Candidates for State Representative District 30

A questionnaire was sent to candidates in the Portland-metro region, and below are the responses in regard to issues that are important to the Alliance and the business community.

* indicates Alliance endorsed candidate.

1. The Allianceís primary focus for the 2016 election cycle will be to support those candidates and ballot measure proponents who clearly and publicly join us in opposing Measure 97, the gross receipts tax measure, which will be so detrimental to Oregonís economy. What is your position on M97?
Dan Mason* I am opposed to Measure 97.
2. The 2015 Economic Impacts of Congestion shows that Portland-metro and the state of Oregon's competitiveness is largely dependent on efficient transportation. Failure to adequately invest in the system could cost the Portland-metro region $822 million annually by 2040 and close to 6,000 jobs. Do you support increased funding for a state transportation package? Would you work on a state transportation package in the 2017 legislative session that supports freight movement and removes bottlenecks through multimodal investments, including in roads and bridges?
Dan Mason* I support a transportation funding package and will work towards its passage as one of my main priorities.
3. The Portland metro region functions as one labor and employment market. Workplace rules that impact business operations and costs, such as paid sick leave, minimum wage and others, can distort that market if local jurisdictions are able to adopt their own rules in an inconsistent manner. What do you believe is the role of the state versus local jurisdictions in setting workplace rules?
Dan Mason* The state needs to be the final authority so there are consistent and predictable procedures for all businesses in Oregon, not regional specific.
4. The Portland Business Alliance and its members have a long history of supporting education including career and technical education (CTE) and science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) programs. Last legislative session, we supported the legislatureís funding increase for these programs. How would you improve our stateís public education system and CTE and STEM programs?
Dan Mason* I will be a strong supporter of all CTE and STEM programs.
5. Oregon funding for higher education continues to trail other states despite the significant increase in funding approved in the last legislative session. This puts a burden on students who face higher tuition costs and increased student debt. What is your position on funding for higher education and scholarship programs for students to improve access and completion?
Dan Mason* School infrastructure is a high priority for me so my energy specifically will be focused on these issues. I support funding for higher ed and will work towards solutions addressing all education funding.
6. The Value of Jobs Coalition's 2015 Middle-Income Jobs Report found that Portland- metro, like most of the nation, has seen low- and high-income jobs account for increasingly larger shares of the regionís overall employment base, while middle-income jobs, as a share of the regionís total employment, have dropped from 69 percent in 1980 to 57 percent in 2013. What would you do to increase the number of middle-income jobs in both urban and rural parts of our state?
Dan Mason* Government can create an environment in which jobs are attracted to Oregon, or it can push business and jobs away. I will work towards creating the right incentives for both urban and rural Oregon, which may be dramatically different based on the area.
7. The same Middle Income Jobs Report found that Portland-metroís housing prices are becoming increasingly out of reach not only for low-income households, but also for middle- income households. The Alliance supported the inclusionary zoning legislation that was passed and signed into law in the 2016 session. What would you do to address housing affordability challenges and do you think this is a state issue or a local issue?
Dan Mason* Working in the housing industry, I recognized all of the challenges facing Oregon at this time. I will work towards balancing property rights and land use issues to provide real solutions to this very important issue.
8. Cities throughout the state are experiencing increases in the numbers of people experiencing homelessness. This issue is particularly acute in the city of Portland and the metro region, with thousands of individuals unsheltered on any given night. What is your view of the role of the state in addressing homelessness, as well as mental illness and drug addiction services, which are a contributing cause for some individuals?
Dan Mason* I believe we need to help support charitable organizations like the Oregon Food Bank and Community Action which are geared towards delivering services to those individuals. Homelessness will not be a problem solved without having the support of key organizations on the ground and properly supported at the state level, along with incentivizing others to support their efforts.
9. The Portland-metro regionís geographic location on the Pacific Rim, deep-water and inland port system, international air connections and extensive road and rail infrastructure play a significant role in the growth of Oregon businesses and jobs. Many small, medium, and large businesses throughout the state rely on efficient connections to domestic and international markets. What is your view on the role of trade to our stateís economy and what can the state do to promote traded-sector opportunities?
Dan Mason* A transportation package that deals with infrastructure around the Port of Portland could go a long ways to attracting business in Oregon. The roads are too packed right now and capacity needs to be addressed, as well as bridge repairs along with other aspects a package on transportation could deal with.
10. The Alliance is committed to ensuring an adequate supply of shovel ready industrial lands to support job retention and growth. Manufacturing, in particular, requires industrial land and provides higher wages and better benefits than non-manufacturing jobs, particularly for non- whites and non-English-speaking workers. In a previous session, the Alliance supported a bill that would have allowed the state to provide loans and grants to jurisdictions to make industrial land market ready; the policy passed, but no associated funding was approved. What do you believe is the role of the state in helping local jurisdictions promote adequate industrial lands that are shovel ready for development?
Dan Mason* Industrial lands that need developed should have access to capital. That investment will pay itself back through new businesses coming to the area so the legislature should allow local jurisdictions to get those needed resources.