Oregon Governor-Elect Kotek Learns About the Need for Housing, Healthcare, and Education During His First Tour Visit

Governor-Elect Kotek: On Wednesday, the Governor-elect of Oregon, Tina Kotek, began her “listening tour” in Yamhill County. This is the first stop in a plan to visit every county in Oregon as she prepares to take office in January. Kotek is planning to visit all 36 counties.

Oregon Governor-Elect Kotek Learns About the Need for Housing, Healthcare, and Education

When Kotek visited McMinnville, she concentrated on three issues: housing, early childhood education, and behavioral and mental health services. She explained to county officials that all three of these sectors are interconnected and will be a priority in her next budget, which will be released in February. The scarcity of available workers to fill open positions was a recurring theme throughout all three discussions.

Kotek is quoted as saying, “We need to compensate people, respect them, and also make it simpler for them to acquire professional growth.” “Collaborating with community colleges and providing assistance with financial aid are just two examples of the many things that need to be done along the pipeline. It’s not just one thing.”

Governor Elect Kotek

According to Dr. Laura Byerly, the chief medical officer at the Virginia Garcia Memorial Health Center, the first stop on the governor tour, elect’s Kotek’s legislative expertise with behavioral health care will be extremely helpful.

“Now, she mentioned budgetary limits, and that’s a fact,” Byerly says. She will, however, advocate, and I hope she will speak for the people we serve.”

She went on to say that this entails assisting those who are struggling the most, such as those who have been diagnosed with mental health conditions or addictions. “So her focus on that area is already totally on track,” Byerly said emphatically.

Following that, Kotek went on a tour of Head Start of Yamhill County, an early childhood education program in McMinnville.

She listened as educators discussed the challenges they faced in renewing competitive contracts, as well as the need for multilingual teachers. Following that, Kotek met with city and nonprofit leaders to discuss housing needs in Yamhill County, as well as assistance for the homeless and victims of domestic abuse.

Kotek emphasized the importance of “enhancement” existing government programs with additional people and financial resources rather than developing entirely new services at each location.

“I believe that what we are seeing across all levels of government is the exhaustion that comes with trying new things. We have things in place that we know work, but in order for them to continue doing more of what we are doing, they need manpower and investments,” Kotek added. I believe that if we can focus on fundamentals rather than attempting anything novel, our level of achievement will rise.

According to Kotek, one of the most important aspects of managing labor force shortages will be making the most of the money brought in by Measure 110.

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