-quality public services and a mostly pristine environment. But we are the fourth most expensive state to live in. Systemic reforms and informed changes to market factors will be necessary to alleviate the affordability crisis that is afflicting urban and rural parts of the state.
2) A Spike in violent crime and property crime.
Oregon is the seventh in the nation in terms of property crime and violent crime is at an all-time high. The pandemic and demonstrations that led to a flash point in recent history point to a criminal justice system that isn’t working for either the public, the victims, or the accused. A continuous dialogue between lawmakers, law enforcement, and the community at large should ensue so that we can address and fix systemic inequity. Systemic inequity in and of itself produces crime when the aim is punishment, not rehabilitation or public safety.
3) Public Education
Oregon is ranked 40th in state public education rankings. A constructive dialogue needs to occur in the short term to address discrepancies and shortcomings but a long-term plan needs to focus on raising the standards of K-12 education.
What is something you believe is going right in Oregon and how would you like to continue to build on it?
Oregon’s environmental protections are coming along very well. Oregonians can be proud of clean water and clean air. As governor, I would work with county, city, and federal governments to focus on reducing the carbon footprint in Oregon and striving to be a zero-carbon emissions state by 2045.
Editor’s Note: KOIN 6 News asked Cross to cite sources for some pieces of information he mentioned. Where Cross says, “Crime is at an all-time high, and worsening,” Cross’ campaign responded saying their source was a U.S. News & World Report article stating homicides, not crime in general, are at a record high in Portland – not the entire state of Oregon. For the statement that Oregon is the fourth most expensive state to live in, Cross’ campaign said they obtained that information from World Population Review, which cites data from the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center. The center’s latest data, from the third quarter of 2021, shows Oregon is the sixth most expensive state to live in.
Cross’ campaign sent a correction saying Oregon is eighth, not seventh, in terms of property crime.Their source is Macrotrends, a research platform for long-term investors. Macrotrends reports that in 2018, Oregon’s rate of property crimes per 100,000 people was the eighth highest in the U.S. That rate has been on a decline since 2012, according to Macrotrends. Cross’ campaign also cites World Population Review as the source for saying Oregon is ranked 40th among states for public education. World Population Review says it received this information on a WalletHub analysis that ranks states’ education systems. In the 2021 analysis, WalletHub ranked Oregon 42nd among states.
KOIN 6 News made minor adjustments to spelling, capitalization and punctuation in the responses the gubernatorial candidates submitted.