2022 Candidate Interviews

All candidates who won their primaries, were filed with the Secretary of State, and touch the five counties NWSDS serve were given the opportunity to be interviewed by NWSDS Advisory Council members. Twenty-three candidates responded and were interviewed.

In July, candidates were sent questions in advance and members of our Advisory Councils interviewed them via Zoom. We recorded those interviews with the help of Capital Community Media, so you can hear where they stand on issues related to older adults and people with disabilities.

Interview questions were developed by NWSDS Advisory Council members. All candidates were also given the opportunity to submit written statements following the interviews. If they submitted answers, you will find those below their interview video.

Learn more about our Advisory Councils here.

The Candidates

Federal Office

View interviews with federal office candidates

Oregon Senate

View interviews with Oregon State Senate candidates here.

Oregon House of Representatives

View interviews with Oregon House of Representatives candidates here.

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To view all the interviews in a single playlist, please click here.

Candidates for Federal Office

Click on the candidate name to reveal and watch the recorded interview.

After you have watched the introduction once, please feel free to skip ahead to the 3:19 mark for the interview.

U.S. Congressional District 1 - Christopher Mann (R)

Interview by Linda Crandall – NWSDS Senior Advisory Council Chair

U.S. Congressional District 5 - Jamie McCleod-Skinner (D, I)

Interview by Monica Adams – NWSDS Disability Services Advisory Council

How will you address the need for increased access to affordable healthcare, including prescriptions for seniors and people with disabilities?

First of all, we need to make health care more affordable and lower the cost of prescription drugs. Nobody should have to choose between medicine and putting food on the table. A lack of affordable health care is hurting Oregon’s families. While we have started making steps in the right direction, we need to do more. With specialized medical needs, cost is often a factor in whether people seek treatment, even preventive care. That’s why I am advocating for coverage that provides a basic level of physical and mental health care for all Americans.

We need systems that are more navigable for users, especially those with specialized needs or complex health issues. When the health care system is too cumbersome and has too many barriers for people to navigate, patients fall through the cracks and only enter the system once they are in crisis mode–when healthcare costs skyrocket. We need to reach people and make sure they have the appropriate care before that happens.

One of the things I’ve learned in my conversations with people is the importance of updating technology. One example of this is in transportation options for those with mobility issues. I’ve learned that the updating of technology is lacking in transportation options, such as mobility scooters, which determine how far and how fast you can go. So many opportunities to work and participate in civic life require the ability to both access information and have some form of mobility. When we ignore those needs, we are ignoring an important aspect of health care.

In Congress, I will be a strong advocate for all health care needs—physical, behavioral, and accessibility. I do not accept money from the pharmaceutical and insurance industries, which means I will stand up to anyone to deliver the health care Oregonians need – and deserve.

What is your understanding of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and how it affects housing for seniors and people with disabilities? What will you do to ensure there is uniform interpretation and compliance across all the states?

The ADA mandates reasonable accommodation to a rule, policy, practice, or service so that a person can have an equal opportunity to use and enjoy a dwelling, including public and common use spaces, or to fulfill their program obligations. Unfortunately, that does not always happen.

There is a huge lack of affordable housing for everyone, and it is more challenging for seniors and people with disabilities because options are more limited and there is often a lack of compliance with ADA and FHA requirements. For projects with federal funding, we should increase the required percentage of units that must be accessible and track projects in a national database to ensure the requirement is upheld.

I would support mandating that organizations that receive HUD funding be required to certify that their programs and facilities are compliant with Fair Housing and ADA requirements. I believe that we need to develop programs and policies that engage seniors and people with disabilities with stakeholders to develop best practices for compliance that can be applied nationwide. Establishing uniform policies for compliance will help overcome patterns of segregation and foster more inclusive communities.

Are you willing to work in a non-partisan way on issues and programs involving seniors and people with disabilities?

Yes. That’s the way I currently work in my service as an Education Service District Board Member, to ensure that students in rural Central Oregon have their Information Technology (IT) and special education needs met. The pandemic has thrown even more light on the fact that our systems, programs, and policies often do not fully meet the needs of seniors or people with disabilities.

We need to remove barriers and red tape, ensure people can stay in their homes, and shore up our caregiving systems. The only way to do that is by working across the aisle. I have a strong track record in bringing people together to find solutions.

In your role, how will you improve the health of vulnerable seniors and people with disabilities, including historically marginalized groups (BIPOC- black, indigenous and people of color) who traditionally suffer from more health disparities?

We need to ensure resources are available to meet the specific needs of the BIPOC community. Nationally, we need to prioritize cultural competency training and ensure that any healthcare facility or healthcare worker receiving federal tax dollars for care work or training must have training in how health care issues intersect with the experience of historically excluded groups and how that can negatively impact care.

We also need people who understand that these issues may be exacerbated in rural areas where access is more complicated. I did this same type of culture competency training for newly arrived refugees when I worked in refugee resettlement. I would advocate for HHS to devote resources and attention to these health issues, collect demographic data, and look at disparities in healthcare regionally across the US.

I would also advocate for increased use of tools such as telehealth to ensure people can connect with cultural competent caretakers and medical professionals. In these cases, it’s also important to make at-home care more of an option, so that people can receive care in an environment where they are comfortable. At-home care provides better outcomes, so it is important that people can stay in their homes as long as possible. I support current proposals that help people pay their bills, particularly their energy bills in light of recent heat waves and ice storms.

I also strongly support family caregivers and finding ways to decrease barriers to accessing mental health care. As people’s situations change: move into care facilities, require in-home caregivers, require rehabilitation services, develop mobility issues, or need extended medical treatment, it creates a situation where folks need to access services in spaces where they experience discrimination, harm, and a lack of understanding about their physical and mental health needs.

Some of the things I would advocate for including HHS expanding the categories of underserved population in data collection and proposing national legislation modeled on California and New Jersey’s LGBTQ+ Senior Bill of Rights and expanding to include people with disabilities and historically marginalized groups to prevent discrimination and mistreatment in care and provide stronger enforcement of their civil rights.

U.S. Congressional District 5 - Lori Chavez-DeRemer (R)

Interview by Linda Crandall – NWSDS Senior Advisory Council Chair

Candidates for Oregon State Senate

Click on the candidate name to reveal and watch the recorded interview.

After you have watched the introduction once, please feel free to skip ahead to the 3:19 mark for the interview.

Oregon Senate District 6 - Ashley Pelton (D)

Interview by Steven Manesis – NWSDS Disability Services Advisory Council Vice Chair

Oregon Senate District 10 - Deb Patterson (D)

Interview by Judi Richards – NWSDS Disability Services Advisory Council

Oregon Senate District 10 - Raquel Moore-Green (R)

Interview by Linda Crandall – NWSDS Senior Advisory Council Chair

Oregon Senate District 11 - Kim Thatcher (R)

Interview by Betty Sledge – NWSDS Senior Advisory Council

Oregon Senate District 11 - Richard Walsh (D)

Interview by Judi Richards – NWSDS Disability Services Advisory Council

Oregon Senate District 16 - Melissa Busch (D)

Interview by Tita Montero – NWSDS Senior Advisory Council

In your role, how will you improve the health of vulnerable seniors and people with disabilities, including historically marginalized groups (BIPOC- black, indigenous and people of color) who traditionally suffer from more health disparities?

As a home health nurse, I work with many of our communities’ most vulnerable members, including seniors and people with disabilities, I am deeply committed to addressing the issues impacting our marginalized community members. I see consistent need in our communities for in-home care support to help seniors and people with disabilities remain in their homes safely.

I will advocate for additional funding to increase the critical needs, like caregiving, healthcare, housing, that are impacting the health and well being of seniors, people with disabilities, and all marginalized communities in Senate District 16 and around the state.

Candidates for Oregon House of Representatives

Click on the candidate name to reveal and watch the recorded interview.

After you have watched the introduction once, please feel free to skip ahead to the 3:19 mark for the interview.

Oregon House District 11 - Mary Cooke (D)

Interview by Steven Manesis – NWSDS Disability Services Advisory Council Vice Chair

Oregon House District 15 - Ben Watts (D)

Interview by Judi Richards – NWSDS Disability Services Advisory Council

Oregon House District 19 -TJ Sullivan (R)

Interview by Monica Adams – NWSDS Disability Services Advisory Council

Oregon House District 20 - Dan Farrington (R)

Interview by Monica Adams – NWSDS Disability Services Advisory Council

Oregon House District 20 - Paul Evans (D)

Interview by Monica Adams – NWSDS Disability Services Advisory Council

Oregon House District 21 - Ramiro Navarro (D)

Interview by Monica Adams – NWSDS Disability Services Advisory Council

Oregon House District 21 - Kevin L. Mannix (R)

Interview by Tita Montero – NWSDS Senior Advisory Council

Oregon House District 22 - Anthony Medina (D)

Interview by Amador Aguilar – NWSDS Senior Advisory Council

Oregon House District 23 - Kriss Wright (D)

Interview by Judi Richards – NWSDS Disability Services Advisory Council

Oregon House District 24 - Victoria Ernst (D)

Interview by Steven Manesis – NWSDS Disability Services Advisory Council Vice Chair

Oregon House District 26 - Jason Fields (R)

Interview by Amador Aguilar – NWSDS Senior Advisory Council

Oregon House District 26 - Courtney Neron (D)

Interview by Monica Adams – NWSDS Disability Services Advisory Council

Oregon House District 31 - Anthony Sorace (D)

Interview by Linda Crandall – NWSDS Senior Advisory Council Chair

Oregon House District 32 - Logan Laity (D, I, P)

Interview by Steven Manesis- NWSDS Disability Services Advisory Council Vice Chair

Special THANK YOU to Capital Community Media for working with NWSDS staff and Advisory Council members as well as all of the candidates interviewed. We appreciate your hard work and dedication to make the process as smooth as possible and produce these videos so our consumers have the opportunity to learn about each of the candidates who have chosen to be involved.