Thank you for coming.
The Supreme Court has spoken. And while we are disappointed in the decision, we respect their ruling and thank the justices for their thoughtful consideration on this matter.
This ruling represents the end of my campaign for governor. But I’m not going anywhere.
As I’ve said many times, I’ve been an Oregonian since I was a kid helping out on my family’s farm. And I’ll be an Oregonian until the moment I draw my last breath.
And because I love our great state and care so deeply about our shared future, I’m going to keep fighting for it in any way I can – because the challenges we face are so grave, and people I care for are struggling. The desire to serve my state led me to enter this race and I’m not going to stop, whether my name is on the ballot or not.
Over the past few weeks, as the Court was considering our case, I continued traveling the state and listening to voters. And there’s no way around it: the folks I spoke with are worried.
They’re worried about a housing system where prices are spiraling out of control, with no end in sight.
They’re worried about an economy that is growing more unequal, more unfair by the day, providing fewer opportunities to build a good life and get ahead here in Oregon than ever before.
They’re worried about the ever-increasing number of people they see in their communities and throughout the state who lack shelter and can’t get the help they need.
They’re worried about a criminal justice system that isn’t working to ensure safety and equal justice for every Oregonian, no matter what we look like or where we come from.
And they’re worried about a climate emergency that disrupts our lives with ever more extreme weather, while wildfires destroy our homes, our livelihoods and our lands.
They are worried for a future of more decline and drift for Oregon, and they know something needs to change.
I’ve watched the people closest to me live with the consequences of a political system that refuses to take on the tough problems. I’ve seen friend after friend fall into the vicious spiral of unemployment, mental illness, addiction, violence, and homelessness. And it continues to this day.
These stories aren’t unique to me and my neighbors. They are stories familiar to nearly every Oregonian. 22,000 Oregon kids are homeless. We have to fix that. Urgently.
This is a moment of crisis and it affects all of us. And far too many of our families and friends are left to struggle with the impact of those choices on their own because our political system believes their problems are too difficult to take on.
But I believe they’re too difficult NOT to take on. And while I may not get the opportunity to take them on as your governor, I remain deeply committed to doing everything in my power to keep moving Oregon forward on these issues and toward a brighter future.
I’ve spent my entire career calling attention to some of the world’s biggest problems around the world and shining a light on potential paths forward. I’m not going to stop doing that now, particularly when those big problems have come to our very doorstep here at home.
Thankfully, I know I won’t be fighting this fight alone. And Sheryl and I want to express enormous thanks to my campaign team, led by chair Carol Butler and by Margaret Jarosz and so many others who have poured their souls into this effort. I can’t say enough great things about the team. It has been the dream team, even if the dream didn’t end the way I might have preferred.
My campaign received support from thousands of Oregonians in every county across this state who feel their voices aren’t being heard and who want the opportunity to choose a different path.
I urge those folks to stay engaged and to stay hopeful — our state needs you, and I believe that if we stand together, we can do this. Not just talk about a brighter future for Oregon, but actually do the hard work to make it happen.
I believe we can make housing affordable for everyone and tackle the epidemic of homelessness, creating new housing and services that prevent crises and address the problem at its root — together.
I believe we can build an economic powerhouse that levels the playing field, reduces inequality, and leads the world in green energy technology that creates jobs and helps to address the climate crisis — together. We can and we must.
I believe we can prepare our children to succeed with more affordable child care, universal early education, and schools that have the resources they need — together.
This is the future that Oregonians deserve. And while I won’t be the governor who has the honor of leading the charge to build it, I hope it’s a future that each of our remaining Democratic candidates will commit to turning into a reality. I look forward to supporting those who do, and doing whatever I can to help them — and the great state of Oregon — succeed.