Oregon Democratic Gov. Tina Kotek was sworn in on Monday, Jan. 9, and said her first order of business would be to tackle the homeless crisis in Oregon.
According to a Fox News article written on Jan. 10, Kotek said she was going to declare a homeless state of emergency and sign an executive order to remedy the problem through housing construction on her first day in office.
The executive order will increase housing construction by 80% over recent trends, setting a target of building 36,000 new homes per year.
Gov. Kotek also proposed an emergency investment to help unsheltered people get off the streets that amounts to $130 million. The article states she hopes to build upon this investment with a more comprehensive package during upcoming legislative sessions.
Gov. Kotek’s urgency to fix the homeless crisis shows how she differs from outgoing Gov. Brown’s ineffective solutions to the issue. Since 2020, homelessness in Oregon has increased by 22% according to the U.S. Department of Housing.
The article also points out that Oregon has the dubious distinction of having the highest rate of drug addiction and ranking last in mental health treatment according to the 2021 National Survey on Drug Use and Health.
Gov. Kotek also plans on visiting every county in Oregon in her first year in office, as the article explains she is intent on serving all Oregonians, as she says, with a “personal promise” to “strengthen connections across the state.”
The article explains Gov. Kotek in her inaugural address at the state Capitol in Salem stated, “Our state’s response must meet the urgency of the humanitarian crisis we are facing,” after asking everyone to imagine an Oregon without people having to live on the sidewalk in a tent.
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