Fighting For Oregon’s Future: Inside Tina Kotek’s Battle To End Homelessness

By Logan Bowlby (Opinion)
February 18, 2023

After holding office for over a month, Democrat Tina Kotek, Oregon's first openly lesbian Governor, has sought to make good on a campaign promise to end homelessness in Oregon. 

It is no secret that over the past few years, homelessness has skyrocketed all across Oregon. According to a report from the Oregon Community Foundation, Oregon’s homeless population accounts for a total of 2.6% of all homeless in the United States—even though Oregon’s general population only accounts for 1.3% of the total population in the United States. 

So far, Governor Kotek has declared homelessness a state of emergency, signed an executive order that established a statewide housing production goal of 36,000 houses per year, created the Housing Production Advisory Council, and directed state agencies to prioritize reducing homelessness in all areas of the state.

Additionally, Governor Kotek requested the that Oregon Legislative Assembly approve a $130 million budget package that would aim to reduce unsheltered homelessness across the state.

As Governor Kotek aims to quickly address the alarming crisis, one fact remains: thousands of Oregonians are currently living unsheltered. 

Elected leaders, Democrats and Republicans alike, need to come together and approved Governor Kotek’s $130 million homelessness budget package and help protect Oregon’s homeless population.