A Public Well-being Focus
I've owned Awakenings Wellness Center in SE Portland for over 15 years, and have helped create other centers for health and wellness. Rather than a punitive approach to many social issues, let's focus on community well-being as a way to be more effective in addressing social issues and save money.
Use a Happiness or Well-being Index when evaluating public policies
Halt 5G roll-out until Safety Studies are completed
Stop treating houselessness as a criminal justice issue
Treat drug addiction as a public health matter
Create a supervised injection site to take it off our streets, reduce demand for drugs, reduce overdoses and increase treatment
Support the healing benefits of drugs like psilocybin for treating depression & PTSD
Target sex traffickers instead of victimizing sex workers
First and Foremost, I'm about Public Health & Well-being
I've developed and managed health clinics and wellness centers in East Portland for over 15 years, and I take a public health and well-being approach to every issue. If a policy is good for our children and their future, it's probably good for all of us.
Meaningful Public Participating is Essential for Public Well-being
The Covid-19 pandemic is not the last crisis we will face as Portlanders. Global warming increases the risk of more epidemics, storms, drought, forest fires, heatwaves, and increases concerns about issues like food security. To confront these and other issues, we all need a voice at the table. That's why I'm calling for meaningful council reforms that will result in more diverse representation from all parts of the city. See my pages on Bold Climate Action and Council and Voting Reforms for more on these issues.
Houselessness is a Public Health and Well-being Issue
Houselessness is not a criminal justice issue. Yet half the arrests in Portland last year were of houseless individuals. Arresting houseless people doesn't help them or make us safer. Houselessness is an economic and social health issue, and we need to deploy public safety resources to handle houselessness from a more humane, public health perspective. Let's move away from taking a punitive approach to managing what are actually social health issues. See my page on Innovating Housing Solutions for more on that issue and on making housing in Portland more affordable for homebuyers and renters.
Pull the Plug on 5G until Safety Studies are Complete
5G has many serious opponents in the health and wellness community because of scientific studies showing a relationship between microwave exposure and impaired immune function. Plans call for microwave antennas every 100 feet in our neighborhoods, basically on every telephone pole along every street where we walk and our children play. Senator Ron Wyden has expressed serious concerns about 5G and the Oregon Legislature passed a law last year requiring more study of the impact on children from microwave radiation related to wireless technology in our schools. Even insurance companies have revised policies to eliminate coverage for any harm due to "exposure to microwave radiation." Physicians from over 35 countries have called for a moratorium on 5G rollout until further safety studies are conducted. Yet the Portland city council has contracted with AT&T to roll out 5G throughout our city even as they called on the Trump Administration's FCC to provide more information on the health impacts of 5G. This 'concern' is disingenuous if they are already pursuing a roll-out of the technology. We must reverse any roll-out until the studies have been completed.
Take a Public Health Approach to Reduce Drugs on our Streets
Drug addiction needs to be treated as a public health matter, not a criminal justice issue. Programs in other countries have shown that decriminalizing drug enforcement creates opportunities for true addiction treatment and makes communities safer. Let's expand the LEAD program to divert low-level drug offenders away from incarceration, and create a supervised injection site to take it off the streets, reduce overdoses, and facilitate more effective treatment.
While I advocate taking a public health approach to drug addiction, I also believe we should prosecute drug-related crimes like theft and drug dealing, and should intervene in public drug abuse. By focusing our resources, we can be more effective in solving drug addiction.
Taking a "just say no" approach to all drugs keeps us from realizing the benefits some of them provide, such as pain relief and healing properties of cannabis, and the psychotherapeutic benefits that substances like psilocybin offer. I'm proud to support the Psy 2020 effort to legalize the use of breakthrough psilocybin therapies for treating a host of issues from depression, suicidiation, PTSD and depression related to terminal illness.
Target Sex Traffickers instead of Victimizing Sex Workers
Finally, when it comes to punitive measures against sex workers, in some cases we are further victimizing people who are vulnerable when we should be directing our resources at sex traffickers. I'm taking a stand to focus our criminal justice resources on prosecuting sex traffickers, as well as violent crimes like rape and abuse, instead of wasting resources policing sex workers.
Use a Happiness Index to Help Evaluate Public Policies
Using a "Happiness Index" gives us another way to measure progress in our city on a myriad of issues to determine our success at improving the well-being of Portlanders. Purely economic models that prioritize income and neglect other measures miss the other factors that contribute to the general well-being of our citizens.
While I support living wage jobs and personally believe a true living wage is much more than $15/hr, when we measure our success based on the health and well-being of our people, we will be more effective in accomplishing a range of policies that will increase the general happiness of Portlanders.
Let's take a more holistic approach to address issues that impact our community's wellbeing, health, and happiness!
Public Well-being Requires we invest in Equity, Parks and Putting People First
Public well-being requires that we invest in our parks and community centers, defend human rights, confront white supremacy, and resist the would-be efforts behind anti-democratic agendas. See my pages on each of those issues.
Real solutions for today's challenges
I believe in what Portland can be.